More than ten days ago, I started the draft for this entry. I had chosen the title "Juxtaposition" because I wanted to talk about the differences between my relationship with The Impossible and my relationship with Wolfgang.

But I got too busy with my teaching aids for the machinima class I am teaching at the MODA Modeling School, and that took up most of my time during the past couple of weeks. Both lovers have been busy as well, so I haven't seen as much of either of them as I wanted.

Anyway, Wolfgang eventually relented and created a new alt. As I promised, I took over the alt as soon as he created it to give him a makeover, which took me a good part of a day. I'm so used to doing and redoing makeovers now, so, at the end of the day, he even had several outfits that he could change into. I consulted with him about the skin, and it turned out to be a knock-off (probably copybotted) version of his skin. He kept wanting to have the same hairstyle but I tried to steer him away from it.

I wanted his other lovers to get the impression that I had moved on to another lover; otherwise, they'd be jealous again if they knew he created an alt just for me.

By the time I relinquished his alt back to him, it was dressed in a Victorian gentleman's suit, with only a demo hairbase and lots of folders with demo hair in the inventory. The ones I picked up when he TP'd me to his favorite hair store. So, now, when I'm in Alt #29, he's also in Wolfgang#3. He still occasionally IMs me with Wolfgang#2, which is the one I met and the one that he's mostly in. But I rarely see Wolfgang#2 anymore.

Throughout our argument (and a big part of the argument), he didn't want to create a new alt. He didn't think he could project into it. Both his alts are several years old and they look very similar. He said he couldn't be anything else. He only conceded to create a new alt to give it a try. But he kept telling me that it would feel as though it's not him. I didn't think so.

But I was happy that he finally created an alt just for me. So the alt felt like it was "mine". That it was a gift given to me, albeit, reluctantly. I was half-expecting that he'll eventually give up the alt and throw it away.

So, the next time we met after the makeover, I was surprised when he said that he had to apologize. I couldn't understand why. For one, he didn't seem like someone who would apologize. He has a lot of pride and he seems to be the type who is certain about everything he chooses to do. I was even more touched when he said that he really appreciates the work I had done on his alt. He really saw it as a throw-away alt. But he saw how much care I took in doing the makeover. And so he promised that he would do his best to project his "soul" into it.

That was the first evidence of the change.

Since the reconciliation, he was more considerate, more tender, more sweet, more affectionate. He asks for my opinion before he decides anything about the alt. He expresses gladness when I like something he did on it. When he dresses his alt, he goes for more subdued, more conservative, styles. Maybe because he is influenced by things I like. He's making the alt more to my liking.

He remarked that Wolfgang#3 looks more effeminate than his other alts. I disagreed. In fact, it looks more confident, more mature. I said that he gave this alt something -- a certain quality that he didn't give his other two alts. It feels like Wolfgang#3 has more innate power. His first two alts look like rebels. And being rebellious means that he feels he doesn't have power, that he has to fight for it. On the other hand, Wolfgang#3 has a more dignified self-confidence, which means that he is more secure about his power. He *knows* he has power and he doesn't have to fight to prove it.

He agreed that it feels there's some extra quality in Wolfgang#3 that isn't in his other alts. But he disagreed with my explanation. His explanation was that, unlike his two other alts, Wolfgang#3 doesn't have to '"fight" for [my] affections' because my affections were already given to Wolfgang#3 from the start. And that was another surprise. I never thought that he was fighting for my affections. In fact, I thought he was taking my affections for granted, like it was just one more gift among the many gifts that his friends and admirers leave at his feet.

But, now, it feel different. We're emotionally closer. And it feels more reciprocal. Less of a BDSM relationship. More of a traditional relationship.

Compared to most of my other lovers, he's still very reserved. He once called himself a "cold animal." I disagreed. I see a lot of passion. Very strong emotions, but withheld or redirected into anger.

In stark contrast, Impy (The Impossible) is very warm and very expressive, and naturally tender and affectionate. Being with him is like being cuddled in a nice comfortable warm bed with lots of fluffy pillows and a fuzzy blanket on a cold rainy morning. He keeps melting my heart.

Sometimes, it feels like I have more in common with Impy than with my RL sisters. We think the same way. We enjoy the same things. And it's not that he liked them simply because he knows I like them. Those things were already a part of his life, long before I met him.

What if he's actually one of my concurrent incarnations? :-O ;-)

Sometimes, it's like we're thinking out of the same brain. The INTJ in me looks for a "mind-mate" and he is that. There is an intellectual connection that is both stimulating and comforting at the same time. For a while, I thought it was just going to be a casual affair. But occasionally, he would say something that melts my heart or stuns me. Like when he said his heart "compressed" when he got to the part in my book where I talked about considering suicide.

