Awimbawe, awimbawe, ... ten years later.

I logged in today to try out the new Bento mesh heads. I picked up the demos from Catwa and from Lelutka then went to my skyloft in Aglia to try them out.

I had already taken off all attachments (because I wanted to also see the body that came with the Lelutka demo), when I saw a familiar name in my radar.

Elliott Eldrich: entered the region (673.71 m).

Not long before that, I noticed an acquaintance log in. I met him in 2007 and I don't remember having talked to him since. But I didn't get a chance to say hi before he logged back out.

So, when I saw Elliott in my radar, I wondered if the planets were just exactly aligned that I'm encountering all these oldbies from my distant past.

Anyway, I IMd Elliott and reminded him how we met. I didn't think he'd remember me. Or maybe he just pretended that he did. ;)

Elliott is (at least, he was then) one of the well-known personalities in SL. I hardly know Elliott personally, but he's significant in my SL. He's one of the first few people that I met in SL. And I even talked about our first encounter in my book! Here's the excerpt (which I also sent to him in a notecard afterwards):

I continued exploring the world on my own when Soren wasn’t logged in. In one store, I discovered “freebies” (items given away for free), via a sign with a picture of a bee and the name “Free-Dee-Bee.” The sign gave me a folder with clothing, shoes, animations, and other things. I decided to try them out right there.
I was watching my avatar do a funky dance when a chat bubble appeared, asking if I found everything I needed. My avatar would have blushed if she could. I was embarrassed to be caught dancing by myself in the middle of a store –- and without music even! It took me a few seconds to stop the dance animation and turn around to look at the polite speaker.
What I saw seemed to be an anthropomorphous large cat standing on his hind legs like a human. He was well-dressed in a gentleman’s suit, complete with a pocket watch. I thought I had walked into a fairy tale. 
I learned that he owned the store, so I thanked him for the freebies. He said it was his partner’s idea to have the freebie “vendor” there. Then there was a lull in the conversation. I mean, what do you say to a cat? “So, did you trade in your boots?” Or, “How’s Grizabella doing these days?” Or, “Awimbawe, awimbawe, …” He must have noticed that I was unsure what to say next, so he excused himself to leave me to my new acquisitions. Then, he elegantly walked out of the door on the other side of the store, just like a real gentleman from the 1800s.

Tesoro, Lea. Love, Like Dim Sum (Kindle Locations 456-471). VirtuaSapient / Eleanor R Tesoro (Lea Tesoro). Kindle Edition. 

That cat was Elliott. I didn't use his name in the book because I couldn't reach him before I published the book.

Elliott in 2007 (Photo by Elliott Eldrich)

Elliott in 2016 (Photo by Elliott Eldrich)

Thankfully, I saved my outfit before taking things off, so I just took a few seconds to find the folder in my inventory and put the outfit back on. He TP'd me to the nearby train station, which I remembered he built. He said he was just checking on his build; that was why he was in the sim.

We had a lovely satisfying conversation, the kind that you can have only with someone who has been in SL as long as he has.

So, we had an impromptu reunion. After more than 10 years! I love coincidences like that. :D

At least, this time, I wasn't doing a funky dance in public without music. ;D

And, for a full hour, the cat didn't get my tongue. ;P

Awimbawe, awimbawe, ...

The gloomy and fog

the gloomy and fog about some things is so special that it has no sense to try to put precision and names on, when you wish to see things in their whole reality

That was his explanation about why he never said he loved me. We were in our first cuddle after two years. We communicated on email in the past few months. Almost daily. Usually more than once a day.

It was kinda my fault. I sent an email warning him that I'd be traveling to BeNeLux for a two-week holiday, so he could be sure to avoid those countries in case he was traveling too.

But he opened the door wider. Whenever I stopped responding, he'd email again. Whenever I replied angrily, he'd email again. In a lighter tone. As though he didn't know I was angry.

I carried my anger and my pain for much of those few months. I was cynical and sarcastic. Until one day when he was late sending me a reply. And I realized my day didn't feel right without an email from him when I woke up. It became a habit.

When I had a big argument with my mother and decided to move away, he understood. When my father passed away in late November, he understood. When I had a falling out with my sister, he understood. In the absence of a working computer, he was my only confidante and my only solace, because I could at least read email on my tablet (and later, my new phone).

