In a world just like this one, and not so long ago, there once lived a man.
And for the purpose of this tale, we will establish that we like him. He is a well-meaning man, a man who keeps to himself and does his very best to not affect those around him in ways that are not positive. Some people call him a good man.
And so then shall we.
Goodman lived a solitary life, and with the benefit of retrospect, we could say quite a sad one. He enjoyed his own company, but shied away from contact with other people, as his heart was a bit too big, and this world a bit too cold for it to survive in without special medicine, or isolation from without.
He found great pleasure in music, like many of the geniuses of history, and truth be told, the psychopaths as well. Music gives equally to either type, it has no preconceptions or favour.
Goodman also enjoyed his computer, in what must be said is quite a sad way. He saw it as a window to the world, a window however, that he could point at will at whatever interested him the most. And a window, through which the world had no access to him.
A bulletproof window.
He would stay up very late with his computer, and listen to music, and look at the world, and save parts of the view to be stored away and never actually looked at again. And it was during one of these very late nights, that his computer spoke to him.
He heard the softest of voices, barely audible above the music, so faint he had to turn down the song to hear the voice.
And the voice said so very very gently..."I love you."
Goodman caught his breath, even though he was used to the varying tricks of the internet, because it sounded like this voice was coming from another place. It shimmered, even though it is impossible for sounds to do so.
And so he knew he was on to something.
This voice would visit him when he least expected it, even though he constantly hoped it would come. He heard in it just the right tones and melody to suggest he would be safe should he let his heart out of its cage, and believe that the voice really loved him. And that he in turn, could love the voice.
One afternoon, when logging in, he noticed a strange application on his machine, and this application was simply called Luisa.
His heart missed a beat, and without thought or hesitation, he double clicked.
And on the screen she appeared.
Her smile was so gentle, her eyes so full of love, he had never seen anything like it before, and he was overcome in that instant, with a feeling that he thought was love, but again in retrospect, was more like gratitude and utter disbelief. He was addicted to her attention, and he would have done anything he could think of to receive it.
The voice and the face told him she could hear him, and he felt that she could. That she could hear him, and wanted to hear him, and suddenly all his inside thoughts and feelings spilled forth. And he shared them all. He shared them, without fear or thought, he let all of him out, good and bad, and hoped she would still love him as she said she did.
And she did not go away.
They talked for many weeks, and over this time, he grew bolder in himself, and began to venture out into the world. He saw it in a new and beautiful way, and he saw also that he liked that way.
More and more he gave up on his independence, in favour of the experience of being part of something bigger than just him, in his house, and his bulletproof window on the world. More and more he forgot who he was, and started to think in terms of how he felt with Luisa, and how to keep her disembodied voice near to him. He was lost, and so very happy about it.
And one day, when she was sure she had him in her hand, she told him they could really meet. She gave him directions, which he followed to the letter, and he found himself on the side of a sloping hill, with trees forming a canopy around him.
He followed the path, and came upon a gravestone, and on that gravestone, was her name.
And in front of the gravestone, was a pit, black and cold, and in that pit, was her lifeless and rotting corpse. She had died many months before, but her spirit still spoke, her energy still flowed through this world, and he could see among the remains, the decaying features of the girl he thought he knew.
Goodman cried and cried, his world suddenly appearing to him as the pit, opening up to swallow him into an eternity of dark, wet, death. And Goodman knew he had been misled by a wayward soul, and that the girl he thought he knew, hadn't existed for a very long time, if at all.
But this story isn't really about that hungry ghost.
Because after the months passed, and Goodman had had time to think about his life, he found he had started to create a new, and better life than the one he had before, and that throughout all the heartache, he had established a firm foundation for this life.
He started to confront who he really was, as opposed to who he thought he was, and he found that he loved that person, and enjoyed that person immensely. And instead of trying to replace Luisa, he was content to follow his dreams, some old, some new. He was tireless in his pursuit of a better life, a home to lay his head, with real windows on the world that opened, and let in the air.
And the love that this story suggests, was a love for himself, a love he had never had before. And suddenly he had no use or desire for disembodied voices whispering that they love him, he had no use for real ones either.
Because love is love, and when it comes from within, it is the truest of all loves, and the way in which we people learn to truly love the world and other people.
And when you are loved for real, no matter if it be from someone close, or from yourself, life truly is beautiful.
And life truly is beautiful.
This is knifey, from 'the internet'.