Author’s note: In the spring of 2004 I had an internet girlfriend. We met at such and such small liberal arts college but only began “dating” shortly after she took leave back home, out of state for a semester. I was ecstatic; my heart soared with hope for the future, with each surprise visit that she made from hundreds of miles away. I was also depressed; mired deep in a depression that demands and exacerbates loneliness in spite of or probably even just because of real feelings of affirmation and companionship. She knew this kind of tension better than I’d thought. The drama (love! sex! secrets! and a surprise twist!) played out over dozens of late night/early morning AOL Instant Messenger chats. What follow are two that I think capture the experience. Names and screen names were changed.
Potsdamerplatz33: ya know. i gotta say.
Potsdamerplatz33: i have been looking forward to this all day.
FioFio5: you took forever getting back
FioFio5: I was waaaaiting
FioFio5: and then you FINALLY appeared!!!
FioFio5: and I was thrilled
Potsdamerplatz33: i’m sorry
Potsdamerplatz33: you shouldnt have had to wait like that
FioFio5: oh please
FioFio5: don’t be sorry
Potsdamerplatz33: now its just how awesome and wonderfully beautiful fiona is, etc, for the rest of the night
FioFio5: oh shush
Potsdamerplatz33: why should i?
FioFio5: how about how you’re brilliant and creative and charming and handsome and sexy and kind and musical and lovely?
FioFio5: I have a vacation next week
FioFio5: starting wednesday or something
FioFio5: it’s really just a long weekend but they call it a vacation
FioFio5: what ever shall I do with my spare time?
Potsdamerplatz33: oooo i dunno maybe visit some friends of yours
FioFio5: but which ones?
Potsdamerplatz33: like up north or somewhere
FioFio5: my friend ben is up north
FioFio5: that’s it
FioFio5: and the ex who called me a cold hearted bitch
Potsdamerplatz33: oooooh ok
Potsdamerplatz33: go visit him
FioFio5: I could go sprinkle fart powder on his pillowcase
Potsdamerplatz33: i cant think anyone would be happier to see you…….
Potsdamerplatz33: except mmmmmaybe me
FioFio5: I suppose I might be interested in visiting yoooooou
FioFio5: although that ex who hates me is very tempting
Potsdamerplatz33: isnt it?
FioFio5: for sure
Potsdamerplatz33: i really dont have much to offer next to that
FioFio5: you don’t hate me or call me nasty names
Potsdamerplatz33: i try i try
FioFio5: let’s see… what DO you do
FioFio5: you tell me beautiful things
FioFio5: and love me
Potsdamerplatz33: thats true
FioFio5: you compliment me
FioFio5: and you put on movies to not watch
FioFio5: and you keep me warm
Potsdamerplatz33: mmmmm hmm
FioFio5: and you make me hot :-X O:-)
FioFio5: and you drink my beer
Potsdamerplatz33: only when you make me
FioFio5: and poison french fries
FioFio5: I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else
FioFio5: other than straight to you
Potsdamerplatz33: see how awesome you are? where else could a guy like me hear that?
FioFio5: a guy like you? you’re exactly the kind of guy a girl would want to run to. you deserve it.
Potsdamerplatz33: someone else said that to me the other night. “you deserve it.” i must have done some great things in my life to deserve all this.
FioFio5: who said that?
FioFio5: and in what context?
Potsdamerplatz33: andrew. when i was fawning over you to him.
FioFio5: you’re just fantastic and honest and real and unique and intelligent and talented with a whole lot of bad times in your past… of course you deserve wonderful things
FioFio5: that was sweet of him
Potsdamerplatz33: well i’m glad i can get past all that shit with you and not alone
FioFio5: you’ve been fawning??
Potsdamerplatz33: um, 3
Potsdamerplatz33: that means yes
FioFio5: I have plenty of stuff that’s not far behind me myself… it’s good to have someone who can understand what it’s like to not be peachy all the time
Potsdamerplatz33: i want you to remember something
Potsdamerplatz33: i know that i’m a pretty depressed person all around. and i’m workin on that, but its gonna take time. and in that time i hope that when i’m sad or mopey or whatever, you dont take it personally. it could never be your fault or your responsibility to take care of everything
FioFio5: I know that all too well
FioFio5: just know that I can empathize with a lot of how you might feel… so feel free to talk with me about anything (and I will with you), because I know how it goes. I’m not going to be a fair-weather girlfriend… I’ll weather it all.
