Thoughts on a Friend by Richard Bleil
Through the years, I’ve known a lot of people who have gone on to have quite some notoriety. I’ve known two Miss America contestants, a news personality, a DJ, more than a few models and so on. Many of these were former students of mine, but not all. I want to talk about one of these just because she means a lot to me, and I’m, frankly, very impressed with her as a person. I don’t think she reads my blogs, but if she does, I hope she likes this one. If she doesn’t, then I’m writing about somebody who doesn’t really exist and it’s all a fictional character.
The friend I would like to discuss today I met online, back when “chat engines” were all the rage, before the advent of social media. These engines had search functions, not terribly unlike searching for dates on dating sites. Kind of “key word” searches, and photos could be attached to the profiles, and, yes, her profile photo was stunning. She is a bit younger than I (quite a bit actually), but she seemed very interesting. So, I shot her a note, and giving me far more than I deserved, she said “hi” back.
I wish I could say that I was a perfect gentleman the entire time, but I was there looking for “adult conversation”. As it turns out, something in my profile interested her, and she wanted to talk with me as a friend. In my defense, as soon as I realized that we were on different wavelengths, I did let the conversation go.
Our friendship took off quickly, and she became important to me as such. When I met her, she hadn’t met her biological father yet, but shortly after we became friends, she managed to locate him. As an example of how strong this friendship with a woman that to this date I have not yet met, she told me the story, and I tried to encourage and embolden her to meet him, which eventually she did. I’ve always been proud of the role I played in this meeting, and the last I heard, they now have a strong relationship.
I met her before her brush with fame. She was living with a man who turned out to be an abusive narcissist. To her credit, she did something that so many people in such a situation find very difficult to do; she broke free. Eventually she met a musician (who I would very much like to dislike, but they are still together today, he treats her very well and they are a very cute couple so what’s not to like?) and the two of them relocated, basically to the other side of the country.
Today she is a feminist, which I find fascinating. See, she became a model for a soft-pornography website. I noticed that the models on this site are sometimes fully nude, and sometimes not. It celebrates “real” women, which I do love, but I find this to be an interesting choice knowing her as I do. In the photos I have seen of her from this site, although she appears to be nude in some of the photos, they are all “tastefully” posed to as to avoid full exposure nudity photography. Mostly, they are just poses of her dressed. But she is a very beautiful young woman, even today, some twenty years since we first spoke.
After her modeling career, she briefly became a “web cam model”. Yup, she was one of those women that men pay to see in front of a web cam. I have to admit, I did visit her on the web cam, in part to support her choices, and even paid for “private shows”, but we never really did do what I imagine most men pay for in those shows. I wanted a private show because I wanted the opportunity to chat with her for a few minutes just to catch up without worrying about other men interfering in the conversation.
When I was married, my wife was very jealous of this woman that I had never met. Seriously, she had nothing to fear; as much as I adore and love my friend, we’re just friends. There are enough differences between us that I know that we would not be compatible even if we did get into a relationship, but with her current boyfriend, she’d have to be some kind of a fool to give him up for me, and I know she’s not a fool. But my wife insisted that I cut ties with her, which, like an idiot, I did. After a brief marriage, a few years later, we reconnected. She’s the kind of friend that when we did, it’s as if we had never been apart. I love those kinds of friends.
Eventually, she went to technical school and became licensed as a make-up artist (and from what I have seen, she is very good). As a liberal women’s lib woman, I’ve often wondered how her experiences have shaped her attitudes today. But she is very intelligent, has a heart as big as the world, and an incredible soul to match. I hope we will always be friends, and who knows, maybe, someday, we might even be able to meet in person.