Sometimes, as I look around, I feel a little bit like I’m living through my own little personal version of the heat death of the universe. Only instead of the universe, it’s my life. Everything is expanding, pulling away and cooling off.
I’ve been a part of many communities over the years, both within and without the furry fandom. Each one of these communities, in some small or large way, shaped who I am. But, sadly for me, the vast majority of these communities have dissolved over the years, to the point where they’re either gone entirely, or just a shell of their former selves.
The weirdest part comes when I look around and see how many people have moved on to other things. But because everything on the Internet is, in some ways, permenant, there are still echoes. Old pictures. Unupdated personal webpages. Blogs that haven’t been posted to in years. Like pawprints in the sand. The people have moved on, but their pawprints stretch out over the years.
They each had their own journeys and, while we traveled together for awhile, our paths have now diverged. And as big as this fandom is, and as big as the Internet is, it’s still small enough that I run across those pawprints from time to time. I look at them and remember the wonderful times spent together, I regret that it ended, and I miss their company deeply.
Or I run into someone again, either in real life or online, for the first time in years. Like two trains passing in the night, I catch the briefest glimpse of their life, only for it to recede away again. “It’s nice to see they’re doing well,” I tell myself.
It still seems so fresh to me. So real. It seems like any day now I could log into FurryMUCK and participate in some epic, 6-hour long roleplay, or log into Furreality and find the handful of close friends who helped get me through college still there. I could log onto the Plainsman message boards and bitch about all that was wrong with Auburn. I could still log back into LiveJournal and see a friend feed miles long.
But I can’t. It’s all dead and gone, or just withering away as heat death slowly nibbles away whatever radiant energy is still left. And yet here I am. Still here. Just rolling along, but spending an increasing amount of time looking behind at all the wonderful times that were had. And the ego within me can’t help but wonder if they don’t feel the same way.
My life these days pretty much consists of wake up, go to work, come home, play with Scarlett for a little bit before putting her to bed, then I go to bed. Very little deviation from day to day, and very little time for “fun.” I would even stay up later if I knew I could have a little fun - a little creative roleplay with friends, a little reading about someone else’s life in a length that exceeds 140 characters, or even just a chat.
I just keep rolling forward, with no real direction home. A complete unknown. Like a rolling stone.