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05.13.01 10:17 p.m.

"Life is dreams checked by physics."


 -John Crowley, "Love And Sleep" 




Firstly, to get this out of the way, the gods are not one bit concerned with bringing people to my webpage. Clinically psychotic obsession is an entirely different story. One that may end in a restraining order. Are we clear? Let's hope or I will be forced to share this story not only with the journal readers, but the legal authorities. Spitefully trying to hurt people is hardly the mark of an enlightened soul and, for someone saying they are Wiccan, would bring the threefold down upon their heads like a bolt. *Ahem*

Emily is, of course, amazing. This isn't just boyfriendly gushing, though I am quite adroit at that. She really is, in an objective way, amazing.
Tuesday, I skipped class in order to go to the city (this would be NYC, as that is "the city" to everyone in NY) with M because her father had won tickets for her to see Jane Eyre on Broadway and she wish to, not surprisingly, have me as her escort. It is quite all right that I skipped class, as I am on wonderful terms with my teacher (Dave) and he allowed me to take the final a day early.
I got to her house early. I think morning sunlight is more probing and painful than its kin in the afternoon. It crawls under my skin and eats away the bits of sleep left there, producing embers and vinegar as a byproduct. I am not, clearly, a morning person.
As I was there rather early and we both were clearly tired, we said we were going to take a nap. Lie on the bed, we did. Not a wink of rest was had.
Oh, get your mind out of the gutter, we are good kids. We spoke at length, full of that passion that intelligent lovers excrete instead of excessive androgens. She wept at the sincerity of my compliments. I get the feeling men have been less than courteous to this girl. I have little love for my sex for this, among other reasons.
After about an hour resting our hearts and souls, though not our bodies, we departed for the big city by way of Rutherford, New Jersey. We used my EZPass, so we did not have to deal with the tolls (I frankly love EZPass and advise that anyone with a credit card get one). For much of the journey there, I read to her from Richard Bach's The Bridge Across Forever. This certainly pleased her, though I felt it made my voice froggish by the end (and I dare to call myself an actor! Fifty pages of spoken text in numerous voices and I whine of a dry throat. Tsk tsk!)
As we drove, she pointed out various landmarks of her prior life in New Jersey ("That Applebee's is where I had my last meal before going to Scotland..." "That is where I used to watch movies...") I was glad to have these glimpses of who she once was. Tiny remnants of a history of which I wasn't a part, at least not in a real way. She believes I was intended, always.
On the ride, Emily told me that she thinks that she is in love with me...
We arrived at Rutherford early, with enough time for some window shopping and tea. Well, hot chocolate for me. I have only once enjoyed the taste of non-iced tea, and that was the ivory chai Kate fed me before Easter. M and I chatted happily over our beverages, quizzing one another from trivia cards on our table. The fodder of which small memories are made.
As M attended to her therapy in Rutherford, I took a dreamless nap upon a sofa, blanketed not-at-all by a Discover Magazine and a Psychology Today. The hum of an air filter took me right from consciousness. I was only awoken by a kiss from dear M when she was done. How like Sleeping Beauty, I did feel. The curse placed upon me by the supposedly slighted fairy, though a blessing for my readers, is an interesting life. Now what, I wonder, could my spinning wheel be?
On the way to the city, brief though that drive was, I read no more from the book. Still partly consumed by that dreamless sleep, I tried to go back under. However, my mind would not allow itself to be put aside in the company of Miss Emily, so we spoke much of the way there.
We wandered the city, she as my expert guide. I was blown away by the air of the city (air both literally and figuratively. The scents of the city cannot be replicated adequately in any laboratory). Buildings so enormous they seemed a part of the clouds. I am hardly a yokel; I merely am struck by them. The people in the city, too, gave me pause. As I remarked to M, everyone seemed to have a very long story to tell. It was like walking through the fiction section of a library. I'd especially like the tale of the man we passed whose doting dog wore saddle bags.
I was highly impressed when she chose to go through St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is not her religion, nor is it mine. I would have wished to enter it anyway. We were incredible respectful, of course. To me, holy is holy. Once when I was in the city on a drama trip, my fraternal twin guides Dezi and Annie brought us to St Patrick's. Not knowing the customs I mimicked them as they dipped their hands in holy water and crossed themselves. Curious, I then stuck my holy water saturated finger in my mouth. And promptly caught fire. NO! How silly that you would believe that! It was just water to me, albeit dirty water. Still, now I have holy water blood because you can make more holy water by adding new water to holy water. Since my body is 80% or so water (I never got the same percentage twice when I asked, I am erring on the conservative side), that means...
It was quite lovely. She was quite lovely. I tried to get a picture inside the cathedral, though none turned out well. They may be put up anyway, once I tweak them a bit. As we exited, Emily inquired to me who St. Patrick was, why he was a saint. In a flood of irony, I recalled that he was beatified at least partially for driving the Pagans (snakes in some stories, though it was Pagans he drove out) out of Ireland. We smiled at the realization that he failed. However, we could not recall what this other miracles were (Saints need at least three certified miracles to be beatified). Any suggestions?
