January 10, 2017

The real way to get his attention, which I always wanted but only fitfully received, was through email, sent the way we all sent email on campus: telnet. It was black and white, devastatingly simple, with one-letter commands to delete, forward, reply. You couldn't attach photos, at least not without a great to-do; you couldn't use bold, or italics, or underline. The best feature was a secret widely told: FINGER.
You'd type in the command on the telnet homescreen, and then the six-letter username of the person you were trying to, uh, finger (the first four letters of the last name + first initial + middle initial). And then the screen would proffer the best/worst thing a lovesick college freshman could ever want: the date, time, and location from which person-in-question had last logged into their email account.