In times of grief and sorrow and anger, I tend to pull away from everyone. But he emailed everyday. Like a fool who was unaware that I wanted to be alone. On the other hand, because he sent short emails, it didn't feel like an intrusion. And he knew just what to say. There was comfort, and even a sense of poetry, in his broken English.

When we finally met for a cuddle, I thought we could continue what we had in our emails. But he wanted more of the FF sexual relationship. I said no.

Our emails were based on reality. No RP. No personas. However, in SL, we were sliding back into the old RPs. And I couldn't stand that anymore. Why make the same sacrifices again? And for a man who couldn't say he loves me?

The pain returns. Almost as strongly as before.

Even though he agreed that we had discussed this topic more than enough in the past, he explains again anyway.
I never believe when someone tell me "i love you"
because for me the meanings of these words is mine
and i know it can't be true in my meaning
some people use that daily, even to their friends
some say to their different lovers
some to their dogs
feelings have their own meanings :) considered by every person

Maybe he's giving me more than what I ask for. Maybe I'm insisting on a specific wrapping when the offered gift is better than what usually comes with the wrapping I want. Maybe I'm asking him to stick a mundane label on something that is divinely indefinable.... So special.... The gloomy and fog.... The mystery.

Or maybe I'm just imagining what I wish to see.

And maybe the fool is in the mirror.

. . .

Happy holidays... whatever holiday you celebrate this season.


In most cases, a decade seems so long. In this case, the past decade feels like a dream and I have just awoken.

And like "0" birthdays, this rezday anniversary is a milestone. But it feels anticlimactic.

No wise insights this time. I've already said everything I wanted to say.

No compelling projects that make me jump out of bed. Something else always has higher priority than SL projects that had once excited me.

No significant lover to entice me to log in. Many lovers don't log in anymore. And I keep blue-screening too much lately anyway.

I'm making a point of meeting SL friends when I travel or when they come to my area. But, besides that, I feel like, "Been there, done that. What's on Netflix?"

Out in the real world, people are getting excited about 3D, 360, virtual reality, augmented reality. But that's old news to us. The curse of the early adopter is boredom.

What else is there?

Can we find the deeper purpose for all this? Instead of aiming for the next technological thing for the sake of the technology, can we find a meaningful application that really matters?

Maybe it's also my real age. I'm at a phase in my life where my attention is supposed to be directed outward, to changing the world and making it better, to leaving a legacy, to making a much bigger impact.

Whatever that is, I have no idea. Yet.

I'm waiting for inspiration.

For the next decade of my SL.

Chaac for real

I quoted Chaac Amarula a lot in my book. He's very quotable. And conversations with him are never dull. Ever.

There was a time years ago when he would log in and chat with us before he started his day, and it amazed me how he could be so witty so early in the morning. Well, I'm a night owl; I can't imagine anyone being witty at all anytime before noon.

During one of our rare-these-days conversations months ago, he mentioned a convention he wanted to attend in San Francisco. He had the dates, but he wasn't sure if he could make it. But I added it to my calendar anyway. Then I forgot all about it.

Two days ago, I saw it on my calendar and pinged him. It turned out he was already coming and he was wondering where to sightsee on Sunday afternoon.

So I picked him up from the airport, took him to sushi for lunch (while waiting for the roads to open up after the SF marathon), drove him over the Golden Gate Bridge northwards and back, then we had a quick walk on Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. I think the seals on the Pier 39 harbor were the highlight of the day for him. :D

Golden Gate Bridge 0002

Maybe because I've known him almost since I started in SL, or maybe because we've had so many thought-provoking philosophical conversations in SL, that it felt like I've known him forever. Except this time, I witnessed his sense of humor with his facial expressions and his gestures. And it's even funnier like that than with just text. :D

I've been lucky that these SL-to-RL meetings have been wonderful so far. There's a different quality in the RL meetings with people that I've known the longest. I don't know if it's because of the length of time I've known them, or if it's because of the type of people that were attracted to SL during the early years. I suspect it's a combination of both, but maybe more of the latter.

Sadly, these real life meetings are less likely to happen again. It's the circumstances and the costs. But then, that's what SL is really about, isn't it? To bridge the physical distance and to create the circumstances to meet without the prohibitive costs. The more SL people I meet in real life, the more grateful I am for SL.

