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Thursday, January 19, 2006Another Evening With The Izzy
So last night I had to stay a little later at work than usual… mainly because I had overslept yesterday morning and got in about a half hour later. I could have left on time, considering the amount of overtime I put in, but it just isn’t usually my style.
Now throughout the day, Izabella was on and off. We had sporadic conversation, mainly revolving around what was going on at work, her daily errands, what I do with my social life, and the fact her chest was hurting her because she came back from a gym session with a new over zealous trainer.
So last night, the board is calming down, and up pops the IM “alert”. I don’t use IM alerts. In fact, normally my buddy screen is minimized and my speakers are off so I don’t know if anyone is coming or going. But Izzy had said something to me about that, how she didn’t know if I wanted to keep talking to her because she was always the one who initiated the IM… hence why I setup an alert. Gotta love the advances that have been made in AIM.
The alert window flashes, and I send her an IM. So we start talking. The usual variety of topics… a few “adult” themes… and somehow the next thing I know it is like ten o’clock at night. Right… did you hear the smash of glass??? There goes the idea of writing tonight yet once again… right out the proverbial window.
Somehow she ends up saying how in ten years she’ll give me her home number. I in return respond that I guessed that means in twenty years we’d finally go out for coffee. There was that nervous tension for a minute… and then I did it. That’s right… I did “it”… I gave her my cell number (cell=mobile for all you British Blokes out there).
She then did the most curious thing… she starts asking me if there are limits on how long we talk. Well, the battery does have to be recharged at some point… and calling during work isn’t the greatest in timing… but no, not really. Then she asks the obvious question, when am I not at work? Right… so I told her the basic busy times and everything. I also forewarned her that when I drive, I listen to the radio VERY loudly… which I think she understood. In other words… don’t get upset if you get voicemail when you call… just leave a message or call back later… which I though was a CLEAR indicator that if she wanted to call me, without talking to me, well in twenty minutes that would be the time to do it.
Then she asks me if “coffee” is really just “coffee”. My first thought was to say, “No, it means a road trip down the Hershey laden highway with little to no help.”… but I stopped myself, and laughing, told her that “Yes, coffee is just coffee”… because in reality that’s all it is and the fact it could be anything else… well… just seemed ridiculous to me. With that, and a few other admissions on my end of a history of relatively bad phone etiquette, I sign off and head home.
Now normally, I get no better thrill than driving with my windows down through East New York playing A System of a Down as loud as possible. However, last night I chose to roll darn near silently with my phone precariously perched on my dash. I got home… climbed into bed… and waited. While waiting, I decided to watch King Arthur. At around 11:20pm my television flickered. I have DirecTV and everytime I get a message or a phone call, the television flickers… but nothing happened. Well, except for the end of the movie and Arthur’s brave stand.
So it got me thinking this morning. What is the true nature of meeting people online? Is it so bad out here that “coffee” may actually mean a weird act involving a chicken? At what point is it “safe” to have non-internet contact? When given the opportunity to speak to a live human being, instead of typing to one in a desensitized environment, wouldn’t you take them up on it? Why do we continue to deny ourselves human contact and socialization? Oh, right, because that gets to be even more of a burden. It's harder to hit the sign off button in real life.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it… and I know about all the horror stories from teenage kids being stalked by adult predators. Just to make sure, I saved the 5 lines of that IM where she said she was over 18 and not LE… so I think I’m safe there. Then again… I guess we’ll never truly know until 2026… when we finally go out for coffee.