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I'm at work.
I'm at work, watching my car.
I'm at work, watching my car, through a window.

It is parked in a two hour zone.
It is parked in a two hour zone, since nine forty-five.
It is parked in a two hour zone, since nine forty-five, and it is now eleven fifty-two.

There are other spaces nearby.
There are other spaces nearby, which I can see.
There are other spaces nearby, which I can see, which I could move my car into to avoid receiving a parking fine.

I'm driving somewhere at lunch.
I'm driving somewhere at lunch, which is at one.
I'm driving somewhere at lunch, which is at one, so I'll only have to move my car once to avoid receiving a ticket.

I'm not going to move my car.
I'm not going to move my car, and I'm not going to leave my seat.
I'm not going to move my car, and I'm not going to leave my seat, unless the parking inspector comes.

If he comes I'm going to get up.
If he comes I'm going to get up, and go outside.
If he comes I'm going to get up, and go outside, and talk to the inspector.

I'm going to say I moved my car.
I'm going to say I moved my car, I drove it around the block.
I'm going to say I moved my car, I drove it around the block, and parked it in the same spot.

He'll never know.

The council-employed bastard.

"You're not my savior
But I still won't go...
I think I kinda lost myself again...
Passion's overrated, anyway..."

Terrific. I've gone and done it again. I always have it all set up and everything is clicking when I go and shut it all down disaster-style. I'm a walking time-bomb for relationships, and a fatal one at that.

She's devoted to me, totally good to me. But I am an official fuck head. For real. I see one girl one night I used to have a (okay, massive) thing for, and all hell breaks loose in me. Then (the next goddamn night) I get a call from another girl I used to have a thing for and decide it would be a good idea to go get drunk with above-mentioned girl #3 with all this confusion in my mind and end up sneaking her out the back door after my mom is asleep and the house is quiet, walking her home in the snow and walking back feeling FUCKED UP. FUCKED THE FUCK UP.

This is how it always ends.

It can end no other way
It can end no other way...

repeat and fade...

Today, my housemates and I decided to move to a new apartment. We have a week to pack, get utilities changed over, and clear out of the apartment we're in now.

What kind of fools move in the middle of winter in Ohio? And why do it during a week scheduled for snow and rain and nothing but?

Precisely because of the snow and rain.

Three weeks ago, part of /jen's bedroom ceiling fell in due to a roof leak, which had been caused by water building up due to a heavy snowfall. As it got worse, a previously-patched 2'x3' section of ceiling got soaked and sagged and partially collapsed, sending moldy chunks of sodden drywall everywhere.

The air in her room makes us all sneeze. She can't use it until it's repaired, and we can't let the cats wander around in there. Braunbeck had a cat years ago named Reuben who died after he walked through drywall dust and licked it off his paws. So, between worry over the cats and the mold, we're keeping the room closed off.

/jen has moved most of her stuff down to the basement so as to keep it from getting moldy, and she's camping out on the sofabed in the living room. Since she has a very different sleep schedule than us due to her being a nurse, Braunbeck and I have not been able to use the downstairs -- living room and kitchen -- nearly as much as we used to. Nor have we been able to leave the apartment or go grocery shopping when we've needed to, because we inevitably wake her up.

We've all been hugely stressed out over this. The apartment was cramped before this happened. The management kept saying they'd fix it once the ceiling dried out ... but with the unrelenting rain and snow, it hasn't dried.

We were in the rental office today, trying to find out when they'd get the ceiling fixed and asking for a break on rent due to our apartment being only half as usable as it was. /jen was all ready to move out, either to a friends' house or to her own place. The management had told us they didn't have another apartment to move us all into; the manager reiterated that they were "entirely out of two bedroom apartments".

So, I asked about three bedroom apartments. Turns out they have an empty one right around the corner. It even has a partially finished basement, courtesy of the previous tenants who apparently turned the basement into two separate bedrooms for some of their kids (they had a lot, as I recall).

The only downside is that the place is right on the corner and the patio hasn't a proper fence. This was courtesy of owners-before-last, who instead of properly fixing the decaying fencing around the complex tore down the fences and replaced them with these crappy little half-dividers that provide the barest whisper of privacy. We have a lovely view of an industrial park, and anyone on the highway could see straight into our living room at night if the blinds were open.

So, we'll be keeping the blinds closed, I suppose. Good thing I already bought a plant light.

The move is somewhat complicated by the fact that B. and I have some kind of bug. It's like a really mild influenza: body aches, fever, sore throat, sinus headaches, tiredness, stomach ache, and gastronasties. Nothing to really knock us down, though, but enough to keep us moving pretty slow.

