Strolling down the avenue,
Me and my shadow,
Not a soul to tell our troubles to...
I'm wandering -- well, my avatar, Beauregard Babcock, is wandering -- around the Club Extreme and Casino, a bustling nightspot. Beauregard is slender, has almond-shaped dark eyes, brown hair, a bald spot, and sports a white bowler and a rakish t-shirt that reads, "I love sheep." He is boyishly handsome, if I do say so myself. He should be: I created him.
Beauregard meets a woman named Carola Sao. She is quite fetching, even though she does not have a nose. She speaks Spanish -- that is, she types mostly in Spanish. But she manages, in broken English, to invite me into a nearby castle. There is no one else there. Carola beckons me over to a sofa. On the floor are two small, pulsing globes, one blue, one pink, with the name of a sex act floating over them. "This is the room my boyfriend and I go to make love," Carola tells me. Beauregard sits on the couch next to her, hands on his lap, staring straight ahead. He does not have a clue what to do.
Welcome to my so-called Second Life.
I want to go where the action is! I click on "search," and tab over to "popular places." There I find The Edge Club, which is described as a location for "contests and raffleballs, all day and all night," plus "music live, DJ's, dancers," and lots of other exciting characters and activities. I teleport over with Catress Wind, a cute girl with purple hair and a miniskirt I met flying over a beach.
A naked lady named Cabby Qi is shimmying around a pole. A couple -- he in leather and chains, and she in tank top and a mouse's head -- are slow-dancing, tightly clenched. I -- I mean, Beauregard -- look at Catress. She looks at me -- that is, him. A quick search of Beauregard's gestures inventory finds a dance. I click on it. He jives. I click on it again. He raves. Catress just stands there. I go back into the inventory and find a dancing cow I'd picked up along the way. Beauregard hops on it and leaves.
I feel a need for a place to live -- someplace quiet, away from the casinos and dance clubs and bondage paraphernalia stores. A small island costs $1,250 for 16 acres, plus a monthly $195 maintenance fee -- those are U.S. dollars, not Linden dollars. I can't afford it; unlike RL, that is "Real Life," in SL, or Second Life, I don't have a job and so can't afford to buy land.
Maybe there's an alternative. I have -- I mean to say, Beauregard has -- visited quite a few places, and found a lovely reconstruction of architect Gregory Ain's mid-century modern Mar Vista House. We (Beauregard and I) also quite liked the Jolly Pines, a nice surround with a Hooterville-style train running through it. But I (and as a consequence Beauregard) really enjoy Pickerel, a pastoral spot with a remarkable facsimile of St. Paul's Cathedral, right down to the mosaic nativity scenes, sitting on it. Although I can't acquire land here, I discover that, if I try to erect the A-frame cabin I bought as a kit a few weeks ago, it will float in the air above the unpurchasable land. I assemble the kit, and through trial and error, learn how to fly in and out of the floating house. I begin to decorate.
Two days later, I (well, Beauregard) returns, and the A-frame cabin is gone. Apparently, these sorts of illegal floating sublets are, at best, temporary. You want a home, buy some land.
That's when it hits me. It's just like when Beauregard -- I mean Randy, that is me -- moved to New York in 1978, just out of college and looking to begin RL. Clueless then, clueless now.
In the other room, I hear my wife. She's online -- in SL. Her avatar figured out how to grab a margarita and a quesadilla off a picnic table in, I don't know, McLean's Horse Farm or somewhere nearby. In RL, she is laughing.
I'll bet her Second Life is more interesting than mine.
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