Flash Fiction: Inbox

An old one. Maybe it seems like an odd choice, thanks to its melancholy, but it was written during New Year’s once, and seemed sort of appropriate, if angst-y.

My inbox used to be full of you. And I hadn’t realized just how much it had emptied, just how trivial the content there had become, until I went through and deleted old messages today. I started at day one and went all the way through, watched as my inbox went from a place to send school syllabi and student loan information, to a receptacle for all of our screwing around, all of the incoherent emails only the two of us could understand. I watched it fill up, as if that whole time it had been a dried up well, and only once your emails started pinging into existence did it begin to fill.

It was a bad idea, all around. Because you no longer exist in my inbox. You have been gone for a long time, because I deleted even the memories of you, the ghosts of you. It is the modern way to erase a person from one’s life: delete the missive, empty the trash. E-burning, maybe. Love wellletters now just cyber ash on a data highway. And it was almost worse to look for you, searching desperately in all of my e-scrap piles, and not find you, than it would have been to find even a single correspondence and read it. This is the only place I ever touched you, and those touches are gone. This inbox is an empty cardboard casket I never got to bury You and Me in.

I dig through thousands of emails, knowing I won’t find any semblance of the water in this once-full well. But I have never been thirstier in my life, and now there is nothing to drink.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Flash Fiction: Inbox”
  1. Dave says:

    Love this, Hannah. Even if it is angst-y 🙂 So much of life happens through email and text these days, so it’s very easy to understand and empathize with this short bit of fiction. “E-burning, cyber ash, e-scrap piles …” – wonderful words to convey something so personal yet so distant at the same time, and the pain of that loss forever into the Internet bit bucket.

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