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I heard the woman calling Michael's name before he did. The woman, thirtyish and friendly-looking, was under-dressed for the cold October day and kept moving in place to keep herself warm. A member of the opposite sex was nerve-racking enough, and I figured that I was adding to his stress—that Michael feared I'd inadvertently reveal why I came to Boston to meet him. " When she knew for sure it was him, she got louder, trying to make herself heard above the crowd exiting the subway station: "" Michael tensed up, as if preparing for the possibility that he'd have to flee. Michael's eyes darted back and forth, from the woman, to the dog, to me.
They use the site as an advice depot, confessional, and water cooler, complaining frequently about the impossibility of making themselves understood by "normies" or "noncels." Michael has sunk countless hours into the site. But offline, he almost never mentions it—much less that he hasn't dated anyone since he was 17, and has had sex just once in the decade-plus since." For most of us, the mating dance becomes less fraught, of course.Maybe the uncertainty even becomes part of the fun.Now they're losers, weirdos, and potential monsters.This contributes to a climate where, as Michael sees it, it's better to "just keep quiet, because otherwise you can be misinterpreted in all sorts of negative ways." For Michael, our conversations were minefields, with the potential for misspeaking—or being quoted out of context—lurking in the shadow of every question. Too much hate, too many "crazy ideas." So why, I ask, is he still running the place? "Partly habit." We're sitting in the living room of his one-bedroom apartment.
But the more time we spent together, the more I saw him react with curiosity or amusement, his mouth smiling almost against his face's will, his gray eyes lighting up, calling to mind the image of an affable high school teacher still excited by his material—the kind of high school teacher you wouldn't be surprised to find had a cute spouse at home. Rodger described his rampage as vengeance against attractive women for denying him sex and affection.