In the beginning of May, Cugan finally found a job (having been out of one for a few months), which would start at the end of May, and needed to move to Fond du Lac.
Near the end of the school year, the forums were fun because The Elite Lamer had his own forum. It was about conspiracies in government and everywhere else.
I had fun reading it and then debunking and disagreeing with what he posted. But did this annoy him? Did this upset him? No.
To my amusement, he loved to talk to me in tele and Farwest Trivia, and said he liked my style. I had fun talking with him, and whenever he came into tele or Trivia I greeted him with, “Hey, The!”
This was how the Owl’s Nest BBS used to greet me each day, as I mentioned here. Now, I gave The Elite Lamer, or TEL, the same treatment.
He was sad when it was time for me to graduate and give up TCB until AOL finally put in the promised Telnet (which it was supposed to have installed months before and never did until after I needed it.)
TEL and others told me I could Telnet in because TCB was going on the Internet. I’d never heard of Telnet, so they explained it. I could log in to out-of-state BBS’s without paying long-distance charges!
For a few weeks, someone with the handle “Jesus Christ” and someone with the handle “Satan” (Nobody, I believe) began coming on TCB. It was endless amusement for Sharon and me when they both came into teleconference. They even had a mock war.
Whenever “Jesus Christ” came into tele, I typed, “Hello, Lord!” and sometimes cyber-bowed to him. Others did similar things.
Then there was Aahz, who read many of the same books I did but was into outdoor activities. We probably got to talking when I recognized his handle from a character in the MythAdventures fantasy-comedy series.
He loved having intellectual conversations with me. Though only about twenty, he considered himself grown-up because he already had to wonder where all the money for his bills was coming from.
I became a huge flirt online, flirting with Ish and others and even using the adult action words at times. I loved double entendre and innuendo. Sharon called me a cyberslut, but I just laughed. This online flirt still, to this day, comes out now and then.
After having been called “negative” by Shawn, I finally had poetic justice: First, James called Persephone, not me, the most negative person he’d ever meant. As far as I could tell, he didn’t hate me, so he must not have thought I was so very negative. Second, I met Cugan and became “the happy cell” in the couple.
I was the bright one, the light one, Cugan the dark one. He’d be pessimistic and I’d be optimistic; he was dark-colored and I was light-colored. It was like we were two of the same person, with certain differences that made me “light” and him “dark.” It amused me.
What Shawn called negativity proved to be not disposition, but circumstances. Who wouldn’t be negative while being depressed? Did he expect me to get up and smile and dance around when my life seemed to crumble around me?
Sure, Cugan was difficult at times, but the difference was, he knew it. If he did something that may have hurt someone’s feelings, he felt bad about it. He knew he had a temper, and admitted it got him into trouble.
He wasn’t like Phil, who didn’t recognize that what he did wasn’t right. You could actually talk to Cugan. Things could actually get better with him, not worse. We learned how to communicate.
One evening, I came online and found Crash Helmet, my ex Phil.
Somehow, we began paging each other. Maybe “Crash” figured out who I was and paged me. I don’t remember how or why our conversation started.
But I wanted to show him I’d moved on–and make sure he had not slept with anyone else in the two weeks before we got back together last September. You know, because of possible STDs. He said he had not.
I told him about all my men since Charles: Stimpy, Cugan, Speaker (I accidentally told him I met Speaker, which was supposed to be a secret, then told him to forget that), Brad, maybe even the Vampire.
Yes, I was boasting, but after the way he treated me, I didn’t want him to think I was sitting around lonely, waiting for his return. I told him that Cugan left, but came back three days later.
I wrote, “I heard your minivan died. How do you get around?” Persephone had told me this.
I believe Dave now had to cart him around, just as he once had to cart Dave around. I remembered how much he hated having to drive Dave around when Dave lost his license over a DUI.
He wrote, “It’s so good to talk to you again.”
I don’t think I said much to that.
He must have also mentioned that he still had some of my character sheets, because after this I found him in the Pub one day to ask him about them. I think Dave was nearby. Did his eyes bulge out of his sockets to see me talking to Phil?
Phil sat by the pool tables. I walked up to him, a confident, dignified, businesslike air about me. I was so over him that I had been with another man the night before. His claws were finally out of me.
He smiled and called me N.M., an old nickname, probably taken from the signature to one of the letters I sent him in the fall. He didn’t have the sheets with him, but said he’d get them to me. I took my leave and walked away.
He didn’t get them to me until just before Christmas: He showed up unannounced in the parking lot of my apartment building just as Cugan and I packed the car to visit Cugan’s parents. I was startled, Cugan was annoyed, and Phil left soon after.
On Thursday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m., I went to the annual Honors Convocation. I got a ticket for Cugan before we broke up, wondered what to do with it after we broke up, and now he went. In fact, I asked him once, after the breakup, what to do about the ticket, and he said he would still go.
This was semi-formal. We sat across from Anna, so she met my man.
As far as I know, Phil was still in the Core program and Persephone probably was as well, but I don’t remember seeing either of them. If I did, it must have been insignificant for me to not remember it at all.
Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)
Table of Contents
December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
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
June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:
July & August 1994: