The Photos, Left Behind

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 3.618% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Yesterday, Dropbox mailed me: “Been three years sinceya logged in, son. Claim this account or lose it.”
I logged into a porno ghost town.
There was a folder – “Pictures” – which had no pictures. But it was owned by an ex-girlfriend of mine, and co-owned by a man she no longer dated.
That’s where she used to send us naughty pictures.
I found more folders, also of exes or people I had fallen out of touch with, which used to contain the sexy bits we sent to each other. I don’t know why I stopped using Dropbox for all of my long-distance sexin’ needs – I guess the iPhone’s just better equipped for remote horniness – but there were all the tatters of old intimacy strewn about an abandoned account.
I wondered what my exes still had of me.
I know if I love somebody sexually and remotely, we’ll be exchanging naughty bits together: I do audio snippets, there are videos made, photos exchanged, anything to stave off the loneliness of missing someone you crave physically. And that’s a healthy trade so long as the relationship blossoms, but…
There’s several exes of mine who may or may not possess these moments.
I mean, it’s courtesy to delete incrimidating evidence after a breakup – you don’t want to be one of those “revenge porn” assholes – but I’ve never specifically mandated, or requested it; I just assume my exes will be mature about this sort of thing, and so they have been. But there’s nothing stopping them from keeping my old sexiness as a memento, hauling them out occasionally when that old ache is keen, or bitterly listening to old promises and scorning their old naive selves.
And even if they do delete them, there’s the accidental erotic detritus still scattered about – that Dropbox, those old texts, that video you forgot you stashed there. My erotic self is fragmented, an old estate sold to passerby and left to rot in musty closets, the charge that had once driven us mad to kiss now this neglected bunch of 1s and 0s.
That feels weird, knowing that somewhere, in a computer, I’m demonstrating a passion I no longer feel. Yet it would feel like a weird loss, somehow, to have concrete proof that this last evidence of our connection has been extinguished.
Somewhere, there’s a digital archaeologist stumbling across old love letters, except here they’re sappy late-night text conversations that shade to carnal. There’s photos of me, and her, and perhaps us, that were never meant for public consumption. They meant something once.
Now they’re a ghost town, and it’s a sadness to hunt these Dropbox files down and click “Delete.” But I wouldn’t know what else to do with them.

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