For the purposes of organization, Chapters 1-5 of Moricz's "Preludes and Nocturnes" will be consolidated into one page. The dates of publication started out as sporatic and later occurred more frequently. These dates range from:
The 6th chapter was posted on March 22nd, 2009, for context. It was revealed to me in 2011 (by whom I will elaborate on later) that Moricz's FictionPress account (now long deleted) was first used June of 2007. Between June 20th, 2007 and sometime around August 2008, it was primarily devoted to fanfiction for the anime series "Le Chevalier d'Eon." These stories were deleted around either October or November 2008, shortly before Moricz began working on "Preludes and Nocturnes." His exact reasons for doing this remain unknown, but my guess is that he wanted to come off as a more serious writer of historical fiction rather than a writer of fanfiction, which is generally perceived as being an unserious genre of writing. As for why he chose to delete all of his fanfiction rather than simply opening a new account, one could argue that this is because his stories had already been well-received by a small handful of recurring readers, a base he did not wish to lose.
On a different subject, around Late February/early March of 2009, I had started a blog on a journaling website. Like many such late-2000s/early 2010s blogs on platforms like WordPress and Blogger, this blog was really for my own enjoyment; in fact, I don't think anyone else ever actually read it. It was a short-lived project spanning late February/early March of 2009 through the end of April 2009. Why, you may ask, am I mentioning this now instead of earlier? The answer is 1) many of the earlier blog posts have been lost to time and 2) they were not relevant in the first place, consisting mostly of posts about LPs my father had in his collection and a repository for collecting links to pirated sheet music. The blog only began to become personal around the end of March, a time when I began posting stories about people in my life and terrible poetry. I will consolidate some of the earlier blog posts into one file.
This becomes important because there is an event that happens at the end of March that is recounted in two different ways in two different places and only one is more faithful to the actual event. This will happen more than once. Sometimes it is hard to tell which of my writings were accurate and which were elaborate dramatizations, especially because I would recount the dramatizations to others, (mostly Emily who I still kept some contact with out of sheer loneliness), and the truth would remain either sealed away in the recesses of my memory or buried beneath exaggerations in the more honest entries that, while still embellished, are closer to real events. This obfuscation is not helped by the fact that I frequently would write up the dramatized version of reality as a form of fiction in multiple places, most of them also private. As the writing becomes more prolific, you will see more of these types of divergences. Sadly, it will be up to you to determine which of these accounts are true and which are either partially or entirely false because, though I try my best, the veracity of my narration cannot always be assumed. (It's not as if I'm being deceitful. Over a decade has passed since these events transpired and it would be almost impossble to remember exactly how every little thing came to pass.)
While I am here, I'd also like to elaborate on the internet culture of the late aughts-early 2010s, mostly because this culture is almost alien to the heavily consolidated social media-based internet culture of today.
Back in the late 2000s, the internet and its communities were much more decentralized. Rather than consolidating in places like modern social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), internet communities formed around things like hobbies, fandoms, creative writing, and art in a variety of forms and formats, most prominently:
Often, when smaller communities would begin to form within these public-facing platforms, many splintered into private group chats via MSN Messenger, GChat, IRC, and more. Post-social media consolidation, most of this type of creative web usage (blogging, posting art and fanfiction, etc) would migrate primarily to Tumblr.
A very important element of web communities in the aughts (and something that is relatively anomalous on today's web) is that it was very, very easy to be anonymous or pseudonymous on the internet. Unless you directly posted your real name or other personal information, nobody had to know who you were. You referred to people by the names they called themselves or by their usernames. In many ways this was liberating: you could post freely into the void, and as long as you did not directly give your online information to someone in real life, the chances of them finding said content were relatively slim. This was also, of course, dangerous in that behavior such as catfishing, fraud, sexual predation, stalking, and blackmail were widespread. This combination of dangerous and liberating was especially tied to age. One could claim to be any age they wanted to be online, and that worked both ways: one could claim to be younger than they were to lure in other young people, and one could claim to be older than they were in order to gain access to age-restricted (i.e. sexual or graphic) content, or, simply to seem more mature. In a certain sense, the cardinal rule of online communities was to assume everyone was lying - about their gender, about their age, about their location, about their life. An adult understands this intuitively, an adolescent is more likely to be naive and believe that these people were being genuine and truthful, or, even that they really existed in the first place.
That's another thing: sockpuppets. It was widely common for people to create more than one account on a website in order to inflate their content with likes, comments, etc. Sometimes these accounts were very sophisticated, having produced entire reserves of unique content on their own. Often, even when one was suspicious that sockpuppeting was occurring, it could be very difficult to ascertain. While it's much harder to create sockpuppet accounts on modern social media such as Facebook, phenomena such as catfishing and fraud are common on dating websites and more anonymized platforms like Reddit and Tumblr. More popular these days than sockpuppets are alternative or "alt" accounts, which are secondary accounts made for the purposes of increased privacy (such as having a public-facing social media account and a private, locked alt account), the posting of explicit content (many creators have a main account and an over 18 account for ease of separating safe for work and not safe for work content); and for curation purposes (a main account can be used to follow a variety of people and subjects, whereas an alt account is used for curating a more specific feed such as one devoted to a single topic or one devoted only to content produced by one's close friends.)
Anyways, this is getting a little bit long so I should move on to my last point which is visual culture. You may be wondering why I've used gifs and other elements throughout, and the answer is because before modern social media, the web was more personalized. People had display icons they changed frequently, forum and email signatures full of quotes, emoticons, and blinking gifs; their blogs had separate visual themes, multiple fonts in multiple colors, and generally many other elements we would now consider to be tacky and dated. Since this case concerns a very specific time, I've tried to make it as relatable and understandable (and dare I say immersive) to you as possible. This is a serious affair presented to you wholesale for your deliberation, hence why none of the excerpts and files shown here have been edited, manipulated, or otherwise cleaned up, retconned, or revised. Trust me when I say I wish I could spare you the embarrassing details and terrible writing. I wish I could present myself as a character with more depth and complexity than the one portrayed in these files. I've done as little editorializing as possible except to provide context and fill in the gaps left by documents, and, unfortunately the result is a litany of what can only be called cringe.
So why, you may ask, am I gathering it all here for posterity?
Because so much of this content has been lost to time through link rot, through de-listing from search engines (more on this later), through the shuttering of countless internet platforms, through deletion.
Because it is my hope that someone will discover it who has information that will finally close the door on this online cold case.
Because, though I am an adult now - a normal person with a graduate degree, a husband, two cats, and a decent non-tenure track teaching gig - this whole thing has eaten away at me for over a decade. It has made me question my sanity, my understanding of the truth, my insistance that nothing was wrong - with any of it - that it was nothing but a little online drama, even though it went so, so much deeper than that.
Mostly, however, I have put together this elaborate archive because I feel a deep-seated need for someone other than myself to know what happened to me back then.