Recently, he took me to a place that had an awesome installation recreating the infamous Chinese Terracotta Army. During that visit, I suddenly felt this feeling that I rarely feel these days. It's that sense of awe and wonder, and an excitement about possibilities and the promise of SL. That was the second or third time I felt that while I was with him. It was like a deja vu feeling, like I was thrown back to my early days in SL.

I told him that he brought the magic back to SL. I had told him that at least once before.

I usually don't hang out with newbies much. They drain my energy. I get tired having to explain basic things. But not with Impy. He "gets" it. And very quickly. I don't have to explain; I don't have to give detailed instructions. Not just because the man is a techie. I have a feeling he's also highly intelligent because he's a very quick study, but he doesn't let on.

And because he "gets" it, he also gets the potential of the platform and why it is very exciting. And when I meet someone who sees the possibilities that I see, then -- my god -- the magic comes back. When everyone else is falling by the wayside because of disillusionment with SL and virtual worlds, it is very heartwarming to have a companion along that increasingly lonely road.

Once in a while, I'd have a lover or a romantic friend who becomes my "witness." My life witness. Someone who sees the many sides of me. Inside and out. And because of that "witnessing," they've become the deepest and most significant relationships in my life. Impy is becoming one of those witnesses.

Or maybe, he already is.

Heart melts

Meanwhile, the Impossible and Alt #24 started nesting and setting up a home.  It was he who hinted at it a while ago.  It wasn’t just because he thought that’s what I want; it feels like he brought it up because it was what *he* wanted.  He thought of us as a real couple, complete with all that being a couple entails.  My heart melts.

He reads my blog; he’s reading my book.  He wants to truly know me.  My heart melts.

His other lover misses him and feels bad, so he had to spend some time with her yesterday.  He had neglected her because he says he prefers to be with me.  My heart melts.

I learned to ask him what time he was supposed to go to bed because he ends up staying too long and not getting enough sleep.  But even after I remind him it’s time for bed, he negotiates for a few more minutes, which ended up being a full hour today.  My heart melts.

He offers to help me with future projects related to the book.  In fact, he already got started.  He is very excited about the book and where it’s going.  And he simply does things to help me, fully supporting me in what I do and being fully involved.  My heart melts.

Throughout his day, even when he’s not logged in, he stays in touch by email.  Short sweet messages.  A morning kiss.  A quick thinking-of-you note.  A picture.  My heart melts.

Today, I told him that I don’t want to be his only SL relationship and I explained why.  I wanted him to truly experience SL relationships in its wide variety and to gain insights on his own, instead of simply agreeing with my own.  He agreed but it still doesn’t sound like he would. :D

My heart melts.

Within parentheses

Both Wolfgang and The Impossible are more active in SL than most of my previous lovers. I see them very often in a week. In the past, that worked for me because I usually had only one very active lover. With two very involved and very active relationships that are developing quickly and differently, I’m kinda reeling.

Wolfgang and Alt #27's relationship was shook up this week. The tiff started a few days ago, involving two of his other lovers. He had placed Alt #27's name on his profile as doms do for their subs. And I had placed his name on my profile. In all his years in SL, he had never put anybody's name on his profile, but there was a practical reason to it this time. It was required by the place where we went to, in order to communicate to other doms that Alt #27 was exclusive to him.

But having her name on his profile made his other lovers insecure, because he didn't put their names on his profile and I don't know why he chose not to. To his other lovers, it was as though he preferred me over them.

The problem was that, if I claimed in my own profile that I was sexually exclusive to him, who would believe it if his profile doesn't confirm what I said in mine? Under normal circumstances, it was benign enough. But in the world of BDSM, who knows?

That was just the start.

As a compromise, I asked him to create an alt that's exclusive to me. I told him I didn't care if the alt looked like a newbie. I just wanted us to be able to put each other's names in our profiles again, and I explained the significance of that gesture. He argued against it. He couldn't understand the reason for putting a "label" on our profiles. And he doesn't think that he'd be able to project to a new alt that wasn't "him."

He didn’t understand why I was disproportionately upset about the issue. But, actually, something else happened two nights prior that we hadn’t had a chance to iron out. I discovered that he had logged in his alt while we were having sex, which – to me – meant that he wasn’t “with me” during a very intimate moment. And the fact that I didn’t have his full attention made me feel really crummy, as though my sexual needs are just another chore for him. That was what my sex alt was for. In an emotional relationship, that hurts.

Then the issue about the tracker came up. He had forgotten that he said it was okay for me to track when he logged in. So he lost trust in me. I had to copy and paste the conversation we had where he agreed.

I was in too much pain. One issue after another piling up. Each one felt as though he was pushing me away.

I removed him from the tracker and told him I did. I figured that if he didn't trust me anymore, we couldn't be lovers anymore. Nor friends for that matter. And if we weren't lovers anymore, there was no point keeping track of him. I was getting ready to shut down Alt #27. I told him I'd end our ongoing RP later in the day; I didn't want loose ends.

