AT THE cafe, she sat almost night after night. She had to be with him if only for a moment. He had become an addiction but she was too blind to see that. She had given up night-outs with her friends, conversations over coffee, walks at the park she so frequented before.
She can’t remember the details of their first meeting. That was a long, long time ago and it all happened by accident. Synchronicity, that’s what he called it when she started to rattle about fate. He politely said, “ It was synchronicity not fate that brought us together on the net…”
Their story began on December 1, 1999. She remembered that very well because it was her birthday the following day and she promised to chat with him only to realize that wasn’t possible. On her birthday she needed to be with her friends, lest they would accuse her of having an anti-social episode again. But she found a means to be with him as she would often do for the days and weeks to come.
12/4/99 9:15 PM
Bear: Ever heard of remote viewing, Kristine?
9:17 PM Kristine: Nope…
9:20 PM Bear: During the cold war, US and Russia trained spies, only these didn’t have to be on location… they used the remote viewing techniques in order to KNOW things, without actually going to the states or Russia. You could call it ‘mental spying’. It’s really hard to understand unless you’re into it yourself…
9:27 PM Kristine: Tell me more about this remote viewing thing…
9:30 PM Bear: Well, all you have to do is find a comfortable position and achieve the theta state. Make sure though, that you don’t get sucked into the delta state. You don’t wanna fall asleep while you rv. I usually do it lying down…
9:36 PM Bear: Tell you what. I’m going to rv and see a mental pic of you. Did that freak you out?
9:41 PM Kristine: No, that didn’t freak me out. This is really interesting!!!
9:43 PM Bear: That’s one cool lady I’m talking to :)))
They lived quite apart, he and she. Between them was the vast South China Sea. But that was the beauty of the internet; it connected people from across the globe.
But he was one race and she, another. They were two races speaking the same tongue. That was all.
His details didn’t give much away. The meager information he provided about himself consisted of his name which was not even complete, his nickname which nobody uses, his e-mail address and his ICQ number. His age and gender he only provided on that one day he decided to open his ICQ for random chat.
Her details didn’t give much away, as well; the only information exasperatingly meager: just her e-mail address. No ASL. That, too, was the beauty of the internet. It can give you a welcome anonimity; you can get lost in it, wander in its extent, be as unbridled as you want to be. And when the time comes to log off, the truth stares at you right in the face: it could have been a night-out with friends, a conversation over coffee, a walk in the park. But here was an addiction, after all, and it knows no reason, no excuse. So she gave up those that made her a social being and replaced them with technology, no matter that this technology enclosed her in a shell she shared with one she only knew to be Bear.
7:08 PM Kristine: hey, Bear! You online?
7:14 PM Bear: Damn glad to hear from you, Kristine! How have you been?
7:16 PM Kristine: Been feeling down lately. I’m running a fever and my head is killing me…
7:19 PM Bear: You know how these things go more than I do so I won’t tell you to rest and take your medicine and all that BS…
7:20 PM Kristine: =)))
7:22 PM Bear: Yeah, you do look sick today :))
7:25 PM Kristine: So, how’s the mental pic going?
7:27 PM Bear: Why do moles or freckles keep coming to me? Do you have them?
7:30 PM Kristine: You had my jaw drop there!!! They’re actually moles not freckles and yeah, do have lots of them!!! What else do you see???
7:35 PM Bear: So, I’m right on the money, huh?!!! It’s a little difficult considering I only have your name to start with. But I’m seeing close, cropped hair, prominent nose bridge, you may be wearing contacts, you’re about 5’3” so you might have to tilt your head a little to look at me, but we could always sit and chit chat!
7:41 PM Kristine: Well, I’m not wearing contacts but I do need them… and 5’3”!!! Where did you get that?
7:42 PM Kristine: But it’s not fair that you see me in your mind’s eye and I don’t see you at all :(
7:45 PM Bear: You would too once you’re into it… You forget, I see you, Kristine, in my mind’s eye… Tell you what, I’m going to make a sketch of you in charcoal and you tell me if I’m close…
She would go to the cybercafe, the only world she knew next to the classroom. She was becoming more and more withdrawn. She has not spoken to Ellen, her best friend, for days, never phoned her mother, refused to speak with her room mate, whose futile attempts at conversation has now been reduced to lifting an eyebrow.
7:39 PM Kristine: Do you believe in fate, Bear?
8:10 PM Bear: Hey, Kristine! You still at the cafe? What’s with the fate thing?
8:12 PM Kristine: Hey, Bear! Nice to hear from you at last! Nothing. I was just repeating a line from the Matrix…
8:15 PM Bear: So you did watch the movie, huh? How was it?
8:21 PM Kristine: Cool! As I told you before, it’s a re-issue; it’s been shown before and my friends have seen it. I had to bribe them to make them see the movie with me…
8:27 PM Bear: Bribe? What did you do???
8:30 PM Kristine: Subsidized their ticket, 50%. Don’t have any regrets, though, it was worth every penny…
8:36 PM Kristine: Well, do you believe in fate?
8:42 PM Bear: No. I don’t like the idea of not being in control… That was Neo’s answer was it not? Synchronicity is the more appropriate word. It was synchronicity not fate, that brought us together on the net… Do you believe in fate, Kristine?
8:48 PM Kristine: I do believe in fate, but don’t ask me why because I have no reason to give you… I just do…
(To be continued)