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07.20.01 11:30 p.m.

"Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it is a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain."


In some ways, small ways, I envy the young. Well, the younger, as I am not exactly shuffling off a wrinkled mortal coil any time soon.

I was at the Cubbyhole tonight. I was meeting Tina and Stevehen there, as I needed to give Stevehen blue shorts for his up coming job. Inside the coffeehouse were numerous high school creatures. They seemed so blissfully ignorant. This is not an insult, please understand. They really did seem to have a lack of real problems or aggressively plaguing thoughts. I wonder if I was like that a few years ago. It feels like I never was, but I tend to be biased.
I would like to have this experience, that of being a high school student, dating pretty and empty faces, and the like. But, not as a lifestyle. Not as permanent. As an experiment. I would want to be myself, with the weight of the sights of seen pressing on my forehead.
There was a girl I was attracted to. Not in any romantic or sexual way. Never. She just... I think she had a piece of me in her. A stem cell from my soul that could become almost anything. She had something inside of her. I think she had some experience that separated her from those around her. But she still had enough ignorance that she enjoyed what was going on but didn't actually appreciate.
I wish I had the ability to just walk up to someone and make them my friend. I could have hit on her, but that would be lying. I am not interested in flirting with pale lines of frenetic energy. I wanted to know her on a comfortable, casual level. I wanted her to know me, in a way. Because I want to be known and understood. Why else would I write this? Really, I would like to know...
and every word is nonsense, but I understand...
So, obviously, I did not approach her. I just watched the angelfish hybrid swimming among the goldfish out of the corner of my eye and analyzed my thought as much as her movements. She even reminded me in some vague way of Elza, though it may have just been the hair.
I worry sometimes that my relationship with M restricts my movements in certain ways. Which, of course, it does. I could have very well intimated flirtation in the blonde thing, just to bait-and-switch her with friendship. But, of course, devotion and chivalry prevent me from doing so. My relationship with M actually causes me to move in different ways that I ordinarily would not, so we cannot fault it or her for restriction in this stream.
Plus, to paraphrase those imitating mobsters, I do not wish to sleep with the fishes.
I want people to find me wholly remarkable. This feels like a very arrogant and unlikely want, but I am being honest with you. I want someone to be so completely seduced by my company that they blush. I want innuendo and insinuation. Romance. I want people to have to change their worldview because they, in one way or another, fell in love with me. I think I have been ruined by too much Oscar Wilde.
Emily does love me... I think I just seek some different and intense reaction. Once she cried and told me that I was the most amazing person she ever met. At this point, I was so confused that I was about to leave her. A mistake, to be sure. And her words, telling me that I was that amazing... it touched me very deeply. Gods, I sound like such an egotistical jerk. I hope you know me better than that. It was the kind of thing I don't hear enough. I think I would trade one hundred casual I love yous for one sincere you are amazing. Perhaps that is not right. But again, it is truth.
I am no hypocrite. I make sure to reward those I find amazing with the affirmation of such a status. And, well, I love them. Because that is what makes me love someone. It comes to my mind that Sarah most often amazes me. She speaks in such a way as to completely startle me. Her syntax and word choice is completely original. As though she never heard anyone speak until she was very old and learned every word entirely though elegant novels. Few speak like her and I instantly hold a fondness for those who do.
All those I love have unique gifts that bond me to them. Sarah, as we have covered, is a marvelous wordsmith. Emily's gifts, and she has many, will not all be discussed. The one undoubtedly most important to me is her humor. Which may seem like little to some, but she is by far the funniest human being of either gender I have ever encountered. While I erstwhile have enjoyed those who make me laugh, her humor exists on an almost divine level. A few well-chosen words can reduce me to tears laughing. So here, too, do we see the importance of words. Emily does not speak with the elegance of Sarah or the observance of Kate. Emily's tone is wholly her own... I will find the words for her words... just not tonight.

Last night, Emily and I paid a visit to Applebee's. She felt the need to tell the waitstaff that it was my birthday in hope they would embarrass me with the birthday song. However, not feeling partial to dessert after far too much red meat (I am growing increasingly disinterested in red meat), I thought I had averted her plan. Our waitress, Anastasia (who I greatly recommend. Personable and sweet), gave me three helium balloons so I would feel some degree of embarrassment. That, my dear readers, is service.
After our feeding, we scurried to my house to watch Buffy. Because, clearly, Buffy is a necessity of life. And despite the fact that the food genuinely made Emily sick, I kissed her. That, I think, is deeply significant.

Stevehen and Tina were kind of faux fighting when I was hanging out with them. It was nothing real, in the strictest sense, but there was a tension. And I like them, so I seek to have them both be as happy as is possible with one another. Katie and I would occasionally have these sorts of pinprick arguments and no good ever came of it except that one of us would eventually end up crying and we would talk out the issues. Maybe it isn't the same with them and I am sublimating my old issues onto them. I just want their happiness, truly.

I called Venessa up today in hopes that I could hang out with her when I saw Tina and Stevehen. An anxious creature answered her phone and informed me that she was in the hospital and couldn't give me any further information. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on one's perspective, I was exhausted beyond belief and fell into a deep sleep for a few hours before I could follow this up or press further. I was a bit stunned, understandably, as Emily has been getting worrisome vibes about Venessa. I hope that she is well and am trying not the think the worst.
My mother was distressed over this as well, as she has been present and aware of numerous hospital visits to my various friends. I do not know exactly why she is in the hospital, though I have my suspicions. Poor, dear girl.

The day before yesterday (this is almost reverse chronological. Except really very far from), Emily and I were in New Paltz. Or, rather, she had her immensely long break from classes and wanted my company for a few hours. She we roamed the streets like proper college students. I confessed that my throat hurt a bit (she claimed it was because I was screaming periodically because it deeply amused me to do so in some context. What a foolish conjecture!). So we went to the local deli (motto: "We're called Convenient because we are the only game in town. Give us your tuition.") and I purchased a full sized container of orange juice which we took turns taking swigs out of as we walked around.
We ended up in a tiny Italian restaurant whose name completely escapes me. We ordered too much food, as is our wont, and took up the largest booth in the place. Okay, so we were the only people there. Still. Somehow Emily got on a very long, breathe-taking scenario of a five-year-old version of me inquiring about joining the Hell's Angels. Really, we don't much question her. It rarely does any good.
We noted in between bites and Emily exclaiming in a small boy voice, "but I don't have a Harley... I have a Huffy... Can I join your gang? Can My Buddy join too? He has a tricycle!" that the fortune telling machine near the door sounded as though it were asking for us to insert porn. Even up close, this, apparently, was the request. Lacking any pornography or an instant camera, we instead inserted a quarter each. The fortunes were banal and boring, save that it said for both of us

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
As we lacked a guided activity for our last weekend of freedom before the Renaissance Faire began, we took this to be the fates telling us we needed to go to a zoo. More precisely, the Bronx Zoo. Home of one of the few pairs of successfully mated platypus (platypi, platypuses. All are correct). We have no choice in the matter, we just have to.

reading: On the Road, Jack Kerouac
listening: August and Everything After, Counting Crows
wanting: wings
interesting thought: Divine guidance is pleasant in small doses, but too much takes all the spice out of life.
moment of zen: Summer air.
someday I must: go to a Counting Crows concert.

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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