One day, Speaker offered to let me use his alternate screen name, Alone. He didn’t let everyone know it was his account, so I could be incognito that way. I think I was out of hours and he wanted to keep talking to me. He even trusted me enough to give me his password.
While I was in teleconference with Speaker and Krafter and probably others, Nobody came in and began to troll, which is cyberspeak for stirring up trouble, giving out insults, trying to start arguments, etc.
He told all the people in tele how sad it was that they were on the computer on a Saturday, and to get a life. (Yet he was in tele on a Saturday, too! And I know I had a life, one that existed long before we got the modem.)
Pearl or Sharon was watching at the time. I posted that he probably said all these things because he had no girlfriend. He said to me, “And what about you, ALONE?” But that didn’t bother me because I had a boyfriend. Speaker wasn’t sure he liked my comment, though, because he had no girlfriend, either.
Nobody trolled some more, getting everybody mad, until all of a sudden he disappeared from tele: Krafter killed his connection. He was now banned from TCB for a time, though he came on again soon with a new screen name (I believe he was Sub-Zero).
Along with my other usual online exclamations, I now included, “Purrr…<lick!>” Guys weren’t always sure quite how to take that. 🙂
I also “nuzzled” Speaker and Stimpy. This was my own action word, made by typing “ga is nuzzling Speaker.”
The “ga” stands for “global action.” Whatever you typed after “ga” showed up onscreen after your name, just as you typed it. My ga showed up as, “Nyssa Of Traken is nuzzling Speaker.” Misty also popularized this: “ga is innocent.” This was especially funny because we knew he was not innocent. I and others also liked to type “ga is innocent.”
Oftentimes in tele, I said I was Nyssie, the Loch Nyss Monster–“but a cute monster!” Stimpy typed, “I’ll say!”
One popular expression among TCB users was “doh!” It was generally used in Farwest Trivia when someone didn’t answer a trivia question for one reason or another. I began to use it online after a while, and I think my roommates did as well.
My roommies and I helped each other out in Farwest Trivia. Also, Ish told Pearl once that the answers to the music questions were generally the Bee Gees or the Beatles, and he seemed to be right.
Krafter paid for the first month on TCB ($5) for both Sharon and me. Now that he was dating Sharon, he still paid for her, though I didn’t expect the same and paid my own fees.
Catherine and I went to lunch together every Wednesday and Friday after Chaucer. Usually the first ones to get to the cafeteria, we’d talk about such things as Chaucer, the ridiculous sex scenes in the bodice-rippers she kept reading, Cugan, and Stimpy.
Charles often joined us later on. Catherine flirted with him as if he were a stud. He looked at her strangely because she was married.
But it was all just fun and games with her, lots of raunchy humor but nothing meant seriously. She did this to all the guys, and enjoyed their discomfort.
I believe this was my first introduction to the concept that heavy flirting can be harmless even when you’re married.
With all the guys now in my life, I told Charles and Pearl once that I was having more fun now than I did when I was engaged.
Catherine wrote a story about Cugan and me in the style of her bodice-ripper romance novels: “The Coy Mistress.” I couldn’t believe what she wrote. Yes, there was a sex scene. I can’t imagine writing something that explicit about my own friends.
One evening, Stubby drove Stimpy and me to his house for a Beavis and Butthead party. Though I used to hate the show, Phil got me into it. For a while, it probably reminded me of him. But now, watching it with Stimpy and attaching new memories to it, I liked it even more. I also loved being the only girl in a room full of guys.
Stubby said he was engaged to a girl from Indiana whom he’d met online but never seen in person. We thought he was crazy. Stimpy said when he saw her picture, “How do you know this is really her picture and not her daughter’s or her niece’s? How do you know she told you the truth about her age?”
Stubby was supposed to go meet her at some point. I don’t know how the whole thing turned out, if he ever actually married the girl.
Once, Stimpy and I were in Teleconference, cuddling and kissing and all that, when all of a sudden, Crystal Dragon hosed us off.
One night, with Krafter, Stimpy and Randy at the apartment with all of us roommies, we watched The Lion King and my copy of Wayne’s World. My youngest brother gave me World for Christmas a year or two before, but I’d been saving it, waiting to watch it when all my friends were together. This was the perfect time.
Now that I could hear everything and had my friends around me, I could enjoy it and realize it actually was funny. My first time was at the Zeta party, when I was uncomfortably shy and could not hear the words. Several of my friends saw it in the theaters, so it was the second time for them, as well.
Stimpy was only nineteen. I hadn’t dated someone that much younger before, unless you count Aaron in Sunday School when I was 5 and he was maybe 3 or 4. It was only two years’ difference, but when you’re twenty-one, that seems like a lot.
Sharon was seeing Krafter, a whole five years older than she. That was unbelievable. Even the Vampire, at only four years older, seemed like an old man. Charles seemed old, too, though not as much.
In college, just as in adolescence, even one year’s difference seems like a lot. Cugan was twenty-seven, making him seem positively ancient.
People online joked about computer geeks, and I said, “I like geeks.” I wasn’t one myself–I didn’t sit around talking about computer programming languages and the latest upgrades–but I liked geeks. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have liked Krafter or Stimpy, and I thought they were cool.
Ish Kabibble was a cool guy of about 33, generally regarded as the nicest guy online. Even the trolls Avenger and Lima liked to talk to him.
One day, he said he found an obituary saying Ish Kabibble had died. Now, for him, “Ish Kabibble” was some nonsense word that popped into his head when he chose his handle. It turned out to be the name of a comedian. It was weird to see his own obituary. (The comedian died on June 5, 1994.)
