Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Family Reunion and Unsatisfactory Phone Call

Written 24 April, 2007

Family Reunion and Unsatisfactory Phone Call

It was my first family reunion in Second Life.

Actually, it might more properly be termed a union, as it was the first time some of us had actually met.

My brother Mordecai Scaggs asked me and his other two sisters (Sorcha and Aurora) to his airship, the Prometheus, to hang out and get to know his new friend and ward (Kacy Despes) a little better.

I went, but soon had to leave (Chey stayed, sitting in an easy chair, but her human walked downstairs so as not to be distracted by on-screen antics). It was a good thing, too, for her mischievous siblings planted a Make Love Not War sign in the chair with her and proceeded to bounce around in front of her on black-and-white spotted musical cows (no, I’m not kidding) while wearing Carmen Miranda’s castoff fruit hats on their heads.

I think I set the tone earlier when I suggested we push Kacy’s avatar out the window when she had to BRB. I only got what I deserved.

But I didn’t find out this silliness until later, for I was dutifully downstairs, talking to my friend—the same friend to whom I was rude a couple of weeks ago by allowing myself to be distracted by Second Life. I had even gotten off the phone with Sweetie, who was having a hard day, to talk to her.

The call started out well enough. We caught up on news and forthcoming conferences—and then the conversation turned to Sweetie, and from there to “my fantasy world.”

Try as I might, I’m unable to make my friend see that the world we call real is itself a fantasy, and that interactions between avatars are just as real as interactions between physical bodies that don’t really match who a person is inside anyway. And so SL is my fantasy world, filled with imaginary people.

It doesn’t matter than the people in SL are real enough, and that she had herself just met in person one of my Second Life friends. It’s all imaginary, and she is worried about me because I spend so much time there, and all we talk about anymore is Second Life, and she isn’t going to be in Second Life and so our friendship will change—which means, I’m sure, that it will lessen.

The problem with this was that for a change I wasn’t talking about Second Life. As I recall, she brought it, and my developing relationship with Sweetie, up. And so much for not ending sentences with prepositions.

I spend entirely too much time on the grid, and I have to some extent been neglecting other things, but it’s really my decision—and even with a reduced level of functionality, I’m more productive than almost anyone else I know— and I told my friend earlier my priorities have changed since I came to Second Life.

I guess she’s just unwilling to accept that.

I’ve done my share. Knowing she is unhappy if I am distracted, I now come off the grid when she calls and give her my full attention—and I call her sometimes, as well as she calling me. Our calls are pleasant, and our friendship is solid, except for this Second Life thing.

I’ve owned my issues about this. After last night, I’m convinced she isn’t owning hers. I’m not sure what they are, but clearly it’s about more than Second Life.

I really don’t want to damage a friendship, but I’m afraid it may already be damaged so much it will never be the same.

It makes me sad, for I treasure her as a friend.

No comments: