No fool for a lover

Well, what do you know? I survived a whole month without a lover. I didn't even miss having a lover; every day in SL was brimming full of friends. Heck, with this many great friends, who has time for a lover?

Okay, okay, I lied a little. There is one thing you get from a lover that you can't get from a friend, and I kinda miss that. But, hey, it's all creative energy, and I'm simply redirecting that energy on creative projects. And, if the energy surge becomes too much to bear, I can always ping November lover, whose hello's I've learned to respond to with "No, we're not having sex tonight," because he invariably tries to get me to bed each time he pings me. But he's sweet, so I don't mind that he tries. :-D

I thought that, by this time, I would be searching for my April lover. But the old activities -- going to live events, checking out strangers' profiles, and flirting shamelessly -- aren't as much fun anymore. They still are enjoyable on occasion, but, lately, the excitement and novelty of making new friends have taken a backseat to the warmth and comfort of familiar faces.

So, SL feels very different now, different from how it felt just a month ago. Maybe because I spend time with more people lately. Maybe because I'm now exploring the business side of SL, so SL feels new again. Or maybe because I'm maturing within SL and I've passed a certain stage.

No matter what the reason, my SL has changed. And, as exciting as this new phase is, I don't really know what to expect.

But I can say one thing for certain: In April, there'll be no fool for a lover.*


* Yes, that statement can mean one of two things: Either a) my lovers are fools for choosing to be with me and there would be no lover this month, or b) if I do take on a lover this month, he won't be a fool (or at least, I hope not). If you just went "Huh?," don't worry. I suspect there's something wrong with my logic in that sentence. And if you figure out where my logic went wrong, let me know, will ya?

Remembering Headman

I remember a man who listened to his intuition and logged back in during the wee hours of a November morning, right when I badly needed a friend. And he stayed up with me sitting by his fire on the roof of his house until sunrise, listening to me and keeping me company as I sorted out my feelings.

He was the same friend who introduced me to the Blue Note, who noticed every detail about my gowns, who lifted me up effortlessly in a ballroom dance, and who sang along with the songs with me. A sweet man, a wonderful friend.

I missed him today.

So I go in-world in the wee hours of the morning and sit by his fire on the roof of his house. He has seats now so I don't have to sit in the fire. The Christmas tree and the poinsettia plant are gone. And the Christmas music isn't streaming in anymore. It has been too long since I last saw him, and this house is all that remains of him in-world.

Today, I become acutely aware how fragile everything is in SL. People come into our Second Life, touch our souls, and then be lost to real life. Eventually, even this structure that he built would be gone too, with nary a pixel left to indicate that it was ever here.

Sometimes we don't realize how we affect people's lives and how they affect ours. It's only when we see it happening again that we are reminded of the past. In this case, the sentimentality is triggered by a sinking feeling yesterday morning that I'm about to lose another friend to real life.

Yes, I am deeply grateful for the time I had with all those wonderful people and for the time I continue to have with other wonderful people. But I do miss the ones who are gone.

As Headman himself once said, "I think we miss the connection we feel with someone."

Every time we say goodbye, I die a little.
Every time we say goodbye, I wonder why a little.
Why the gods above me, who must be in the know,
Think so little of me. They allow you to go.*

* Written by Cole Porter

How many people can you fit in ...?

Okay, so my gazebo is not a telephone booth. But last night, there were as many as eight of us sitting in it at the same time. People came and went and the conversation flowed all night.

It started with Xiana (people in gazebo: 1) who IM'd me asking what I was doing. I was looking for something to wear and she was sitting alone at the gazebo, so I went to join her (2). Then a man in armor joined us (3); his tag said Jasoon but he claims his name is Jang.

Meanwhile, I got an IM from Emi, so I invited her over. Emi said she'll come after meeting a friend. I also got a ping from Jimmie who had questions about land, and tp'd him over (4). I checked up on Lora and she was with a friend as well, but she came over afterwards (5). Xiana invited Xan over (6). Then Jang/Jasoon left (5), but soon Emi arrived (6). Then Magika IM'd me so I invited him over too (7).

Then I saw a dot in the neighboring lot for a long time. Tilly had been watching us for a few minutes, so I shouted out an invitation to join us (8) and it turns out that Tilly had met Lora a long time ago. But Jimmie had to go (7). Then Emi invited her friend Angelyca (8). Then Magika got called into work (7). Someone named Otto showed up next to the glass house, said hi, and then promptly disappeared. Then Xiana, Xan, Angelyca, and Tilly had to go to bed (3); it was 10pm SLT. An hour later, Emi went to bed (2), and a half hour later, I sent Lora to bed (1).

