My life in the chat room was becoming more interesting nightly. I entered the room searching for my friends, but especially for Dragosani. Sometimes I found him there, and sometimes I found him in another chat room where his name was Ghost in the Machine. I would lurk and reread previous chats to see what he had been up to and who was interested in him. When the green-eyed monster settled in my chest I stopped and had an honest talk with myself. The talking didn’t solve anything – I just knew I wanted more of him.
In the Parlor we sat on the couch and Dragosani would hand me a golden key. This key took us to a private room where no one could see us or know what we were doing. It was still a chat room and I didn’t understand how he did it – but I grabbed that key and went along willingly. Sometimes when he posted the key – someone else would grab it and then the room would not be available to me. I never knew who did that – maybe it was Ayns or perhaps it was Sean. We always found another room where we could chat in private.
Most people went off to a private room to have virtual sex. Dragosani was not like that. He refused to ‘talk dirty’. Instead we got to know each other. Slowly I learned of his real life and he learned of mine. It was like being on a date – the kind where you sit on the bench and hold hands or share some lunch. He was quiet and shy and he made me feel peaceful.
In the real world there was anything but peace. My doctor had an office in the same mall and that was the only reason I went to him. His wife stored her fur coat with us – maybe for the same reason – and we had become friends over the years. She was his nurse and I looked forward to going to the doctor so I could visit with my friend. One day she appeared in the store and told me she had left him and was looking for a job. I hired her right there on the spot – knowing she would be an asset to the store even though she had never done any selling in her life. She was bubbly and happy and vivacious. My mother was furious! I had to explain and justify why I had hired her and inside I was praying that my friend would be the salesperson I thought she could be. She proved me right and my mother dead wrong.
The doctor was furious as well. The first appointment I had with him after I hired his wife was tense. I told him that how I ran the family business was my business and not his. He was my doctor and that was all. He retaliated by telling me the abdominal pain I was suffering was because I was an unmarried fornicator and that I needed to get on my knees and talk in tongues for half an hour a day and I would be cured. I changed doctors.
‘N’ loved to party and was looking for a man. She had to make up for the years she had wasted with the doctor. Who better to help her with that quest than me – another single woman on the lookout for a man. She didn’t think I should spend my evenings in the chat room and insisted that I go out with her and enjoy some real life. At first I dragged my feet, afraid of what would happen. She enjoyed a drink and I had been staying away from it after all the years at the bar. But she insisted.
We decided that Thursday nights would be our night to howl. It was ‘ladies night’ at the country bar in the big city. The first 5 drinks were free to the women and that had our attention and plenty of other women’s as well. And where there were plenty of women – there were plenty of men.