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01.10.01 12:39 a.m.

"True love is like seeing ghosts: we all talk about it, but few of us have ever seen one."


 -La Rochefoucauld 



NOTE: This entry was created on 3/17/01 from a letter written to Kate.
I have been having a somewhat adventuresome break. I am writing you this from work. They haven't hooked up the Internet here yet (they darned well better tomorrow if I am to work for them. Slave drivers!) so I am just writing in notepad and saving to file (on a disk, of course). I'll copy and paste this and code it when I get home.
I like my new surrounding. So modern. Except my new computer has none of my old software. That will have to change. OH NO!
That means there is a computer somewhere with Kate waving hi and kissing! Let's hope they format, that could prove weird.
So, I've been having adventures.
Yesterday I went to see the movie Quills with Zanna, Alison, and Conor. I picked the latter two up first, since Zanna had rehearsal. It was a fun drive to her school, owing to Conor and Alison. The lass was getting lippy, I had to remind her of the Xen-Car-Driving rule. Mainly that I can tell her to zip if she is being annoying by bring up old issues. And I did tell her to zip it.
Conor thought that was hilarious. Once I threatened her with Pepe The Ugly Nudist (my feral car gnome purchased at the dirt mall) and she bonked her nose on his head and started bleeding. Conor said "YOU'RE BLEEDING?!" I told him to calm down, that nose blood wasn't appetizing. Then we all had a good laugh.
Conor also shared his feelings that blood alone wasn't that much of a fun concept, but that biting to get it was what he wanted. He equated it with how the experience of biting into an apple was vastly different from just drinking apple juice. I thought that was quite a good comparison.
Finally, despite my not actually knowing where Zanna's school was (even though I have evidently driven by the sign innumerable times on my way to college), we arrived. Zanna ran at us, thrilled in much the same way a stereotypically gay guy would. She also had metal claws which she justified by saying "Well, we were talking about The Dark Crystal today and I wanted to be a Xerxix." (She meant Skeksis.) I tell ya, they give these rich kids too much liberty these days!
We got there before rehearsal let out, so we got to watch her play Phoebe from "As You Like It." A credible performance, I thought.
Both Conor and I were impressed with the lass, Siri, playing Ganymede/Rosalind. Conor and I wanted to bite her.
So, after rehearsal, Siri invited me to come see the play this weekend (Zanna did not invite me). We had spoken briefly about "As You Like It" and I guess she found me personable. I told her that she should expect me for the Sunday performance. I had no idea they were putting on this play so soon. They aren't ready, but it should be amusing and nostalgic for me nonetheless.
After this, we departed toward New Paltz and the throughway. As we got closer, Famine (we were all Horsepeople of the Apocalypse. Conor/War, Alison/Death, Zanna/Famine, Xen/Pestilence) informed us all that she was hungry. Suddenly we all were, so we decided a pit stop was necessary in New Paltz.
After a very funny situation at Burger King where I was listed everything we wanted one item at a time very forcefully and then just said yes to whatever the mumbling box said in kind. And we got all but one item of food for about 5 dollars less than we should have. Lovely. Especially as Conor insisted that I didn't have to pay for my food because I was driving. I think I neglected to realize driving long distances had fringe benefits.
We got on the throughway with me navigating almost purely on feel.
The drive to Woodstock was just as fun and conversational. They kept alluding to how it was a movie/comic book about how the Four Horsepeople of the Apocalypse spend the first day of the end of the world. And Zanna kept saying things were "like the night!" so it became a running joke. (i.e. "Geoffrey Rush's ass was on screen too much." "...Like the night!") I didn't say it was a good running joke. Few running jokes are.
The Tinker Street Cinema is about the size of a two story house. It was one screen. It's very quaint, I liked it. Quills was a pretty good movie, except I thought we would see more of the Marquis De Sade's life before he was imprisoned in the mental institution. It pretty much starts in the institution. What amused me was that Alison insisted I did not have to pay for my ticket, because I drove them. Fringe. Lovely.
I know this is probably going to come out wrong, but the Marquis reminded me of Kate. To justify, he was frantic about writing. He would have people smuggle him quills and ink, have them smuggle his book out, etc. When these were banned from his cell, he wrote with wine and a chicken bone on his bed sheets. When the Abbe (like a priest in charge, I believe) of the institution ordered that henceforth all his food would be deboned and he would be served only water, he cut his fingers with shards of a mirror he broke and wrote stories in his own blood on his clothing. Of course, then his clothing was taken and we had a naked Geoffrey Rush on our hands. He just had that biological need for writing. And he explained his writing as I explain my own. It just flows. The characters came to him with their stories and kept him company. So... Kate and I are both sadists.
The institution let him direct plays there. After the movie, I quipped that this was the complete reason that directors enjoyed inflicting pain.
When I got home, I went on the internet to read some of the Marquis's writings. It rather sucks by today's standards. A penthouse forum letter is more literary. Never have I seen the words "fuck" and "cunt" so much on the written page. So I don't think he is my new favorite author and his estate will not be getting any money from me.
After the movie, decided to head home. It did not appear that Woodstock had much of a Tuesday night life.