Before I even decided what to do next, Andre IM'd me and I chatted with him at his place for an hour (0). Then I went back to my home and did some tweaking around the place. Three hours later, I was back at the gazebo (1) working on the pond when Tasman, a Snoopy-headed biker dude, hovered near, so I said hi and chatted with him (2). Meanwhile, Rokke IM'd me and asked if he could show me a dress he was working on, so I tp'd him over (3). After Tas and I commented on the dress, Rokke had to go to pick up his daughter from school (2).

Then, Angelyca logged in at the gazebo and she chatted with us and laughed at Tas's antics while she had a breakfast of milk and bread (3) before going to school (2). At 6am, Tas had to go to deliver a bike for his nephew's birthday (1) and I went back to my tweaking. But a half hour later, I got an IM from Squeak who needed to talk, so I tp'd him to the gazebo (2) and we talked for about an hour until he had to catch his bus (1). Soon after he left, Emi logged in at the gazebo (2). Emi was about to send me to bed, but, again, I noticed someone in the neighboring lot watching us, so I shouted an invitation to come down. His name is Herman. and he joined the conversation (3). An hour later, Herman said goodbye, and Emi and I headed off to the baby clinic (0), because she had questions about the baby HUD and I was curious about the whole SL pregnancy thing.

At 9:30am SLT, I finally logged off. Twelve and a half hours after I logged in.

I think this is the most number of people I've talked to in one night -- nine old friends and five new ones. It's certainly the most number of people I've had in the gazebo at the same time.

The funny thing is that, when Xiana pinged me when I logged in, the first thing I asked her was "Where's the party?" :-)

Purple synchronicity

Okay, this question is for the ladies: You know that feeling when you go to a party and you find someone wearing the same dress? Well, how about going to a live music event and you find someone who wears the same face?

Yup! That happened to me last night.

I was wearing a purple tank top and my purple hair to match. (The same purple hair as in my profile pic.) Then, last night, I was at Frogg and Jaycatt's concert at the border of Lusk and Luskwood. While sitting there, I saw something in the public chat about people wearing purple. So, I moved my camera around to look at the other purple-wearing people in the audience.

And, there at the opposite end of the bleachers, I saw my own face. She was wearing hair in a lighter shade of purple and a top in the same lighter shade. For a long while, I looked at her at different angles.

When the shock wore off, I said hi in IM and asked her if she purchased her shape; she said she made it herself. Whew! That was a relief. I was worried that there's a whole lot more of us walking around in SL. Running into someone who looks like me is disconcerting to say the least.

If you want to see for yourself, her blog (http://meratalk.com/reina) contains some pictures of her. To compare, you can find my incarnation pictures in http://WildOpalLei.fotki.com/incarnations. There are differences between us, but at first glance, we could be mistaken as the other.

Thank goodness for name tags floating above us.

Keep the friendship

I met a pirate who once said, "My theory is that there is no such thing as being a real [platonic] friend between a man and a woman. ... Because the only reason a man would want to go out with a woman is because he has a certain attraction."

I flat out told him he's wrong. In real life, I've met a large percentage of my friends at work, and I work in a male-dominated industry. So, most of my RL friends are male. With a few of them, yes, there was that initial attraction. But, when you know a relationship is not going to work out for one reason or another, you keep the friendship. And the attraction turns into platonic affection that holds the friendship together, enhances it, and deepens it.

The same goes in SL. The potential for intense friendship is here, even between a man and a woman. And I have been very fortunate this past month to have discovered more of those friendships. Men, whom I cannot take on as lovers because of their RL relationships or their SL partnerships, are coming into my life to take their place in my circle of friends. And these are not casual friendships either. These are caring and affectionate relationships that are as tender and as deep as those with my female friends.

So what's the difference between my romantic relationships and my platonic relationships with men? If I'm lucky, not much. One of them involves sex; the other doesn't. That's it, ideally. With both types of relationships, we still hang out, chat, dance, hug.

In fact, platonic friendships may even have an advantage. As the sage Jaime Mandelbrot puts it, "I think I'm getting a little bit more [as a friend]. ... We do without the pleasure and sidestep the pain, leaving us free to soar in other areas."

I agree. Because we don't waste time mucking with sex balls, we have more time to explore each other's souls.