But he asked why I was always rushing things by myself without stopping to discuss with him. I replied, “Because it hurts too much and I want it to stop hurting.”

Two hours later, he sent another email – calmer, more understanding. He reiterated that there wouldn’t have been pain if we took the time to talk. I tried to talk but he wasn’t available, and things got worse before he had time to talk. But I promised I wouldn’t do anything more until we did. He echoed it, in agreement.

It was more than a full day before I replied to his email. And we explained our views about the things that happened.

He said that he didn't know there was such a tracking tool and he misunderstood when he agreed to let me track when he logs in. He explained that his alt was Away the entire time and he assumed that I would have known that. I said I didn’t. Yes, there is a way to determine whether the person is Away or Busy, but I didn’t care what he did so I didn’t track that. I only cared whether there was a chance he would have time to spend with me. If he was logged out, there was no chance, and I could leave the computer and do other things; if he was logged in, there’s a chance, so I would stay online. Even though my alt was exclusive to him, his alt was not exclusive to me and I knew he had other lovers. What reason do I have to spy? Even after I had explained, he still felt bad about it, but he said it was his own problem to deal with.

We talked about the issues, the pros and cons of solutions. He explained that he didn’t say no to creating an alt, but he had to think about it because he had different views about alts than I did. When we met early this morning, he agreed to try it and we’ll see how it works.

Then, he did something surprising. A few minutes before he had to go, he tp’d us back to where we were the last time we saw each other. He said it was like enclosing our fight within parentheses. It was surprising, because it was a very sentimental gesture. This, coming from a man who says he’s known to be emotionally “cold.”

But I did something that surprised him as well. When he arrived today, I knelt down, because it was what a sub did to greet her dom, as he had taught me. He said he didn’t think I would kneel. I was ready to leave the relationship, it was an OOC conversation, and (as I kept telling him) I am much too independent to be a sub OOC. But, he thinks that the BDSM is an important part of our relationship (even though I vehemently disagree), so I knelt. Because, if I didn’t kneel, I would have closed the door to a reconciliation. He smiled and called it “strategic kneeling.”

Usually, a big fight like that would be the end of the relationship. This is one of the most difficult – if not THE most difficult – relationship I have ever had in SL. We are VERY different. I had told him once that I had thought of leaving a few times, because we are incompatible and we argue all the time. After all, I’m INTJ and INTJs don’t stick around in relationships that won’t work, even if the separation would be painful for a while. We’re pragmatic that way.

But it’s been more than two months now. And the relationship feels like it has sticking power. Funny that.

"If you have sex with her..."

"If you have sex with her, maybe you can be in the next book."

That was Mz, telling one of her friends about me and the book. ... OMG!  I have a pimp!  LMAO

(There will be several posts today.  Because I haven't blogged here for a while, I have a backlog and so much has been happening this past week.  I'm doing a separate post for each lover, simply because one is likely going to be very long.)

My SL flashing before my eyes

I don't know why, but I feel incredibly sentimental today. Memories float in and out of my mind.  Memories throughout the past six years.  Events, places, lovers.

It's like my life is flashing before my eyes.

I feel homesick for what used to be.  What SL used to be.  What *my* SL used to be.

It's like that time when LL introduced windlight.  The light inworld changed and it felt like a whole different world.  And I missed the old light.

It's like when LL first allowed you to change the volume for the UI and the wind separately.  They turned those sounds down and it felt like a whole different world.  I had to turn up the UI sounds, and some sounds are different now.  And I never heard the wind again.

I'm scrambling to finish the book trailer before Friday when I plan to get the book live on Amazon.  If I weren't busy with the book trailer and with current lovers, I'd probably be more an emotional mess.  I cried after I finished sorting out the formatting issues for the upload.  I cried again today because the release date is so close.

I guess I always feel like this during life transitions. My old SL is dying.  I suppose my old RL is too.

Almost exactly eight years ago, as I was preparing to move to Minneapolis to start my MBA program, I wrote something in my RL personal blog about "Lea soup."  Here's an excerpt:
"... while on the treadmill, I was reading an article in "O" (Oprah's magazine, of course) about how we go about reinventing ourselves. It started with a story about how caterpillars actually shed their skin in a cocoon and become a glop. "Caterpillar soup," the author said. The article went on saying that we also become "people soup" when the world falls apart, when the ground shakes.

"Maybe this move is forcing me into the "people soup" phase. If I bring only the bare necessities, I give myself room to be redefined, to be reinvented."

It's like SL has been my cocoon for the past five or six years.  I had "hidden" from the real world and became a glop as I searched for who I am and who I am meant to be.  And now, the cocoon is cracking.  My wings are unfolding.

And that is damn scary.