Carisa was a genuine sparkplug. An ebullient bundle of raw firepower, even at 5-foot-nothing, she could make anyone believe this short little Cuban shit could take on the world. Sometimes, I think there were some days when she just might have.
We met on a phone chat line – one of those older ones where you could chat with anyone, and they hadn’t figured out yet that they should charge everyone to talk with girls – even other girls. I’d pretty much gone through and blocked out all the men right away… what did I want them for? They were easy to come by, and I didn’t need to go looking for them. When I was in the mood for one, I could have my pick of any. Right now, though, I wasn’t, because, at the moment, they were boring and useless to me. I was only interested in girls, and only the most interesting of those.
She didn’t have a “normal” outgoing message… just a bizarre recording of dialogue taken from some weird comedy sketch.
She was jaded.
She’d just moved here from Miami, and she hated Minnesota. I’d come up from Tallahassee a few years earlier, and could totally relate to the culture shock she was experiencing. The adjustment to climate from southernmost to northernmost region of the states paled when compared by the acclimation to a whole different way of communicating with the odd grey ducks who called this place home. She, like me, desperately sought out connections with anyone who wasn’t originally from around these here parts. We’re not sure exactly what was in the water all the locals had been drinking for generations before we came to this backwards place, but, we’re pretty positive they don’t understand us, and we’re certain we can’t relate to them.
I don’t know what made her latch onto me. Maybe she liked the sound of my voice, or maybe the fact that I didn’t come off like every other yay-hoo on the line. She later told me I sounded smart. For her own reasons, I was the one she singled out that night to pester with an endless procession of random sound bytes from SouthPark. (At the time, it was still just a viral video most people had never heard of… in those days the internet was new enough to be found standard in only the hippest of homes.) Reese prided herself on being “in the know” about all things that were new and upcoming, but obscure to everyone else… it made her feel part of some elite club, I think, knowing she was just THAT much cooler than you.
I think she was hoping if I recognized it, it would give us a jumping off point of common ground to trigger an interaction. I didn’t, and, it didn’t. Mostly, it just annoyed me. I’m pretty polite, but, my patience for virtual strangers has a shorter fuse than with legitimate friends. About the time I was ready to block her, she started talking.
I don’t remember what we talked about. It wasn’t inspired conversation, it wasn’t life-changing philosophical debate. It was just real, and it felt good. To this day I have no idea how that diminutive ball of spitfire could get under my skin… but I’d remain in wonder over that perplexity on a daily basis for years yet to come, though.
As we got know each other, I learned a lot of things about Reese.
She didn’t want a serious relationship, but she needed sex, and she couldn’t have it without an emotional connection, but she couldn’t get that in a fling, and she didn’t like to masturbate, because, as she put it,
She didn’t really date bisexuals, but, she couldn’t help herself falling for me.
She was a mess.
She drank. A lot.
She was mostly a happy drunk for most of the night, but she’d always end up getting emotional and clingy toward the end of the evening. She’d throw her arms around my neck in a fashion that made my 5’5” frame seem tall, and tell me, teary-eyed,
“You’re my best-bisexual-friend-that’s-a-girl-in-Mi
We never really did date, but, there was never any question that I loved her.