Once upon a time, I met a whisper and fell in love with him.
It is difficult to describe what we had then. But I know for certain that it is one of those unnamed things that are the best that virtual worlds can offer.
It's like Pinocchio becoming a real boy. It was a fantasy, a roleplay, that has become so emotionally intense and has taken root deep into our psyches that it has become real. Not real as to be part of the "real world", but real nonetheless.
I spoke with him in Skype today. As we would in real life. He said that he deleted the account. And I cried. I cried as though a real lover had died.
I wanted to tell him that I love him, but those words in the context of "real life" feels disrespectful of his real life. All I could do was thank him, but even those words aren't enough for the tremendous impact his presence made in my life. And when I tried to give homage to what we had, every word I said merely trivialized the experience.
What we have of this virtual world is so flimsy, so fragile, so transient. And places and people are gone with one click. Places and people that mean so much to us. Places and people who have been significant in our virtual lives.
And it seems so unfair that they could easily be gone just like that. With no warning, no preamble.
The whisper turned into silence.
And I grieve.