The Dream

Margie got home late the night the towers fell. Obviously no one had gotten any work done during the day as her coworkers were glued to their TV's, group by group. The chatter for each group at the State Department of Health was distinctive depending on the room you were in. The older, Rule of 90 Hen Captains mentioned The Hand of God once or twice while watching it all unfold on the conference room bigscreen, the younger support staff immediately took to debate at the front desk computer, while those in the middle simply just shook their heads in twos or threes - remaining speechless, with a kind of despondency in their rolling eyes.

            "What is the world coming to?" Margie mumbled.

Cliched and trite was all she could summon, but each word now seemed to be packed with meaning. At the time she had no fathomable idea what the meaning behind the fall of the twin towers really entailed - she believed everything the media and the government fed to her about Iraq, as did everyone - and continued moving steadily and quietly along in her own little bubble. 

As Margie unlocked the door to her room, she silently cursed at having forgotten to call her daughter Emma before bedtime. She would surely be tucked in by now, and she wasn't in the mood to hear the disappointment in her ex-husband's voice. Their split had been amicable, but he was a good father to their daughter and his opinion still meant something to her, or she wouldn't have had his child. What a thought. What a choice.

That the human mating process was instinctual, almost primal, and certainly made sense in the science textbooks about evolution - but in society - well, it's a different story. Explaining away three abortions was not an easy task when pressed, and since no one could fathom, or believe the stories attached to those "life" partners, the explanations would merely be empty justifications.

She walked through the kitchen of the large multi-family co-op, she'd recently moved into, walked upstairs, and deposited her belongings on the tiny nightstand of her bedroom, shaking her head as she did so. "What woman thinks these things?" She's never met one, and something told her she wouldn't dare try.

Sitting at the computer was a ritual for Margie. Everything needed to be in order, her chores completed, cup of tea next to the keyboard, that remembered phone call to her kids at their respective homes - before she could allow herself the luxury of logging on - her full attention to the task at hand:

Margie wanted to get re-married. She wanted her life back.  Her family back in one household, the way she’d always dreamed.

The Internet was on the verge of exploding in 2001, but online dating had yet to become the mainstream mode of introduction to single, available men. One would assume, then, that the men posting online dating ads at that time were savvy technologists: uploading pictures, completing snapshot biographies, filling out endless personality questionnaires and answering an onslaught of email. The Geekdom had been built, and if you were a smart, attractive girl like Margie, you could potentially land yourself a Geek God with only a few clicks into the World Wide Web.

By the late 90's, Margie had become adept at converting images and other texts, making sure external devices like cameras and scanners and printers could be connected to a computer, and then finding a compatible driver for each.  She understood that the main hurdle in adapting to new technology, was in knowing where to find answers. Where were people discussing such problems and more importantly, where could you find solutions? Indeed, the secret to understanding technology was not in already "knowing" the information, but in knowing where to find it - and even then, trying and failing, and failing again, until something worked.  It's kind of how Margie lived her life. Well, it's almost exactly how Margie lived her life. Not many people understood it - but she knew the Geeks would.

After several poses in several different locations and several lighting schemes, Marjorie finally chose the perfect profile picture - a straight on headshot, with natural light coming in from the front left, her best side, she supposed - and even though the smile didn't show her teeth, it seemed a fairly good representation of her personality - almost demure, with an elfin glint that might mean trouble to some. She posted it to a local dating site, paid the first month's dues, and began searching through images of all the single men on the site. 

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