After this, we wondered a bit more until we stumbled upon Tiffany's. No, silly though I am, I did not get thrown out for asking if they sold breakfast. We just perused the rings as she remarked how garish and ugly most were. Then she, being the atypical typical girlfriend, reminded me what she'd want in an engagement ring. Cute. Not as cute, though, as when she said (much like she had superior scriptwriters implanted in her frontal lobe) "from the moment a little girl puts a toilet paper veil on her head, she is thinking of the day she gets married." Aw.
After we were done marveling at 1.1 million dollar engagement rings (I could have a house, car, and PhD with that!), we went to FAO Shwarz. Really, what visit to the city is complete without a visit to an enormous toy story? According to me, no visit. She insisted that I have a picture taken with Alice (as in, In Wonderland) and a toy soldier. Blackmail, I am sure. Oh the toys! Stuffed animal diversity has exceeded animal diversity.
While she played with the Harry Potter toys (which I, having never read the book and as I have a cultivated ignorance of all things Harry Potter, didn't recognize), she found some manner of stereotypical witch hat. She was so adorable. My mouth formed words my brain didn't have a chance to filter and I said, "I love you, Witchipoo." She smiled and shyly said, "I love you, too." So this is how I find out I am in love. Hmm.
We flitted among the toys for another hour, reliving a childhood we never gave up. Seeing her with a giant purple crayon actually touched me the same way a sunset from a mountaintop might. Yes, tis that curs'd love bug.
We sat outside FAO Shwarz for a bit, both resting and trying to decide the course of action. She pointed out a couple behind me. She addressed them as the perfect couple. That they were, in a superficial sense. Perfectly groomed, seemingly peeled from the International Male and Victoria Secret catalog, respectively. As Emily put it, they had affected a very expensive and purposeful messy look. But they were empty. We decided the relationship between them would end when she slept with her accountant once his beauty began to fade. It is important that she notices these things. That she says them. I would much rather be with a women that speaks well than one that is comely. Okay, granted, my lady has a tongue of silver (that she stole from Tiffany's...) and is lovely to look on. Still.
We (I) decided to go to Jekyll & Hyde's for dinner. If you have never been, and why should you, it is a restaurant with a horror movie theme. The bathrooms are hidden for one's inconvenience (I never had trouble finding them with my extensive experience with the world of classic horror) and much of the "inanimate" objects come to life and speak. I find it quite entertaining, though the price tag is, of course, steep. However, if one is going to make a day of this, one shouldn't go about things half-assed.
The food was quite good. Like always, Emily went for the veggie burger. She pressured me into getting a chicken pot pie dinner so she could live vicariously through me. I was displeased that our waiter wasn't into the whole scene, as the waiter I had years ago when I went looked like he was a ghoul and sang "The Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Show with me. This one was overly attentive because he wanted to get his tip and leave.
As we sat, an actress playing the Oracle came to our table with an invisible Magic 8-Ball. She offered to use her invisible ball to answer our question. I didn't much have a question, so I went with, "Will we always be happy?" She shook her hand and said, "You may bet on it." Then the Oracle noticed my star pendant (wanna see it? Click here.) and asked what it meant. I stated that I didn't know, it was a gift from a jeweler who was unable to sell it. She asked me if I was a devilish person. In a show of unity, M unfurled her pentacle. I stated that we were quite angelic. She and another actor quickly departed our table. You'd think they would be less prejudiced against Pagans there. We both thought it was rather hilarious, though.
After I signed the bill (and Emily peer pressured me into purloining the rude waiter's cool glass pen), we darted away. Wandering the city a bit more, in search of the theater, I noted that this had been one of the longest and best days of my life, and we hadn't even gotten to the reason we were actually there. This, undoubtedly, is significant.
When we found the theater (almost an hour early) we read the poster for it outside and jested at the use of terminology, picking out random words to comment on. ("See, she is Stout!" "Like a teapot!") This could only last so long, so we went into a store that sold play memorabilia. Emily pursued the song books and stated that she had been in something like eleven. She was, as she puts it, one of those annoying child actors. Somehow, the fact that I fell for an annoying child actor meshes nicely with my worldview.
Finally we actually entered the theater. We were seated next to two rather talkative old women who asked if Jane Eyre was once a movie (it was) and generally chatted away ("Oh, I don't like her, she is just after his money." "She doesn't love him, Jane Eyre does."). That actually added to an otherwise silly play. Jane Eyre should not be a musical. It is ridiculous to make it so. One of the high points to M and me was when Rochester grabs Jane's arm and beseeches, "Say my name!" We looked at one another and went through great pains to stifle our laughter. Another quality moment is when everyone is singing about hope onstage. Suddenly, Rochester's crazy wife who burned down the house (I do not care if this is a spoiler, I am spoiling nothing. Trust me.) came out and sang with them. I am fairly sure that she dies in the fire the book. If not, she just disappears. She certainly doesn't sing about the hope she has found, as she is quite insane and a pyromaniac. Not having a lot of hope, I wouldn't imagine.
We left the theater, twisting throughout the crowds in the city and giggling over the play. Gods, in those moments, I felt like I was in a movie. A love story where nothing goes wrong. Everything was so... right. Every word, gesture, person in our way. Exactly as they should have been. I couldn't have written it better (so I am recapping it badly, I am sure.)
The car right home was intense. We told each other deeply of our histories. I told her things that, frankly, I'm not about to tell you. There are limits. At one point, she pulled over to a parking lot just so she could look in my eyes as we spoke. That gesture meant so much to me.

