Dear Mr. Undercover,
I may have popped your online dating cherry, but when it comes to meeting up with virtual connections I am a lot more promiscuous than you. I have learned a few lessons the hard way, all of which I ignored when you suggested to meet.
- Lesson 1: Never trust a profile with only one picture.
- Lesson 2: Trust your intuition. If you hear any little alarm bells, however distant, do not meet up.
- Lesson 3: Never get too enthusiastic for a first date.
The fact that you were a writer made you stand out between all the lawyers, managers and so-called entrepreneurs. Your words embodied restlessness and caution. As if you had protected yourself with a glass wall; wanting to show yourself while still staying intangible. This intrigued me, but made for the first distant sound of tiny alarm bells. Your profile picture didn’t lead me to more images of you. So when, because of this, the sound of alarm bells developed into a solid gong, the vibrations resonating in my gut, I quickly added you to my favorites, left your profile and told myself I could only contact you once you’d added more pictures. But I was too late. My visit hadn’t gone unnoticed and you sent me a message. Long enough to get my attention, short enough to ask for more.
You flattered me. Not with false compliments on my appearance you only knew through pictures, but with questions about my love for language. Our associations easily strung along topics ranging from mud wrestlers and sensuality to royal blood and blossoms. It turned into a chain of challenge-beads and smile-gems. A piece of jewelry that distracted my attention from those vibrations in my gut, on which rhythm you carefully wound this chain around me.
Could we see each other? Yes. Before you would embark on your mysterious travels? Yes. And if the chemistry of our words would translate to real life interaction, would I write you a letter during your absence? Yes. And as enthusiasm for our meeting slowly but surely trickled into my body, I closed my textbooks on dating, and forgot what I had learned.
It was the woman who had created you for an art project who told me I’d been catfished and that we would never meet. Your words would stay available, but I would never hear them roll off your tongue. I observed how your virtual persona contacted more and more people, seduced women and impressed men, and how you shaped yourself chapter by chapter. But you never became tangible. Quite the contrary: the glass wall seemed to become cloudier and cloudier, and our chain broke. The beads and gems now had free range to blind others.
The connection and inspiration I felt during our first and only conversation lives on in the contact I have with your creator. But I can’t help but wonder if she can tell that I’m thinking of you while I scoop a blossom flower out of my whiskey, only to lick the sharp and sweet liquid off my finger. Will she too recognize the sensuality of that gesture, or should my tongue slow down for that?