September 29th, 2002


Rats with Hats

The genesis of my online moniker, King Rat, began when I was in college at the University of Idaho. My freshman year, a fat bearded old (about 37, which is old to a 17 year old) guy who lived on the floor above me in Gault Hall, a men's dorm, decided that I needed a nickname and that mine was to be "Rodent." Much to his chagrin, I embraced the nickname.

I started using the name "Rodent" on local Moscow BBSes. Sometime in 1989 I started using "King Rat" as well. For two years, on every BBS, I was either "Rodent" or "King Rat." In 1990, I switched completely over to "King Rat." By this time I was primarily only frequenting the first Internet BBS, Quartz, which was based out of Rutgers. By the summer of 1991, most people online who knew me, knew me as King Rat. At the first QuartzFest in Fayetteville, Arkansas that was the name I used.

I also played a lot of LPMuds during that period. I don't remember when I stopped exactly, and I don't remember how frequently I used that name on them. As LPMuds went up and down, I was constantly shifting to new servers and having to start over. At some I used "King Rat" and at others I would use some wizardly sounding name.

When the HTTP protocol started becoming ubiquitous and web sites started requiring "accounts" in 94 or 95, I used "King Rat." When I couldn't I used "Great King Rat." For about 3 years, I spent a lot of time on the Yahoo Seattle chat board. Oddly enough, I was not living in the Seattle area until 1999 near the end of that period. What ended my participation mostly was actually meeting a lot of the people who frequented that board. They scared me. I didn't want to become like them. On that board I was known as "GreatKingRat" as the name "KingRat" was already taken.

So here I am "gkr." On the crack bored, I am "THe King Rat" as both "King Rat" and "Great King Rat" were taken.

I took the name "King Rat" because numerous circumstances brought rats into my life. The Gault Hall mascot was a rat. My favorite book was James Clavell's "King Rat." And my favorite band at the time was Queen which had a song called "Great King Rat." Since then, another author, China Mieville wrote another work titled "King Rat" which is excellent.

I had sweatshirts from Gault Hall with rats on them. The only one I still have is one the sophomore year one.with the text "The Rat Is Back" on it and a gunslinging rat charing at the reader. Freshman year we had one that was a beer logo modified with a rat. Junior year was the cool one, with the theme "Rats With Hats." Several rats are pictured standing around on a street corner wearing nothing but hats strategically placed to cover their nakedness. Unfortunately, I gave that shirt to a girl who flirted with me. At the time, I didn't know better.

Jason just gave me a ball cap with a stylized rat logo on it.


Was I wrong?

I really play the courtship game poorly.

Here's the story. I have been enamored of Deborah for a bit. In the last two weeks or so, she and I have spent some time together and all signs to me were that she was interested. We went shopping. We spent a Sunday talking and wandering around Seattle. I made her dinner on Friday and we had a really good time.

But one thing I haven't done is make a "move" on her. It's the one thing in life that I would change about myself if I could. My fear of making a "move." She knows I am interested. She sends signals that she is interested. Or at least I think she does. But I can't make a "move."

Today is her birthday. She was out tonight at the Mercury, and she got a lot of attention. Brian, William, Lance, and someone else all were lavishing attention on her. And in a way that makes me think something is going on as I write between her and William.

When I left, I said good night to her and she asked me to call her. Her tone of voice sounded fateful. So I will call later today after I get up and she has had a chance to have her birthday shindig with her parents.

I am expecting that conversation to be a disappointment to me. Maybe the unexpected will happen and this will be a good conversation. My experience in the past says not.

The following is just a meandering angsty pot of questions and things running through my head. Most of it assumes that my expectations are correct. If I expected a "good" outcome from the coming phone call, this would be a giddy entry. Obviously, it is not.

The first thing running through my mind is "Was I reading everything wrong?" Is my radar fundamentally broken? This happened to me in May as well with Jessica.

Did I just not move quickly enough? Could this all have been avoided if I had been more direct?

I am not angry. I am somewhat hurt, but not in a bitter or blaming way. I am very disappointed. This will all pass, and even if the worst is true, I will recover from the immediate emotional twisting in a few days. I got my hopes up. I tell myself that I won't go after someone who I still have a crush on, and then I fail to follow my own guideline.

I wonder why someone does something like this. She knows I am very interested. If not interested, why not put a stop to it earlier, instead of by flaunting a dalliance with someone else in front of me. I wouldn't be going through all this angsty stuff right now if that had been what happened. I think she doesn't realize what those actions do.

The other thing I wonder is why can't I find someone? What quality about me seems to invite this kind of behavior? Am I still just too "nice" in that pathetic way? I know I used to be like that and I thought I had changed. I know I lack for some confidence, but I am not a completely cowed person.

The phone call should resolve a lot of this, whichever way it goes. I actually still hold hope that my expectations are wrong. Until then I shall lay here, angsty and lonely. Much of that emotion will dissipate with a good night's rest, so I shall not be moping around tomorrow before the phone call. But for now, I shall mope. Luckily, sleep will come soon.

  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed

A nightmare before waking

I had nightmares for the first time in a long time last night. Alas, I cannot remember them. C-ko called around 9 to ask me to take her to brunch and to pick her up from the train station. If I don't write down my dreams within a couple of minutes of waking up, I won't remember them at all. Dream memories fade fast.

So the down sides are that I don't remember the dreams and that I was woken up at 9. The positive side is that I am no longer in the middle of a nightmare and that I will be having brunch at Palisades in a little over an hour.