Thursday, I saw her again. She had to turn in a paper in New Paltz, so we went shopping and had lunch. As we ate at the Moonlight Cafe, I told her what was going through my mind. Basically, I was scared that she would disappear. What I felt, important as it seemed, was nowhere near as important as that she produced a letter from her bag that she had written to me (with no intention to give to me) that stated almost verbatim what I was saying. "Goodness gracious!" to quote my paternal grandmother. Truly a remarkable girl.
She persuaded me (rather easily, I must confess) that we should return to my house in order to watch the conclusion of Dogma. When we arrived at home, I was unable to find it, so we watched some of the new version of Romeo & Juliet (cellophane wrapped for freshness!). Mostly we talked and kissed. I feel very safe with her, which, after some of the stories I have told here, should speak well of her. It was nice to just hold someone who I knew loved and respected me.

Friday ,she came over, as we had planned. Thursday was more extemporaneous. She wanted to meet some of my friends, so I called Zack as he lives about three minutes from me. We could not reach him. Instead, I brought her to a field/playground near my house that I walk to at night often. She delighted in playing there and I delighted in her company. Her hand sent a visible spark to mine as I helped her up from a slide. If you have never frolicked on a playground at night, you have missed a part of life. Do it. Go.
Again, everything felt life the gods were scripting us. She pointed out the constellations she could see, and I cuddled next to her in the grass.
I asked if she wanted to see the field where I did my solitary magick. Of course she did. We walked to it. We stood for a moment and she asked for my hands. The glint in her eyes told everything I needed to know. Grabbing her hands, we spun as fast as we could in a circle. The whirl of the world behind her seemed film and rehearsed. In seemed like it was checked and cleaned with a computer for optimal clarity. Falling on the grass together, waiting for the world to stop spinning, I was dizzy in more ways than one. We both were.
When we sat up, we noted two deer playing on the edge of the forest. They acknowledge us and we watched them for about twenty minutes, captivated. I told her stories of what I had seen in this field. She became antsy when she realized that the deer would only go to a certain point, where I had told her I heard unearthly screaming that frightened me nearly a year ago. They would get to this point and then emit small screams and run, only to return and repeat this behavior. Because of this, we left. Do deer scream, she wondered? What sound do deer make?
She spent the night, as was the plan, since we were to go to the River Fest and hiking on Saturday. Again, get your minds out of the gutter! Really, you have very dirty minds. You should see someone for that. It's just not healthy.
When we awoke (well, rather, when I finally awoke. She, evidently, had been watching me sleep for hours. Yet I am not freaked out...) and took a shower. When we got out, Zack (whom we were planning on spending the day with) called to inform us that he had a better offer of a concert. I accepted this. M decided that we should go to Denny's for breakfast. Admirable suggestion from the darling vegan, so we did.
We ate quickly and chatted intimately. Like an old married couple that is completely content. I gave her the nickname Tangelo (which, no, I am not explaining). We left under a pseudo-sexual pretense related to the nickname, but went to Blockbuster for a movie before heading home.
As we got to Blockbuster, I got a page from Katie. She was in the area and wished to join us at the Riverfest...

Eeepers! I should be studying for my last final! I will write you more soon!

Next edition: the multiple pages of Kate. Stevehen and Tina's adventure in New Hamburg with the new hamburgler. Brain candle. "I need stuff!" Outcuting.


reading: Marabou Stork Nightmares, Irvine Welsh
listening: A high note sung on a commercial
wanting: Guests for my party
interesting thought: Physics is a dream, trust me.
moment of zen: dashing through a river of stories with a narrative navigator.

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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