The next time I'm going to have SL-to-RL meetings again is in late September to early October, when I go to the Netherlands. They're old friends too. Stay tuned! :D

So closer, so sweetly

I met someone from his country before. But the first guy moved too fast and was already looking around for a virtual home to share with me during the first week, even though I protested. I wasn't about to waste my time and resources on a pretend relationship.

Ironically, this new one was in the same line of work as the first one. So I asked him if all people from his country do the same work.

They were the only two people from that country that I remember meeting in SL. I'm sure I've met others, but they just didn't register in my memory, and it couldn't have been more than three others. So, it just seemed odd that the two people I met from that country in the same year would have the same type of job.

His response was, yes, many in his country are in that line of work, because it is required everywhere in the world and it pays well.

Anyway, they are very different in personalities. This one is very respectful of my wishes, very polite. Maybe too polite, so I never really took him seriously.

But we agreed to meet this weekend, and I wondered what we would talk about on our date. I figured we would dance for about an hour or so, then I'd log off and do something else in another alt. Then, at the start of our meeting, I figured that maybe, if I seduced him, I could stretch that time to about two hours.

Two hours turned into seven hours or so. In those seven hours, we talked by voice in Skype which had his real name, we connected in LinkedIn, I saw his face on webcam briefly, he saw my pictures and thought I "look beautiful", I took him to my private place, I introduced him to my sex alt, and, of course, we had sex a number of times.

In his words, "we got so closer today."

And in my words, "We crossed a lot of boundaries today."

He's planning to visit the US to see me. He has cousins living in LA, and he said he could visit them. It didn't sound like his cousins were his main reason for thinking of visiting the US, just as my cousins in LA weren't my main reason for going down there earlier this year. Nothing against cousins in LA, of course. ;)

He asked me what I wanted from his country so he could bring some with him, just as I asked the Captain if he wanted anything from the US before I went to Spain.

Even though I insisted that there are so many restaurants we could go to, he still wants to cook for me when he gets here, just as.... Errrmmm.... I never offered to cook for anybody. ;)

Anyway, I'm not holding my breath. This still feels very casual to me. But it's really nice to be treated so sweetly.

To revive or not to revive

Three years ago, I created the first episode of a machinima series.

Three years ago, I created the last episode of a machinima series.

It was the same episode. LOL

This month, I submitted the poster for that machinima to the SL Machinima Poster Archive for a contest.

Today, I received a notecard saying that it's on display inworld with the other submissions. The exhibit officially starts on May 30, but it looks like it's already set up.

I've been toying with the idea of reviving a few projects lately, including one that I stopped 12 years ago. I've thought of continuing the Cabaret du Crane in the past, but I dedicated the series to Wolfgang, and I really am not inspired to do anything for him anymore.

But I do want to do machinima again. Something more meaningful.

My muse has been dropping hints. Nothing fully formed. Just flashes, like disjointed scenes from a dream. From many different dreams....

We'll see.  :)

The best compliment a man could give

"You remind me of my mother."

He didn't intend it as a compliment. He was explaining why he was suddenly uncomfortable about the RL booty call.

The anticipation, the excitement, all gone within a few hours.

Suddenly I didn't feel desirable anymore. I was back to normal.

My first thought was pragmatic. There goes the reason for the meeting, so there was no point prolonging it. I couldn't change my ticket because it was non-refundable. He could get another room, but what was the point? So it would be better for him to just drive back home. It was the least expensive option.

But he felt guilt, which I didn't expect. He drove me to the hotel, I checked in, and we talked, while he held my hand in both of his.

He becomes a friend, like most of my exes. He understands I don't initiate conversations much and he's okay with that.

The only thing that we lose is the sex, he explained. But it felt like we lose much more than that, and I don't know why.

Then, today, on the flight back home, I had a paradigm shift. I realized that he had actually given me the best compliment a man could give.

Of course, it's subjective. It's a compliment, only if he adores his mother, and I sense that he does.

The deepest part of his psyche compared me to the most important woman in his life. And, by that comparison, he honored me.

I am no longer just another easy fuck. I've become something else. In game-speak, I guess I've leveled up. :)

And that was well worth the trip. I went for sex. Instead, I received something of much greater value.

