Thursday, July 28, 2005

Serendipitous Surfing

When I was in college I was very much into the MU* scene. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, the MU*s (MUD, MUSH, MUCK, etc.) were the precursors to the spate of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) we have been subject to over the past few years. The MU*'s were text-based games where people created a world and interacted in that world. In some cases, MUDs in particular, they followed the model of a Dungeons & Dragons game where your character wanders around, kills stuff and get loot. In other cases they would be purely role-playing environments. Some of these were based on novels, like Harper's Tale, which is based on Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern novels, or extant RPG worlds. Other provided a basic setting, like Image Castle (now called Castle d'Image), which was set in a late medieval fantasy castle and its environs. Still others were nothing more than a place for the socially awkward to gather and chat. I enjoyed playing on them, although my addiction to them is one of the reasons I never finished college (and the reason I refuse to play any MMORPG).

I had some pretty good friends on some of these MU*s and every now and then I get nostalgic and wonder what they are doing or what they have gotten up to over the past several years. One night I couldn't sleep and didn't feel like reading, so I started to try and track down some of the MU*s I used to play on and see what was going on. I found that most of them had been shut down, but in the process of looking for them I stumbled across a website maintained by the husband of the first girl I slept with. [I kept trying to use "to whom I lost my virginity" however it was a mouthful and makes it sound like I was taken advantage of.]

This was kind of weird. I don't have any fond memories of my first experience. There were performance issues on my side (I was NERVOUS!) which led to me feeling inadequate. Then I got all emotional and crap. We were at my parent's house with my father sleeping across the hall, so there was the fear of being caught. To top it all off, at this point in my life my family and I were not seeing eye to eye on a lot of things and I was very scared of my father, so getting caught would have been a disaster. All of this added together to turn it in to a pretty horrible experience. Even though she was staying at my house, we didn't speak very much after everything was said and done, and not too long after she left for parts unknown. I don't bear any ill will, or blame her for it being bad or anything, and I am not under the illusion that somehow, somewhere I was in love with her or things would have worked out differently or anything like that. Seeing her picture again after a decade just...I am not sure how it made me feel. She looked thinner in the pictures, and happy. I think the lack of any real feeling for her bothered me more then anything else. Deep down inside I am a romantic. I try to cover it up with foul language and bawdy humor, but I guess I still believe that sex is something to be shared with someone who is special to you. If not necessarily Ms. Right, then certainly not just Ms. Right Now.

At first I was surprised to find something about her on the internet, but after thinking about it for awhile it made perfect sense. I met her on one of the MU*s. The internet was really the basis for our entire, short lived, relationship. In the end we were on the cutting-edge of a paradigm shift in dating. Somehow me finding this website was right. We could never have that awkward meeting where we bump into each other while shopping, or see each other across a crowded restaurant, where she might recognize me and whisper something to her friends. There will be no moment at out ten-year reunion. That moment of voyeurism in the dark of my room, sometime in the nether-hours of the morning, was the only awkward moment our particular path had left for us.

[For those interested, the website is here.]


Kitty said...

Well she may have been your first but i had to have been your best ;) know you loved your Kitty!!

James said...

I did and part of me still misses her.

Kitty said...

Well now that more and more of my firneds are moving in direction I suppose I'll have to get an account here ...but until then if you're looking for somewhere to waste time I have a blog at under wildkitty.