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09.07.01 4:38 p.m.

At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.

  -Che Guevera  

Ascended Master of Pizza
Yesterday morning, a hungry lad, I decided to procure pizza-y goodness in one of the various dining halls on campus. I knew that there was a deal whereby I could get two slices of deliciously reheated pizza and a syrupy fountain soda for the low, low price of three whole dollars. Good deal. So, believing correctly that I had three dollars, I waited on line about fifteen minutes for my food owed to me by virtue that I had three dollars.
When I got there, the food rang up with tax and I lacked the extra twenty three cents (really, there is a point to all of this. There always is). I offered to give her something of nominal value in my pocket (my pewter Xen pendant) until I could return with the requested coinage. She handed me back a dollar and informed me that the slice was on her. I was impressed with her generosity and overjoyed. It is a small act of kindness, I'll grant you, but it was incredibly important to me. I will have to return her kindness soon. It is refreshing when someone is altruistic on any level. She is a good soul, I think.

Bathroom Crystals
I was visiting the bathroom in the Humanities building yesterday, doing what one does when one is in a bathroom: pondering whether to take a nap in my car until my 3:30 class or have a random college adventure. I looked to my left while attending to the business at hand (as it were) and saw a clear quartz crystal pointed at my head on the urinal divider. So, doing what any reasonable person would do, I scapped it up and put it in my pocket. "Bathroom crystal," I thought, "weird." I, however, did not think much of it. Perhaps some pseudo-spiritual person placed it down while they visited the privy.
Washing my hands I saw a flatter crystal just behind the faucet. "'Nother bathroom crystal... more weird." That too found its home in my pocket. Now, I knew that the crystals were plainly placed here for some reason I could not divine.
I looked over at the liquid soap dispenser. Of course, bathroom crystals come in threes. Everyone knows that. I took this one as well.
Of course, I searched the bathroom for more, and found none. Using the stellar logic only I possess, I deputized my friend Dawnie to search for female bathroom crystals in the women's room. She found none and claimed that it was very much okay to go into the women's bathroom while possessing a penis. I retorted that this was not so, though girls were generally welcome in the men's room as no one fears they are perverts. She conceded this point.
I proceeded to search the rest of the bathrooms in the building to no avail. Either the other bathroom crystals were not placed in this building or someone grabbed them before I got there.
I told Tina, whom I ran into on this adventure, that I would have to keep my ears open for silly Pagans talking about the bathroom spirits accepting their crystals or some other such foolishness. Why would someone perceive this as a good idea? All they did was allow me to have three more crystals and a funny anecdote.

Kashi: the Divine Breakfast Cereal
At the Renaissance Faire, there is this woman. We shall call her Kashi, because I briefly forgot her name and it was replaced with the title of that wretched breakfast cereal. So goes life.
Kashi works on Mystic's Waye (sic) in East Indian garb. Very becoming and enigmatic, as no one else ever thinks to dress in such array save her. I had presumed that she was, in fact, one of the psychics. Evidently, from her telling, she is the psychics' gofer and secretary. Good work if you can get it.
Our first interaction was when I was returning a mirror to the Booth That Makes Too Much Money (the booth I am made to work when the proprietor of it goes on break). I had noticed her numerous times before with a vague fondness of "Who is that intriguing creature?" but nothing concrete. As I was saying, returning from BTMTMM I crossed the path she was sweeping. She protested, "Watch out! That's my mother!" pointing to a spider that was not there. I grinned and made some lame reincarnation joke (there are so few good ones). She grinned in kind. There began our friendship.
She is, by far, Emily and my best friend at the faire. There is just something right about her. Last weekend, I asked if she would give me a reading sometime. She protested that she was not a reader; she just managed the readers' affairs. I looked in her eyes and said that I wanted her to read for me. She agreed to do so when she was less busy. She has yet to achieve this blessed state, but I have more faith in her that I do in any other. In fact, the day I asked her this, I heard one of the younger psychics talking about the fact that I asked Kashi to read for me and questioning why I chose her out of all of them. There is something more to all of this, I think. Probably not anything near as Cinderella-esque as it seems. Incidentally, the younger psychic said I once heard her thoughts because I turned around and asked what she just said when she was "thinking" at a rude woman. So... I don't know.
Ah, and it turns out that the psychic that yells at Emily and glares evidently hates our boss and feels that Wiccans (of which Emily is one) cast hexes on people. What a world it is that I reside in.

