It is with great sadness that I announce that following an early morning attack on the 24th of April, the email account known as “email@example.com” entered mortality at approximately 9:40am never to send nor receive correspondence again. He is survived by his sisters’ that still use AOL email addresses. In lieu of emails of complaint the family asks that you simply delete the email and go about your business.
Aye, this is a sad day. He was at my side for the better part of 15 years. He saw me through the latter part of high school, most of college and several years beyond. It was with me in good times and in bad. Usually he was the bringer of news leading to the good times and the bad. Whether it be the email of a passing grade, news of a party or a “let’s just be friends” email, all were treasured and safe within its figurative walls. In all its life it was never hacked nor attacked.
I thought his strength was like that of Helms Deep. That the attackers would come and just wash against its walls like the tide pulling out. I had no reason to think otherwise. Such a long run without a single prompt to think otherwise. Though I should have known. Helms Deep had a flaw. Eventually someone would find a way to get through and that’s what’s happened and I have no one to blame but myself.
I all but deserted him several years. Checking in on him occasionally like a bastard son. Though this was no bastard. No, but was at one time the blood of my blood held in the highest regard. I was lured away by the bright lights and bells and whistles of gmail. I won’t lie. There was some email pressure to switch. I heard taunts and I saw stares when people heard or saw the AOL attached to my name. It got to me. For some reason the AOL in one’s name began to be ridiculed, but why? This was a once great house. One that helped build and advance all that we now take for granted. The world wide web, email, chat rooms, instant messaging… and I walked away when a few stones were thrown. I walked away an oath breaker.
I learned of the attack not from friends or annoyed coworkers- though those emails surely did flood in- but from my other email account. The one that replaced him. Gmail. As if screaming out in pain and grabbing on to the only way he knew word would reach me in a timely manner his voice was heard. I came running to his aid. I immediately changed his password hoping to stop the bleeding. Then I thought… what kind of life is this for him? His purpose was to serve and all he’s doing is capturing the spam messages of other fallen accounts and department store coupon offers. Anyone that is of consequence has been informed of the switch to gmail. So I can mend his wound, but the deeper wound remains. With no one to guard him he would remain vulnerable to attack. Much like Khal Drogo was simply not the same after his wounds had festered and the witch’s black magic, this was not the life he would want. I had to show mercy.
As I held him there in my arms I knew what must be done. I logged into the main AOL account- one even older and more wizened- I took a pillow in my hands and held it over his face. After a few moments the deed was done. I held up his arm and it fell. I lifted up again. It fell. I lifted up again and was hoping he would shake his finger “no no no” and clench his fist and shake as if to say “not today”… but there was no struggle. It was done.
I feel bad. To have given up so easily during the transition to gmail. Even showing up to say hello more often. Changing his password here and there. Anything. Maybe this could have been avoided, but it is not to be. Perhaps I’ll see it again. Though that will likely be when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. In other words, probably not.
Good bye, MichaelMarbach@aol.com. You’ve been a trustworth and faithful servant. Your watch is now ended.