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03.25.01 11:15 p.m.

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love; - then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.


 -John Keats, "When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be" 


I am personally affronted at the evidently common convention that, if you and your now ex happen to share friendship with the same person or persons, even if said friendship occurred long before the relationship began, let alone ended, these friends feel the need to choose who is more their friend and treat the other prior friend as some annoying and clingy freak.
I'm not bitching. Really.
It just really gets to me that, well, people on the whole are pretty damned near idiots. As is to often my wont to remark, a person can be this remarkable and amazing creature that blows you away in every gesture but people are inherently dumb animals. It's herd mentality, it does not allow for much thinking outside the box. Hell, it doesn't allow for one to acknowledge one is within a box, which is kind of pathetic in itself. I just want to scream "It's not real!" but I know the box-lurkers won't really understand. Such is the nature of box dwelling.

I think that I am somewhat fantasy-centered. Not in a pathological way. At least as far as I understand, but I could be in denial. For example (and you do need examples), I regard Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a parable to draw lessons from. Or perhaps I just regard it as an incredibly affective and effective (I love homonyms, which is kind of a unique statement. Use it three times, in context, today. See if you don't feel better) program that touches me. Whichever.
I told Kate I would write about this about a month ago, but I neglected to, because I began to have other things on my mind.
So what brought me to actually get around to writing about this? Good question. That's what I like about you. You ask very good questions which seek to keep me on topic. So I will indulge you.
What made me finally write about it was that I was listening to the My So-Called Life CD. When I went on vacation with Kate last summer, I brought all my favorite CD in one soft case. Upon unpacking when I arrived home, I realized I could not find said case of CDs. To this day, more than half a year later, the case is still in limbo. So I have put myself on a mission to buy a cool discount CD every time I am at the mall to replenish my CD collection for next year's dorm experience. So if you have any CDs that you don't have much use for, remember your old friend Xen? More on dorms later.
So I was listening to the CD, having never been a huge fan of the show while it was on air but enjoying it immensely for a few months after they cancelled it and began showing it on MTV. I purchased it mostly at the suggestion of Tina, who insisted in her pixyish manner that it contained beautiful music. So it won over Nirvana's From the Muddy Banks of Wishka and They Might Be Giants. I figured that it would give me a good cross section of popular college music, perfect for convincing my "peers" I was one of them until my tentacles rip out of my flesh, twist their heads off, covering the linoleum dormitory flood with crimson gore and... I mean... um... it would be good background music for college misadventures. My, I am digressing a lot. Can you forgive me? Like you have a choice.
I scanned through it, skipping past a few songs I was frankly not in the mood for. Then I realized that I could barely remember the theme song and it was included on this CD. I would say this was lucky, except I would not have remembered that I didn't recall the song if it wasn't offered on the CD. So it was a convenient manipulation. I skipped ahead to it and pressed play. Some cool synths, guitar chords. All very lovely. cymbals, flourishes, cool beat. Chant like singing in the back. Tears. Kind of a life affirming beat on the drums... Tears? What was that?! I'm getting frickin' misty over My So-Called Life? What in the name of Zeus?
So, TV bad. It is far more classy to openly weep over books (to this end, I recommend The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Filth by Irvine Welsh). I think that I am at one of the weirder emotional places I have ever been.

Now to dorms. Or rather, that I may not be living in them next year owing to a severe housing shortage at my chosen alma mater (this phrase feels weird for two reasons. One, I have spend two years at DCC and "alma mater" is Latin for "only mother." This will be my second mommy college, does it still qualify? Two, I feel "alma mater" is almost past tense and I am applying it to a future situation. Okay, done being English boy. Continuing on... No, wait! Have I mentioned that I like ellipses? Well, I do. Now we may continue...). I do so wish to get the full college experience of which I am currently being deprived and of which dorms with afford me, in theory. It will not be the end of the world if I do not live in a dorm (well, I can't promise it won't summon the Apocalypse). I am quite sure I can borrow a bed for the night whenever the need arises and I will have my own room at home by the fall semester (though if I do have to live at home, I'll have to talk to my parents about footing the bill for my EZPass).

I just got off the phone from talking to Kate. I explained to her, after speaking 86 words a minute non-stop and randomly, that talking to her causes me to lose every ounce of cool I otherwise possess in the company of non-Kate entities because she brings every emotion I have to a boil in my mouth and brain and thus she drives me to be a huge dork. Except I confessed it a great deal less eloquently, if that is possible. Her retort, "That's okay, I like dorks." (here Xen wrote twenty six ellipses, and not because he liked them.)
Um... hope?


reading: Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Today Richard Reitano
listening: My So-Called Life Soundtrack
wanting: a less painful form of hope. Hope Lite, perhaps?
interesting thought: Others can see so clearly what you are just beginning to get a handle on.

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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