Turtle, a teenager and jailbait, had an obvious crush on him, and made passes at him whenever she found him online. Ish, of course, didn’t encourage her, but it amused him.
Ish, on the other hand, met Pearl online and wanted to meet her in real life. Pearl didn’t know what to think. He was much older, and she didn’t know what he looked like or what he was like in person.
Table of Contents
- Meet the Suite
- Meeting Shawn–and a Ninja
- Campus Stories, Wisconsin, Campus Radio Station
- Campus, People, First College Boyfriend
- Dating a Ninja
March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?
April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign
October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:
Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams
- Classmate a stand-in for “Rudy”; Jigging at College Dance
- Library Tales
- Happiness Returns
- Living with Friends in Krueger
- Funny Library Stories
- Shawn Calls
- Psycho Roommates and Bug Wars
- Return of Rick
- Adjusting to New Dorm
- Spitball-Throwing Teacher
- Rat-Obsessed Teacher and Doctor Zhivago
- A Teacher Dated a Student; InterVarsity Fun
- Charlie Peacock Concert
- Random Stories
- Letter to Shawn
- Erotic Vampire Dream (Inspiration for Alexander Boa)
- I Ask Out James
- Peter Calls!
- The Fateful First Meeting of Phil
- The Birth of Dolphin Philosophy
- Our Group of Friends Splits Apart
- Spring Classes
- Big Red Flag: Phil’s Dysfunctional Family Life
- The Drunken Stork (Phil’s Controlling Nature Manifests)
- Idealizing Phase and Early Sign of Control
- Phil Tries to Control my Friendships, Unfair Accusations from his Dad and Brother
- Phil Gaslights Me with Fake Dreams, Ridicule and Psychological Abuse
- Another Pre-Engagement
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
- The Abuse Worsens in the Summer of Hell
- Phil rapes me anally
- Phil tries to control me through refusing everything I want–even proper hygiene
- Phil’s cruel hoax on me: his “subconscious” coming out to be with me
- Phil’s “subconscious” explains why he’s coming out to talk to me
- The lies unravel as Phil admits to conning me; also, fright as my periods turn wacky
- How Phil’s behavior fit the signs of abuse
- Phil Mindscrews Me: changes history, blames me for things that were not my fault, treats me like an idiot during games
- Phil says if he abuses me, it takes two people to sign the divorce papers
- Pearl reveals that Phil is costing me social invitations
- Hints that Phil is checking out of the marriage
September 1994–Divorce: The Long, Dark, Painful Tunnel:
- Phil picks fights and avoids responsibilities to make me feel like a shrew
- My husband Phil, Dave and Pearl call me a party pooper for getting a Grade II concussion
- I’m ecstatic to be back with my friends (the ones Phil hates); I meet Charles
- Phil vanishes without a word of why
- Phil wants a divorce
- My friends tells me that Phil is controlling and possessive
- My first Pentecostal church service: They speak in tongues
- Phil refuses to accept responsibility for the divorce
- Phil cuts off contact
- Attack of Phil’s Flying Monkey and Sycophant: Dirk
- Phil the narcissist admits to manipulating people and using them as pawns in his game with me
- Phil comes crawling back to me–and we put our marriage on paper
- Phil demands my complete submission and forces me into oral sex–and my will is broken, for fear he’ll divorce me again
- Phil walks away from me again–because I dare to have my own mind, opinions and needs–and because he’s a sociopath
- Fierce anger against Phil and PTSD from the abuse
- My friends tell me Phil is psychotic
- “Soul Ties”
- I return Phil’s things and he skewers me; consolation from friends
- My letter to Phil
- Phil shows my letter to his friends; I’m triggered by reminder of forced oral sex
- I start dating Charles
- Friends tell me Phil is controlling
- I feel stalked by Phil
- Poem about being stalked by Phil
- Fury at Phil stalking me and rubbing my face in his new relationship
- A Date with the Vampire
- Celtic Class: Knotwork, Tin Whistles, SCA–and Drinking from a Skull
- The Teddy-O Incident; Birth of These Memoirs
- We Hook Up to the Internet–and Shawn Fixates on My Sex Life
- New Guy Begging at My Feet
- Life on TCB
- Meeting Cugan (Hubby)
- Learning my ex Peter was a love-fraud; New Men
- Before Tracy, There Was the Avenger (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 1)
- Torn between three men as Catherine pushes me toward Cugan
- The Love Rectangle
- Torn between FIVE men! Me?
- Persephone’s Own Outrageous Stories of Phil’s Abuse
- College-style living
- Online Shenanigans
- Phil Finds TCB; Meeting a Hit Man
- Gypsy’s Party: Healed friendship with Peter
- The Avenger Starts a Flame War (Sociopathic Female Bullies Pt 2)
- Meeting the elusive Speaker
- First Date with Future Hubby Cugan
- On Breaking Up with Kindness
- Loony Roommies and Flying Gargoyles
- The Goddess of Pleasure and Salt
- A Conversation with Oscar Wilde
- My First SCA Event
- Cugan: a vast improvement over Phil
- Easter with Cugan’s family and SCA
- Cugan breaks up with me
- After breakup: Phil’s return and trolls
- Cugan comes back
- SCA hippies; college senioritis: anxiety!
- Or should I move back in with my parents?
- Peace with Phil
- Defending my Thesis; Graduating with Honors
- Graduation: Trapped at school
- Epilogue and Apology from Phil