At first, when two people begin ‘speaking’ on the internet, something quite curious happens. They often establish a connection, a bond that is often deeper then they would in person. They are completely safe in their anonymity. They are virtually unafraid and have no need to hide. Being that they came here because they wanted to want to ‘fall in love’, they are also ready to open their hearts. Fingers fly across keyboards as souls squeeze to fit themselves into empty white boxes on the screen.
Let me tell you who I am, let me read you, see you, breathe you. Type to me!
So two people begin speaking to one another in complete safety, without love-blocking fear, and with a true desire to love and be loved. Not surprisingly, they tend to ‘fill in the blanks’ about one another while sometimes exaggerating their best points and playing down their ‘warts and baggage.’
Attractive? Well I am often told I am pretty. Athletic? I suppose, like everyone, I could afford to lose a few pounds. My Ex? We have our problems but we get along as well as can be expected.
It’s not long before they realize (or decide) that they’ve met someone they can really love. They’ve shared their deepest secrets and not been judged. They have finally been completely understood and accepted unconditionally. They are, in every way they’ve spoken about, everything they’re both looking for. Something lovely always happens when two people, any two people, open their hearts to one another. It’s not something we often feel safe enough to do.
If I cannot see your eyes, then I can tell you anything.
Then the anticipation begins. Sweet, hot, heart pounding anticipation. This is what you wanted to feel. This is what you came for… and the meeting, the moment, is only a few ticks away.
… tick …
… tick …
… tick …
The clocks run slowly as the moments slog by, mired in sticky black molasses.
Finally the morning of the long awaited day comes. You open your eyes to a sun that is, perhaps, a little brighter today. The cool sheets feel luxurious and soft against your tingling skin. Perhaps you stretch in bed and feel the firm muscles that are soon to be appreciated again. You know, in your bones, that you’re about to meet your soul mate… that your life is about to turn a corner that you’ve been crawling towards for a long, long, time. You wanted to be here so badly. Relief that the search is over and now the work of ‘relationship’ can begin. It’s not easy work, you admit, but at least you don’t have to do it alone.
Then, suddenly, you turn the corner and there she is, or he is.
You let your breath out, not realizing you were holding it. A drop of sweat turns cold in your armpit. The backs of your eyes feel warm, and your throat dry. Your lips part and the moment is wrapped in complete silence. A pause, a heartbeat and you look into the eyes of…
… a stranger.
… someone you’ve never met but who you thought you knew, wished you knew.
… a different face, even if you had burned their picture into memory.
In a heartbeat your two-dimensional fantasy bursts into life, and of course, it’s not exactly as you imagined it.
It becomes apparent, sometimes slowly, that your on-line lover was merely a mirror. The love you felt was the love of being in love. This person sitting across from you, although you know a great deal about them, is a soul you’ve never met before.
And, of course, they pale before your fantasy, as any human would.
So from here we go wherever we will — having little to do with what’s come before. We’ll talk as if we’ve never met, laughing, perhaps, as we realize we already knew that.
Would you like to go for a walk, my dear, under the stars and the bright moonlight? I know how you love the beach and the waves and perhaps I’ll kiss you a time or two. I’ll hold you like you love to be held, stroking your hair with my fingertips. Will you gaze into my eyes with the loving looks you’ve been longing for?
Alas, No thanks, you’re too short. Goodbye.
So, it’s back to my keyboard, like the gambler who puts his last coin in the slot, squeezes his eyes shut, pulls the lever, and whispers “Maybe this time…”