Thank you, my kanna. You reminded me of my worth. For that, my gratitude is immeasurable.

Almost Oedipus

Made love unseen,
Hundreds of miles between.
Moans on the wires
Stirring the fires

Crossed the threshold
As done by many so bold.
Histories shared,
Souls bared.

Mind formed a connection.
And, horror, his reaction.
Desires subside.
Deep in his mind,

Silent for years with his father
Because of a past lover,
Then, the recognition
Of the new seduction --

Joy, so quickly, did wilt.
Passion turned into guilt.
Moans turned to cries,
For from her eyes,
Tears spilt.

Special to him was she,
Unexpectedly to that degree.
Too much positive
Turned negative.
So, set free.

(PS: Just to be clear, I don't have children.)

Is there such a thing as a normal dim sum?

Everyone is special - but not to everyone else. You're special to me because I see qualities I admire in you. Others have qualities too, but just not the ones I'm interested in.

Let's call him "Ansel". :)

My notes on his profile said that I met him briefly in 2013. Unfortunately, my 2013 logs for Alt#11 were not recovered by Seagate after my harddrive crash. But I got the impression that we probably didn't even dance. If we did, it was so brief that it was just another encounter.

Then in early March, when my month was starting to go crazy, he sent me an offline.

/me sends you a wave! Hello there - haven't seen you online in a while. Thought I'd let you know that I'm looking forward to chatting with you soon and even whisking you away for a dance or two ;)

We danced for 20 minutes. In those 20 minutes, we discovered real-life synchronicities between us. It's not that our lives mirrored each other exactly. But it was more like mirror fragments reflecting the same light back and forth in a zigzag path.

Later, I would also realize how similarly our minds work. And I thought, "OMG, is he my karma? Would he give me a taste of my own medicine?" :D

But, so far, he's been so refreshingly ... I'd say that again with emphasis ... so refreshingly different from many men I've met. He's too "normal". Well, okay, what someone abnormal as I am would consider "normal" is up for debate, but, still....

When I ask for something, he almost always agrees. Instantly. He doesn't even have to think about it.
I don't have to justify why. He thinks that the things I ask for are so trivial.

I've had lovers who would argue about it. Like when I ask them to create an alt just for me, it's like pulling teeth. So when Ansel instantly agrees, I am stunned. I don't know what to say then. Except thank you.

So, a week ago, we created exclusive alts.

In six days, I will meet him in real life.

He agreed to the 30-day thing, but we never brought it up again. We'll see how things go after our RL meeting.

There are other complications on his end, so I should actually hold back emotionally. But I'm also well aware that I'm not very good at that. In fact, holding back diminishes the experience, and it's the experience I'm after. I want to experience him.

My only complaint is ... Why does the SL sex taper off the closer it gets to the RL meeting?!?

Too little, too late


I had been feeling very disillusioned with SL the past year or so. It was like the Utopia that we had been trying to build had finally lost its wonder. It feels just like another RL now. And my soul is rebelling.

When I reread some chat logs that weren't lost to nothingness when my hard drive crashed, I started to feel emotions again. I started to sense that wonder again. Not as much as it used to be, but at least the fog is starting to clear.

I'm getting tired of empty platforms in the sky that were built for work.

I'm getting tired of the same venues that I visit for dances.

I'm getting tired of doing the same things over and over again.

I missed creating. I missed building my own space. Not one for my store, but one for me.

The last time I remember building a space for myself was during my first week in SL when I bought my first parcel. After that, I built spaces to share with partners. And the only spaces I built for myself were empty bland white platforms for working in.

So I started leasing a parcel. Just for me.

Shadow of Death

Paradise Lost

I looked at several configurations of parcels. I saw sims divided into squares, sims cut up like a pizza pie, sims with round islands. I ended up with a rectangle. Unfortunately, it reminded me of the last parcel I decorated for my pairs with Wolfgang. A month before we broke up.

I made that parcel with a beach, waterfalls, trees. I created it very quickly. I was very inspired.

And I missed that old parcel, even though we had it for only a month.

Maybe that's why I was attracted to this new parcel. Because it's just like the old one.

When the past knocks

I remembered Wolfgang's birthday. Before that, I remembered his alt's rez day, the anniversary of the day I met him. Both times, I remained silent.

