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It's been sometime since I was last here...

Actually, no. Go back and take a look at that node, I'll wait. Two years since last I wandered the hallowed halls of E2, two years! The dreams and aspirations I had... I used to write well, dammit!

Looking at it now I see some changes... The colour scheme is different, the experience system has changed (subtly) and GP? I'm higher up on the other users nodelet than I remember - but regardless - this place still feels like home. It's good to be back.

And me?
Well I quit smoking, and worked for a company I didn't like very much before being offered the opportunity to give it all up and go to university! I handed in my notice, started classes, and started my own business fixing computers - a fairly successful business at that! I even bought a motorbike - the cost of petrol was so high, it just made sense. I could get to clients and class so much more quickly and cheaply!

And then... Then some idiot didn't watch the road, turned right in front of me across my lane and right of way, and my bike and I plummeted into the side of his car at a good 80 kilometers an hour.

The couple who were driving behind me and stopped to help (probably saving my life in the process) said they couldn't believe I'd survived. I'd broken my jaw, my left arm and right wrist, and shattered my femur so badly all the hospital could do was stick in a solid metal rod, and wait for the bone to heal around it. The concussion left me almost completely unresponsive for weeks, and I'm still struggling to adjust to it. Depression? Gaps in the memory? Feeling of unfamiliarity with simple tasks? You bet!

It's alright, I'll walk again (though not for another few months). The nerve damage in my left arm may be permanent, and there's a long list of things I used to take for granted in life, like my firespinning and cooking that would be affected by that, but for now all I can do is wait and hope.

And spend time online. In the old days I'd sit in my comfy office chair, beer on one side of the keyboard and ashtray with smouldering cigarette on the other, and hammer out write-ups that some of you apparently liked. Now I perch on a couch and reach down to peck at this awkward laptop keyboard, hoping I remember enough to make this write-up at least not suck too badly. I worry like sensei did that I should maybe leave things be, not come back in my altered state of mind and make frivolous changes - so this is, if you will, a trial return. I'll see how things go, and if I act too much like an annoying old fart, I can still leave peacefully.

There's work to be done, that much is still apparent. Paris Hilton needs to be updated, and hopefully by now I've learnt not to node the lives of people still living. Ah - look at me, discussing noding already! It's good to be back...

Valentine's Day: I awake, knowing only that this day will go down as some kind of bizarre. With the group, my teammates, I ride south on Chuckanut Drive from Bellingham. I was sick earlier in the week, only just getting over it. They're organizing race pacelines. I can't keep up. We hit the landing in Skagit County and I turned around, accompanied by a single rider for a few minutes. Exhaustion sets in. Riding, I thought, would keep me out of trouble that day. If I didn't have the energy, my heart couldn't race. This is fine. I hit the south side of town, only a few blocks from home. Instead of turning where I should, I continue onward, find a bank and pull a twenty out. A block over, I know, is a flower shop. Five dollars and some change later, I have it. The one, the rose that will seal my fate.

I arrive home, with an exceedingly voracious appetite. Feeling empty, I make something in the kitchen and wolf it down in front of my roommate's girlfriend. I had set the rose down on the table. My roommate joined us; they both eye it. I say, 'I'm either going to fuck things up today or not.' I shower. My heart defies me - it'll have me beating down death's door sooner than not, if it keeps up this pace. Carefully, I dress. She knows I am coming over to drop stuff off for the next night's dinner.

I knock on her door, holding the rose in the other. She answers, eventually. I step inside. She has turned her back on me, momentarily, I produce the rose. 'For you,' I might've said. Whatever I did say, my heart was THUMPING so loudly, I can't remember. Mentally, I'm gone. She thanks me, returns to her frenetic studying, editing, writing. I leave. Who knows if it went right. There was no 'wrong'.

Followup: The next day, we made dinner together and watched a movie. She brought up TV Tropes on her laptop and we scoured it, finding our favorite stories. She gave me a small box of chocolates, which remain untouched. There was a lot of laughing. And a long hug.

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