|1999 didn't start well--I struggled at work from the start. I was dealing with depression and kept getting sick during my initial training. I went to counseling with the Chaplain on base which helped a little. He brought me to the realization that my life goals conflicted with each other. He also told me I "needed to get laid". So I didn't really trust his judgement much.|
I missed Ha so much and I didn't know why--it never made sense to me. I never thought I could feel so strongly for someone. One Friday night in late January, I visited Michael Geary, my boss from 1996-97, and someone I considered a friend. He asked me about Ha. I avoided the question. He asked more and I evaded. Finally I told him I didn't want to talk about her because it brought back too many bad feelings. So he said,"Why don't you phone her?" "Phone her? That's a pandora's box. I don't want to go there. I'm functioning now and I need that". Still, the idea kept eating at me on the drive home and I talked to God and said,"If this is a good idea then tell me". I went home and reached down to turn on my computer and then as soon as I did I turned it off. I didn't know I'd done that--it was like I subconsciously wanted to keep the computer off. Perhaps it was a sign? So I picked up the phone and Ha answered. Her line used to always be busy but she answered right away. We talked for about 30 minutes. It was pleasant. Her voice rang in my head for a few days, and I missed her but I'd survived.
I'd made many friends on the internet during my stay in Korea and many of those lasted. Korea was too short for any lasting relationships so I met most of my friends through the internet.
|>>" BORDER=0>||I was pen-pals with Laetitia (left), a model for Victoria's Secret, since April 1998. That was a little weird. She'd tell me the magazines she was going to appear on and I'd look for them months later at news stands. She was in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue that year, so I had an excuse to buy one. We had widely different political/moral views. We send cards at Christmas.|
Jessica lived in Kuala Lumpur and used to phone me when I was in Korea because she had a company phone. I used to practice my singing on her.
|On July 3, 1998, disillusioned with making any real friends on the internet, I was just getting kicks out of randomly messaging people, making fun of their profile, and moving on. I saw someone named Ginger--so I typed a portion of the theme from Gilligan's Island,"With Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire (and his wife), the Movie Star (Wannabe)". She replied,"Who is this?" and I told her I was Gilligan's monkey, I'd carried her away on the raft I built, and we were escaping the island. I told her I picked her because she was the only one dumb enough that I could carry her away and she wouldn't think anything was wrong.|
After that we instant-messaged 40 times over the next 14 months, trying to make it to Hawaii, floating in the Pacific, fighting off pirates and sharks, adopting a shark (who eats Ginger's boyfriend), adding rooms to the raft, being swallowed by a huricane, me trying to kill Ginger repeatedly (and never succeeding), and never did introduce our real selves--it lasted until September 9, 1999. All she ever knew is that I was Gilligan's monkey and I knew her name was Ginger, and we never broke
| character. The narratives were very irreverent, not very nice (but really funny), and as I was told by someone, not very Christian--so I removed them from this site to keep it in good taste. Maybe someday I'll clean them up and repost a censored version. Here is an 'affectionate' poem I wrote for Ginger called "Ginger's Theme", but I don't think she bought the 'affectionate' part. Here is the only photo I have of Ginger, feeding, appropriately enough, a monkey.|
Of course I was also on email with many people I worked with in Korea and many I had actually met--they weren't all computer images.
Melanie (left) worked with me at the 30th and I liked her immediately. She was funny. We were friends from day one but I was gloomy when I first returned from Korea and one day we went to lunch together and talked...talked about Korea and then I asked her what the people at work thought of me. She said the other offices asked her,"Who is that creepy new guy in your office?" I was a little hurt but not surprised. She told me,"It would help if you smiled a little". So I told her I would smile for the rest of the day. And I did...for that day and the next. I smiled so much that every time Melanie looked at me or got near me she'd burst out laughing and couldn't stop. I had a huge goofy grin on my face and when I walked into the office next door I stopped in the middle of about fifty Airmen and said loudly, with a grin,"Hey look...it's the creepy guy!" Melanie and I were cleaning the office and neither one of us could stop laughing. I slipped and hit my head on a desk while trying to dust it. Melanie had to leave the room. My bosses looked very confused. I guess they were trying to figure out what we'd eaten for lunch. After two days of smiling I had to stop. My cheeks were cramping.