Yesterday was another up and down day. I spent some time in TSO, which was bittersweet. Roger and I each have two TSO accounts, which was great back when we were playing it regularly, and during the initial free months. Now that we’re into the period of being charged, though, and aren’t there nearly as much (and me almost not at all), it just doesn’t make sense to keep both accounts.

He’s pretty sure which of his two avatars he’ll retire; I’m less so, and go back and forth. On the one hand, Logan has a lot of history, already owns a nice property expanded to the largest lot size, has a full friendship web, and has founder status. On the other hand, Logan has a lot of history, some of it not happy… Kieran would be in some ways, a fresh start, though as Roger asks, “Would you end up spending all your time having to explain, ‘Oh, I used to be Logan’?”
I guess the problem is that both avatars are me; neither of them were a role, which would be easier to abandon. Both of them have focused, perhaps, on different aspects of myself, but both still are very clearly recognizable as parts of my personality.
I also continue to play this bizarre obsessive and somewhat voyeuristic game with myself where Daniel and Josh are concerned. While chatting with Roger yesterday, he noted that he had seen Daniel online in TSO, but that Daniel hadn’t even IMed him. Before logging into Alphaville, then, the server where the three of us had gamed together, I logged into Interhogan, where I had heard Josh had an avatar, and where I knew Daniel had one. Sure enough, they were there, and Daniel even had changed his name to match the one that he’s using in There, the same name that’s in the virtual relationship with Josh there. I have no idea why I felt like I needed to know they were in TSO together too, but I couldn’t help myself.
Later, when I logged into There, I decided to teleport to the place where the most people congregate, to try to get into a chat. The world’s weird sense of humor teleported me right next to Josh; when I tried to leave, I accidentally chose the Join Group option instead (oy!) and ended up right where I didn’t want to be. I excused myself from the conversation, but then I stood around in that area just because I knew Josh was there; I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him, but I couldn’t leave, either. I removed the two of them from my buddies list, so I’m no longer notified when they come in game or leave, yet then I end up checking their profiles several times an hour to see if they’re there or not. Sigh… over the past six months, I’ve found that my behaviors in virtual relationships are much more neurotic than those I’ve had in my real world relationships… what I’m doing is almost a mild kind of stalking. I’m not directly disturbing them–in fact, I generally avoid any real contact or conversation with them–but I’m having some kind of weird voyeuristic curiosity about them.
The evening and night, though, both improved considerably. Roger and Saul (another friend from TSO who’d been trying without success for months to get into There, and finally got a video card that met their requirements and so was able to join us for the first time Friday night) were online, so we hung out for a while, showing Saul the sights. And Matt eventually showed up, and after visiting online for a while, I called him again, and we talked almost 2-1/2 hours.
Intellectually, I know that we’re in that early phase of limerence and other-discovery, where everything about the other is exciting, and the mind tends to focus only on similarities and commonly held beliefs and activities, but still it seems truly amazing how much we do have in common. In addition to the sense we both have of being misfits of a sort, which is a vague and odd sort of thing to find common ground in, we have very similar political and spiritual histories and belief systems, as well as shared interests in astrophysics and quantum mechanics, and similar tastes in literature. Matt’s a wonderfully sweet, and very thoughtful man, and after googling him, I found some poetry he’d posted on his web site, and reading it and discussing the geneses of the various poems with him was another very intriguing way to get to know him better.
He’s never been to Washington, DC, so I suggested that he should plan a trip here sometime: all he needs to do is get himself here from Chicago, and he’ll have a tour guide and place to stay provided. I think he’s intrigued by the idea, and seriously considering it. I also wouldn’t mind getting back to Chicago again; every time I go I find I really like it better and better.
I stayed up way too late; right about 2:00/3:00 when the clocks were being moved forward, I got a second wind and didn’t feel at all tired. Roger, Saul and Matt all logged out of There around that time, so I left as well, but then ended up doing other stuff online–checking out some other blogs, reading all of Matt’s poetry, surfing for porn, the usual… Ended up being 6am by the time I finally decided to turn in, and today, after 7 hours of sleep, I’m still groggy an hour after getting up at 1pm. Back when I was unemployed, I did this every night, but without the grogginess since it seemed to be my preferred circadian rhythm, but it’s so much harder to do it now without paying some sort of price the next day or so.
And the shift to Daylight Savings Time makes synchronous communication and gaming together more difficult for Roger and me. In Arizona, they don’t observe Daylight Savings Time, so while he was two hours behind me before during Standard Time, now he’s three. By the time he’s getting home from work, eating and getting online, I’ll be getting ready to head offline and go to bed. We’ll still have email and, once I get home from work, Yahoo (I can’t use any IM clients at work, so I can’t correspond during the day except through email), but we’ll still lose a little of our virtual time together over the next 6 months. The fact that I prefer a later schedule helps some, but with the potential problems I described above about paying a price if I stay up too late on worknights. Communicating with Matt should remain relatively easy, since in the Central time zone he’s only a single hour behind me.