The next morning, there was a note from Skyhawk. I think he was as surprised at my email as I was for sending it. We talked about bad Sci-Fi movies, good books and music. Oh, and computers. From there, we started talking about our lives. He learned that I was divorced, had four kids and six grandchildren. I learned that he’d never been married and lived way up in the mountains off the grid.
That started a three way conversation between Eric, Skyhawk and myself. Eric is very into alternative energy. Skyhawk uses it. Lots of typing and laughing at our end. We talked about the tests that we’d taken too. One night the conversation on line got difficult to type and I gave him my phone number. It had become a rather emotional exchange, and without being able to judge voice inflection, I felt I was missing something. About three minutes later, the phone rang.
“Hello, may I speak to Ivy?”
“Hi Skyhawk, it’s nice to hear your voice.”
“Oh good. I hope I dialed right. By the way, my name is Jasper.”
“Hello Jasper, I’m Gwen.”
Eric had given us some space to talk, and so we did just that until about 2am. We talked about all sorts of things, including something I had suspected, but he had only mentioned in a roundabout fashion.
“Jasper, why did you get on the dating site?”
“Well, after a lifetime of being just me, I sort of got hit upside the head by the fact that I was lonely and wanted to change things.”
“Change things how?”
“Well, this is real hard to admit, but…” and then there was a pause. “I’ve, umm.. I’m a virgin,” he said at last.
Talk about being able to knock me over with a feather. “Oh,” was all I could manage for a moment. “Jasper, why didn’t you ever have sex?” I asked with a thousand alternatives running through my head.
“Well, I sorta got soured on that half of the species as a young man, and then just never had time for them.”
“Okay, Eric did say that engineers, especially electrical engineers, need a whole year in college on social interaction just so that they can deal with the rest of humanity,” I said to lighten the mood. I hoped.
Jasper laughed on the other end of the line. “He’s right. By the time I thought I had time for women, I figured that I was just too old and started building walls around myself.”
“How old were you?”
“Oh, thirty, thirty-five.”
“So what made you get on the website if you had decided to be a bachelor?” I asked hoping I’d get a few more details. It sounded like there was more to this than just the male equivalent to ‘my biological clock is ticking’.
“Well, I had this dream. I went to bed thinking that I really needed to change my life, and dammit, I needed help. The help showed up in the dream.”
“Okay.” I thinking that he wasn’t the only one who’d ever had their life change because of a dream.
“In the dream, I’m standing in this tower. The tower I’d build around my whole life I guess is what it meant. This guy, I’ll call him Thor showed up. He started throwing lightning bolts and they blasted away that tower like it was nothing. Then he pointed his hammer at me and said it was time to change. Get out! Date! NOW!”
“Oh wow.” It sounded dumb, the moment it left my lips.
“Wow is right. I woke up feeling like I’d grabbed a capacitor in both hands and no place to ground the charge. I felt full of energy, and decided that just maybe I ought to give women another try.”
“Okay, and is that when you signed onto the dating site?”
“No, that was a couple of days later. It took me a while to work up the courage to do it.”
“I understand that one. It took me a bit to actually look at other peoples profiles. Even longer to actually post to someone.”
“I was real surprised when you emailed me. Then I looked at your profile and felt intrigued.”
“Oh?” I was really glad that Jasper couldn’t see me blushing. I suddenly realized what time it was and that I had to be to work in five hours. “Jasper, I hate to go, but it is 2am, and I need to get to work. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you.”
“So have I. See you online tomorrow.”
I crawled in bed and thought about our conversation. Eric had gone to bed earlier, so I didn’t have him to bounce ideas off of. Jasper wasn’t the first person I’d known who’d had a visitor. Thor, what an appropriate deity to thump an electrical engineer up side the head. I’d probably mention that to Eric in the morning. We’re both pagan, so he’d understand that bit. The virgin bit I figured I’d keep to myself for the moment. Two reasons really. First off, Jasper didn’t exactly sound too happy about the whole virginity thing. Embarrassed actually, which I could understand. Secondly, Eric’s last date about three months ago had turned out to be a twenty year old virgin. I was still teasing him about that, and did not need to invoke the karmic fates. Although, I suspected it was a little too late.