At what point did my online life become my real one? Was it the first time I stayed up all night worrying about the pain of someone I knew only through a message board and email? Was it the day Paul (whom at that point I had never met and to whom I'd perhaps hadn't yet spoken to) wrote an email whispering he loved me and I realized I was in love with him too? Was it when I traveled across the country to be sparkle and Chris's wedding? Was it the day my online friends outnumbered friends from all the other areas of my life put together?
I have no idea when it happened, really. But it happened such a long time ago now. And so today, reading that Casey had a happy moment, hearing that Natty had a good day, picking up a usenet friend at the train station and having her here with me, I know any attempt to separate "online" from "real" life is meaningless and incorrect. The people I've gotten to know first through the internet know more of me better than any other people ever have. It's wonderful to meet in person, but knowing someone online is enough for them to become important, to become that small part of me I think of as a friend.
This is all my real life.
And mostly tonight I'm just glad to read about Casey and Natty.