He hated being reminded of his birthday, and he's always in a bad mood. But the previous year, he felt bad when his friends didn't remember. I wasn't going to be one of those who'd greet him this year, I thought.

Besides, I felt raw and vulnerable with everything else going on. Why open that door again?

But, a couple of days later, I woke up and found offline messages in my emails. "Hello Opal," he IM'd. "I hope you are fine."

Well, after reading that, not anymore!!!

I was crying as I prepared for work. All the pain came back. All the self-pity. All the anger.

My whole day was a blur. His words intruded my thoughts. What did he want?

I responded when I got home. I thought he would be in bed already, but he logged in and responded.

It was a strange conversation that went around in circles. Like our old conversations. I kept asking, "What do you want?" but he kept beating around that.

Finally, he explained that he was feeling grumpy (as usual) on his birthday, and he thought of searching for news about me. He wondered if I left SL. So he perved the profiles of my alts that he knows about, including the sleeping ones that were exclusive to him. Then when he read Alt#27's profile, he felt sad.

It took me a long time to convince him to create an alt for her to get privacy away from his other lovers. But he still refused to partner them. When we put them to sleep, he still refused to partner them. But now he wants to "repair that unfairness" and partner them.


I ran away from very harsh words that broke my heart more than anyone ever had in SL. Why would I want another connection with him?

Besides, they're dead! They have been for a year. What's the point?

Why raise up the ghosts that would bring nothing but pain?

If he wanted to repair any unfairness, why only that? He had been unfair to me by several magnitudes more, and it would take a lifetime for him to resolve that imbalance. He is offering me nothing but a morsel, and it is a bitter morsel.

Still, I was touched that he held on to something before that painful fight. I told him I needed at least a year to recover, then I could be a friend to him again. And he noted the date. Meanwhile, after that last argument, I wrote him off, entirely out of my life.

So I befriended him again. And I hugged him while we talked about his partnership proposal and almost argued again about old issues.

But he couldn't give me a good reason for the delayed partnership. It would mean nothing to me now. And logging Alt#27 back in could open the emotional floodgates even more. It's even more dangerous now that I'm feeling raw and vulnerable.

He kept trying to convince me until I finally asked him, "How important is this to you?"

He paused.

Then he said, it's a tricky question. Because, if he said it was very important to him, I'd do it just for him and that creates a greater imbalance.

*sigh*  I have a feeling this topic would come up again.

Shakespearean comedy, anyone?

I had two hours of sleep last night. And yesterday evening seemed to be the peak of my crazy weird month.

The dies of March (typo intended)

On the first week of March, one of my RL cousins passed away, probably because of his heart condition.

The last time I saw him and his twin brother was when they were preteens. I got married and moved away from California. My mom and I went to the memorial that Saturday and reconnected with many relatives.

In the memorial, his friends talked about him. Bulky men, intimidating in their size and demeanor, all with shameless tears and mournful cries to a lost friend. Through them, I had a glimpse of who my cousin was as an adult -- warm, kind, and generous with his time and friendship.

I saw many of them again the following Wednesday (after work) for the scattering of his ashes.

Two days later, I received a message in FB that one of my SL best friends passed away irl. That hit me stronger and it still hits me. This is the first time that anyone close to me in SL passed away irl, and I'm seeing the practical consequences of this.

The unravelling

I thought I could lay low and grieve privately. But, that day and in the days that followed, many things unravelled. Especially last night....

I have been very open about my SL relationships in this blog and in general. However, I've also tried to protect the privacy of the people with whom I have been involved. In this blog and in my book, I gave nicknames to important lovers and some casual lovers. Each nickname was significant and carefully chosen; it either indicated some characteristic of that lover, or it referred to some important event or an inside joke or a private term of endearment.

My predicament is in talking about something as significant as the real-life death of someone very important to me and its consequences in SL, while protecting the identity of the deceased and the secrets of the living.

This post was prompted by the unravelling of my own secrets in the wake of his death.

Twelve confessions

To be clear, I still won't mention names, either RL or SL, but those involved would recognize each other and maybe discover new characters they didn't know about. And I hope that these revelations would help heal their pain and clear the fog around a man who was important to each of us.