Potsdamerplatz33: thank you
Potsdamerplatz33: this is why its so easy to love you
Potsdamerplatz33: well its one of the reasons
FioFio5: what’s another reason? (yes, this is called “fishing for compliments
Potsdamerplatz33: youre very thoughtful
Potsdamerplatz33: i mean, the gifts and all?
Potsdamerplatz33: coming down here and suprising me
FioFio5: life would be soooooo dull without spontaneity
Potsdamerplatz33: not to mention stunningly beautiful
FioFio5: I can’t help but think that your opinion of me is just a tad bit skewed by your rose-colored glasses
Potsdamerplatz33: no way! youre absurdly sweet. i don’t know how you keep it up.
FioFio5: I yam what I yam
FioFio5: you’re sure one to talk though
FioFio5: you’re incredibly expressive when it comes to how you feel and what you’re thinking
Potsdamerplatz33: i try my best
Potsdamerplatz33: sometimes i feel i could do more though
FioFio5: is that possible?
FioFio5: I think you’re FANTASTIC
Potsdamerplatz33: thank you baby
Potsdamerplatz33: you make me feel fantastic
FioFio5: you know
FioFio5: I’ve always thought “baby” was a silly petname, and never understood why people used it. But for some reason, when you say it, I just smile and get all warm and fuzzy,
Potsdamerplatz33: i mean, its not as good as a real pet name, but sometimes its just what comes to mind
FioFio5: people around campus are saying that you’re like a totally different person
Potsdamerplatz33: yeah i guess so
Potsdamerplatz33: people like who?
FioFio5: no one
FioFio5: they say you’re happy
FioFio5: and you smile
FioFio5: and laugh
FioFio5: and your eyes are bright
Potsdamerplatz33: i can feel itr
FioFio5: and that seeing you so happy makes them happy
Potsdamerplatz33: who says?
FioFio5: I cannot say
Potsdamerplatz33: why not
Potsdamerplatz33: we can trade information
FioFio5: he hee
FioFio5: Caron and Matt
Potsdamerplatz33: ok ok
Potsdamerplatz33: they say it to me too, theres no secret there
FioFio5: I’m sure they do
FioFio5: but it was more exciting for you to not know, wasn’t it
Potsdamerplatz33: if my exciting you mean excruciating
FioFio5: well, it was more fun for me :-)
Potsdamerplatz33: i hope your friends are fed up with yer cheeriness by now too
FioFio5: they’re nauseated
FioFio5: green with envy too
FioFio5: I got no mail today… so sad
Potsdamerplatz33: even more liklely you’ll have something tomorrow, no?
FioFio5: I suppose sooo
FioFio5: it’s certainly exciting to think about it
FioFio5: what is coming to me?
Potsdamerplatz33: a piece of mail
FioFio5: I love you, but if I could reach you, I’d POKE you
Potsdamerplatz33: no no
Potsdamerplatz33: dont do that
FioFio5: well, okay
Potsdamerplatz33: unless its a playful poke
FioFio5: only because if I could reach you, I;d be too busy doing other things to you to poke you
Potsdamerplatz33: oh really
Potsdamerplatz33: is that sooooo
FioFio5: oh YEAH
Potsdamerplatz33: like what? readin the newspaper?
Potsdamerplatz33: doin a crossword maybe
FioFio5: reading the paper to you? well, that is something I would do… but not what I was thinking of
Potsdamerplatz33: ah, it is the crossword
FioFio5: I’ve sworn off of them for at least a day
FioFio5: the kind of things I was thinking of don’t require electricity or pens or pencils or anything
Potsdamerplatz33: i got it
FioFio5: first I’d hug you
FioFio5: then I’d kiss you
FioFio5: and then I’d hug AND kiss you
FioFio5: and then I’d kiss your cheek
FioFio5: then your neck
FioFio5: then aaaall over your neck
FioFio5: and you’d start feeling warm all over
FioFio5: and I would too
FioFio5: and you’d be kissing me
Potsdamerplatz33: i sure would
FioFio5: and and
FioFio5: I’d get all “slippery between my legs”
FioFio5: as miss C would put it
FioFio5: haha did you like her poem?
