Four Hearts Living in Just One Mind

Heather Steadham 01

I have been meeting the neighbours. One of the first ones I met was Heather Steadham. She has created a lovely Japanese (a bio style apparently) building enhancing the bay and a sky deck with grand piano for those romantic evenings as the sun sets. But Heather has a secret. She has a few ‘associates’, as she likes to call them, simultaneous and alternate personas that are driven by the same ‘spirit’ – inextricably connected in this world. Sounds strange? On their sky deck I met up with Heather, Max and their alternate furry personas on Sunday evening to find out more. I started by asking when this real time, parallel, duality began.

Heather Steadham: Hmm. I’d have to say about a month ago or so.
Maximillion Steadham: Essentially, Heather was the first to come to SL. She found that among other things, people were much nicer to female AV’s than to male and were much more willing to help out.
Heather Steadham: The female AV has many more friends than the male side. Females from my observations are more willing to assist one of thier own before they would assist a male.
Maximillion Steadham: We can get different responses to the same question from the same person depending on our outward appearance.

Heather Steadham 02

They refer to themselves at the start as avs and talk about an unknown force simultaneously controlling them so I dug a little deeper.

Maximillion Steadham: I’d have to say our mannerisms and speech / typing styles. They are very similar to each other. The same entity or controller as you call it, operating two AV’s as one unit. Sometimes it is mind boggling as to how it can be done. We also have additional personas that we can assume.

Some people may find this parallel ‘sibling’ type existence a little odd so I asked a little about their relationship.

Heather Steadham: Think of it as good side / bad side. We’re still trying to determine what our relation ship is…and I’m the bad one. :> They sometimes ask about our relationship… We are delibrately elusive. When pressed, we will respond that we know each other and are exploring further relationship possibilities. There are also times where I will dress completely different from Max as well.
Maximillion Steadham: We leave it as “associates”

Heather Steadham 03

Given the obvious connection between the two of them I asked how both would feel if one of them developed a relationship with another av and started to lose contact with each other.

Maximillion Steadham: That is her choice, much the same way that I am also free to develop other relationships as well. We normally take things one day at a time and keep options open.
Heather Steadham: The depth of other relationships is something that gets determined as time goes on.

Heather Steadham 03a

Referring back to something Max said about ‘additional personas’ I found out that the two of them go deeper into the rabbit hole by as well as the parallel existance they have alternate personas that they use. They both regularly transform themselves into ‘skunks’. Yes indeed. I asked why and what did it mean.

Heather Steadham: Heather in human form is generally a warm and friendly person. Max knows if I am “in skunk mode” to tread very carefully…or it could also mean that I’m involved in a construction project. The skunk makes an appearance when the need for “being left alone” outweighs the need to be sociable.. i.e.: when building or taking clases. Not wanting attention. That skunk appearance would be a mask I wear to be left alone rather than to interact with others.
Maximillion Steadham: When she is in her skunk persona in public, she is also not entirely “happy” that day. So, when she is in “skunk mode”, I serve as a guardian / protector of her emotional state. It also helps in public when she is in skunk mode to have a much larger human present to ward off criticism.

Heather Steadham 04

I had met both of them a few days ago at a popular furry club and found them dancing together so I asked about their relationship in their transformed state.

Maximillion Steadham: Yes. Heather and I have been to several clubs where they are furry / human tolerant. Depending on Heather’s emotional state that day, I can appear as a gray, mature skunk, like a father figure to her or as a black skunk similar in appearance to Heather. The transformation is mostly to ward people away from Heather. The difference being either paternal/familar or as a trusted associate.

Heather Steadham 05

As part of the interview Heather implied that she prefers Max as Skunk, making her feel more comfortable as that persona, which I think surprised Max. This lead to a discussion about their relationship as regards money.

Maximillion Steadham: There is also the disparity in the division of wealth between our personas.
Heather Steadham: I have the income. Max is my trusted employee.
Maximillion Steadham: Not really. I control her funds at her request.
Heather Steadham: I have a tendency to buy on impluse and consult Max depending on the amount.
Maximillion Steadham: Essentially, anything over $500 requires my assent to purchase.

They both demonstrated how they dance together and talked about clubs they go to, so I prodded again on the question of how people perceive their relationship

Heather Steadham: We normally will visit blues/ rock / and slowdancing clubs on the weekend. Max has a list of the ones we can be found in. But we could also be two friends just having an enjoyable time, free from drama.
Maximillion Steadham: It’s up to the other people present to ask. We don’t volunteer our relationship.

Heather Steadham 06

I politely requested that they transform into their ‘skunk’ mode to ascertain if their indeed was a personality shift and to see how they related to each other but more importantly why the need to wear the mask.

Heather Steadham: This is my general appearance in public when I am in skunk mode – elegant, but also ready to spray you if needed. I would considered Heather’s more wild, but shy side – if that makes sense. In this state, I’m usually emotionally vulnerable..They are more suprized to see me as a human than a skunk. This is the persona most people see me with. The skunk came out after about two weeks of first moving into SL. When I lived in Seogwipo…any male AV would stop by and check out the female AV who had taken some time and pride in making her appearance as elegant and functional as she could. It detracted from being able to educate myself or just relax at home. It has its functions. I can maintain an eloquent appearance, but at the same time keep the general male populace away from me.
Maximillion Steadham: We are observed holding hands many times, and it keeps the furs away…they tend to have a higher “leering” factor than the humans do.
Heather Steadham: If Max is right next to me in a fur area, it is generally assumed that we have a relationship – and we are not bothered in that way. Incidentally humans in fur areas are generally looked on as newbies without the funds to make the transformation to fur, furrys tend to have the overactive sex drive.

Heather Steadham 07

I mentioned that when I first met them there was a crowd on their big black decking and they came up with the ruse that Max was tired due to being recently serviced. Now I see how it works. The simultaneous existance of the Steadham’s ‘from just one mind’ is rare in this world. I must admit to doing the same on many occasions and have started a ‘group’ called the SIMULs which has a growing membership. One of the attractions is the real time, duality of being, whether dual gender or creature or whatever and communicating with individual avs without their being aware. I asked Heather for her reasoning.

Heather Steadham: That is what also keepspeople from guessing we’re the same. If we are here at the same time…kind of hard to say we’re ALT;s. The typos occasionally give it away too. I can fool people, but if Max is just hanging around, it give the illusion away sometimes. If I “occupy” Max, there are less questions.

Heather Steadham 08

It was great to see fellow simul’s operating smoothly and obviously enjoying the complexity of dual, triple and quadruple, real time, parallel identities. We did talk much more about the gender differences in this world and how a female av is treated more favourably, freely given more ‘gifts’, has more friends and generally at a social advantage. I am sure we will see an increase in the numbers of simuls in this world as it affords multiple perspectives on the world, which is impossible in the bio world I understand. It is easy to point out that this may be verging on dissociative identity disorder but I see it more as acting and multiple, simultaneous, in-world role playing. Being able to communicate as parallel identities allows me and others to understand more about how others relate to a wider range of person or creature that stands in front of them and that understanding increases your own self awareness.

Posted by Gary Hazlitt from Second Life

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