We had both imagined such unreal visions of who we were meeting…


Of course I can only imagine, how Marcy had imagined me before that day. While planning the trip she’d seemed so excited, almost giddy. She told me of how her friends thought she was crazy for flying half-way round the world to be with some man she’d met online. She said she didn’t care what they said. She knew me. I was a good man and it was going to be wonderful.

I think it’s safe to say she was in the same imaginary boat I was.

During her visit Marcy seemed at least as numb as I was. I have no memory of our interactions save the brief one informing me of her early departure. We may very well have had some conversations that were perhaps even cordial but if so, I’m sure they would have been superficial. We’d already had all the meaningful conversations we were going to have.


Once she was safely back home, she called and we talked in furtive tones. About how she should have gotten a hotel room so we could have arranged a proper date. Perhaps if she’d been able to get herself rested and comfortable first, I would have seen the very pretty her I’d seen in her photos and she would have been able to reconcile her imagined me with the real me.

The real me.

Of course Marcy had fallen in love with the real me. I was (and still am) the good man she admired. That was all true. Not imagined at all. But the real me of 2005 was expecting way too much from her.

I had picked her up in my ratty old north shore Honda, wearing the same old crew shorts and t-shirt I wore everyday. And despite the fact that it was the same shirt she’d happily wore during that sexy phone call at least a month before, those baggy old clothes covered my substantial gut, the unflattering shape of which was no longer hidden by the carful camera angle of my profile photo.

After that slap-in-the-face-reality meeting at the airport, we drove to my apartment in an old sugar plantation dwelling behind “The Brown Bottle” liquor store in drug-plagued Waialua. This then, added fear to her disappointment. But the real me was expecting Marcy to see though all that. To see the good man she loved who lived and worked in Hawaii. Doing the good work that I really do.

The good man. Doing the good work helping others.

It would be a long time yet before I’d see how much work I would have to do, helping myself. I still had plenty of unimagining to do before I could even begin that work.

And I still have one more online love attempt story (from 2005) to tell before going back.

Back to the beginning.