Missed Connections: We Met in a Zombie Shooting Sim (and Now I Can’t Forget You)

The “Missed Connections” Second Life Forum is a little-known mysterious corner of the Second Life Community. Lost someone? Missing someone? This is your second chance in Second Life.

For those of you who might not know, the Second Life Forum maintains a dozen or so forums, with tons of sub-categories, one of which is “Missed Connections,” in the People Forum.

The idea of Missed Connections is if you have lost track of an avatar in Second Life, or you are looking for someone you saw but never had the chance to meet, this is the thread for you. Just leave a note in the forum, and your second love may reply and you can reconnect. Here’s how the forum’s pinned post describes itself:

“Saw someone in Second Life, but missed your chance to say hello? Now is your second chance at making that connection happen.”

This kind of thing is right up my alley. Perhaps it is the nostalgia of autumn that has me thinking of what might have been, and  especially of who might have been. What if, after all, I had mustered up the courage to say hello to the blue dragon eating the chocolate chip cookie on the edge of the dance floor? Where might we be now? Ah, if only.

From Mysterious to Heart-rending

As you can imagine, this thread makes for absorbing reading, especially on a rainy autumn day when memories and thoughts of yesterday can visit. The discussions go on sometimes for pages, and they range from mysterious to dramatic to heart-rending, and even funny. I’m going to give a few examples here, but for the sake of privacy, no names. If you’re really curious, you can visit the Forum.

The Fish Who Got Away

Probably the most common poster is someone who is looking for a specific avatar they met but didn’t get the name … the age-old fish who got away. Sometimes saved chat logs and IM histories just aren’t enough. Say, for example, you meet your dream girl in a zombie shooting range and she logs off before you get up the nerve to say anything? That’s what happened to this forum poster:

“We Met in a Zombie Shooting Sim. You are beautiful (but i’m sure you get that alot. …) We were shooting in the police statation together and I’d really like to get to know you better. But you logged off before I could say Hi.”

ZombieBlog

Or on more of a poetic side:

“It was a warm, quiet summer night – a while ago … when a tall, dark, handsome stranger out of the blue asked me for a dance. It was magical and then … we went off. I never danced with him him again … where is he?”

The Disappearing Act

And then there are the known avatars who suddenly disappear without warning, leaving mystery and tears behind them. They bring posts like these:

“Every time I see a water reflection it hurts me, I miss you so much baby.  Sometimes I think I would flip the whole damn sim upside down just to see you one more time, but I know it wouldn’t be the same.”

Some are very straightforward, such as this one looking for Princess Luna:

“If you get this … or any of her friends read this … please tell her to get in tough with me via im or so, Please?”

While others are more dramatic and poignant:

“Dear XXX, if you ever get to read this my love, know that I think about you everyday. You are missed more than you will ever know. I know you are fighting  the most vicisous ennemy in RL. I wish you strenght, I wish you love. I have no words to say how much I miss you. Je t’aime mon coeur.”

Or the stark simplicity of one who longs for bright Lucinda:

“Where is lucinda, with views that opened doors within the mind to explore, how dull this forum is without Lucinda “bringer of the light.”

Posts like these sometimes bring snarky replies, such as this one to the hunt for the bright Lucinda:

“Perhaps there was a power outage.”

The Distress is Very Real

The distress of some of the posters is quite palpable, and very real.

Of course he could be just ignoring me or maybe he’s in a hospital! Completely nothing in any of the social media we were in touch with…I welcome any pat on the back and shoulder to cry on…I think my heart is breaking…keep checking my IMS even in the mid of the nite….sob*”

There are some who, instead of missing someone, wished that they themselves were missed:

“Sometimes I wish … I wish I was missed. I look on here wondering if anyone misses me… sadly no.. lol. Am I the only one?”

And then there are the humorous posts, that come with tongue in cheek:

“I was there. Well cut suit, white hair, pale skin, fangs. You were there. Brown spikey system hair, bandito moustache. Black shirt with a Rolling Stones logo. Disco codpiece over jeans. You smiled, and a whole new world was created.You left. You came back. Then you left again. Whyyyyyyy….? Can you at least come visit once in a while? The children keep asking for you…”

So if you’re a writer looking for ideas, this is your treasure trove. Or maybe you are missing that special someone? Take a look here. Maybe they’re looking for you too.

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What is it that we love, when we love an avatar?

Second Love

by Bay Sweetwater

What is it that we love, when we love an avatar?
Why is one star brighter than any other star?
What sets our heart aflutter when that one comes online,
And keeps us by the keyboard, waiting for a sign? 

It’s not the skin or anims, or all the fancy clothes.
These are bought in stores, as everybody knows.
It’s not the mystery scrivener who sits behind the screen.
Him (or her?) we barely know; we’ve often never seen.

I think it is the wordless soul, who beguiles as it dances,
Embodied in an avatar, whose mesmerizing glances,
Engulfs us in fond dreams this morning yet undreamed of,
Launching our small heart upon the boundless sea of love.

They say that eyes are windows that open on the soul,
That by gazing in the eyes, the inner lands behold;
Likewise, I think an avatar can be a sort of peephole,
Through which the heart can look, to spy upon the soul.

Last Words of the King of Summer

King of Summer sunflower with crownThis is the poem that won me the honor of the 2012 Poet Laureate title in the Elf Circle group in the virtual world of Second Life. Every year the 1,900 members choose their Poet Laureate by voting their favorite poems in a Bardic Competition, as in the days of old. This poem was inspired by a dying sunflower I saw bowing at the end of autumn to approaching winter.


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Gone Autumn

My most popular autumn poem. A man falls in love; the woman moves away. She leaves only a mysterious note on her door that she has “Gone Autumn.” Her note hints she might come back “some sunny day in June,” but he doesn’t wait; he goes after her. I made a video of this poem, which is embedded below the poem here.


Continue Reading “Gone Autumn”