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08.27.01 12:16 a.m.

There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go.

  -Frederick Faber 

I am a chronicler of stories and a means to various ends. I collect people and grow to love them because they make the best characters for this particular chapter that I am bound to observe. Who I am seems ultimately unimportant; I am a heavily biased observer.
I influence the action to bring about resolution and to introduce new plot points. These stories exist wholly in themselves, more so today than ever before. I bring characters together and transcribe their interactions for a faceless audience of a number between myself and hundreds of people. I am part and parcel to these tales, a character like the rest, as well as their revealer. Ultimately, it is my words you put faith in to know the story. The stories, however would exist sans me, more or less. I place too much emphasis on my role, the curse of every narrator. They are important. The continuing, unfolding tale in which I find myself entrenched in the title character. I am just one piece of it. A humble speck. The potential stories, as I see them:

  • Zack and Veronica's continuing romance.
  • Kate's attempts at wholly succumbing to the perceived college student persona and the changes in her life and personality that will occur to accommodate it.
  • Emily's growing strength and independence.
  • Psychic and/or ghosts. Why? Look at the former and take a guess.
  • Kate and Tina's apartment situation
  • my acclimating to college life at New Paltz, undoubtedly introducing a few new secondary or tertiary characters to this epic.
I don't doubt that there are more threads I am ignoring at the moment. These are at the forefront of my mind as of this writing. I shall endeavor in a future entry to make educated predictions and burn any bridges that as soaked with alcohol and pig fat anyway. A lot of bridges are made of steel these days, thus fireproof barring extreme temperatures. How quaint.
Not tonight.

Primero dias
Today was my first day attending New Paltz as a student. Slight back-story is needed and here will be provided. I was able to wrangle a job at the New Paltz library, though it took quite a bit of "persistence." However, it came to be seen that I had few hours and a goodly amount of them exists on Sunday, a day I certainly did not wish to be on campus. Now on with this section.
I awoke early in order to plead my case to as many powers that may be in NP as were willing to listen. Apparently the bureaucracy was helpful here (I know! I was stunned!) as a few forms allowed my transition to the computer center. However, I had to wait in the woman's office for quite a while, getting interrupted by sundry students (many of whom did not speak English) and was something like 15 minutes late to my first class. What was helpful and exceedingly serendipitous was that dear Emily happened to be looking at this very site in the exact computer lab in which I was applying for work. As such, she joined me and calmed me on this journey.
My first class, English Literature, is taught my a pleasant enough woman. She has a sense of humor, which I frankly find a necessity in these environments. Especially in dealing with the frequent bawdiness that older English literature can degrade into, a teacher of the subject should be able to give a wry smirk. I did feel bad that, despite my tardiness, I answered most of the teacher's questions. As scholastically and literary minded as I can be, I do not wish to earn the scorn of my fellow students by being seen as a teacher's pet or any such thing. No, perish the bleeding thought. Some girls I knew from my prior sojourns to the campus were in the class, which certainly helped it feel slightly less frightening. Though I'll be honest, I didn't much think about being scared.
The teacher showed the class various etching and paintings to illustrate to the class that, as perceptions of women's roles changed, so too did their place in fiction. In essence, she showed us medieval porn that brought about its share of tittering from the class. I think I shall enjoy this class.
Emily was waiting in front of the building for me after my class ended. Hers was going to end fairly soon but it was not soon enough for her. So she told the teacher she had a doctor's appointment and slipped out into my waiting arms.
We had a surprisingly large lunch in one of the dining halls, to celebrate my job, the first day of classes, our hunger, and celebrations in general. I pointed out people that I knew from previous encounters at this college, giving terse descriptions as they passed. I felt like she and I comprised a gossipy clique of two. She stated assuredly that our clique would grow; we just hadn't met anyone worthy as yet. What does she see?
After lunch, I had to go to the library and inform them that I would be unable to work for them. I was expecting something like a small scene, so I was disarmed when the supervising woman simple said, "Okay." and walked away. I think I stood there for a moment, realizing that my excuses were unnecessary before dashing out and hiding. I may feel weird entering the library for a week or so.
This task done, Emily and I decided that we required new friends on campus. Normal people just let this happen. Normal people are not Emily and me. We wandered all around campus, seeking and not finding suitable playmates. Finally, sitting in front of the Humanities building, we saw a thin gay lad using entirely inward posture. We felt he clearly needed a friend. As I had just found a pig key chain, I approached him with the ever charming, "I have a pig key chain... will you be our friend?" He questioned as to what this friendship entailed, receiving the answer that irregular conversation and the guarantee of mutual recognition were what I was interested in. He asked if hugs were involved and I said this could be decided in the future. So we made our first friend.
After this, I think we rather abandon the game, save in an idle curious way. Then a girl passed our cement stool holding a book titled The Politics of Heroin or something similar. As these things kill felines, I had to sate my curiosity. I approached her, my intention to discover what class required such a book. She and I spoke for a few minutes, until she stated that she was living in a house full of lushes and that there should only be four people living therein but six plagued her. My eyes grew three sizes as I squeaked, "Do you live with someone named Kate? And a girl named Tina?" I was rewarded with the affirmative to both. This was the roommate I had yet to meet. Let's consider this, shall we? A campus of, let's say, ten thousand people? Emily and I deign exactly two people in need of further investigation. One happens to be Kate's roommate, whom we have never met nor heard any description. Tell me that isn't the slightest bit eerie.
We escaped her, rather taken aback by her stories of this apartment, which made it sound like a less than pleasant residence. Kate is taking the roommate's side in all these matters, though I see little reason to have sides. I don't have a side, so I see no cause to have a side that disagrees with mine. Which, as we covered, doesn't exist in the first place. My entire issue, which isn't an issue, is that Kate told me tonight that her roommate told a wholly different story of the meeting than I did and I stated that I found that odd and it gave me pause. No hatred, no dislike, no fear. I actually thought the roommate seemed rather pleasant and personable. No bloody sides that I see. Save that Kate is taking the side that I don't belong on... I suppose it is an exercise in futility to delve to deeply into this matter?
I went to my Elementary Spanish class. I will admit that, though I have taken Spanish in the past, I grasped little of it. As such, I had a slight dread of being forced to take said course at the college level. This, to me, plainly meant that the course would be exponentially more difficult and I wouldn't hear a word of English for the duration of the semester. When the teacher arrived, she confirmed my fears by speaking exclusively Spanish. I sat and kept my ears open, realizing that I comprehended enough of what she was saying to get by. For about twenty minutes, she rapidly chittered on in this foreign tongue, telling the story of her life and so on. I wasn't sinking. Finally she said that this was a test to see who could follow her. One girl could and was banished from the class because the teacher felt it would be too easy. I remained, content that my language module could adapt using gestures, root words, and intonation. She too has a sense of humor, though an all-together different one. My English teacher had a refined, intellectual, in-joke sense of humor. The Spanish teacher had a sweet affability that seemed almost Mid-Western. Still, I was pleased.
More on this tomorrow.

last watched: Chasing Amy
reading: Lasher, Anne Rice
listening: Romeo + Juliet
wanting: more hours working
interesting thought: Karasses may be valid
moment of zen: Having an on-campus girlfriend.
someday I must: aspire to greatness.

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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