Zanna was having some emotional issues because she felt neglected and inadequate in comparison to us. This is why I decided that we needed to get out of the car and look at the moon. It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time and I stand by my decision. The cop who queried up as to why we were walking by the side of the road seemed to disagree. And do you know how I felt when he was questioning me? Alive. I felt vibrant and great. It was such a new and wonderful sensation for me. Well, not being alive. I am very alive. But to not care at all about what the cop was saying, because he couldn't touch me. After he left, I turned around to my friends and uttered but one word.
"Adventure"
I was giddy all the way to diner and I think it put them at ease. I was infectious. Thus why I am Plague.
The diner was okay. Not terribly much of note. Except they all thought it was amazing that I wrote the word "Harlot" on my placemat with a knife and hot chocolate.
Well, onto other event. I cannot agree with what I said yesterday about not talking to people. Of course, I will talk to people. I am social. I went to the mall tonight, because I needed new boots and ended up picking up a few shirts on sale. And I spoke to people. I guess that, as it wasn't a weekend, I was safe.
This entry is very boring, I acknowledge that. I just feel like writing, even if I am not writing anything important. I am feeling very important things, but I don't want to write them down. It seems too permanent and nothing else in my life feels very concrete, you know? I really don't know what is going on in my life. I work at the library, it is very nice, and I am appreciated. But this is not life by any stretch.
I was waiting for my life to begin, and birth is painful. Kate leaving me (sorry to bring it up, but it was important) was horribly painful. And I was born. Or reborn. She did a caesarean. It would have happened. It was happening. But I was ripped from the womb. And now I am here. And I can do so much. I am doing so much. It is like I am seeing everything anew again, but not forgetting what I once knew. Superimposed images of reality. Flowers are more Zen then Zen, if that makes any sense.
I want classes to start, because nothing is happening right now. Not that there was nothing to do. But that nothing, truly, is happening.
Kate is having a wonderfully formative experience. And, possibly, she will not see in me what she once did when she comes back. These sorts of experiences change people. Sometimes for the better. But I feel left behind here. Not necessarily by her. It would be pathetic if I felt I needed to share every formative experience with her. Especially now.
But I want to do something. I want not to be HERE. THERE. Any there would do. Almost any. Just to see what life is like outside my womb.
I am independent. I want to be active. I am alive, damn it. I am breathing, and it fucking hurts. But I'm not so sure I was breathing before. And there are things I need to say to you, but not here. THIS ISN'T ABOUT KATE. It isn't about anyone but me. But I am social, you see? So it IS about other people. I both love and hate people. Both equally as passionately. I truly love, outside a family context, only a few people. I can count them on one hand. And there are people that I would be happy to never see or hear for again. I can count them on just as many hands. Everyone else falls into this gray area. Humanity is like my teacher and toy, an anathema and revelation, a pain and pleasure. And they are not separate from me, just as I am not separate from them. I do not want to be alone ever. For a little while at a time, a walk in the desert, a vision quest, but never truly lonely. I know I need to be alone from time to time to see that I still can. Guess what I can be alone, now I am really bored of it. I think I would break if I was so far from other people that I couldn't contact them.
Are you the same way, or could you happy live in a shack and be at one? Maybe you could. I need to know Kate most of all, because I love her most of all, even if she does not love me.
I cannot even be disconnected from society. It is not a bad thing, merely how my programming is. It is part of what makes me so uniquely me. You see, the thing about the people I love is, I can never disconnect from them. I can go for several months without Sarah or Conor. But if they said, "I am never, ever going to contact you ever again. You are not a good person." I would break. I wouldn't die. I can't die. But I would break and no matter how strong, the scar of that would always exist. I know, these are about the tritest thoughts I can express. But I can't say what I need to here, because I am pretty much just filtering my blood. Nothing is being created here, just released from my system. Kate - all people but especially her - contains psychic catalysts that provoke reactions and creations. Nothing it taken from her, that is not the nature of catalysts, but others things are created from the sacred conjunction. It's the molecular magic!
I'm rambling and my blood is pretty filtered. I hope you appreciate that I share this act of biology with you, it is very intimate to me. Less intimate than when I made love with her, more intimate than when I cry.
The breathing hurts, but I am not crying. I haven't cried for several days. I only cried when I missed her terribly. I miss her quite a bit, but we are at the center point. In just as many days as I have already spent not seeing the most important person in my life (Kate is the most important person in my life. If she got offended at that, I promise you I will be hurt. Never should it bother her that someone she cares for sees her for what she is and loves her. "Never is a promise and I can't afford a lie.") I shall see her once more. It does not make me happy. It just makes me aware, you see? I know that she is having a wonderful experience that I entirely hope she can share with me with her vivid imagery. I know that I am important to her. I hope I always will be and only am truly sad when I think I someday may not be. I spend this much of my life with her not because I was her boyfriend but because I entirely love her and will never cease one iota.
I got a postcard from her today. She is a sweet girl.
She is self-perfection evolution more than most people are.


reading: the letters on my keyboard
listening: my heartbeat
wanting:
the keys to make sense
interesting thought: The keys do make sense to someone

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.



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