At night after work I drift into my usual routine of searching girls on the Net. I sit in my usual chair and look into the glazy maze of lights on the computer screen, my hand wrapped around one of the evening’s many beers.
Lives cross and uncross and even merge in this singles Internet world. I begin to look back at a not-so-distant time when the adventures of life were as fresh as the next morning’s bread. I was looking forward to when my next ‘real’ life could begin.
I don’t need any nudging to find love on the Internet. But I know that the leaning back, the straining forward, the gibberish and gobbledegook will stop after a few hours when irritability turns to sleepiness and drink-affected sleep beckons. But perhaps it won’t be like that tonight. I might fall asleep content, even feeling a little bit merry about a star on the horizon. Maybe this will be one of those nights I look back on in years to come. So I sit in silence, an almost childlike fascination written on my face. Then as I stretch my head I notice a food stain on my jumper from my previous evening’s meal and laugh it off. I hear the heavens draining and I turn to my window, suddenly feeling cold.
The MSN blip trumpets me back to life with the realisation that someone else is there.
My feeling of coldness ends as abruptly as it came. I raise my eyes to the screen and stare at a young girl. All of twenty-two years of age, she has short cropped black hair, white skin and large dark brown eyes. She smiles at me, her scarlet lips showing her white even teeth. The sort of girl you dream of bringing home to meet Mum. Even though I am thirty years old, I think Mum would be awfully proud. Not of me, mind you, but this sweet-hearted, good-natured girl called Bindi.
This is my world.
This world’s function really is to be the repository for emotions that I don’t know what to do with. It will also bring people alive who can become the recipients of these feelings. But I don’t know that now.
Bindi takes a lot of getting to know. There are some girls who take about two hours of consistent chatting to drop the question, “Hey would you like to run into one another one day?” I got that line from a girl who actually asked me out on a date, so I won’t forget those words too quickly. However, Bindi, who is twenty-two going on fifty-two, scoots around the question like a savvy politician.
“I want to chat more before meeting you. It took me three years to feel comfortable enough to open up to my girlfriend and yet you and I have only been chatting for a week.”
“Oh no!” I thought. This was the bombshell that blasted any hope of meeting this girl within the football season.
But the story of Bindi and me doesn’t end there.
The story goes much deeper. I have fared well from making mistakes and fortunately I am still around to tell you this. We can make carefree assumptions about who we think people are and what makes them tick, all the while ignorant of their history. In the case of Belinda, for instance, she was careful because she had a stalker.
| Session Start: Saturday, 1 January 2005
| Matthew (learners realm)
| Bindi (in need of intellectuals)
[08:51:56 PM] Bindi: The reason why I’m so hesitant to meet people and why I don’t give out much information about Me? I chatted to someone online for a while … Who I never saw a picture of … and he decided he was going to visit me at work … not that I knew he was there … but he took great delight in ‘stalking’ me.
[08:52:10 PM] Matthew: Oh shit!
[08:52:19 PM] Matthew: How did you know?
[08:52:30 PM] Bindi: Because he would send me sms’s and tell me online. Exactly what I was wearing at work that day, who I was working with.
[08:52:51 PM] Bindi: He knew their names and what time I was working.
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