Potsdamerplatz33: its ncie
FioFio5: Caron just called me a sex fiend
FioFio5: haha I told her I liked hot sex
FioFio5: but gosh, I’m only a 9 out of 10
FioFio5: I can’t be a FIEND
FioFio5: that’s YOU
Potsdamerplatz33: that was pretty hot just a minute ago though. but yeah, i am a 10, i have a rep to keep up.
FioFio5: you sure do
FioFio5: oh right
FioFio5: so I was kissing your neck
FioFio5: and then I moved the kisses along your collarbone
FioFio5: until I got to your shoulder
FioFio5: then I pushed you onto your back, hard down on the bd
FioFio5: straddled your hip and ran my hands up your chest while staring into your eyes
FioFio5: when they get up to your shoulders, I lean in, letting my breath mingle with yours and my hair brush your cheek
FioFio5: you try to strain up to catch a kiss, but I move away and press my lips in a series of kisses along the hairline at your temple
FioFio5: your right temple, that is
FioFio5: and then I move them down your jawline, to the tip of your chin, then leave hot, wet kisses down the front of your neck
FioFio5: of course, I have been straddling you, and I can feel you’re getting pretty excited
FioFio5: and while I’m kissing your nexk
Potsdamerplatz33: mm hmmm
Potsdamerplatz33: what can i say? it feels so damn good.
FioFio5: you decide to take control
FioFio5: and you flip me off you and over
FioFio5: and then I have no idea what happens, since it’s your move
Potsdamerplatz33: well youve been doin enough teasing for a little while
FioFio5: yeah, I guess I can be a bit of a tease
Potsdamerplatz33: so i start my holding you by the spot on your thigh with my right, lifting you up with my left, and get that loooooong wet kiss on your lips ive been waiting for
Potsdamerplatz33: just the one, but I lay you back down and quickly kiss you once more on the corner of your mouth
FioFio5: which means I must have laughed
FioFio5: since that’s what I do when you do that
Potsdamerplatz33: you sure do
Potsdamerplatz33: time to scooch down a little bit
Potsdamerplatz33: so i start to lightly kiss down the middle of your neck, languishing where it meets your chest
Potsdamerplatz33: my favorite
Potsdamerplatz33: mm hmm
Potsdamerplatz33: then further down your chest. right between your breasts. i feel them against my sideburns while i kiss you.
FioFio5: hee hee
FioFio5: I bet it tickles
Potsdamerplatz33: does it?
FioFio5: or for sure
FioFio5: took me long enough to type a stupid two letter word
FioFio5: weren’t you supposed to be going to bed early tonight?
Potsdamerplatz33: holy crap
FioFio5: you seem to have become distracted
Potsdamerplatz33: a little bit
FioFio5: this is what happens when someone kisses your neck
Potsdamerplatz33: i know. dont be tellin just anyone about that. its like kryptonite to me.
FioFio5: haha I won’t tell
Potsdamerplatz33: but i gotta go…..as much as i wanna finish this
FioFio5: I know
FioFio5: I can’t believe I typed things like that anyway
FioFio5: it’s somewhat unlike me
Potsdamerplatz33: i liked it
FioFio5: I did too
FioFio5: I just feel horrible for keeping you up so late when you have class tomorrow
FioFio5: I don’t want to affect your grades
Potsdamerplatz33: you can feel great about making me feel amazing
FioFio5: I know
FioFio5: but I won’t feel great if you fail out
Potsdamerplatz33: and letting me have someone to talk to for hours and love every second of it
Potsdamerplatz33: have a little faith
Potsdamerplatz33: i got all my work done
Potsdamerplatz33: i can’t wait to chat again
Potsdamerplatz33: i love you
FioFio5: I love you so much
Potsdamerplatz33: goodnight sweetheart
FioFio5: ‘night, love