It has been almost a month since I got here, so I feel that I should write about where I am.

To not bury the lede, immediately upon me exiting my taxi from the airport, I was accosted by an organized group of robbers who, after a short struggle, managed to take all my belongings, money and ID. It was just as bad as it sounds, and the one thing that has probably saved my sanity was that at the time it happened, I was so sleep deprived from a solid day of travelling that I don't think I ever processed what happened.

But, for the record, if you wonder what it is like to be robbed in a foreign city, and be left at 1 AM with nothing but the clothes you stood up in, the best thing I can compare it to is a nightmare where you are falling, or some other improbable doom, and part of your brain knows that it just can't be real. Only, without that last part: this totally improbable situation is exactly what is really happening at that moment. This moment of starkness is quickly getting buried as I slip into a comfortable and productive life, but I want to document it for the future.

I am HURTING today.

Physical and emotional. Round six of family we-don't-know-how-to-grieve on Friday, sixth round since grundoon died. I needed to blow off steam in the morning and used a heavy bag and fighting gloves. No finish to the family stuff, decision within 2 weeks. If families can't get along and just fight about wills and money and property, how is there any hope for humanity and countries and the world?

On Thursday I fantasized about changing my name completely and disappearing from that side of the family. It is worth consideration.

Friday morning I distracted myself by writing about chronic pain again... and then hit the bag.

Anyhow, my muscles are so sore today. Worst at 48 hours after traumatizing them. Guess I overdid it a bit. An extensor muscle on my right forearm is a lumpy knot and all of my muscles feel like someone has been pounding them with a meat tenderizer. But.... I did not get sick and start vertigo and vomiting, so I suppose this is a more normal muscle response to overuse. Ow. Stupid strep A. Stupid family. Stupid me for hitting and kicking the bag for too long....

This is not the first day I have not had a home.

But this is the first day I have had two places to sleep,
and have not had a place to live.

It seems an apt metaphor:
I have thought about isolation,
and by it I have isolated myself.

Today I am alone - but I have been alone.
Today I am isolated from purpose.

Fifteen years ago, more or less, I followed a link from Slashdot to a little site named Fifteen years ago today, I made an account. Three days after that, I wrote my first writeup on the subject of "The little grates at the top of my bedroom walls".

In the years that followed, E2 provided me with my nightly reading - new-window upon new-window (because I still used Netscape Navigator back then, and then the shiny new Internet Explorer 5 and 6) following trails of cryptically-named and intriguing links.

I wrote as well: short, breezy replies to previous noders at first, validating their writeups and adding a little thought of my own; then factual descriptions of things around me - the electronic components I was studying at school, obscure models of Yamaha keyboard - for E2 was Wikipedia before Wikipedia ever existed, amongst the many other things it was and still is. In time I even wrote a few pages of personal reflection. I joined IRC channels, and I travelled to attend a couple of nodermeets - gatherings of equally odd and lovely people from across the UK.

But mostly I read: poetry, geek culture, strange ramblings with titles like "SOY! SOY! SOY! Soy makes you strong! Strength crushes enemies! SOY!", essays on how to think, live, love - all of which took me away from my sixteen-year-old suburban lifestyle and blew my mind wide open.

I credit E2 for giving me a glimpse of life outside the schoolyard, to the point where I could think past schoolboy-enforced heterosexuality and come out. I got to know the two guys I sort-of-long-distance-dated via an E2 IRC chatroom. And finally, when I met a friend of a Uni friend at an anime meetup in first year, ended up chatting to him on MSN a lot, introduced him to E2 and he just *got it* right away... well, we're still together nearly thirteen years later.

Thanks, E2.

(epilogue: ten and a half years later, I'm sitting on the floor of a house party with an old friend from said E2 IRC chat, and he introduces me to Lila, and we realize that all three of us had our lives changed in some fashion by E2...)

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