How do you sum up 6 years in a single post?
It’s kind of like standing up on a podium giving a speech and the crewman is telling you to wrap it up…too many people to thank, to remember.
It was around this time 6 years ago that I was doing a podcast with zipperfish.com, and I was yapping with the shows lead man, The Walrus. (yes, he’s called The Walrus..coo coo ca choo)
So he starts talking about this place called Second Life and how its not like a world of warcraft type of setting, moreso like The Sims online, though I had never played either. I figured, hey I like yahoo chat, I dig new experiences, lemme check it out.
And I never left after that.
So this is the part where I do a summary or rather a self-roast of the life of Ms. Leyla Christensen:
Leyla Started out as a backup dancer for a couple of Kool-Aid avatars (oh yeaaaaa)
Then Leyla was a club hopper, going from Techno, to Bad 80’s hangouts, finding herself in the hip-hop clubs.
Then Leyla became an escort giving blow jobs for 200L (that’s less than one US dollar converted from linden currency by the way…no..she had no standards)
Between sucking pixel penis, club hopping and shopping Leyla was obviously looking for something…a place that wasn’t playing the same song 20 times a day…hair that was 5 sizes larger cause she didn’t even know how to size it properly…consistent dick maybe?
After a while, you get tired of the routine. Eventually, and this is true in all situations I don’t give a shit what anyone says, You wind up wanting a connection. Weather it be with a place, a person, or a group of people.
Her first group of friends was at the place she worked at: Centerfolds. Thinking back on it now, it was pretty damn ghetto…and one of the first people she met was this blonde haired, big booty, cleavage poppin SCANDALOUS chick..at the time she couldn’t have predicted the outcome of that first encounter, but Ley’s SL began with some structure the day they crossed paths. (She wound up buying her for 13,000L in exchange for a stack of pancakes…which were FINALLY made 5 1/2 years later…but that’s for another post)
At some point, I’m not sure when or how it came about, Ley found herself in the dark.
And that’s not always a bad thing.
Transylvania: How can you sum up how you feel about a particular place in a thousand words or less? You cant really. Everything is open to interpretation. But to Yours Truly, and as I always say…doesnt matter what people take from what I write: rather what I give is the only thing that matters.
Its changed over the years: Naturally, it’s had its scenes of “Tele-Novela” moments: struggles for power, this one sleeping with that one, this group of people cliquey with that group of people, who has the best hair, outfit, shape, shoes so on and so forth. All the while playing some of the most fitting music for each episode.
So then, Ms. Christensen…why keep going there? Why stay chilling in a place that has a Tele-Novela going on?
In a nutshell, its the people. On one side of the coin you have the people that make you want to eat your own face. Repeatedly. And then on the other side of the coin you have the people that remind you: “Hey…its cool. Don’t let the fiends get you down or drain you. You still have people here that deserve a chance to be known. To be heard. To be The Family that was created seven plus years ago before you were even a thought on the SL grid.
So fuck it. I gave it a chance. And if it can tolerate my red bull drinking-stab-twice-in-the-face-stomp-you-in-the-jugular tirades, then it cant be all that bad.
So 6 years later, many many red bulls drunken, thousands of cigarettes smoked and several hundred notecards later, we come to the reflection in the water. And more than a few people come to mind that I think played a major part in the life of Ms. Leyla Christensen. In the choices that shes made, the lessons that shes learned, the shits and giggles through time, tears that were literally shed from the person behind the keyboard and the pretty goddamn expressive vocal rants that made me put some more bass in my voice when I had a point to get across.
Some of these things drawn from/learned/ experienced, whatever..some are good, some not so good. But in the end, weather shitty or non, each helped shape the life of The Lady.
Our first real conversation..on a mountaintop in a place called Crystal Island. The shell came down and we talked about perseverance. He learned about My Son, and I learned about His level of understanding. Before that, he was just a figurehead to me: an iconic figure trying to make an impact on a virtual universe based on his beliefs and vision of unity and vanity. A mad scientist bringing together a mass of people under one banner. His connection with individual people reflected on me that it is possible to give of yourself no matter how great or how little. What I drew from Him: love
This wasn’t some “tormented soul” or “melancholy pariah”. He was cross. Lewd. Crude. Rude. To the point.
A chess player a hundred times over. The scars on my brain vouch for the disagreements that we have had in the past. But there was always a respect. A respect that no one person was better than the other. A knowledge that there’s a difference between and argument and a debate. An understanding that there was no reason to wear a veil of lies. Truth is always best. No matter how stern or painful it can be. What I drew from Him: logic
She was shameless. Inhibited. Uncensored. She was a vicious reminder that the world of SL is meant to be without limits. She had a great passion about her that some would say is downright vulgar. But it makes you question: isn’t that what this world is supposed to be about? To have no restrictions? To go that extra mile of what the real world prohibits you to be? Some would say She was scandalous..I’ve said it a few times myself. But her willingness to “be free”: its what people envy..even here in a place where there are few boundaries, they still live with the shackles around their brain while she let those go a long time ago. Never an ill word spoken to each other, she accepted the bold bomb that Leyla was, and in turn, Leyla accepted the wild spirit that She is. What I drew from Her: loyalty
Whatever Leyla was missing in thought and imagination, Dirk filled in the pieces. This big world, a naked canvas of scenes and raised curtains..a stage to play whatever role your mind wandered into: If Leyla was the starlet, then He was the leading man. Over time, You wind up wanting to be the actress. You want to live that role you’re playing. For a time, We did. And the curtain came down quicker than expected. A painful experience to endure but we both came out better people on better paths from it.
