I'd like to sleep. But I should write, shouldn't I?

I stayed up last night. All night. It went faster than I thought it would. They say when you're trying to pull an all-nighter you should avoid comfort. Stay away from beds. But I was under the covers and resisted sleep better than I thought I could. I stayed awake by drinking Coke and looking at pages on the Internet. My roommate slept in the bunk beneath me. As time went on, I began to see movement in the surrounding dark, nothing substantial, just shuffling stirs in the air. The lights in the hallway are always on, and a thin band of diffused light outlines the door at night. At about three or four in the morning I started to see shadows sliding across the bottom outline of the door, like in movies when someone is just on the other side. Sleep deprivation is interesting like that.

The weariness wore off once I got up and started moving. We're not allowed to leave the dorm buildings until 6:00, but I left at 5:48 anyway. I crossed the campus quickly in hopes that I would not be seen, and approached the entrance of the main building, where the female residences are. You have to wave an electronic pass to gain entry to all of the buildings, but when I did this, the sensor blinked red, denying me. So I was locked out with a fairly good chance of being caught. I heard someone approach, from inside. Fortunately it was not a security guard, just a girl. She opened the door for me. I called Rachel on my cell phone and told her I was just outside her dorm hall. I waited about 15 minutes, sitting in a seafoam green chair. I fell asleep (twice) in that chair before she came out with another girl. Rachel had somehow managed to change hair colors for third time that week. It was naturally dirty blonde, but over the break, she had dyed it dark brown with purple streaks, then bleached it a few days later. It was now teal. The other girl was someone I knew only by name, Tara Nicholson, my future roommate's ex.

I ran down by the cafeteria to get some money out of the ATM. When I came back, two others had arrived, Jim and Michelle. We left through the front entrance since by that time it was permissible to do so. We walked in a random direction I'd never been before. I quickly lost track of where we were in relation to everything else. None of us had gotten any sleep that night. That was the point. Rachel called it "The Weakened Day," due to both the sleep deprivation and the fact that it was a Saturday. She said it made the edges of the day fainter. I had my camera and took pictures of the tree-lined, quiet streets in the morning light as we walked through them. I soon figured out that the real point of the trip was to get off campus for a spot of substance abuse. I was mostly silent, as per usual, but as the others talked I discovered that in the backpacks which everyone carried (except me), there were several bottles of wine and sake. Also some pot. (Just for reference, we're highschoolers.) Tara appeared the most excited. I got the feeling she was trying a little too hard, much more than was necessary for that particular audience. She seemed so eager to get wasted. And when she cursed, it seemed unnatural for her, like she was reading it off of something. She discussed past events, such as when she projectile vomited onto her roommate's refrigerator after getting drunk. In short, she struck me as immature. So did the others, to a lesser degree, simply for being involved in this. Except Michelle, who seemed uninterested in using any of the things we'd brought along.

We walked further down through a residential area, stopping only to inspect curious things we encountered, such as a small rubber duck, a dead mole, a toddler's sandal, and a hubcap. I took the hubcap and carried it with me until we arrived at a church, where I left it balanced on a spike in the wrought iron fence. Tara talked about how she successfully 'mooched' off of people. We crossed a huge, dewy field to a street I was actually knew. I was beginning to have to stoop a little as I walked. My stomach is very particular in the morning about when and what I can eat, and the 'when' is dictated by what time I wake up. In this case, I didn't wake up at all, so I was more screwed up than usual and felt increasingly sick. We arrived at the food mart fairly quickly. I'd never been in before, but for breakfast I bought a cup and filled it with food from the bar they had open, with bacon and potatoes, grapes and couscous. We went outside and ate. I sat apart from the others, then slept on the table for a few minutes when I was finished, although it felt much longer. Meanwhile, Jim went inside again to buy a bottle opener, which they had forgotten.

They had meant to bring along two other guys, but they hadn't been able to reach them on the phone until then. They made plans to return to the school and pick up at least one of them. I said I would return and stay to sleep. As we headed back, they mentioned a 'graveyard.' I hadn't known of one around the area, and despite my sickness and my lack of interest in involvement with whatever they were going to do, I agreed to go with them there. We turned off the main street and shortly afterward, slipped into the trees. We crossed a makeshift bridge over a creek and passed a swing hanging from a single rope and a broken television set. No gravestones there. I walked back to the swing while the rest of them started unpacking their bookbags while sitting on another bridge across the creek. Through the branches and leaves, I could see them a little. I sat on the swing and it spun me around and around. I did this for about twenty minutes. At one point, I suddenly heard several of them coughing for a few seconds. Later, Tara was laughing, over and over, and the smell of pot smoke reached me. I don't think Michelle did any of it. She walked over to my area once, briefly, and said nothing.

Finally Rachel walked up and said we were going to pick up Nathan at the school. We emerged from the woods and came back to school and I slept for four hours. On the way, she told me that their last Weakened Day hadn't been like this. No drugs or alcohol. She seemed embarrassed or regretful that this one included them, although without her, they wouldn't have had most of it. She sighed and said she hoped they wouldn't do anything stupid like throw her camera into the creek. She thought their last Day was still "epic" without the alcohol and I wondered what they had done. It seems to me that mostly kids with poor relations with their parents are the kind that drink underage or smoke pot. Personally I could care less if someone is drinking or smoking, but I intend to do neither until it is legal, not from fear of the government, but from fear of disappointment. Then there are those just looking for attention for some reason, like Tara.