That best friend who passed away was my first partner in SL. I referred to him as mfpwtff. I met him more than seven years ago through my sex alt. I created Alt#9 for him the following day, because I worried about him being seen with my sex alt by her random one-night stands. A short while later, he created a new alt just for me. Two fresh alts exclusive to each other: no baggage, no interruptions, complete privacy.

After a few months, we broke up so he and his RL wife could work on their marriage. But we partnered those alts before we put them to sleep. Then I left him alone. Three years later, we woke up those alts for a dance on our third anniversary, then again on our sixth anniversary, and finally this year on our seventh anniversary. (Hmmm. Another seven-year coincidence for me.)

While he and his wife were working on their marriage, he said that part of their reconciliation was that he had to confess his other affairs. And he told her about Opal (which got me worried), but he kept his promise to keep the private alts secret.

His wife joined him in SL, but she eventually met someone else, so they divorced and she remarried. (Codename: RLex)

He told me that he started a new relationship with someone he met in Facebook. (We connected in Facebook after he learned my RL identity.) And he wanted me to meet her (codename: FBgf) . This was a surprise to me, because it really was none of my business. It felt as though he wanted my blessing for that relationship. Either that or he worried that I'd be surprised to see his relationship status change in FB, but that wouldn't have bothered me either. Anyway, it felt like an honor that he wanted me to meet someone important to him, and I connected with her in Facebook when she reached out to me. So, then I had *the two of them* telling me about their relationship and their meetings. Funny.

Last year, he told me about a new relationship in SL (codename: 2015partner). Again, he told her about me, and he invited me to their wedding reception. (Their SL wedding was just the two of them.) Again, it felt like he was asking for my blessing. So I went to the reception and took pictures as a wedding gift. The odd thing was, as I was saying goodnight at the end of the evening, he called out "Love you!" in public chat. I knew that he did, and I loved him too, but it wasn't something to shout out in public during the reception of your wedding to someone else! I figured he must had been drinking. Soon after, they broke up.

I think it was during our sixth anniversary dance when he remembered something we said when we broke up. At that time, we imagined that maybe there'd be a second chance for us someday. He remembered that while he talked about how my book had triggered him to work on making himself a better man. But I had also changed, maybe for the worse. I had already decided that I couldn't be exclusive to anyone. Long-term commitments make me panic. The woman who had wistfully hoped for another chance with him had slowly faded away in the intervening years. I am a different person now. But we had a very strong and satisfying friendship, and he said he was glad that we could easily pick up where we left off, even if we didn't talk to each other for months.

Last month, he postponed our seventh anniversary dance to the following day. And he had only about an hour. I learned that the reason was a new SL affair (codename: 2016blues). He said he met her at one of the blues clubs in SL. She lived only 2.5 hours away from him irl. He hadn't met her irl yet, but he said it's not likely that they'd meet before the end of this year, because he wanted to take it slow. Very slow. He was happy where he was (living near his daughter) and as he was (living alone with his freedom). But he gushed about her.

Now, the connections.

FBgf was the one who told me that he passed away. She last spoke to him the Tuesday of that week at 11pm. He didn't respond to her messages the following day. She contacted his mom, but his mom was reluctant to call the police because it was possible that his computer just broke down (which happened before) and he just didn't have mobile access where he was. On Thursday, FBgf still hadn't heard from him, so she contacted the apartment manager to check.

While we talked on Facebook chat after she told me the news, I absentmindedly said that I was just talking to him two weeks prior. It was a very innocent remark, but it turned out to be very significant to her. She thought that he hadn't been going into SL anymore, and it made her suspicious (jealous?) that he would come into SL specifically to see me. *sigh* So, I had to explain the anniversary dances. He didn't tell her that he and I used to be lovers a long time ago. So, she asked probing questions to make sure that those dances were innocent and that he wasn't having an affair with me since he started his affair with her.

I thought, .... If she panics like that about an honest-to-goodness friendship, how on earth do I tell her about the last two romances that I know about? Is it even my responsibility? Do I keep his secrets even now that he's gone? Does it still matter?

I figured I'd better notify 2016blues. I hadn't met her yet, even though he said he wanted me to meet her. Luckily, he gave me her full username. When I found her and told her the news, her first question was strange, but not so strange for SL.