The curse of the thinking women, who lived in books, and in their mother's dreams, in visions of happy homes, and in the hope of intellectual filling up, vessels spilling at the brim, looking for a half empty hope to fill...and they wrote and wrote in the hope that they would carelessly discover a cipher for the code, take a symbol and make it stand for itself, not to be qualified but stand free. It is terrifying that all we are told about men and women could be true. Why is it, when we look for intellectual equals we have to stake so much? Is this the price we pay for being educated? I hope my daughter's world allows her to be proud and not ashamed of her learning, that she does not have to suffer for knowing. Maybe this is why man's fall is the fall of woman, Eve's knowledge prevents us from finding him, them, and then that would be the end of creation as we know it.

Genesis
look look look
how the stud
walks the street
at a strut
in his leather
and his rib
I am like
a nib through
which his ink flows.
his muse
to amuse
Him
for I can
not do much
else.
probe his potence
prove his manhood
just like every good serpent
should.

Lately whenever I start "writing" I never seem to be able to finish whatever it is that I've scribbled down on my notepad. I'll be surprised if I end up showing this to anyone let alone posting it.

I always carry my notepad around with me, whether I go to the beach, shopping, or just to uni, it's always with me. Sometimes after I see a breathtaking scenery, if I meet an extraordinary person or if I realise something that I hadn't taken any notice of before I feel the need to write it down word by word.

I still haven't quite figured out why I do this. Maybe I don't want to forget what I've just witnessed as it might serve me later on in life or it might even be of use to somebody else. I might never even show it to somebody but it reassures me to know I still have it, it's down on paper and it's mine to keep.

I know I don't do it because I'm a control freak as I am definitely not one, sometimes I even wish I was so I could lead a more organised life maybe I should make that my New Years resolution, not the control freak part, but just to try and be more organised so I could at least get round to doing things. As to why I scribble phrases or sentences down on paper I'm not sure, but if anyone has any theories as to why I do this please do feel free to inform me. Hopefully I'm not the only one who does this.

I am sifting through the ruins of a once great castle looking for questions in the rubble. I live in a strange world. I'm never looking for answers. I have them in my hand. I'm looking for questions. I don't know what questions these answers belong to. Often I wait and sometimes I wait too long. I let the sand escape through my fingers as time passes and the answers remain unquestioned. Sometimes I look at pictures and I see things that aren't supposed to be there. At other times I stare at a coffin and see things no one else realizes are there. As I watch a church filled with people following the rituals of their religion I follow the rituals of my own. They are strangely similar and yet very different in other ways.

I feel at times I have abandoned the cause. I put myself in a position where I can no longer follow the signs and accept the missions before me without taking other things into consideration. I am reminded that I am not supposed to try to "lead a normal life." I am reminded that I was given back this life in order to do things others might consider impossible.

"I remember you.
I remember very well.
How did you know Christina?"

There is no answer to that question that is acceptable at a funeral. It reminds me of how out of place I feel much of the time, especially when it comes to the answer of death. Closing my eyes through a period of silent prayer I heard her speak to me. I saw her running through a field of flowers, laughing and telling me I couldn't catch her. I saw myself there. I was standing still and not moving. This was a question that fit one of the answers I have. There is too much inaction in my movements. I have not failed in my mission, but I failed to look beyond the moment.

"We were involved for a while.
I loved her."

Her waiting room had flowers. My waiting room was a desert. Her time had come to move on to the next frame. My time was not yet due. There was nothing yet there for me. This was a woman who knew her whole life that she was going to die. She was not long for this world. Her parents knew it as well. They spoiled her because they knew that any day might be her last. They treated every day as if it were their last with her. I don't remember the point at which I fell in love with her but I remember why. I remember why we stopped being together. My road was too hard and she could carry no more weight. There was already too much weight on her and after all, she had only crossed paths with me to give me some of the questions I had the answers to.

She even understood the prophesy. I was told there would be three queens. She knew she was the second queen. Reading my manuscript was part of what prompted her to seek me out. She had the sight and yet was cursed, or perhaps blessed, with the inability to focus it. Dying and coming back as a child is different than dying and coming back as an adult.

Everything was temporary with Christina, except for love and friendship. She had sought me out two years ago to make peace with me and to assure herself that I still loved her. She didn't have to ask. She knew. I meant something to her. The only way to explain what I meant came down to the fact that I was the only "ex-boyfriend" to show up for the funeral. She knew I would come. She left instructions on how to contact me. She knew the others would not and left no instructions. She planned out every detail of her wake and her funeral. She picked the music, the flowers, the funeral home and the cemetery. She insisted on having an open coffin during the calling hours. She insisted on not being fitted with a wig even though months of chemotheraphy had taken all of her hair. She picked out lipstick and fingernail polish. She wanted to be buried with the stuffed animals she had loved since she was a child. She insisted on being buried above ground. I could not go to the burial. I cannot watch a person's body being buried. My own strange religion prohibits it under certain conditions. This was one of those conditions.

"Tell your story.
It isn't wrong."

