This story was written for the 2010 SSC (Short Story Contest). Go on, play along.
Copyright 2010 to <mijita (at) the treehouse (dot) net>. Please respect this copyright. Don’t distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it’s not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.
Yes, yes, you don’t have to tell me. I already know there are pages where I can go and look for “trending” topics, find out what words and letter codes are being used to discuss this or that. I =know= all that.
… but it just doesn’t feel quite fair.
Better to try and peer through the words and guess the “right” word, all the while knowing what term I’m =really= going to search.
Twitter is like the IRC of a decade ago in that almost anything is being discussed at any time but, unless you’re already following someone who’s writing on that specific topic at an exact given moment, you have to look.
But rather than looking for a specific room dedicated to, well, to an individual subject, we now search for tags.
I search for my thrill, my heart-throbbing rush.
You see, I’d been tweeting for almost a year, even tweeted a Shadow Lane party (badly for what its worth) when it occurred to me to search for =the= hash tag. I still don’t look for it very often.
I’ve learned in the past 13 years that I can become jaded. Even the most powerful eight letters in the world can have their edges knocked off. And I deeply love feeling that secret and ever so naughty, blushing-hot shock.
Of course now, having written that, I can’t resist, won’t resist, didn’t resist. I had to look, had to search. To see what’s there, right now, right at this moment. That’s always the lure.
There are those odd people who’ve got (or lost) something new. (Has anyone who’s kinked this way ever said the word so casually? Used it to talk about a car or an iPhone? I couldn’t – it would feel creepy and almost like a sacrilege. =The= word has to have more power than that.)
Then there are the personals – in 140 or fewer characters – offers to give or receive. Or offers of video clips. (I never click the links. Don’t know why — for the same reason I didn’t answer the ads in the LA Weekly. But reading them? Always, so glad they’re there, those ads that taught me that in this world there are Others to be found.)
Then there’s the flirting. The taunts that someone “deserves it,” someone’s “going to get it,” “wants it,” “is asking for it.” Their (shameless) desire right in front of me, so sweet. Right or wrong, I imagine there’s part of a generation now that can flirt with our “topic of greatest interest” as easily as sex. Maybe even more easily.
I hope so.
But what about the shame-*full*? Those who can’t chirp or even type in tweet tag? They’re so much harder to find, yet that hint of shame, the hand-trembling embarrassment, makes my pulse race with recognition. Longing and remembrance.
That’s why I search the Twitterverse for Other Words. It’s why hash-spanking [#spanking] will never be enough.
Category: The Age of Twitter