We sat there a little longer, but neither Tobey's jokes nor sips from my flask could quell my rising anxiety. Not even this journal that keeps my hands busy and my mind occupied can put me at ease. There's something about the pen scratching against the thick textured paper that makes my words take on greater weight. Like their existence must be justified. It troubles me. Online, words flow almost as quickly as thoughts without revision or purpose, the way they do when you're alone, answering to no one.
I needed that back, but all we had were these rumors that were "totally true because it happened to this guy my cousin knows." Something more had to be done. If someone had internet, I wanted it.
"Tobey," I said, while unscrewing my flask for dramatic emphasis, "we're not doing this right."
"I don't know. Knees bent, ass planted, back against the rest... I'd say we're sitting on this bench perfectly."
Much like a 2am text from a drunken acquaintance, I decided to ignore Tobey's joke completely.
"No, I mean, we're looking for information. But we're not getting involved enough."
"Gladstone, I'm not getting into another Digg or Reddit circle. I can't take it."
"No, we need to go deeper. Not self-styled internet reporters and editorialists. We need to get behind the scenes. Hackers. What we need is..." I now took the swig of Scotch. (I really nailed the timing). "4Chan."
"You've got to be kidding me? You want to seek out a bunch of /b/tard hacking imps? Online, they gave us Rickrolls and LOLcats, who knows what they're capable of in real life?"
"I'm guessing nothing," I said. "They did that behind the cover of anonymity. In person, I'm guessing we'll find Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, except not high, and inexplicably bitter."
"Don't disrespect the /b/tards," someone said and upon closer inspection, that someone was Australian. And a woman.
Sitting on the neighboring bench in her boots, torn fishnets and mini skirt was a living hyperbole of retarded sexuality. The pink streak in her hair. The heavy eye makeup and the harlequin nails alternating in red and black all reeked of desperate