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06.12.01 2:59 p.m.

"To die, to sleep no more. And by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks which flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished, to die, to sleep, to sleep perchance to dream, ay, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause?"

 -Hamlet, William Shakespeare 

I feel that I suck as a human being because I rarely wake up before noon now. I stayed up until nearly four last night figuring out enough java to put lightning on the main page. And I have no job (okay, less so that).
What does my life amount to these days? I sit at home, primarily. I leave only because M requests my presence somewhere. Otherwise, I sit here, usually in front of the computer. Reading The Onion or Mighty Big TV recaps. What does my life amount to?
Perhaps I need a job, if only for the impetus to leave the house and computer and venture into the real world.
I am taking a moratorium on real life this week. M has gone to Maryland to participate in Free Spirit, so she shall not lure me from my cave. But, frankly, as my grandmother's funeral is Friday, I do not think that I should persist in getting gainful employment until afterward.

ME: ", when would you like me to start work?"
ME: "Okay... can I have Friday off, boss of indeterminate gender?"
PE: "WHAT?! You just got this job and you already want to take off?! WHY?!"
ME: "Well, see, my grandmother died and I need to go to the funeral..."
PE: "Your... grandmother... died? Riiiight, that is the oldest excuse in the book. I used to use that. I take it back, we have no need of you here at Compuglobalmegacorp."
Okay, I know I am being dramatic. Still I shall make the attempt to buy into this capitalist system come Saturday. For now, I am a just going to hide.
I sleep a great deal now. It affords me a certain escape I lack in my life. Plus, I wholly believe dreams are a spiritual act, informing me what I need to do and how I should endeavor to do so. Perhaps I should list my dream here, if only to appease my sense of foreshadowing.
I had one dream wherein cops believed that I was a pedophile, because one of the pedophiles I helped nabbed (like I would have the vaguest sense who I get in trouble?) told them that I was. So I was fleeing ala "The Fugitive" and had to keep calling my house on my cell phone to make sure everything was okay. So, effectively, we can draw from this a fear of police (wholly true given my prior experiences with them when they were more concerned about fucking with me because they thought I looked criminal than actually caring that I had been brutalized), plus a fear of people perceiving me as one of the monsters I fight. I see very little foreshadowing here, though some insight into my mind. That, and I need to stop hunting long before I go to sleep.
On an interesting side note, I do not have nightmares. I was rather cool and collected in the above mentioned dream, merely annoyed that I was being pursued when real monsters still roamed around.
The other dream I remember was that I was helping out at a vast magick store. It was like a warehouse. I saw a tiny book that I wanted, and as I had to pay ten dollars admission to this store just to work, I pocketed it as payment. Incidentally, during high school drama, this was pretty much my ethic. If I was forced to do more work than seemed necessary for a play I did not like (and I liked very few that I was in high school), I would take some piffling bauble that I felt no one would miss from the prop room. That way, I felt sufficiently recompensed (though, really, I wasn't at all) and would continue to work like a good little grunt.
But back to the dream. I was walking around the upper shelves (it really was enormous) and I saw someone enter. For some dream reason, I knew they were very bad and I needed to catch them to prevent further crimes. They saw me and ran out just as I reached them. The alarm at the door began to beep, which I knew was because of the book in my pocket but that I could blame on the thug. Oddly, I ran out to part of the Dutchess campus. I threw my star necklace at them like it was a weapon (which is very well could be). It knocked them down and I captured them. However, the silver pealed off on the star and it was just rusty iron underneath. It practically crumbled. After I retrieved it, I hid the book in the corner of a building and woke up.
The religious aspects of this dream are particularly interesting, as the star could very well represent my view of Paganism. I do feel that, for many people, it is a shiny artifice with nothing or value underneath. Perhaps this is valid. I also remember being somewhat shocked with myself that I would shoplift this tiny book, because I rather gave up shoplifting five years ago. The last thing I ever stole was an antique copy of "Othello" that was lying on the floor of an antique store. I figured that it would meet an unpleasant demise under someone's boot heel, so I rescued it and resolved that I wouldn't steal thereafter. It was my one teenage vice. One must have at least one vice as a teenager to be a well-rounded adult. Else one takes to killing prostitutes or having a heart attack at thirty. It is only healthy.
There were other dreams, but they are vague and faint. Emily was in the magick store with me, which should be noted. It was autumn. This too may be important. Or not.
Thou talkest of nothing...

