Passwords.

I want to go back in time. I want to rewind. I want to do away with machines.

I still write checks. I still use stamps, on an envelope, stuffed with a handwritten card. I still scribble on a planner, old school style, and scratch out my math on the back of old receipts instead of reaching for the calculator. Resisting technology isn’t a stance I’m taking. It’s not a fad or a joke. It’s my attempt to ward off passwords.

Passwords might as well be combination locks on the trunk of my lastima. Your choice of letters, where you put your numbers, if you settle on an asterisk over an exclamation mark, if you capitalize your pet’s name - these details are whiplashes to the heart. Because you think you’re sneaky. Because you think you’re clever. Because you think no hacker could ever guess, or if by some miracle they did, it would come after days of exhausted, mind-bending trials at the Rubik’s cube you’ve created. Because the majority of us have lame, little passwords, boring insights into our psyches, our preferences, our perspectives. The ether of our lives is too obvious, the shield too flimsy. Passwords render us dumb.

And yet we live in a world walled by security questions. Access is granted, access is private. Which do we want more? How can we protect ourselves? We can’t. Having everything means we can lose everything. Worse yet is the forgetting. What is it about passwords that gives me not only lastima, but also amnesia? I don’t remember my first grade teacher’s last name. Which favorite movie did I choose? Asked again by my husband for the iTunes login, I shrug and reset for the nine thousandth time, trying to include PASSWORDSSUCKASS somewhere in the mix. I can sooner remember all the lyrics to We Built This City (thanks, Starship) or Lord Byron’s “When We Two Parted,” stanza by stanza. Because the reality of my unoriginality set off by a paltry symbol is too much for this sad-soacked brain to hold. 

Our alarm has a setting which allows us to enter a secret code to trigger the police. If a madman were to break into our home in the middle of the night and the alarm sounded, I’d be able to turn it off by entering those digits, and ping for help at the same time. My husband does weekly drills where he pretends to hold a gun to my head (with his fingers, people,) and still I can’t recall. I can’t remember how to save our lives! He “invented” the password, probably something to do with chocolate, which makes it inherently depressing, which makes my mind repel the information. My father’s passwords spouted with a Cuban accent leave me nauseous, and I like food to much to skip another meal. My best friend’s password is in Spanish, producing tears because it’s trying to be exotic. 

So if I’m at your house, I will pay for internet usage and burn through my minutes. I will disregard my phone. I will lie and tell you the battery is dead. But I will NOT ask for your WiFi because I couldn’t bear to hear mydogBennyisAlove-67 and go on with the day. 

I would have already suspected it, you beautiful idiot. I’d gladly draft out my thoughts on a scroll instead, with a quill pen if possible, then ride away on horseback to deliver the message. Face to face, now that’s safe. 

p.s. How about Lastima4ever? Would that be cyber savvy enough?