In High School you had good friends, and even though its embarrassing to admit most of your female friends kind of treated you like a Brother, or even worse as basically “One of the Girls”. They just didn’t see you in the same way they see other guys. At times this is both a Blessing and a Curse.
You have known what its like to love someone, that will never love you back.
At times Life will convince you that there is something wrong with you if you are alone. When you feel like this loneliness is a rock crushing you. During the worst times like this I often would go to a particular friend and ask if they could see “someone” caring for me that way in the future. They would say the “right” words, and try to be supportive. But knowing them as well as I did I began to see that honestly they believed I would always be alone. This just made the rock seem so much larger. But for a while I have to believe the kind lies, just to survive.
A Boy / Man just finishing University, never really been kissed, never had a Girlfriend. Happy most days, but definitely feeling that something is missing and with no idea how to find it. So you just keep moving forward, not at all sure you are moving in the right direction.
Uni is finished now, and the job hunt begins. Initially the newness of this and your hopes for the future sweep all other things aside. As a way of relaxing you find IRC, a way of talking to people from anywhere in the world. And the best thing is that within this virtual world you can be anyone you want to be. People will only know what you decide to tell them, and you can be the things you are afraid of in the “Real World”.
As the job hunting moves from weeks to months, with many positive interviews not leading to results, you find that you are leading a double life. One your day life, where you are doing everything possible to get that first job. And the other a night life in front of a computer where anything is possible, and you are escaping this growing dread that no matter how hard you have worked, or what you have achieved. It may all be for nothing.
Sleep becomes a thing to resist as much as possible.
In your night life you also find that there is no more of this being treated as a Brother, or as “One of the Girls”. Here are Girls / Women who will treat you in the ways that you imagine most other guys are treated. You also realise that your female friends have given you an insight into connecting with a possible partner that most Guys just don’t see.
Initially you build an entirely fictional personality, and try and pass this off as the real you. Someone who walk, runs, and is physically capable in a way the real you has never been.
Initially this feels like freedom. But a there is a whispering voice challenging you as your lies get more elaborate and hard to keep track of. You are connecting with people, but as this construct not the real you.
Eventually things come to a head, and the lies are getting a life of their own. It has to stop. You confide in one of your online friends, admitting what you have done. It doesn’t go well. With lightning speed soon everyone in your little corner of the IRC virtual world seems to know what you have done. For a few days you struggle on hoping it will blow over. But people just keep getting nastier, and now complete strangers whom you believe you have never spoken to are being free with their opinions.
So with a heavy heart, you decide that its time for digital identity to die. At the time you think you are done with IRC and your night life for good …