About six months after I started this crazy train ride through Second Life, I was partnered (The relationship lasted almost 5 years, which from what I understand is a freakish event in and of itself), shared the first of what would end up being 4 sims with my SL Family, and was embarking on my first attempt at running a shopping mall with my partner at the time. I set about the arduous task of courting designers. My partner had run malls previously on his mainland sim, so he had a lot of great contacts already. I just built on that and started talking to people. At the time, there were only about 3 or 4 destinations for the black-clad, industro-goth-vampire set (ok, 3 or 4 good ones… there were more than that I’m sure) so it was fairly easy to get the big names of the time to rent a wall. Oh yes, a wall. None of this fancy each-vendor in a building of their own or anything like that. No no, you had a huge building and put up designers on a 10 x 10 wall.
Hush, I’m old, ok? My first hair was system/noob hair, we didn’t even have prims yet. And I wore it uphill, both ways, in the snow, carrying the weight of a visigoth on my shoulders. (Hey, wanna sack Rome?)
I don’t remember if my partner hooked me up with this one name or if it was someone I had stumbled upon shopping- my brain meats, they are a bit frozen on details- but one Ms. Raven Pennyfeather came to see the mall space and potentially rent a wall. She was in her own design with a fabulous swath of black and red across her face and me? Well. I was in my paler-than-thou skin, custom hair (my partner and I had found a modifiable prim hair (gasp!! it was so awesome! Wait- it MOVES?!? oh my god flexi!) that we tore apart and rebuilt with custom pieces that I think I wore for about 4 years in one form or another (I mentioned creature of habit, right?) along with a plastic looking “latex” shirt and leather trousers with some heavily primmed gauntlets (Sculpties? What sculpties? What’s a sculptie?) and jewelry. Oh we were the height of the then-fashion train, let me tell you.
We toured the sim, she rented a wall, our first visit was concluded. Little did I know this would be the start of what is now almost a 6 year friendship with Raven.
She returned for another visit not long after. We took a cruise in my little abranimations animated boat that my partner had helped me outfit with additional poses so more than two people could ride. It was a sweet little boat that I’d added a glowing light to so we could cruise the rivers of the sim and chat in mood lighting. We talked, discovered we had so many things in common, and a quick friendship blossomed. I started modelling for her (Yes, its true, there were fashion models before you had to attend a Modelling school to learn how to walk in a straight line and click your eyes to one way or the other) and was the white-haired vampire poster boy for some of her gorgeous, early works. We discovered we shared a passion for photography- pretty goth boys- leather- and most of all, music.
Over the years we have always found time to build a set, put up lighting and fog and flame and other items of destruction, turn on some loud music (I usually DJ and stream it) and dance and take photos. Every few months we do this as a spontaneous event and some of the work we’ve come up with has been heartstopping. She’s my muse. I am hers. I tell her when her seams don’t match and she smacks me upside the head when I tell her I am a no-talent hack and should just stop trying. She’s watched me build and destroy kingdoms with her ever patient feathery wings wrapped around my ego. I’ve held her through tears of loss and destruction. We’ve drifted and come back. We’ve danced into the night. We’ve been silly as all hell and serious as cats the next.
There are those that wander in and out of your life, be it virtual or real. Some brief, some lasting. Some will make you angry- happy- sad- the gambit. Treasure them all and learn what they have to teach. The good ones will always last- and you’ll experience enrichment like you’ve never felt.