As I mentioned in another section, internet chat lines became my alternate reality. In particular, I spent time on the online “talker” called The Vineyard, accessible by way of a telnet address. Vineyard originated in England, and I recall the telnet address being something like It was the integral focus of my freshman and sophomore years of college. Here’s a place where one’s looks remain anonymous and one can live any fantasy they like. For some of us, the machine equalled paradise. And so “TheRob” was born in September of 1995 on the advice of high school buddies who wanted a way to communicate more often. TheRob, Darkening, Novetti and Rubberchicken were the Lawrence Gang of Four, and we ruled the roost.

It’s amazing how many hours one can spend chatting. Some of the nicest people could be found here, so it was a welcome change from cold reality. Most of my chatting was done on weekends, and when my roommate Paul was gone, and I could use his computer. Another bright aspect of online chat rooms is the abundance of no social awkwardness, no disease and no mess. Also, any physical restraints can be overcome, most importantly, one’s own body type. This seems silly, but my first cyber-experience involved “Marly.” Marly was listed as a girl, but of course I had no idea if she was or not.

Soon she dropped out and “Anne” was in my life. I became infatuated with her, and I knew very well she was a girl. By this time, Paul had moved out so I could deal with my hormones in private. Anne acted in a forward manner, asking for immediately, not knowing me at all. I found it strange because she said she got plenty in real life as well. I’m not sure why she chose me. A couple of times she really poured her heart out. But if only I could’ve been with her in real life. She would’ve been disappointed.

After Anne there were a few one-time occurrences. Then, I grabbed the girl one of my best friends, Geoff (Darkening) had been infatuated with. That’s Aurura, a short, redheaded nursing student from Chattanooga. She was quite a charming, intelligent girl. We had been online friends but found ourselves fighting off a deep attraction. Aurura seemed to handle dumping Geoff gracefully. We shared a lot of our frustrations, and of course, a lot of online sexual activity. We even consummated a net.marriage. We eventually lost contact, as she fell in love in real life. She got married, so I hope everything works out for her.

After two solid years on Vineyard, I cut back my time considerably. This occurred when I transferred back to Kansas and didn’t have online access in my room. After a couple more years, I terminated my presence at the Vineyard for good.