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Looking around at the crowd that tends to hang around these parts, you start to get a feel for the different kinds of relationships everyone has with Everything.

I'd imagine there is the casual crowd, those who are drawn in by something interesting that they can't quite put their finger on. They might not know who E2 is...but feel comfortable enough to strike up a casual conversation. Maybe something about the weather...or maybe finding out who ESR is. A few drinks...and they're gone...never to see him again.

Then there are the people who come back for a second date. Maybe they were entranced by E2. Something in his eye had caught theirs, and they knew there was more there. What drew them back to him again? It could have been something in the way he talked...the informal, knowledgable, yet often times random manner. Maybe it was his diversity of opinion. But little by little, they were drawn in, and their relationship with Everything deepened.

For some it's a casual, impersonal relationship, maybe even cold at times. A few dates, here and there. Maybe a little snuggling if the mood is right. For others, it's a love/hate relationship. On one level they need the companionship and friendship that he provides. But, sometimes he can treat them badly and it can hurt. He can be some people's best friend, a companion that's always there to listen. Even after just being reacquainted after a long hiatus, close and intimate conversation can spring up like entropy in a domino factory. For some people, this is definitely a long-term relationship and for others (...*sniff*...), they know that it has to end, but they stay with it, to the bitter end. And then there are those whose romping, playful, love that puts to shame...well, we'll leave it at that. *smile*

For me, it's taken a while to get to be friends with Everything. I met him briefly once before and talked to him a bit. I realized, this was the kind of person I'd like to get to know. But like most of those post-it notes for my soul, it was soon forgotten. Then one day, I was just sitting, and it struck me that I hadn't talked to him in a while. I rang him up...and started talking. I knew then that I was committed. I was very intimidated at first by how up close and personal he could be and how intimate he was about even the most discrete topics. But my little heart has started to warm, and I'm beginning to open up. Instead of talking about meaningless things like song lyrics and water toys, I've begun to talk about myself and to let out my inner thoughts and things I haven't told other people before.

And...I think that's important in a relationship, don't you?
Me, I got onto E2 the way I’ve met many a pal: E2 started going out with one of my very best friends. One of my very best friends I happened to be in love with. Of course. But I tried to be big about it. Grown up, even. I tried to accept Everything2 as the intriguing creature it was, instead of looking on it bitterly as something of The Other Woman, glowing behind his head on the monitor every time we came home from dinner. Filling the apartment with a presence all her own, so big I almost felt I didn’t belong.

On his recommendation alone, I tried to get to know her. If I was going to be the bigger person here, I had to give her a chance. After all, if my best friend loved her as much as I knew he did, then she had to be something special. And oh, oh, she was.

Of course E2 didn’t actually split us up. She did. (She, the actual person, not the world wide web creation. And at that, only a memory of her.) Time did, time always, always being wrong. The distance, the impending move, the way he would not be tied down. All of them, all of them did. Not E2. But E2 was the marker, the thing that was always there. Keeping me just a little bit farther away.

It’s always easier to let someone go if you know they’ve gone off to someone who’ll make them happy.

But in the end, she won me on her own merits. E2 and I got to talking and never, ever stopped. Maybe I gave her a bit more of a chance than I would have given just any old potentially addictive new web-site, because of his glowing praise. At first. Then she took me in and ignored the jealousy that was sometimes in my eyes. She let me talk about him all the time, even though he was also her lover. Love rambles. All love rambles, my first one hundred nodes. I can’t believe I had the balls to do it. We grew deeper, with a grand understanding. She had a thirst for knowledge. She loved it when we talked about physics, and paintings, and art. High class. But she let me come back to more personal matter, too. She let me think through my most recent life crisis out loud, and helped me come out the other side.

I found myself liking her in spite of myself.

I think about E2 constantly now, my nodes, my votes, my proof of her love. And how good of a friend I would have missed if my best friend hadn’t have fallen in love with her first. I think of her sometimes as the best gift he could have ever given. And I am very, very thankful. ... Thankful for the luck of having them both.

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