2016blues: how did you receive that news, may i ask?
Opal Lei: A mutual friend in FB.
2016blues: his ex wife in rl already pretty much told me that, but I was waiting for confirmation

His ex-wife.... I was torn between asking for his ex-wife's SL name and keeping my distance. I still felt the guilt for intruding in their marriage, even though he said they were practically just roommates when I met him.... But more on that below.

I was reluctant to contact 2015partner. I worried that his "Love you!" outburst might have contributed to their breakup, so she probably wouldn't want to hear from me. And, even though he didn't give me details, I got the impression that their relationship ended badly.

But it felt like a loose end, so I eventually contacted her. It took her a while to believe me, I think. I wondered if she thought I was being his accomplice in a scheme to hide and disappear. A sad commentary on trust and trustworthiness in virtual worlds, but that's the way it is.

From her, I learned there was another girlfriend, whom he didn't mention to me. So, she left her an offline message to give her the news. She only mentioned the other gf's first name and she didn't seem willing to give me her last name, so I left it at that.

I mentioned in past blog posts that I have a tracker so I would know when lovers logged in, so I could log in to meet them, even if I was working on something outside SL. Sometimes, I kept them in the tracker after the relationship is over, just to know if they're ok, assuming that something is wrong if they hadn't logged in for a long time. Ironically, it was less intrusive that way, because an IM could stir up old pains.

When I learned of mfpwtff's passing, I wondered if it mattered having him in the tracker anymore. But I left him in it anyway.

Two or three days ago, I noticed that someone was logging into one of his more active accounts. I figured that someone had gotten into his computer and was contacting people in his friends list. FBgf mentioned that mfpwtff's son and his first wife were going through his apartment and sorting things out, so I figured it must be his son going through his computer.

Then, yesterday, I noticed that someone logged into the private alt that he created for me. When I noticed that he was also removed from a private group intended only for that private pair, I panicked. Not so much because our secret was discovered, but because whoever it was could delete that account or end the partnership.

So I left an offline message from Alt#9 to his private alt BF#2, hoping that it would be read by whoever was logging in:

Please, whoever you are, please leave this account alone. He created [BF#2] only for me, just as I created [Alt#9] only for him. If you are a member of his RL family, I ask for permission to take over his account. It is the only memory I have of him. You can take all the Linden $s out. You can take all the transferable inventory out. I just ask that everything else be preserved as is. Please.

The irony of it all

March 22 was a very long day for me.

I woke up around 3:30am because I had switched to a 5am-2pm schedule to avoid rush-hour traffic. A quick read of my email showed some IM messages from Wolfgang (details in my next post), which started my day with tears while getting ready for work.

Work was a blur.

I arrived home at 3pm and spoke with Wolfgang, until my sister and family (who are visiting from Oregon this week) arrived for dinner around 5pm. They left around 9pm.

After some inner wrestling, I decided to send the message above from Alt#9, then I logged off and got ready for bed. As I was climbing into bed around 10:30pm, I saw a response when I glanced at emails on my tablet. It was just a "hello" from BF#2's account.

So I quickly hopped out of bed, turned my computer back on, and logged Alt#9 back in. BF#2 was still logged in.

Alt#9: Are you here?
Alt#9: Hello?
BF#2: hi there - this is [name]
Alt#9: Hi, [name].
Alt#9: Your name is not familiar. How are you related to [mfpwtff's RL name]?
BF#2: I am his ex-wife

And, so, there she was....

The woman I had avoided for seven years out of guilt and whose wrath I feared. And she held the key to his private alt -- the single, most secret, most intimate, most cherished memory I have of him.

Alt#9: omg
Alt#9: I'm sure you hate me.
BF#2: I don't hate you - I don't hate him...
Alt#9: Thank you.
BF#2: it just made me a little more sad than I already was

"Do you have time for a long story?" she asked. It was 10:46pm.

First, she asked if I (as Alt#9) was also Opal. She wondered because BF#2 had only two friends -- Alt#9 and Opal. It turned out that she had even seen Opal's Flickr pictures.

Her daughter asked if she could have her dad's computer, but because their daughter is still a minor, RLex wanted to clean it out before handing it over. Also, she was warned about hackers who could log in and steal original content, so she was going through his accounts to delete his original works from his inventory.

