And then sometimes things actually go well.
Came home from work last night and Roger wasn’t on Yahoo Chat; I waited a while, and after 8:00 decided to log into There, briefly, just to see if he had gone in without connecting to Yahoo first. I logged in and he wasn’t there, and I was just about ready to log out when I was IM’ed by Lukas, a There friend who also had been a friend in TSO. I had told him the night before that I was likely to leave There, and he had IMed me to tell me he was glad to see me back. I told him I was just looking for Roger, and he asked me if I’d like to come chat with him a few minutes before logging out. I wanted to know first who was with him, since if Ray and Jon were there, I really didn’t want to go. He was alone, in a “secret, hiding place,” so he summoned me there.
We chatted for quite a while, and it was really nice to catch up, but a little surreal. It’s amazing how other people can see you so differently than you see yourself. Here I was feeling adrift, disconnected, a social misfit, etc., etc., etc., but Lukas sees me as a successful socializer, a lynchpin for our social group online… He didn’t convince me, but it was interesting to at least try to see myself through someone else’s eyes.
I logged off for a bit to do other things, and eventually Roger and Lee both logged into Yahoo, so we chatted for a while. Then while checking my email around 10:30, there was a note to our club from Matt that a gay chat had been scheduled in There, starting at 10. I met Matt his first night in There, and we’d become friends and were heading toward in-game boyfriends… we’d had one setback a month earlier, when he meant to IM me but selected Lukas’s name instead, and started having an intimate conversation about things we’d privately talked about without realizing it wasn’t me. Lukas was annoyed that Matt had confused us, and Matt ended up compounding it with some additional unintentional but careless mistakes, and he started to think I didn’t trust him; it was clear, though, that everything had been just accidental, and I was fine with it.
But then I took my several week sabbatical from There, not really intending to stay away that long, but days turned into a few weeks. I hadn’t said goodbye to Matt, because I didn’t expect to be away that long. I had sent him my personal email address earlier, but didn’t hear from him, and I only had his in-game email address, which wouldn’t work from outside the game.
In the meantime, though, I kept asking my other friends about him.
So… I saw the note from Matt to the club about the chat, and decided to log back in and see him. When I got to the clubhouse, I walked in and the chat group that Matt was in was full, and he was also marked as away. The only two other people in the room were, of course, Jon and Ray, and they were on the couch together snogging away. So I walked outside, and kept checking to see if Matt’s avatar was back from being away. After a few minutes, he was back, and I IM’ed him.
He was concerned that I was planning to leave, and he came outside to talk to me. At the same time, Jon and Ray came out too, saw me, and came over to try to engage me in a conversation. I just couldn’t deal with it and, somewhat uncooly, I know, mumbled something about having to run, and teleported away. Matt and I continued to IM, though, and he asked me to come by his avatar’s house to chat.
It was so so so very nice to catch up with him; he seemingly shares a lot of the same feelings I do about not quite fitting in with the “gay” crowd, either in or out of There, and had had his own run-in with Jon. We recognized that we’d both really missed the other over the past weeks that I’d been out of the game. He gave me his phone number, and asked me to call him. I told him we’d have to limit it to half an hour, since I’d gotten only about five hours of sleep the previous two nights, and had planned to try to do better; it already was 11:30. It was about 1am when we finally forced ourselves to hang up, with the promise that we’d talk more later. He was so easy to talk to, and it was so nice to reconnect with him.
So there really are nice single guys out there. Unfortunately, they always seem to live in Chicago, like Matt, or Tucson, or Seattle, or France, or New York. I’m sure there must be one or two good single guys here in the DC area, too, but my luck so far has been less than inspiring. Still, I started off the evening feeling very sorry for myself and joyless, and went to bed with a smile on my face, a laugh dying on my lips, a skip in my heart, and an ache in my groin… so, all in all, a good way to end a Thursday.