Geddy (Part one)

Mike, better known to me as Geddy.

It was the summer of my Grade Eight year, and my sister and I were both discovering a new world on the computer. In a fashion similar to the internet, we were both going on the computer, and starting to interact with people in a new way, with new identities.

After spending some time in this reality, it didn’t take long to establish who was popular, who was considered “cool” and who was also frequenting each individual site. Geddy was a name I was familiar with, he showed a lot of confidence, and seemed to really know what he was talking about. One of the things that really stood out to me was his love, and knowledge of music.

At this time in my life music was turning into a bit of a fascination for me, I had a few bands I really liked, but didn’t really have much in the way of knowledge. Back then, it still cost upwards of thirty dollars if you were to purchase a new CD, I didn’t have a radio, and there was no music available to listen to online like there is today.

I spoke with Geddy about music fairly often, I felt a sense of excitement knowing that I was talking to one of the popular people from this new environment. I’m pretty sure I pretended like I knew more than I did about music to try to relate, but I was definitely listening to what Geddy had to say.

After a short while, my sister began talking to Geddy as well. Between the two of them they decided that they were going to hang out, and go see a movie. This meant that Geddy would be coming to my house, which created a great deal of excitement for me.

Given the circumstances that my sister and I were both finding a new circle of friends, and both feeling that we were finally getting a break from the reality we were used to, caused some tension and competition. Looking back it makes sense, the idea of the computer world was an idea of liberation, escaping the stigma we had in our real lives, and finding people that actually wanted to interact for reasons other than to ridicule us. Of course we fought over it.

Anyways, when she made plans with Geddy she was very clear that this was her friend, and I was to leave them alone. I remember thinking that I had made friends with him on my own accord, and I didn’t care what my sister said.

Geddy showed up, a bit later than anticipated as he got a bit lost trying to locate our house, and introduced himself as Mike. Mike chose his computer alias as “Geddy” based on the singer for the band Rush. Even though I now knew who he was, I would continue calling him Geddy.

Mike was very friendly and outgoing, he seemed a bit nervous, but I imagine my sister and I came across in a similar manner. He was a little older than we were, but didn’t come across as condescending, or strange. Mike hung around for a bit before leaving with my sister, and I imagine I took advantage of her absence and enjoyed more time on the computer without having to share my time.

It seemed like life was starting to take a turn for me, I was finally starting to feel normal, or at least a version of normal. There were several people I was getting to know on the computer, and I was still spending time with Brad and Dave in my real life. Summer Holidays from school removed the component of daily caution and concern, and having the distraction of this new life made me almost forget that I would be starting High School soon.

All my feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing felt like they were starting to subside. What I know now is that they just stepped out of the foreground, and a lifetime of feeling invisible wouldn’t just disappear because I was finally starting to feel some acceptance.