Todd, Depression, Anger and Forgiveness
As of last Wednesday, I have been thinking of Todd a lot. Yes, that Todd. Possibly about suicide on the whole, though not about committing it (I have no interest in worrying my readers). But mostly just about poor dead Todd.
I still have anger. And a lot of sadness. We weren't close and I wasn't always nice to him because the boy could be annoying. He did shove a chemical sponge in my mouth.
I feel abandoned. Over the summer, I saw no one from Dutchess. Then school started and, while I still saw no one from Dutchess, I realized emotionally that this was a new beginning, one Todd won't have. One Todd can never have again.
I nearly cried in my Education class, thinking of Todd. I can't imagine now what set me off, I meant to write at the time and I just didn't get around to it. I will never hear him call my name and I am grieving his loss still. It is an ache.
It shows me my own mortality, which doesn't sadden me that much. I will die eventually. I do believe in reincarnation, so this doesn't phase me.
Every day, after having not actively done so in months, I think of him. How the world lacks him now. How he is too young... was too young... and too vibrant to snuff himself out so decisively. I don't understand suicide because I can't imagine the point where I would decide to end my life. I would kill myself only to save someone else.
Because of all this, I cannot hate Coley, Alison, Zanna, or nearly anyone else who chooses to hate me. But rather, love them for they are alive and at one point gave me something special. They are in bad places, but I would miss them greatly if they died tomorrow. I would mourn and weep. I think they would be better if they could admit they would do the same.
All of them are in this personal reality where I am a villain, though I know I am not. Coley should know herself that hating someone is futile and unnecessarily painful. She would weep, I know, were she to receive that call telling her that I had passed on much as I am sure she felt the affects of Todd's death.
So I cannot hate these people. The world and my life would not be better for their death but rather infinitely better for their existences, whether they know this or not.
I think Emily worries that this Todd induced funk is the harbinger of my self immolation. I asked her in a parking lot over the weekend why people kill themselves. If she honestly ever wanted to die. I forget how I phrased it, though I know it must have been poorly for I was greeted by her holding me tightly and telling me something to the effect that she would kill me if I ever committed suicide. I wouldn't. I have been sad and depressed. Perhaps Todd is a symptom or perhaps he is the cause. I honestly do not know. I currently am blaming lack of sleep for a chemical imbalance that has resulted in my feeling SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) strongly. Once the Renaissance Faire is over, the world will feel better. I can only hope...

Last night, Emily and I had the emotionally wrought but balanced version of a fight. Quite possibly our first. It had been building for weeks, I think. I cannot tell you exactly when. It all erupted when Emily was joking that she was going to leave because my mother and I were teasing her about not caring when Kurt Cobain died. Eventually she backed down and sat, asking why I didn't go after her. I informed her that my older brother would have played into that game with his girlfriend, and I did not want to set a precedent. She was kidding about leaving, but that is what finally allowed the tears that had been building to flow.
Certain things needed to be voiced or we were going to explode. Or, you know, not be together. But someone exploding seems more reasonable. We cried for about an hour and talked things over. Then we watched Zim and ate mint ice cream. Necessity, you understand.
I think all relationships eventually go through something like this or they cannot survive. I am likely wrong though. My biggest "compliant" was that I was in a weird relationship place. As I have stated to her before, I am not with her because I wanted a girlfriend. Frankly, when I found her, I wanted to be alone (in a healthy, happy, non-killing-hookers-because-they-are-all-judging-with-their-heavily-made-up-eyes way). I am with her because she is sweet, intelligent, entertaining, pretty, spiritual, strong, complex, interesting, humorous, and honest. I frankly wouldn't care if we were just friends so long as I had this in my life. Though I don't want to be "just friends" with her. I do hope you are getting this.
We also agreed that, despite a few days ago having had our five month anniversary (for want of a better word) our relationship was going too fast. The sexual component was too much for me as I have little need for it in my life and it makes me feel scared and hurt. I'd rather be intimate without the stickiness. At least for right now. I have to find the core in myself that made me interested in sexuality in the first place. Right now though, I am fine without it.
The endorphin kick we got after we were done crying was great, though I suspect heavily that the ice cream had something to do with it. So Emily and I are restored to having a happy relationship with no more talk of breaking up or leaving. Glee!

Foreshadow Party
If everything goes as planned (and it damned well better), I will be throwing a big camping party in my back yard in the beginning of October. The reasons are many, not the least of which that a party needs to occur. Okay, I hear you nay-sayers already, "Won't it be too cold?!" No. You are silly. Go away.
We will make a fire and have very cozy tents and lots of sleeping bags. The guest list to this slumber soirée includes Emily, Zack, Kate, Tina, Stevehen, maybe the MeLiza. I invited others, such as Kendall, Sarah, and Conor, but have made no response. We'll watch zombie movies and make s'mores. Maybe make pizza. Oh the fun this shall be!

last watched: Invader Zim
reading: Mythology, Edith Hamilton
listening: "Hallelujah" from Live Wide Open by Martin Sexton
wanting: The Ren Faire to end so I may have free weekends
interesting thought: I learn constantly
moment of zen: Seeing the essence of people
someday I must: Forgive Todd.

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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