The message went out hundreds of thousands of times via the new social, the conventional and the underground. A message to many, meant only to resonate with a few. For those who desired to see it, who needed it, the message was seen. For the rest, for the many, the message was barely noticeable within the clutter of posts quickly sorted and discarded by overstimulated and disinterested brains.
The message originated from the username NoS. The words showed up on popular feeds, or embedded in images and video, or as comments to widely read news stories and blogs, everywhere, as if someone had sprayed confetti across the entire spectrum of virtual interaction. Same words, every time.
The message was an invitation.
Are you out there? Do you see us? We are here, we are real and you are not alone. There are others just like you. If you see only blue too, then come home. Come to us.
See blue, the message said. For the many – a melodramatic, sappy poetic call-out to the damaged. Blue, sad. Blue, depressed.
For the few, the ones who understood, who experienced blue, the word was not meant to be figurative.
If you sent a message to NoS, the response was the same for everyone.
Who are you and what does seeing only blue mean to you?
For most, those curious about the cryptic invitation who bothered to message, then respond to the question, the receipt was only silence.
But there were others, those for whom the invitation resonated in a way nothing up until that moment had, six sentences that demonstrated understanding, that there were others experiencing the same thing, that they were not alone. The message was a blinking beacon promising a safe haven from the labeling and misunderstanding. Those few answered the questions differently than most, and exactly the same way as the few. The answers garnered a reply that encompassed a smiley emoticon, a URL and a password to access a website called Blue Universe, with a welcome.
Do you close your eyes and see the bottles drifting along with the unseen tide? We are all here for the same reason. A comfort in the collective differences. A haven for the outcasts. A refuge for the exiled. We came here on dark clouds. We were ghosts in the machine. We felt dead. We wandered like ghosts in the place of new wandering, as empty as any haunting. We were drawn in to wander with the other ghosts, and we stayed. Come find the art and essence of common sadness. Come join a symphony of the drowning and make wicked melodies. Blue – As dark as the deepest bruise.
It was a static, text only website that more closely resembled a platform built in the early nineties. No graphics. No images. There was a home page, an unmoderated bulletin board layered with thousands of posts organized only by date, and an archive with hacked government documents (made clear as to their origins with a warning that if anyone made mention, the government would come for the website).
And an encouragement to listen to the Nine Inch Nails 2005 song, Every Day Is Exactly the Same, proclaimed to be an emblematic view of what is. An anthem.
The number of visitors, the chosen who were permitted access, were a few hundred. They were mostly U.S. IP addresses, with a few scattered in different parts of the globe. With no apparent connection among them, the similarities of their experiences were unquestionably the same, down to the emotional or psychological significance of the color blue that manifested physiologically in the most obtrusive and life altering of ways. Blue – As dark as the deepest bruise.