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04.22.01 1:04 a.m.

"As an artist I revel in my misery. As a person I fight to stay afloat."

 -Nancy Shaw 

My life is my art.

When I was little, I thought the whole world was black and white before I was born. All photographs and TV shows were and, to my preoperational mind, these reflected reality. I came up with this theory while playing in the bright yellow forsythia bush, if that matters any. I was baffled as to where color came from, but I considered it a mutation of reality that was decidedly favorable, thus it spread. Just so you know.

Yesterday, I spent time with Nancy. Her parents told her that they trusted me in general and to drive her places, a distinction shared by few of her friends. All of this owing to them meeting me at the Mid-Hudson Pagan meeting and my trying to walk her to the nearby Barnes & Noble where her parents were waiting for her rather than driving her the thousand feet, justifying that her parents do not want her driving with people they do not know. No, really. Not so I could walk with the eloquent nymph in the cool night air for seven minutes. Of course not. How silly of you to suggest that!
So, Nancy and I went to the Earth Day festivities at Stonykill Park. The festivities themselves were not particularly of note. Many bugs in and out of containers. Nancy, spawned of a biologist and lawyer, waxed quite intelligently about the environmental exhibits. I was thoroughly impressed with her knowledge. Better, Nancy had the strong teashop smell of Sarah, winning her subconscious favor.
We only remained for an hour or so, retiring to my house when thoroughly bored with bugs. There I showed her "Clerks" and a few episodes of "The Maxx" for the first time. Throughout the videos (bear in mind, the only surfaces on which one can sit in my room are beds, owing to an underabundance of floor space), she was snuggling against me and it was admittedly difficult to resist her charm. She did smell like one of the gurus after all and scent is 7/10th of attraction. There were a few tense moments when I had to push the idea that I do not think I can be more than a friend to her and that I must be good, that she likes me because I am good. Kissing her several time and both of us trying to resist letting more happen did not help matters. *Le sigh*
She came with me to the play and seemed disappointed that I couldn't lay with her in the grass and talk further on the matters that make up life. To be quite honest, I was very confused - am very confused - and was grateful to just have time to sit and think. Or not to think. Just time, perhaps.

Kate came to the play last night. She seemed to enjoy it, in that she had several valid criticisms of the casting, set, direction, et al to expound upon.
We went to the Palace Diner afterward, as much of the cast that I genuinely liked was going. After a brief exchange wherein I pretty much told her we should take my car, we took my car. As we got to it, she realized that she had left her cigarettes in her car in a parking lot on the other side of campus.
Kate pretending she is a technicolor Sherlock Holmes.
I informed her that it was no big deal; she could undoubtedly bum a cig from one of the cast members. She acquiesced for a moment, then thought better of it and politely beseeched that we stop at her car and get her pack of cigarettes. I held back my reproving glance that she could not go another hour and a half without nicotine. I really don't know what it is like to have a substance addiction, especially to a mistress as demanding as nicotine. I shouldn't reprove her for this, despite that I have witness people die from cancer, so I allowed it.
She was very sweet and charming at the Palace. A princess indeed. The only real faux pas occurred when Zack was jokingly flirting with Kate. So I, in a likewise manner, grabbed her away and said, "No! Mine." She smiled wryly and stated definitively, "I am no one's." A sentiment I firmly echo, as you know. It didn't seem to bother her further and she was just as charming once we sat down to eat.
As we chatted amongst ourselves and those at the table, Katie came to the realization that I would be at New Paltz next year. Undoubtedly acting. She would certainly still be lighting. Thus, as she put it, "our worlds would collide." Okay, seriously, all aspects of the theater were so my life about five years before Kate focused her first light. So it is more like, I will continue with my world that she was exploring twenty minutes from where I was. No colliding occurring. Smooth transition of power, not bloody coup. I do not foresee any oddness to this whatsoever. Or I will kill her and usurp her role, assimilating any techies under her.
I was a mite bit embarrassed when she told several racist jokes to my friends, as they do not know her and do not know that she certainly is not a racist. Were she actually a racist, I would obviously not think anywhere near as highly of her. Fortunately, the collected party understood that she found them amusing owing to the misunderstandings inherent in the jokes, not that she was a filthy hatemongering death metal whore.
Also, her hair looks like the Aurora Borealis.
Soon, look forward to hearing all about the play and the head shaving of Zack for crimes against humility. Until then...

reading: Marabou Stork Nightmares, Irvine Welsh
listening: Zack singing the chorus part in my life
wanting: a less stretchy heart. Or a better directed one.
interesting thought: We have more faith in dead people we never met than our next door neighbors.
moment of zen: Laurel the mandolin player (she is explained soon, I promise)

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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