10:31 PM

I spent most of the day cleaning out my soon-to-be bedroom. I have so rarely ever had a room to myself. For only two weeks in 1998 at Bard College. Aside from that, I had always had the omnipresent company of my brothers.
It felt cathartic and nostalgic, I suppose. I was pushing aside my older brother's hold on the room. This seemed right. It was something all my own, and the next step to further adulthood.
Plus, cleaning allowed me to both feel purposeful and to not actually have to feel much. It obliterated the need to do much more that wipe and vacuum. Organize. Collect loose change.
There is a double meaning in this...
My brother, for wholly understandable and sincerely annoying reasons, was tenacious in his hold on the room. Despite the lack of anything of his of value in the room, he locked the door. His little Neverneverland. Of course, I just broke in with the use of a butter knife and some brute force. Okay, only a very small bit. It is my room, after all.
I stopped cleaning around nine, because I am sick and it was wearying me further. The closet is nearly full of my clothes and I had adorned the door with a Nightmare Before Christmas poster.

Sarah wrote me, much to my delight. She truly is an immensely important person in my life. Without her, I would know so much less about myself than I do.
I am growing fond of my relationship with M. She treats me immensely well and we have numerous adventures that I admit I am lax in chronicling. I'll do better here on in.
It was hard at first to be in this relationship, as wonderful as Emily was and is for the incredibly hard to admit fact that I have a very intense love for both Sarah and Kate. Perhaps not romantically, or this would be far worse. But this intense fondness where I can think of Sarah or Clean!Kate (okay Tripping!Kate, too) and be warm and tingly. That, entirely, was why I was having a problem with my relationship with M. I wasn't passionately in love with her and I was with Kate and Sarah. Why? I obviously didn't have the knowledge of her that allowed me to love Sarah and Kate on the level that I do. In fact, I didn't fall in love with Sarah, amazing and wonderful as she is, until a year after meeting her. It took that much time for me to have the appropriate level of appreciation for this obvious member of my karass.
A few weeks ago in a conversation with Sarah where she was basically querying me as to why I was in a relationship with someone I wasn't sure about, she asked if it was ever like this with Kate. She presumed that it hadn't, because she only remembered me being hopelessly in love with Kate. For a while after hearing that, I presumed the same. That is, until it eventually dawned on me that I felt exactly like this when I started going out with Kate. It took me a while to warm to the thought of her being a part of my life. Then... well, then I had my relationship with Kate, and you know all about that.
It is very true that Kate in the end rarely treated me with the respect, attention, and adoration that Emily does as a point of her existence. Kate did love me as strongly as she could; do not think I disparage her or the love we shared. She still loves me in such a powerful way that she needs me in her life. And, I confess, I need her in mine just as much.
Emily is what I need in my life right now. I can have intense love for others: Conor, Sarah, Kate, and so on. And every day, Emily makes herself all the more worthy to be included in that echelon. None rose there easily. Love that can appear so quickly can disappear just as fast. I love them all as much as I can, but they earned it, and I took my time. I can adore someone instantly, but I do not love them.
This love, or whatever it is of which I speak, is a process. I do love Emily as my girlfriend and as my close friend. And I seek to love her exactly as much, and in the same way as Conor, Sarah, and Kate. She can earn it. I believe it, I wouldn't be with her if I did not.

Yesterday, Emily took me to a Chinese buffet near my house. It amazed me as she would look at people and begin to suss out their stories. Even better, four people gave evidence in their own way that she was dead on. The darling is special. I wonder if I am the first to realize this?
So we played this delightful game, saying that the woman in white was jealous of the woman in red (she was, as she explained ten minutes later), that the old woman wore white orthopedic shoes (she did), that the vaguely European woman craves to go to Paris just once and loved her son though not the father, that the woman in blue wants a child (she picked up a very young child and raved about it 15 minutes later), that that woman right there is thinking of birdhouses. Delightful and spontaneous, both the game and my darling. That she would think to start it (I believe she did)... remarkable.

reading: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac : Director's Cut, Jhonen Vasquez
listening: Edwin McCain's Messenger
listening: A reality that is better than dreams (M is helping!)
interesting thought: Aboriginals believe life is divided into Real Time and Dream Time
moment of zen: Waking up.

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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