My apologies to the lady herself. This happened a while ago, but I haven't posted it until now, because I am afraid of the unknown. How could I have possibly forgotten my way out? Yes, coward am I. And as anyone who has seen Enemy At The Gates knows, "No mercy for cowards!"


I ring Ben’s number.
“Hey man, I’ve got off work tomorrow, so I can stay up late for a change. Want me to swing by, and we can watch Small Soldiers and maybe Toy Story 2?”
“Yeah, sure thing.”

He recently had his apartment broken into and trashed by his “friends,” while away for the weekend, so I figured he might be up for some high quality children's entertainment. Toy Story 2 is my favourite movie. Small Soldiers I hadn't seen yet, but since it was about small toys armed with nailguns, home-made blowtorches, and the like, I thought it had definite potential. Indeed, it was cool. Totally unbelievable, but, I wish I could believe it, because I want to. I dream - I hope and pray - that my toys can do the things these toys do.

After Small Soldiers, we threw our dishes in the sink, popped in Toy Story 2, and let the previews play, while I installed nVidia’s Detonator 3 drivers on his computer. He was still stuck in the relative dark ages of the 5.13 driver set.

“Dude, we’re missing the best part; you have to see this part,” I said, as I hear the sounds of the opening scene from TS2 play out, with Buzz Lightyear battling the evil Emporer Zorg. Seconds later, the drivers installed, I headed back to the TV to rewind. I hit Stop, and then Rewind, and guessed about how far back I needed to go. Hmm… that should about do it, I think, as I clicked Play and plopped myself back down into my chair. I landed myself right in the middle of a preview for Fantasia 2000. Yippee! I’m thinking, maybe I’ll just fast forward a bit and skip this crap…

Hold on a second! What was that I just saw? A brief glimpse of something incredibly familiar had flashed before my eyes, and just as quickly as it came, had turned its head and vanished. Time slowed. The images flashing on the screen before me muddled my thoughts, temporarily outpacing my brain's processing power. My brain reorganized, took a second or two to confirm what my eyes had seen, to assimilate it, and to connect all the right dots. Finally, it connected, and the juice started flowing again. I immediately jumped into action.

I screamed, “Wait….ahh!! Stop that tape!” in complete panic.

I fumbled on both sides of myself for the remote, which wasn't in either place. It was in my car, as I'd forgotten to bring it in. I knew this. Somehow I'd forgotten, again. Once I'd re-remembered this fact, I clumsily lunged at the VCR sitting innocently on the floor, silently advancing the tape farther and farther away from where I wanted it to be. I hit Play. Nothing happens. Wait, that's not right. I hit Stop. The tape stops. That's not what I want either. I hit Play, and then hold in the Rewind bottom. There, much better. Slowly the tape unadvances itself, right before my eyes, taking me closer and closer…

There. I reach for the Pause button, and somehow manage to stop it in the perfect spot. I had seen what I'd thought I'd seen. I'd seen her. I sat on the floor, wide-eyed, staring up at the TV, completely transfixed.

After an awkward pause, Ben broke in, "Dude, what the hell?" To this I did not respond, I was too busy doing nothing and everything, all at once.
"Hey man, you may think she's hot, but she's not real, ya know."
"I know she's not real. She's psydereal."
"She's what?"
"She's…" My mind searches for possible explanations. How do I explain this, anyway?

On the TV screen, displayed in a place I'd never thought I'd see it, was the image on her homenode. It was unnerving. I'd read her I used to have so many dreams writeup, and absolutely, positively fallen in love with it. Then I'd clicked over to her own personal space on E2, to peruse through her other writeups. This very picture caught me by surprise. Those big brown eyes, almost hidden by her flowing hair, staring into your soul, searching it, and never letting on to whether it had found what it was looking for or not. They only continue to stare, relentlessly, glowing ever so softly. Her hair seems to be half human, half tree, which conjured up imagines of the surreal and brought a song by Grandaddy into mind. A faint smile appears to be forming on her lips, but who's to say? Perhaps it is a smirk. Perhaps nothing at all. Despite this total lack of answers presented by those eyes, I have to stare back; it's all I can make myself do.

I continued through as many of her nodes as I had time for, and then a few more, devouring them in a semi-trance like state, the proverbial jaw of my mind dropped to the floor. She's seen The Matrix, even in real life. She thinks George W. Bush is cool. She lives in Kansas; never been there, but suddenly I want to drive through the entire state. She's 19, going on 3 - and my friends call me childish. So what if I still pretend my hand is a jet while I let it fly through the air, outside the window of my car? I bet she does too. She too, finds herself completely bored on Sunday afternoons. She thinks guys should be more perceptive, or at least used to. "Perceive what?", I ask, jokingly. She wonders if he ever thinks about her, while I wonder if she ever thinks about me. How could she? I don't even exist, in her world. And I wonder if it's actually true, that psydereal really, truly, does exist. Do girls like her actually happen? Is this Nate playing mean tricks on me?

Then I realize what I already knew. She doesn't really exist. She can't. She's just that picture, staring into my soul, telling me what I want to hear. And if you go there too, she will tell you the same, and suddenly, everything in the universe will make sense.

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