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So long, and thanks for all the fish

Holy shit, it's almost three years since I started out here on E2.

I used to be a fairly regular poster here when I was thirteen, and possibly the youngest noder on this site. I remember a few Catbox coversations where people would be all "how old are you anyways" and I'd be all "i'm like thirteen so it's not much use inviting me to your nodermeets" and then there'd be this catbox silence.

Then I'd usually stick a bucket over craze's head.

So I've been on a kind of hiatus here, and it's not really ending. So I'm maing it semi-demi-kinda permanent.

I'm in Year Eleven at the moment. That may not be that scary for all you grown ups out there, but it sure is terrifying to me. One year until my whole future hangs on what I get for my TER score, and one year until I have to make choices that will affect my whole life. Do I want to be a vet after all? Or will I change my mind when I get a shit TER score?

Not only have my priorities shifted away from E2, I'm no longer the person I was when I wrote all those awesome, ching-aged stories. I'm not a writer anymore, though I'm still in denial.

Oh yeah, and I've kind of come to resent E2 and all over the last... 2.8 years. The voting/experience system has gotten me down a little. I was getting upvotes and chings galore when I started out, but my last two or so writeups have only managed negative or neutral scores. I might be getting a little vain here, but I feel bad when stories/poems/whatever you'd call my new stuff that I like get voted down. I know you people are probably a bit overcritical, but as a voter myself I'd like to say I never once downvoted anyone's stuff. Eat that, downvoting trolls.

So I'd like to draw all these complicated emotions to a conclusion. I have different priorities now. I don't write any more. I resent the upvote/downvote system. It's not hard to see where I'm heading, noders.

So I'm going on an indefinite hiatus. I might be back one day, when all the freakin' terrifying TER stuff is all behind me and I get the chance to sit down with pen and paper and write again. I might not be back. I don't know.

I'd like to take this chance to thank a few people: Apatrix for her help in tracking down a few rogue nodes, and being a friend in general; craze, for putting up with my childish attempts to join in the adult silliness; hunt05 for being a pretty cool unofficial mentor; tentative, for being one of the few that likes most of my stuff; and waverider37 for getting me into this freaking whacked out place.

To the rest of you, particularly those who chinged/upvoted my stuff, thanks. I might see you again one day... but then, I might not. Who knows what the future holds?

Good luck with the future and all, tentative. I hope you stick it out here longer than I did.

Yesterday, I participated in the 16th Annual New York City Dyke March.

There were many many angry lesbians marching down 6th Avenue, some without their shirts on.

How can I express my giddy, gobsmacked, and bizarrely existential joy for this event?

Gee, I'm not even sure...

All I can say is: it was living the dream.

The dream about shirtless women marching down the streets of Manhattan.

Everyone has that dream, right?

The march this year, as every year, was performed without a permit, as a sort of "reclaim the streets" event. Cops trailed us the whole way, forming a corridor on either side of us. Volunteers in pink T-shirts walked in between the groups of cops and formed human chains at intersections to protect marchers from traffic.

The march began at Bryant Park at 42nd Street. There assembled dozens upon dozens of queer women of every shape, size and color...and many more numerous straight people who seemed either confused, amused, or petrified by the lesbian hordes descended on their park.

I timidly helped hand out noisemakers.

These were just tin cans filled with beans and taped shut with photocopied march flyers. Which was, of course, delightful.

Last year was my first Manhattan Pride Parade, and I had been both terrified and alienated by how overwhelming and commercial it was. The Dyke March, on the other hand, was still on a human scale. There certainly were no go-go boys handing out deodorant samples on the sidelines. Not that I have anything against go-go boys. It's just that I was there to celebrate gay pride, not to collect swag that smelled like a macho man on the down-low.

The march kicked off at 5 pm. We wound down 6th Avenue, yelling and whooping and banging drums and shaking rattles. Some of us danced or kissed. As we neared the march's end in Washington Square Park, the march's frontrunners took up chants of "Oh when the dykes, go marching in...!"

It rained on and off in sheets, but I could not stop grinning (this was only partially because of the small number of marchers wearing white T-shirts).

On Friday, I finished the second, and final, teaching placement of my PGCE.

Yesterday, I tried to forget about the fact that I still have quite a bit of paperwork to sort out, and I'm not actually qualified yet.

Today, I have been evaluating a week's worth of lessons (because I ran out of steam last week, and planning was hassle enough), and trying to write a review of my learning over the last ten weeks.

I've also tried (and, on-and-off, failed) not to worry about the fact that I don't have a job for September yet.

I have learnt such an enormous amount by being with a class for ten weeks, that it is difficult to try and fit it all into one review. With little provision of guidance from my university, and the fact that, as always, I have left this to the last possible moment so I can't seek much help, I am left hoping that what I have written isn't too rambling, and that it manages to address the majority of the important points that I am supposed to consider when sitting down to appraise myself.

I'm also concerned that I'm not going to be able to get a local job, and that I should have started applying much sooner. Life has, as it always tends to, got itself squarely in the way.

At times, I just feel pleased that I've made it this far, and remember the lowest moments, moments when I've been really tempted to just give up. Give up, and walk away.

But equally, it just doesn't feel like enough to have completed (or almost completed) the training.

When do I pause to feel proud of myself?

My great uncle bill is dying in a hospital bed from kidney failure and I opted out of going to see him. I want to see him again but I dont want it to be in a setting that depressing. I already found my grandpa when I was three, then my great grandpa died in his home shortly before my mom and I arrived. There is also that whole thing with my uncle dying from necrotizing fasciitis and stealing my mom for a month. What I didn't tell you was one-third of his ashes rest in my house. My mom says it's so she can pick him up and smack him around a little, but I think my family has an obsession with death.

I wonder if in ten years my feeling on this subject will change?

What I have been reluctant to mention to anyone is, yesterday, this bed my mom calls the dead bed because all the pictures on the head board are coincidentally of dead relatives and she has an obsession with the grateful dead; well, one of the head board's doors was open revealing to me a card to my mom from my grandma. In this card, my grandma is pleading for her to stop drinking before the monster destroys her life. I don't know why the door was open or how it got that way, but I'm stuck thinking it was a message from beyond the grave. I don't have any clue how these two things might have in common, but I'm sure it's something. The card was dated 1987, I would of been two years old, and in a year's time I would walk into my grandpa's house to find him "sleeping" in his chair, middle of the after noon with the TV on. I don't really remember fight for life, or any of the paramedics, and my mom her friend stayed really calm. So, the only memory I have of my grandpa is him slumped over in his chair, and I don't want my great uncle bill's current condition replacing all the good memories I have of him. I hope this doesn't sound selfish, but I feel that I am not stable enough mentally to be there to support the family. Depression and mortality don't mix well. They actually mix very well together, often with one you get the other, and I should stay a way.

I'd rather remember the better times. The weddings, him talking about his garden, or teaching me how to sharpen a knife. Then there's that time when it was the end of winter he was showing me how to fly fish in a mountain stream, and afterwards while walking back to the cabin I broke through the top layer of snow and into a drift that was at least up to my waist. GeFreein myself took laying flat on my stomach and rolling over onto my back to free my legs. I looked at him like a father figure, like all the males in my family, they replace the one missing at home.

April 30, 2008 | July 6, 2008

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