remember the time?

There are things about yourself that you forget when you grow up.

Quite often, you don’t want to remember them, like the stuff you write in letters to best friends who decide that the sincerest way to treat the letters is to keep them neatly in a specially-allocated corner of their room. I very much want to thank them for the sincerity, then proceed to encourage them to discard those letters. But without a trigger, asking your friends to dump your letters out of the blue would only egg them on to unfold and read them, and – the worst part – share it with you.

In fact, I was recently reminded that I used to put a ‘z’ at the end of my written words, as proven by a letter I wrote as a 17-year-old. ‘Grinz’, I wrote then. I don’t recall ever adopting such a way of writing, in letters or otherwise, and would have denied it with a vengeance now if not for this piece of evidence shoved in my face 10 years on.

Speaking of which, my girlfriends and I were having ice cream in town when we delved into the topic of ICQ, the web messenger that we relied on heavily in the later part of our teenage years. Anyone who used ICQ would remember that it allowed you to go invisible on your status, and select people for your invisible list. There’s something very special about knowing that you are on someone’s invisible list.

Well, the thing is, we ceased using ICQ 7 to 8 years ago. But surprise surprise, I could still remember my 8-digit account number and password. I mentally recited it as we consumed our ice-creams. With a little urging from my friends, I downloaded the programme and logged into my account.

The About Me section is where love quotes and songs thrive. People also conjure fake email addresses and websites, and even fake real names – that don’t make sense at all, for example, love-me-tender.

I was smiling at the words that stare back at me with each profile I click (some required me to stifle a laugh). Looking through these old profiles is like going back in time for a whiff of the long-gone familiarity and finding a bit of what you have forgotten about yourself as a wide-eyed teenager.


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