She didn't know any of his passwords, but she was able to get in because the passwords were saved on the computer.

He had told her about Opal, but he never mentioned our private alts. So she was surprised to find BF#2 among his login accounts. She updated the profiles of his other accounts but she left this one alone, because she didn't know about this one, and it is the only account of his that is partnered.

What made her sad was that mfpwtff was supposed to have told her everything when they were working on their marriage but he didn't tell her about our private alts.

I asked if I could keep BF#2's account because those alts were "like mementos". She said "of course". She understood what they meant to me, and she promised to keep them secret. I was overwhelmed.

By the end of the conversation, Opal had befriended her, and we were talking about mermaids. After she logged BF#2 off, I tried the old password and it still worked. So I changed his password and the associated email address.

And both alts went back to sleep.

This eclipse [on March 23] could easily put the spotlight on a one-on-one relationship, such as on your partner in love, marriage, or business. A friend may have a role to play too, one that is integral to all that goes on. 
Susan Miller on

Post-mortem, literally

He wasn't perfect, I knew that from the start.

Secrets are eventually revealed. Death has an uncanny way of pushing them out.

We're all looking for love, for affection, for meaning, for anything that makes living worthwhile. And we can't really judge people for how they seek what they're looking for.

The truth really does set you free. Sooner or later.

You can love someone without wanting to live with them.

Expressing love can be exclusive, but feeling love is never exclusive. They can truly love you while loving someone else too.

tgyi, mfpwtff.

It is not our avatars that grieve...

"It is not our avatars that grieve when loved ones in Second Life are gone."

In my nine years in SL, I thought that I would be grieving only for loved ones leaving SL. I knew there was a possibility of grieving for loved ones leaving RL, but I never thought it would hit so close.

I heard the news today.

One of my once-lovers, one of my favorite huggers, and, most importantly, one of my longest and bestest confidants in SL.... He left RL.

It is not my avatar that grieves.

History repeats

I had been quiet for a long while. First, I needed time to recover from my rebound. (I wonder if all relationships are just rebounds of the previous one. That's a long chain of rebounds!) Second, no one really became serious enough.

But much has been happening and it feels like things are churning.

He was almost perfect. Very sweet, very romantic. He said I made his happiness two-fold.
Opal Lei: Besides my friend says I should ignore men.
Almost: nooooo
Opal Lei: She said if I ignore men, they'll fall in love with me more.
Almost: i am already fallen
Almost: cant go deep more
Lately, he had been barely responsive, even when he was logged in. I stopped messaging him, but he IM'd me again one day.
Alt#11: And I was thinking you were already bored with me.
Almost: nah, not like that but i m really busy, u have seen it, most of the time i m on chat client like tonight
Alt#11: Well, men in SL have used being busy as an excuse to disappear, you know.
Almost: really....
Almost: then next time onwards i will cc u my work
I asked him to at least respond to my messages even if his responses were just a quick kiss or a goodnight. He did a couple of times.

Then, Friday evening, he said he was going to bed to catch up on his sleep because he was only getting 4 to 5 hours of sleep for several weeks. An hour later, he showed up on my radar at Franks. I asked him if he couldn't sleep. He gave some vague excuse about catching up on news. I wondered why he was catching up on news at Franks; he said someone teleported him there.

I just caught him in a lie.

It's uncanny how history repeats itself. I was so pissed that I removed him from Alt#11's friends list right then and there, and from another alt's friends list also. But I had second thoughts about removing him from Opal's friends list. So he's still there. For now. I still give him the benefit of a doubt. Maybe because I too have fallen.

20160213 WinterMoon

Still I was bothered enough, so that my interactions with other men are affected by it.

In the afternoon, I had very little patience for a new acquaintance who kept kissing and hugging for no reason, even though I just met him.

This evening, I realized that I had been too mean with another suitor, who had tried my patience for being so bossy and manipulative and inconsiderate since I met him a few weeks ago.
SilverSpoon: I like you a lot
Alt#11: thanks
SilverSpoon: don't hurt me again
Alt#11: then stay away
Alt#11: I have thorns.
Alt#11: Anyone who comes close gets hurt.
He logged off without a word. I suppose I hurt him again with that response.

The greater the pain inside, the sharper the spikes outside....