Oh yeah, I’ve been virtual for a long time. Hmm, I go back–way back. Yes, 300 baud modem for a Commodore 64. It was old even then. Yes, I can sing a digital handshake. Pweeeeeee, pwuuuuu! Pweee! Buhrong, buhrong. Zzzzzzz.
Wow, this is pretty amazing.
The first time I ever made out with my first husband, it was virtual. It was hot too! I’m guessing I was 15 or 16 years old? It was over his best friend’s BBS. It was a message board, but there was a chat function where the BBS owner could butt in to chat with whoever was on at the time.
The chatting was a way to try things out in a virtual space, and then feel brave to try things in regular life. But it was also its own thing. A special world, liminal, like a dream.
It’s funny I have no recollection of our first kiss, the first time we held hands, or the first time we made out in person, but the virtual I do remember. I felt special, wanted, and loved. Unfortunately, that was the peak of our relationship. It was all downhill from there.
He misspelled touch as “tuch,” which I liked. His misspellings charmed me, like he’d made language his own. Later I respected him less and less, for his weird trying to trap me. Mostly I needed his family–I almost lived at his house, as my dad got more dangerously violent, and I needed a place to be, when I was a kid.
Looking back I can see how I was painted into a corner, and what a shitshow it was. I feel sorry for the young Nest who was trying so hard to live something unlivable.
Modern times, we got facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr. Youtube has turned into social networking also, in a way. There’s linkedin, and should I join reddit? There’s discord, pintrest. Before this, myspace and friendster.
Livejournal was a big part of my life. I miss livejournal, I must admit.
I chatted on ICQ long ago. Yes, I liked that–I had a couple good friends that way. And I chatted googlechat for hours and hours, almost every day, with good friends who I adored–a woman one town over who I was in love with, and a nonbinary ex.
Chatting was a big part of my life and socializing, the years I had few friends and didn’t get out much. We would go into a little world together, quietly, passing thousands of little notes back and forth. I lived for it.
Virtual comes naturally to me. Being a writer, sending my soul off in little packets, into the air in words–I can do it in a blog post like this, a letter I write on paper, txting, art, whatever.
I love in person–touching and being touched by people I trust is a huge part of what I live for. But my spirit can travel virtually also, and it can be more tender than an awkward encounter at a BBQ or in a cafe. In public I’m stressed and struggling. In a letter I can say exactly what I need to say, no rush, and my heart can go direct to you.
I often think of a man I was in love with–I told him in a letter, “You are the most beautiful man in the world, and I long for you.” That was straight up truth, one of the true-er things I’ve ever said. In a letter, I can say exactly what’s real.
Some people don’t care or don’t want it. Many would rather watch a movie, shop, or eat a huge hamburger than tell the truth. That’s fine–whatever you like. You do you. Sorry I over-truthed on you.
As for me, truth is what I’m on earth to do. Mother God didn’t put me here to fuck around. She put me here for ecstatic experiences and saying what’s real. It’s a pretty good mission.
It can bother me when people make a big distinction between virtual and real life. My virtual life is real. Are dreams real? They can be more real to me than anything.
I live in my inner life more than the outer life. I would like to walk around the lake with you again, kiss you, feel the vibrations of your voice on my animal body. But the letter I write to you afterward is real life too.