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Is liberty good? I am inclined to say that it is neither good nor bad, for two reasons.

First, because the concept "liberty" does not include an emotional reaction either positive or negative. We may have a positive or negative reaction to a specific instance of liberty, but liberty itself provokes no reaction in us in the abstract. If liberty were good by itself, we would expect it to provoke some sort of positive emotional reaction when we considered it by itself.

Secondly, liberty only removes oppression from us. It prevents specific goods from being taken from us, but those goods are what is good, and the liberty only serves to protect them.

I’m 29 and after years of being too shy to talk and too weird to get anyone to listen, I have more & better friends than I ever imagined. I’m friends with my exes, friends with yr rabid dog. Still when I saw them on the bus that day, and saw her on the bus after, and read their news feeds I can’t help but thinking I just got exiled from the cool kid crowd all over again. Missing some of them, and ashamed that I ever talked about the things they talked about or cared about the things they care about, and sorry all over.

This is a shameless rip-off of Tentative's "Just Friends", with one major difference... It was inspired by the events of yesterday, rather than being merely an idea.

This morning I'm going to my friend's house to see her before she and Tenty fly off interstate. There is much we want to talk about, and we haven't got to see each other for a while. For the purposes of this re-telling, I shall call her Susan.

I woke up at six, feeling awesome. I Half rolled, half leapt out of bed as I stopped my alarm. After flipping to Thunderbird to check there was nothing from anyone important, and a quick perusal of the last half hour on IRC, I exchanged good mornings with OldMiner. This is perfectly normal. Finding some clothes, I proceeded to the kitchen, and wondered in the darkness why no one else was up yet. The bathroom mirror as I passed suggested a shave might not be a bad idea, but it could wait.

As I rule, I never go anywhere without my backpack. It often weighs more than me, but I never mind. After my exam yesterday, I was in a good mood though, and went to the army disposals, where I picked up this awesome little bag, which hangs off my belt. "There are some times when I'd really rather not take a backpack, and this would be really good" I'd thought. It was ex-Vietnam, but still in perfect nick. And so, today there was no laptop, just the palm. In fact, there was no a lot of stuff. But I told myself it would be ok as I wasn't going to be gone too long. Instead, all I had in there was a pair of riggers' gloves, a bottle of water, a roll of duct tape, a USB lead for Samantha for charging purposes, and a number of various other small items, most of which would never get through most airports' securities. The rest of my usual gear is stashed or hung where it normally goes around my body. I didn't bring lunch because I was supposed to be back home for it. This is probably beginning to bore you, but knowing what I normally carry around will become important later on.

Some time later, services were transferred from laptop to palm in preparation for departure. It was now that my eyes suddenly fell on a clock, and I grunted in disgust at the fact that it was now quarter to eight. Securing bag on waist, last minute arrangements were made with Mum. At the front door, a swift survey of the surrounds was made, before I sprinted as if being pursued, across the lawn, through the garden and down the stairs to the footpath. I always do this. The train station is six and a half minutes away. I'll make it easily. Roughly forty minutes later, I was walking from train to bus. I really don't catch this bus very often, I just somehow seem to know the route and timetable.

The bus ran like clockwork, and I got to her place a few minutes early. Their tiny dog came running down the street to meet me as fast as can be expected of anything with 100mm legs. I think he's the only dog who really doesn't mind me. He jumped up into my arms as I reached the front door, as he always does. A barrage of questions about uni showered me at the before I was fully inside, but I didn't mind. Today I didn't mind anything. In the brief interval of silence that followed, I could hear the shower running, and I smiled. Susan emerged from around a corner a minute or so later, hair still wet. As she smiled at me, I remembered how beautiful she is without makeup. She is wonderful. Her mother asked me for a hand with something in the garden. I obliged unhesitatingly, because I like helping people. (I also like chainsaws, but that is beside the point.)

Time seemed to have disappeared into a black hole, and Susan was still not fully ready to go, even though her flight left in just a few hours. Of course I have left a few gaps in time here, but they are inconsequential to my record. As the doorbell rang, I could do nothing to suppress the grin that enveloped my face. I had hoped for this, but not expected it. We weren't supposed to communicate again before they got back. I watched the ensuing commotion from the cover of a doorway. Tent spotted me, and approached grinning. Almost instantly we were locked in a bear hug.

I have a beanbag, and so does Susan, but Tent doesn't. She likes them though, so she goes and sits in Susan's. Tenty likes knives, this is probably no secret, but she has a fascination with the saw on my Swiss Army knife. I handed her my knife mostly for her own amusement. She is sensitive to touch, and relatedly I found myself pinned to the floor within a few minutes. Susan's suitcase somehow ended up on top of me at one point too, but it was all fine. My struggles to get free ceased after a while, and we just stayed how we were for what must've been half an hour. Susan came and called us for lunch. Had we been anyone else, I am sure some kind of sexually-related activities would have been assumed, but we are like siblings. Her mum is a great cook, and we knew we would be hungry soon, even though we weren't then, but going for lunch would've required getting up. Neither of us wanted to get up, and I was almost asleep still entangled in Tenty's powerful hold.

All too soon it was time to leave for the airport. I had wanted to be able to see them off, and my intention to be home for lunch went out the window. They were expectedly excited, and in a state where they would forget things. I was glad I came for stabilising purposes now too. Getting through security was a really weird experience. I somehow ended up secure-side, and the three of us went to the gate. Their flight was delayed, but I hung around. The red Boeing picked up speed, then finally disappeared into the sun. I walked outside to the bus stop, then headed in to uni.

We say we are just friends.

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