The Zyxs

Zyx Resident (left) and Zyx Flux

I often ask myself, “Why do I have two pixy alts?” The original Zyx Flux started as a way to battle a Lucky Chair that loved the letter Z (as mentioned in this blog post of mine) but over time became a bunny rancher, landscaper, building subcontractor, and world explorer. She also plays at Mystara (as a pixy, of course) for a little role play recreation. Zyx Resident came later as a means to preserve the name when every new Second Life resident sign up was given no choice in last names (as mentioned in yet another blog post). Since then, she has mostly collected cool clothes and weapons without any particular function.

But I can do all that, names aside, as Uccello Poultry, so I have to ask again: “Why do I have two pixy alts?” Sitting at the keyboard, I’m pursing my lips and tilting my head, with only the barest inkling of an idea. Sure, building a character — and all avatars are characters, to some degree — is fun almost to the point I could make one a day and be amused. And “growing” them is fun, too, as they develop as extensions of the keyboardist. Like “Wee Zyx” has a whimsical personality that lets me express a part of me that being Uccello simply doesn’t let me …

Maybe I’d better pause to mention here that Uccello is very grown-up. Maybe not emotionally, but she’s adult to the point she’s made her more “experienced” friends blush. Her rather busty-curvy-womanly shape reflects my RL figure but her choice in clothing (when the trollop bothers to dress, that is) leans heavily toward what some might call “slutty.” I can’t do that IRL. On that side of the keyboard I wear bulky, loose clothing to hide my shape and to blend into the woodwork, no makeup even when I can find the one lipstick I own, and my hair is very, very butch. SL Uccello is RL Caitlin (me!), but without most of my paranoia, phobias, and reservations.

Zyx Flux, then, is probably the child that I missed out being, I guess, since I grew up very, very fast one long weekend. Her walk is a skipping prance that advertises her cheerful innocence. When she changes clothes I’m often surprised to see detailed bits on her skin because I never think of her that way. My mindset when I’m in-world with Wee Zyx is a decade of growing up away from Uccello’s place. No, she’s not a child avie, or I couldn’t let her work at the Isle of Lesbos, but she has a purity to her. Even I blush when she occasionally swears.

Which leaves Big Zyx, the mystery. Miss Resident, until I figure out some sort of family naming scheme and talk my brother into it for his avie, too. In my mind she’s like a grown up Zyx Flux that hasn’t had Caitlin’s or Uccello’s experiences. That looks funny on the screen after I read it again, but it rings true despite the stream-of-conscious feel with which I’m writing. When I’m logged in as her I get a sense of poise and grace, confidence and calmness, wisdom earned and practiced ability. She’s certainly not me. Or if she is, she’s a me that I’ve yet to meet. Except that one time …

A couple years ago I had the same feelings during an incident with a man who thoroughly groped me. Within seconds I had him on his back, my .45 H&K drawn in the Weaver Stance and aimed at his chest from a meter away. While he was peeing his pants (really), I was a model of calm … a clarity that weapons instructors from my father up to the Marines at the local Navy base all said I would gain with patience. I was poise and grace and power in one package. To me, that is Zyx the Elder, as I sometimes call her.

While nibbling at the edges of “the question,” none of this answers it. Every avatar is an expression of me to some extent, but splitting the essences into multiple parts … I don’t know. I don’t quite understand it. Yet. There will come a day, I’m sure. But until then, my playful pixy and my wise pixy will keep my highly-flawed, trollop of a main account spinning with some sort of balance.

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