(Names changed to protect the not-innocent.)

I walked up to her, nervous and terrified of what she might say. Her friends are surrounding her, as if they knew my intentions and didn't approve of them at all. But that's okay; I don't like them either. They're loud, obnoxious, and superficial. But she's not like them. She's unique. She's witty, thoughtful, sincere, and is the most gorgeous girl in school. My palms are starting to get clammy, so I put them in my pockets, which makes me look even weirder. I hope she doesn't laugh at me. She notices me, and stops mid-sentence to say hey. I ask her how her weekend was, and listen to every detail as she tells me about how her sister can be so selfish sometimes. She looks around nervously, and just as I'm about to ask, she suddenly asks me if I'd like to go see that new X-Men movie. She blushes, and I can feel the blood rushing to my cheeks as I stumble over my words, in shock of her request. She mistakes this reaction for reluctance, and starts to mumble an embarrassed explaination, but I cut her off with a kiss. I don't know where I found the courage, but damn, it was worth it. She was the best kisser in the world. I didn't have much experience with kissing, and she blew my mind. Unfortunately, the kiss ended as quickly as it began. I tell her that I'd love to see that movie with her, and that I'd pick her up around 7, if that was good with her? She says yes, that would be perfect. I walk off, feeling all suave and manly.

Life is good.

Spidergrrl Spidergrrl
Friendly neighborhood Spidergrrl
Is she cool? Listen bud
She's got radioactive blood
Look out! There goes the Spidergrrl

SpiderSwap SpiderSwap
Friendly neighborhood SpiderSwap
Can he code? Listen node
Woad coding bodes no good for toads
Look out! There goes the SpiderSwap

SpiderSim SpiderSim
Friendly neighborhood SpiderSim
Can he rhyme? Listen mimes
He practically rhymes all the time
Look out! There goes the SpiderSim

SpiderDog SpiderDog
Friendly neighborhood SpiderDog
Is he cool? Listen Dawg,
He ate a whole SpiderHog
Look out! There goes the SpiderDog

SpiderPerch SpiderPerch
Friendly neighborhood SpiderPerch
Is he cool? Listen bud
He cares for grundoon's precious blood
Look out! There goes the SpiderPerch

SpiderLex SpiderLex
Friendly neighborhood SpiderLex
Is he cool? Runs the show
Day glow whoa and holey moe
Look out! There goes the SpiderLex

Spidertent Spidertent
Friendly neighborhood Spidertent
Is she cool? Listen boy
She's smart don't treat her like a toy
Look out! There goes the Spidertent

SpiderHam SpiderHam
Friendly neighborhood SpiderHam
Is it tasty? Listen guests
That damn Spiderdog ate the rest
Look out! There goes the SpiderHam

Ok, time for some insane serendipity.

Our jeweler in town died of a very sudden heart attack. I was sad, because I liked him quite a lot. All of the stuff in his shop was being sold because none of his heirs are jewelers. One of the jewelers who worked with him is responsible for liquidating the stuff. He's not getting paid nearly as much as he would "at the bench" but he's raising the money for the dead jeweler's mother.

I went down to the shop, which is open from 10 to 2, except when it isn't. We talked about the jeweler for a while. I nosed about. Most of the jewelry he made had been sold. The furniture, however, was still there. His jeweler's desk was there, made by his father, and quite beat up from decades of use. I bought it, a pendant, an opal and a gigantic old case for displaying dolls. The doll case has wiring to light the shelves but I was strictly warned against plugging it in, since the wiring is from the 1920s or so.

Why the opal? Well, there is another jeweler in town, a brazilian. I know him because his daughter was in synchronized swimming with my daughter two years ago. He makes gorgeous stuff. I had bought a pendant from him that had an opal in it, but the opal had fallen out. He had promised to replace it.

When I first saw that the opal had fallen out, I thought, "It's a loss." Then I thought, "It's a birth," because I bought the pendant because I saw two snakes when I looked at it, a caduceus, and my sister saw a pregnant woman. Then I thought, "Maybe it's both a birth and a loss."

Then I got fired by my hospital district. I am working on opening my own family practice clinic and continuing to do obstetrics and everything else. I want a logo. I want the pendant design for the logo.

I went to see the Brazilian jeweler and took him the pendant and the opal and said that he should go look at the deceased jeweler's stuff. I asked about the logo. He was pleased and needed to think about it.

Yesterday I went back to get the pendant, which is now pregnant again. The Brazilian jeweler has not been to the deceased jeweler's shop yet. However, he said what he needed most: a jeweler's desk. "Oh," I said, "It just so happens that I bought it already."

He thought it was very likely that between the jeweler's desk and the logo, we could work something out. He even said I could come see the desk sometimes and use it.

I knew I wanted it for something, even though I wasn't sure exactly what.

(for my mother)

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