I recognized the tattoo of an atom on the back of her neck. She wearing one of the brown WordCamp t-shirts but had already cut off the sleeves. I wondered when she had found the time to do that, since it was only 10 a.m. — darn near the middle of the night for these blog jockeys — and most people were still bleary-eyed and clutching big paper cups of Starbuck’s.
It also looked like she had died the tips of her hair pink.
There was a MacBook Air balanced on her crossed knees and she was staring intently into her iPhone.
I looked her up on Meebo. She was there.
“Hey,” I wrote. “Who chewed the sleeves off your shirt?”
I saw her glance around, but she didn’t see me because I was sitting directly behind her.
“You here?” she wrote.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world… especially now that I know you’re here,” I answered.
“Huh,” she said. “That’s not exactly the way I remember it.”
“Still pissed?” I asked.
“I wasn’t pissed,” she said. “Just… frustrated.”
“You went home with your ex,” I wrote.
“Only to get my CDs,” she said. “I called you later and your phone was off.”
“I dropped it in the toilet at El Rio.”
“Gross,” she said. “But a convenient excuse.”
I changed the subject as smoothly as I could.
“So what are you thinking about WordCamp so far?”
“Well, Matt’s hot.”
I felt a twinge of snarky jealousy.
“You batting for both teams now?”
“No. I just meant that Matt’s hot in that way some guys are. Don’t you ever check guys out?”
“When I check a guy out, it’s usually because I’ve mistaken him for a girl… so I’m like ‘if he was a girl he’d be sooo hot.'”
“Well, that’s what I’m saying about Matt. He’s not girly. He’d just make a hot girl… all lanky and wholesome.”
I had to agree. “He would.”
The presentation came to an end, and Lorelle VanFossen took the stage.
“I like Lorelle,” she wrote. “I bought her book in the lobby.”
“I’ve read her blog,” I answered. “Was she nice?”
Jace ran her hand though her hair and switched her computer to her other knee.
“Very sweet. Autographed it and did a little video interview with me for a project she’s working on.”
“But then we had this freaky convo about horse sex.”
“WTF. Horse sex? Really?”
“Yeah. We were talking about ways to boost SEO and she told me this story about a newspaper in the Pacific Northwest that ran a story on its website about guy who died of a burst colon after having sex with a horse.”
“No, really. Anway, apparently their hits went through the roof and it prompted a big debate about whether they should intentionally run more wild stuff to keep the numbers pumping.”
“She told you this?”
“Uh huh. And she said she ran a post about it on her blog, and her numbers went up so high it skewed her stats. She said it still spikes now and then.”
“Is there a moral to this story?”
“I don’t know. I was thinking maybe I should post something about horse sex.”
“You wouldn’t,” I wrote.
I saw her laugh.
“I want to hear the LOLcats guy talk about virality,” I said. “He should be entertaining.”
“Is ‘virality’ even a word?” she asked. “When did it become one?”
“I don’t know. When did ‘stateful’ become a word?”
“Remember when cookies had chocolate chips and birds twittered?” she countered.
I switched screens. “Virality has a Wiki entry,” I said. “Although it might be the shortest one I’ve ever seen.”
I saw her hop to the page.
“That’s sort of the ‘Jesus wept’ of Wikipedia, isn’t it?”
“That’s what I’m thinkin’.'”
Ben Huh took the stage.
“Here we go,” she said. “Do you think the LOLcats are funny?”
“Well, I didn’t,” I said. “But I’m looking at I Can Has Cheezburger right now, and some of them are pretty hilarious.”
“I think they’re funnier on the site than when someone emails them to you,” Jace wrote. “I hate getting emails with that kind of shit, even when it’s funny.”
“You know how many of these things get sent around the virtual word every day?” I asked. “That’s virality.”
“Are you saying cats and porn are driving the internet?”
Ben changed his slide and the audience cracked up.
“What if we could combine them?” she wrote.
“Cats and porn?”
“Something like that. We’d be the next hot thing.”
“I thought you were the next hot thing.”
“I guess that remains to be seen,” she wrote.
My stomach jumped a little.
“You flirting with me?”
“Like I said, that remains to be seen… check your email.”
The header on the email said “How’s this for virality?”
I clicked to open and founded one line: “LOLtitz”.
I burst out laughing and had to cover my mouth to try and keep quiet. Unfortunately it wasn’t one of the funny moments during Ben’s presentation, and I was looking like a nut. Below me, I could could see Jace’s shoulders shaking in laughter. She held her iPhone up and it flashed. I watched her bouncing around between screens, banging on her keyboard furiously.
Something else landed in my inbox. There was no title, but I knew it was from her.
It was a photo of the front of her WordCamp t-shirt stretched tight across her breasts and captioned “Deez iz NOT cheezburgers.”
Underneath the photo, it said: “Meet me in the lobby.”
I had a bad case of the laughing in church giggles now. I tried to stifle myself as I closed my laptop and shoved it into my messenger bag. I could see her doing the same, and I didn’t dare catch her eye as I headed for the exit.
Outside we slumped against the wall and collapsed in a fit of laughter.
“Oh my god,” I said. “That was too funny. I thought I’d pee my jeans in there.”
“We could have the blog up by tonight,” she said.
“We’ll need pictures,” I gasped, trying to catch my breath.
“I’ll take yours if you’ll take mine.”
She looked serious.
I guess I looked quizzical because she reached out and traced her fingertip around my nipple, making both of our points clearer.
“Well,” I said, “I think we should get to work. I have a feeling this could take all night.”