I was jarred out of a moment of silent prayer with my eyes closed by her voice speaking those words. She speaks to me now more than she has in two years. She knows I live on both sides of the field. She knows I can still find her. She lived without regret and without much concern for the future. She had an angel when she was a child. During her years in Catholic school when everyone made fun of the "cancer kid" there was a nun who took her under her wing. That nun died on the same day as Christina some years earlier. The priest told us about this and it meant something to him. There is no sense of time, in the way we know it, on the other side, but they know we have a sense of it here. There are messages that are received. Sometimes I am intrigued by how similar Catholicism is to my own private religion. We just have different saints and rituals. We have a similar sense about angels, but I know angels all too well to accept the limitations placed upon them. Christina has gained wings. I know because I was driving back from the church and birds were flying overhead. One of them landed on the hood of my car and then flew of.

Christina tells me I have much work to do. She tells me that she now understands and that she believes in me. There is much I need to do and I know the road I have travelled was just a beginning. Once upon a time she wanted to have my daughter. She reminds me that this is still possible. It is another answer that I don't know the question for. Wings are curious allies and mine have been in the closet for too long.

I'm collecting my energy.
Thank you to those here who have blessed me with your presence in this life.
I have miles to go before I sleep.

The other night, I was playing Medal of Honor Spearhead online and chatting with some people using Teamspeak, a voice over IP application, when one of the regular players signed on with some news.

“I’ve done a bad thing,” he said. His voice was ragged and on the verge of tears.

“What’s that?” some of us ventured.

“I took a drink last night,” he replied. “I got drunk ...”

“And?”

”Well, I’m an alcoholic. That was my first drink in two and a half years. Christ, I fucked up, didn’t I?”

This revelation was startling and at first made me a bit uncomfortable. Here I was unwinding after a grueling day at work (okay, maybe not that grueling, but you get the picture), when a guy I only know via a computer game decided to tell thirty virtual strangers that he fell off the wagon. It seemed like crossing a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed -- too much personal information for the context of the situation.

And then something startling happened -- one of the guys started counseling him. I suppose it wasn’t that surprising -- he’d revealed a few weeks ago that he’d spent a couple of years working as a telephone psychic, and that most of his calls dealt with people who were at their wits end desperately wanting to talk to someone -- anyone -- and hoping for some sort of affirmation that they were okay. It was a tough job, he said, but there are people out there with nowhere else to turn. “So you give them a reading and some common sense advice and hope they’re okay.”. I used to laugh at the telephone psychic hotlines, but I guess they do offer a counseling service to people who desperately need it.

“Look,” the former phone psychic said, “you made a mistake. It happens. Just don’t drink again.”

“It’s not that easy.”

“No, it is that easy. It was an accident -- you feel bad about it. Just don’t let it happen again.”

And that started a thirty minute session where the guy -- who was border line hysterical -- was talked down. This probably sounds insane, but I was really touched by the compassion I heard -- the guy doing the counseling seemed to genuinely care, and I was glad he was there to talk to him. It made me realize that over time, I had started -- whether I wanted to or not -- developing relationships with these people, these disembodied voices coming out of my computer speakers. That we were friends of a sort, and that I’d come to like and even care about these people. I certainly had a lot of admiration for the former phone psychic.

What’s so great about things like TeamSpeak, bulletin boards, chat rooms or E2, is that they’re ways of allowing people to connect with one another -- people who are often lonely and isolated. I know I’ve written about my apprehension regarding online relationships before, but clearly people feel they’re valid enough to reveal the intimate details of their lives. There are so many lonely people out there working miserable jobs without many friends who desperately want to have real relationships, but just don’t know how.

So I guess my point of view regarding online relationships is changing. I’m not sure that I would ever cross the lines other people seem willing to cross -- but then even with my real life relationships I tend to keep my own council. That’s just the way I am. But I think I’m done with arguing against other people who choose to develop such strong relationships with people they might never meet. If it makes them happy and feel less alone in their lives, then maybe it’s a good thing.


Pantaliamon and I have been watching the first season of Felicity on DVD. This was a show I really overlooked during its original run, and it wasn’t until its inventive series finale where Felicity actually travels back in time to change some of her mistakes (and makes more mistakes in the process) that I realized just how smart it was. Seeing the first season only affirms this for me how well played it was. Whether or not you’re interested in the subject matter of kids in college, it’s worth taking a look at just for the sake of how well its written, acted and -- most of all -- directed. There’s so much visual subtext going on, you’d think you were watching a film. And all the things about the character of Felicity that annoyed me the first time I realize now are because she was written to be flawed, to make mistakes. Sure it’s a show that makes you cringe, but that’s a good thing.

We also just finished up watching the DVDs of the first season of 24, which was even better plotted than I remember. Seeing the whole thing at once makes me realize just how the plot twists at the end weren’t arbitrary -- there’s actually foreshadowing for them much earlier in the show. The current season is the best thing going on television right now, and after most of my favorite shows conclude that the end of this year, it’ll be one of the last shows I’ll be watching.

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