In between the realities of my life, the day-to-day concerns about whether or not I’d have my job the next day. In between the endless pursuit of political clarity in my graduate program. In between the hurried and harried funeral, and subsequent introduction to my father’s side of the family. In between the stoic and cold separation from my spouse. In between my transition from one beloved group of friends to another in my Second Life…
It seems I had actually caught someone’s attention.
Like I’d iterated before, my sim was part of a group related to the Firefly TV series. On it, we had built a companion training compound, and as part of our roleplaying and fun, I had become a companion, and then House Mother. I had built a very intriguing backstory about how I was heartbroken from being widowed at such a young age, it explained why I never took on clients.
I was bored, and lonely, and curious. I wanted to see if I could emote to completion. My friend Reya introduced me to someone that wanted to meet me, and so we went on a couple virtual “dates.”
Very interesting. I really enjoyed playing a part again, a creative role. Something I hadn’t done in real life in years.
Lex, the gent whom agreed to roleplay with me, led me down an interesting path of relationships – and a discussion of what a “companion” was, and a debate about prostitution. You see, in real life, these things seem to be pretty clear – prostitution is bad. Prostitution is a cycle. Prostitution is against the law, etcetera, etcetera.
But here we were in this virtual space, free to let our real minds wander with our tiny virtual bodies.
Most people get it. Some people don’t.
I’m not sure Arthur got it, on accounta he happened to jump into my virtual bedroom, while I was having virtual sex.
I couldn’t believe how ashamed I felt.
There’s always been an ongoing debate about virtual “cheating” - and I guess I had voluntarily removed myself from the discourse, a) by telling my husband about it, and b) by creating a backstory character that would limit this kind of interaction. But I couldn’t help it, Arthur’s opinion of me mattered, as did Reya's.
Still, it was great fun to get into a heated argument with Lex about it.
It was a huge turn on, in fact.
We met a couple more times to chat, and then he did something surprising.
Now, “being married” in world is akin to having a relationship status of being married in Facebook. Except virtual, of course.
I really wanted to say yes, I really did. But I let all this other stuff get in the way. What would my husband think, what would Arthur think, etc etc. Such guilt for such a silly reason.
I said no, at first. But later that same day, I said yes. Something told me that “Lex” was somebody I already knew, and cared about.
I wrote him a letter and asked him if he would ask me again.
He never did.
I was seriously disappointed, and kept trying to look for him online, but to no avail.
I never did get asked again after that, by anyone.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
But I’ll be goddamned if everyone else I knew, in world and out, did have something to say.
It’s as if someone had announced “The Kracken is coming, flee for your lives!” I imagined virtual villagers with pitchforks and torches running down the gauntlet, me atop their shoulders, a ripped bodice with a red letter "A" across my heaving...
Okay, you get the idea.
Later, I’d found out that my message had been intercepted, and never received. Such a big deal over such a simple, honest thing: friendship and love.
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