Saturday, July 10, 2004

Sometimes you just never know what life will dish out

So I'm goofing around on-line this afternoon when I hear a knock on the door of my ICQ client.

Not that's unusual - I have all for major IM clients (Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ and MSN) and I hear stuff all the time. So I open up ICQ and see someone's name lighting up.

I think it's someone I haven't talked to in a bit so I send the person a message. Turns out the person I thought was on wasn't.

I take another look - and my eyes get THIS BIG!!!

It was an old on-line girlfriend of mine who I hadn't heard from in at least 3-4 years!

When I got my computer, I immediately looked up her old information from ICQ (after downloading ICQ) and put it on my buddy list on there. In the back of my mind, I was hoping someday she'd see it and say hello.

What happened wasn't too far off of what I thought might happen.

I said to her hello and she said hello back. Then I asked her if she remembered my handle from a pioneering chat area called the Webchat Broadcasting System (WBS for short).

Things quickly went uphill from there.

She couldn't even believe it was me at first, that's how excited she was when she realized it was me.

We had always gotten along very well. Even though a lot of my chatting with her (and other friends I had met on-line) was intermittent because I had to use computers in cybercafes and libraries (except for a brief period when my brother and I had a home Internet connection thanks to an old Charter product called WorldGate, which was a lot like what used to be known as WebTV) in those wild, wooly early days of the Internet, every time we saw each other, it was just amazing.

There were times when we just knew what the other was thinking or feeling and found the right words to help each other or make things a lot better.

Then, for whatever reason, I guess we just basically drifted apart, as Internet buddies sometiems do, I suppose. Or, as John Lennon (I believe) once said, real life is what happens when you start making plans (or something along those lines).

But I never forgot about her or never stopped thinking about her, how she was doing, what she was up to. Even though she's married with three kids and I'm still stuck in what seems like almost-terminal bachelorhood, I'd venture to guess we still meant a lot to each other.

Then came today.

It was like old times. The conversations (there were three, as we switched over from ICQ to AIM, then again after she had to leave for a bit) were great. We caught up with each other and found out what we'd been doing the last three years. When I told her about my 2001 knee surgery, I could almost hear a cringe coming from her. When I told her about the things I've gotten involved with, like community radio, the Unitarian Universalist church and the anti-war movement, she sounded very proud of me.

I guess we're still the two same good-natured, big-hearted people we've always been. No matter what happens, this woman will always have a very special place in my heart and soul.

And I bet we'll have a lot more to talk about too - after all, three years IS a long time between conversations!

Like I often say - you just never know where life is going to take you.

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