Up night browsing The Network. Search “The Missing Girl.”
Thousands of references, citations, sites, blogs. What-have-you.
One site displayed a three-dimensional replica of her bedroom as she left it — or was taken from it — 20 years ago. 3D model based on photographs and original magazine stories about The Missing Girl. Dreams courtesy The Missing Girl’s diary (once upon a time, before the Network, there was the private note-book or diary, handwritten). Intimate details. Opened roll of cherry candy in her dresser drawer.
Chosen by Losing Our Sons and Daughters (LOSD), and with family’s consent, turned into poster-child for The Nation’s lost children. Her photograph graced covers of The Nation’s magazines. She could have passed for fourteen or twenty, depending on the mind observing. Actual age in photograph: sixteen.
One of The Missing Young.
Narratives evolved. Keyboards tapped theories of the Missing Girl’s whereabouts. Weekly ‘sightings.’ Anonymous millions imagined adventures with The Missing Girl. Believed their home-grown narratives. Probably. Uncorroborated, implausible stories and “eye-witness” accounts.
Strange nobody ever thinks to bring a camera. Then again, She comes upon you like a ghost, brief sighting, matter of seconds. The Missing Girl would be no longer Missing, nor particularly Young (in all the ‘sightings’ she’s a teenager, or early twenties) In real time she’d be thirty-six, thereabouts. Nevertheless, speculators probe The Network. Digital shades of Might-Have-Been.