What I drew from Him: growth
These were two people that no matter what illusion was put up, they had an unbreakable bond of love and trust. They were passionate about everything. If a friend was hurting, they would stick by them. If they disagreed with something, they stood by their beliefs wholeheartedly. Leyla had married them in a high pillar ballroom on a beach island of pink sand and still waters. And their vows to each other were heard across the grid. From love, to friendship, to their own beliefs, whatever they said or felt, they meant it.
What I drew from Them: conviction
Many long conversations with this man. Where people saw him as eye candy to an emotional overly sensitive dude, to Leyla, he was just a person to talk to. He was receptive to things she had to say and for a time they were on the level with each other and saw each other for what they were: “bruh/sis” punching bags. Massive headaches and in those moments when things were bleak for either, an honest word.
What I drew from Him: patience
From what I knew of the person, in the times we spoke, she was selfless. She didn’t ask for anything else except for The Family to return the love that she gave. People will have their own opinions of her, their own memories. What Leyla knew of Fel was that there wasn’t a negative bone in her body. She had the same vision that many Family Members do of the Home that is Transylvania. It was because of Her that Leyla wanted to be part of preserving a memory of good times and a Home that The Family could be together in.
Leyla made a promise days after Fel left us to go on to the next world. Its a promise that still remains true in the actions of not just her but through all of The Family that care for the place Feliciaa called home.
What I drew from Her: honor
We met not by chance, rather by a bad hand of fate. The curtain fell short on both of us. And when the curtain fell, the roles dissipated and we saw each other for what we were. The women behind the masks. How does that happen? Winding up being close with someone who you always didn’t see eye to eye with in so many words? Is it because a similar heartbreak was shared? At the time, perhaps they weren’t so different. In this case, the ends justified the means. What was lost in translation led to a road to happier times for both.
What I drew from Her: perseverance
A lot was learned when Ley introduced the world of SL to La Reina de Helio. Like all people that come into the world, they peel off the shell they were given and form into their own persona. It’s like that whole watching them grow blah blah blah blah stuff. But it wasn’t just watching her grow, it was hearing her make her own voice..and people wanting to listen. Eventually, you have to pull yourself away from people and let them be whatever they want to be, with whatever voice they want to use. ~FTN was her mantra: it was that acronym that was either a nod in agreement or a squinted look in reply. Many people tried to change her. Mold her into their likeness. But some things cant be changed. And that’s not always a bad thing.
What I drew from Her: boundaries
You learn from the best of them. You learn from the worst of them. When you have a biased view of someone that you held in the highest regard. Someone that you could tell anything. Share dark moments. Revel in wonderful times that come only once and you can never repeat. People grow. They change. They help you change. They cant change. They cant change You. Who You are. What You stand for. Everyone eventually stands for something. And you either grow together or grow apart. But You’re left with Yourself in the end.
What I drew from Her: self worth
What was missing from The Ley-lers? Not just a single person that could make sense of what She was trying to put together as a standard, rather a single person that not only respected her beliefs but also understood what it meant to be a partner. The term is either used too loosely or too extreme. When people look at the life of the now Mrs. Christensen-Hannibal, they say all sorts of things:
“here we go again”
“you sure you want to go down that road?”
“aren’t you worried it’s going to happen again?”
When I look at Mrs. C.H. I say “THIS is how its supposed to be. THIS is what it means to have what you would call a companion. Not the lovey doveys or the pixel pumping. Not the love letters that open up with barf sparkles and rainbow skittles, rather with an occasional stabbing, a pointless few moments of shits and giggles and a few rounds of mortal kombat that would be considered foreplay. It’s insignificant to me what others may see, say or think. What matters to me is whats between the two. Not a show or a spectacle of over thought assumptions. Plus, He makes laughter much easier to come by now.
What I drew from Him: enlightenment
The Transylvania Family: then and now
Dark. Foreboding. Anti-Socials. Un-Holier Than Thous. Self Righteous.
This is the norm that is heard, spoken, ranted etc.
But the truth is, you have to be in it to really understand it. You have to live it to speak about it. You cant walk by it like a window shopper at J. Crew and say “well I know how that’s going to fit.” It’s a beautiful chaos to accept the beast of what it is. It can be violent, ugly, overwhelming, tiresome..but that’s only one layer of the shell. It can be an adrenalin rush of emotions and thoughts, make you want to rage at the screen and pump your fists to the tempo of the music. It can make you laugh, somber, cry, pissed off..
I think there’s that evil eye because the question is really “Why/How is one place able to make you feel so much?”
That’s its purpose. That’s what it was meant for. To feel something. That’s why I stay.
What I draw from them: acceptance
And before I hear a damn thing about “why wasn’t my name put in there”: its 6 years folks. I’d be here all night. These are the first people that came to my mind in a recap of 6 years. There are many that have played a part, no matter how big or small. There are not enough words. There’s never enough words.
Here’s to 6 years of the Life of Mrs. Leyla Christensen-Hannibal.