Withdrawal

AOL 2.5 Disk

*Recreation of a meeting share from 26-April-2021 on the topic of withdrawal.

My first pornography collection was on old 3.5″ 1.44 MB floppy disks. I could fit a dozen pictures on there, each of which took several minutes to download on a dial-up connection. I hid the disks in a briefcase in my closet, put a combination on the briefcase, and then further hid the briefcase behind clothes and other items.

I was in the 7th grade and kept it for a couple of years. Friday nights were my nights to enjoy my collection, as my parents and my sister went to the high school football game, but I stayed home. That gave me a couple uninterrupted hours.

Even as I write now, there is some nostalgia, some euphoric recall. But the truth is that such feelings are just withdrawal holding for several years.

At some point I threw away the collection, all the disks. And many times, even as an adult going to visit my parents, I returned to my room to look for a disk that I neglected to throw away, either out of fear of it being found (this is the rationalization I told myself) or of the hope of finding it to relive old memories.

I would have needed to purchase a floppy drive to even read the disks. But that did not matter. My withdrawal said, “You need it. You will find it. You will do what you must to view it to regain the feelings you lost.”

It is true that a quarter of a century later I still have positive recall, but the countless withdrawal symptoms, including the compulsive desire to search for floppy disks that no longer exist and couldn’t easily be accessed, have faded. Some symptoms go quickly, others take time, for which I must be patient.

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