Sunday, October 22, 2006

old friends, good memories

Now that I’m in college, I can look back on “generations” of friends. First there were my childhood friends, mostly at my grade school, my beloved St. John Neumann, but also a few at church. Then I left the best of these behind when I went to high school and I (slowly) made a whole new group of friends. My group changed again when I came to Notre Dame, with the exception of my boyfriend. The point is, now I feel like I can call some people “old friends”. Some of these I’ve kept in touch with, and some I wish I had.

I tried to reestablish one such friendship over fall break. Mike and I met online. We both were extremely cool enough to join the same online Star Trek simulation group. Basically, you make up a character and meet with everyone else once a week to “sim”, or act out Star Trekky plots. In between times, you write logs detailing your character’s work and personal life. It’s a lot of fun, and you meet a lot of great people. I stumbled upon the USF and its “fleet” of sims when I was about to graduate middle school, and my Starbase Everest sim community supported my fragile ego as I made the transition. At least once a week, I could ignore the loneliness of high school and play the part of an outgoing, pretty girl in dangerous missions. It was great therapy.

I know, this was supposed to be about me and Mike. He was a veteran of the sim even when I joined, and our characters interacted a fair amount over the two or three years I belonged to Everest. In fact, in the last six months or so that I was there, our characters had quite the romantic relationship going. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks; the real Laura was lonely, and developed something of a crush on the real Mike. For a while, he was the forever-unobtainable bright spot in my life, someone who kept me going when I felt like no one cared. I have a few of our AIM conversations saved, and for some reason I came across them last week. On one hand, I blush as I read how stupidly obvious I was being, but on the other hand, it was comforting that he didn’t respond by ignoring me, but talked to me like I was his equal, even though he was several years my senior and had a steady girlfriend. Even though I was obviously rather enamored by him, we still had a great friendship. I told him a lot about what I was feeling, and he cheered me up when I needed it. I remember him talking about being afraid to graduate and go to college. We had a friendship that was stronger than my silly crush.

I dropped out of the sim, mostly because I didn’t need to pretend I had friends anymore. I was coming into my own in real life. Mike and I kept in touch for a while, but he was in college and I was busy too. I kept his screen name, though; it’s still on my buddy list. So last week, having no other way to contact him, I IM’d him. After re-introducing myself, I said something along the lines of I had been thinking about what a great friendship we had had, and I would love to hear how he’s doing. When half an hour later he hadn’t said anything, I sent him my email address and said I hoped to hear from him soon.

He hasn’t emailed me, and when he’s signed on to AIM, he hasn’t IM’d me. I suppose some things aren’t so easily recoverable. Still, he was a great friend when I really needed one, and I’m thankful to have had him in my life.

Update… ok, this post is kinda a moot point now, as he caved and IMd me. So he didn’t think I was a stalker; this is good. I still put a lotta work into this post though, so I’m keeping it up :-)

1 comment:

  1. OMG, you were in a Star Trek Sim? BAHAHAHA. Let me laugh out loud, really.

    /shhh, I wrote fan fiction/

    John Webber was my Mike. He sat across from me in Sr. Eileen's class in 8th grade at CKS. Yep. In 1975 we wrote Star Trek fan fiction. Before the 'zines. Before Spock and Kirk were gay. BEFORE THE INTERNET.

    Somehow, I feel a need to surf the ST sites.