This week I begin edits on Ägir’s Captive (a Norwegian friend is correcting my Swedish…thank you to a real Bjorn). One of the prime reasons that I post my first drafts to Literotica is to get reader reactions. Those comments…I listen to them all. Yes, even the ones I don’t follow, I still take very seriously. That is why the final products that I put out in e-books are so much better than the originals.
And there is one major plot in particular that I must close in Ägir’s Captive…why the fuck did this woman cave so easily? The answer is simple…four or five months of half a dozen or more messages on that site (secret…it is FetLife by the way…I can’t say that on Lit and not sure if I will in the books). Then emails and Skype and WhatsApp.
And Kirsty is not alone. How we view friendships and relationships is changing. How many FaceBook friends do you have? Between my two primary accounts (I hate being divided but my writing and homeschool mom have to stay separate) I have over 300. Of those…I regularly engage with a couple of dozen. Of those…I have met a handful. Of those…even fewer would I consider a ‘friend.’
But that is not to say that all of those others are meaningless. Not at all, the number of times that someone, half a world away whom I have never met has touched me deeply with something they said or shared is countless. My autistic daughter seems to grasp this better than I do sometimes. Several times she has asked me…Mommy do you remember that time in the park when… She then goes on to describe something often using the word ‘friend.’ I will ask which friend and name all the ones she knows. She will say…no, no. Then she will describe someone that she met once…someone whose name she may not have even gotten. But they were/are a friend…because of that moment, that memory they share. That is the new definition of friendship.
And when it comes to online relationships that is just as true. PanKwake’s dad and I met in a chat room. Yes, one of THOSE chat rooms. Truth is that from the moment we met face-to-face things started down hill. And not in two years together, five years of marriage or four years of co-parenting have we ever shared the kind of emotional closeness that we did in those first five months…of ‘virtual’ relationship.
You see the truth is that it is easier to share what is ‘real’ when it is just a glowing blank screen than it is to look into someone’s eyes and bare your soul. For one thing…you can erase and start again until you are ready to hit that send button. You can organize and re-organize what you say over and over again…until you hit the send button. And some things are just plan easier to share with a ‘virtual’stranger than with your best friend. And my ex was never able to open up like that face-to-face.
But it is not always like that. I have dear friends who I met online then when we finally did face-to-face it was instant. I have friend, who talked me through some really rough times. Then he had a job interview in London. We met face-to-face on Friday and he found out he got the job on Monday. I offered him my couch until he got paid and could find a place. He stayed with us for almost two months…and I still miss ‘playing house’ sometimes. Realize too…that I have a child here…and still I trusted this man. And he never let me down, we are still friends.
The truth is that sometimes there is nothing VIRTUAL about these relationships be they friendship or sexual intimacy. In fact, look at what ‘virtual’ means…
very close to being something without actually being it (Merriam-Webster.com).
Essence…very close to…those are powerful things. A huge head start in any race.
So when it works…when you do meet someone face-to-face, for ‘real’ it is not at all like you just met this person. Because you did NOT. You met this person months ago. You know them. Really know them…as much as they let you anyway. And they know you as much as you revealed.
That is the thing…as with any relationship it is about how much you let someone in. Me? I am who I am. If any of you were in London and wanted coffee…you would see for yourself…I am me. I realize though that I am the exception…most people still need masks and walls (and I have my own…but you have to get deeper than most people ever will to run into mine).
And yes, Kirsty gets a huge surprise…the three for the price of one special. But other than that…the more she gets to know them the more she sees that they are the same people she knew on that computer screen. Of course, the speed at which they reveal themselves is different.
Bjorn is like me…exactly who and what he seems…and he is the one that wrote all those long emails that elicited her darkest secrets…and he kept them too. How could she resist this man for long?
Mikael…he had his own agenda…and when they work together on that, they discover a bond that is surprisingly strong. Once you get past his outer gates to the caring father, well, what is sexier than a true Daddy, ladies?
Sven…my poor Sven…is a bit too much like my ex-husband. His two and three line messages about the places they were reveal little of the depths of this man. And it is worse in person…yes, there is a physical attraction that is mutual but unless this man learns to take a risk…to be real…and to reveal even a tiny bit of the depth of his feelings…well….
And Kirsty? She does not regret sharing any of those secrets…or the ones that keep surprising her as much as they do her. Pain slut? She would have never thought it. What other secrets might she learn about herself? Especially as she feels safer and more secure with these guys. And more loved…
Yes, I believe it is possible to actually love someone before you meet them. That is not to say that love will withstand the ‘reality.’ But losing that ‘virtual’ can be almost as painful…after all…it is ‘very close’ and ‘has the essence’ of the ‘real’ thing. But most people on the street can’t tell a quality knock off Prada from the ‘real’ one.
Another of Bjorn’s songs…