If you felt a small tremor in the earth this weekend, it was the momentous face-to-face meeting of Sievert and Inflate123. Sievert was one of the first people in the community I met -- actually, his was the first Usenet post I read and that gave me hope that there was someone else out there who felt the way I did. He was asking about a video he'd seen featuring a corset with inflatable cups and hips that also got rigid as it inflated. I'm still fascinated by this concept and want to see such a garment made. I wrote to him immediately and didn't get an answer for several months -- he was in college and it was his school account. For me, it was a long three months.
Over the years we got to know each other very well...but never actually met. We talked about it, we found ourselves traveling in similar areas of the country here and there, but never actually made it. He was in my neck of the woods about six months ago and a disastrous work schedule prevented me from seeing him throughout the entire week that he was in my zip code. It sucked.
He gave me a month's heads-up this time and, sure enough, my schedule sucked again. Three days away for a business trip, followed by another event three hours away the day after I returned, followed by an intense deadline push at the office. But in that slim window between those events -- literally about five hours -- I realized we could meet for lunch.
So you can imagine how pissed off I was that he showed up two hours late!
But what's two hours when it has taken you 14 years to get that far? In real life, Sievert is as he seems to be online -- polite, quiet, intelligent. We had a nice lunch that was, for me anyway, surprisingly frank. It felt kind of exciting to be talking about and around taboo topics in public; I rarely articulate any of my fetish verbally. It's always in an email or a forum post or a blog -- I say a lot but I never talk. So it was a little surreal to discuss inflatable fetishism in a crowded restaurant. Nobody cared what we were talking about. My wife just rolled her eyes as we went over inflatable community names, events, and history like two old war buddies.
I had intended to get a photo of the two of us together, then post it here...with our eyes covered with black bars, to protect the guilty. After all, the internet is not a crowded restaurant. But we had to cut ti short and I forgot. Maybe in another 14 years.