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09.28.01 11:21 p.m.

As I look around, I see Light and Shadow swirling together.

Like partners they dance, dipping and swooping in an intimate embrace.

Perhaps this is merely my own perception of things....

but to an artist,

what more is there?

 -Not sure, sounds like me  

This Entry Features: Checkpoints. The circumcising of farm animals.

Katherine the Cloudy
I felt that, as she was once such an integral part of this journal and my life, I should update you on my thoughts and feelings about Miss Katherine the great.
I definitely feel, with some certainly, that Katie and I have drifted quite a bit. Once we were so much a part of one another that we barely needed words. But, as you know, she wanted to break any part of me out of her and be truly alone. I have been too busy, as well.
I think it saddens Kate more than a little that I no longer fawn on her and melt when she speaks. I just care for her as best I can, which isn't enough for her. I do think, in the least arrogant way possible, that she is mourning a little that another has me and is very much in love with me. She, I assume, figured I would always be there for her whether she wanted me or not. Now that she cannot have me, I am very much more attractive to her. This is coming out arrogantly, I know, and this is in no way my intention.
I care deeply for Kate, as I have said. She does still lash out at me futilely, feeling the need to rebel and defy someone and irrationally choosing me periodically as the target. She is my friend. She is one of my most intimate friends as I had, in fact, been her faithful lover in the past. I know part of her that no one else could (in a spiritual way, you damned perverts. Get your minds out of the gutter!). As I know I have said before in this journal and in conversations, I do not want to lose all that ever was special between Kate and me. I do love her a great deal.
Things between her and me are still weird. It has been nearly a year's time since she left me. I have recovered. I no longer crave her touch, though reading the conversations we once had can still bring me to tears. I harness this as much as I may, reminding myself that these tears are the exact reason I cannot lose her more than I already have.
I think she is going through a very hard period in her life currently. Her grandmother just died and she rather hushed me when I offered my sympathies. She wanted to hear none of it, stating truly that it was more than her time and her grandmother was now out of her misery. Still, the loss of a loved one, no matter how expected and needed, is difficult and sad. I don't think she is really expressing her feelings to anyone, least of all me. Were she drunk, I know she would disclose her heart to me. But this condition should not be necessary for intimacy.
She writes extensively in little red journals that she lets no one ever see. What she does with them, where these journal go when she fills them to the metaphoric brim, I do not know. I would go to great lengths to read but five pages, if just to know what she is really thinking and, selfishly, what part I may still play in her heart and mind. If Kate wishes to know this sort of information, she need only read here or ask me plainly. She does not, but I think she desires just as greatly to know that she still is, in fact, important to me.
She and I have been trying to get together for lunch for weeks, at my suggestion, and I think that she feels blown off and spurned because I cancelled owing the WTC, Emily's sickness (TWICE!), and then my own. I wanted to have a meal with her... well, I asked my new tarot cards how best to reconnect with Kate. They suggested a meal (seriously, they did!). So I called her, and she sounded delighted at the prospect, even suggesting that we could meet at her apartment and she could make me something to eat. I had a lot of hope, because it sounded like I was getting my dearest friend back. However, as you know, this has yet to come to fruition.
I think that she is having issue with Emily, not as a person, but as a concept. The girlfriend who is not Kate. The one with whom I spend much of my time. In some deep recess of her mind, Emily stole me away from her, though you journal readers well know that Kate wanted me away from her, telling me that she wished I would get a girlfriend who was not her in just so many words.
Where do we go from here? Who is my Katie-belle now? I miss her so. She had the prettiest brown hair, like semi-sweet chocolate.

Like Crossing the Sarah
I spoke with Sarah last night. The girl... weird. Do not this for a moment that I do not love her immensely and intensely. I burn with my love for her.
Last night she poured out her heart about her passionate love affair with Senor Jake. While they have both reached a plateau at which they can readily confess their eternal adoration for one another, he has not ceased bedding random girls and she has not cease drinking deep the cup of easy men. She stated that I would not approve. I don't think it is my place, exactly, to approve or disapprove. There is only love... and a little fear.
While all of this is fascinating (no, really), the important section of our discussion hinged on the fact that she is very likely coming to my camping party. As such, this will be the first time is three years that I have actually had the pleasure of seeing this girl face to face. Of breathing deep her essence. If she and I have not immensely changed physically, and let me assure you without a doubt that we have, we are wholly different people than we once were. Of course, 99% of our current friendship exists over phone lines and modem tones. We love one another's words. I asked her if we would erupt into a shower of sparks. She assured me definitively that we would.
This party could likely be an enormous turning point in the journal, as many characters that have never seen one another shall be brought together in my backyard.
Sarah also tried her damnedest over the phone to tempt me into getting drunk, getting high, and getting slutty, stating that I became more of a guy every time she and I spoke. That one day, I would be the sort of have an affair with her. I assured her that she could not be successful and she rather had no chance with me because I would do nothing to hurt Emily or myself.
Sarah was not, as it may sound, being evil. More like, she was being the Demarte to my Valmont. She was trying to test my boundaries and her own. It is hard to explain my phone conversations with Sarah. She was introducing thoughts into the controlled zone of my mind, to see it there would be a reaction. I know her, and I know that she would be reticent to do anything to hurt me.

Many Might Mediate My Magically Mellifluous Mania
Emily is remarkably good. I know that I do not exposition much about her, as she is my constant companion. As such, you should know her well, in my mind. I feel more need to apprise you of the situations of those that I am not constantly in contact with, such as Kate. Still, I shant endure negligence!
Emily and I are much stronger than we started out. Almost all reticence on my part about being in a relationship, being someone's boyfriend, is banished by her charm and good humor. I find myself increasingly physically attracted to her when I once worried that I was to be asexual. It was not, of course, her to whom I was not attracted. It was rather the concepts of sexuality and all it's trappings that threw me off.
As Sarah pointed out in our conversation, she is surprised I am with Emily because she does not hurt me. Sarah inquired if Emily had ever done anything that upset me. I thought and said, "this one time, she made fun of me to her Tae Kwon Do friend because I was excited." Sarah stressed the words "This one time?" and reminded me that she apologized and I forgave her instantly. Emily is a very wonderful companion that I grow more in love with daily. I am grateful to have her in my life.

On Wednesday, leaving Old Main Building, I heard the wafting notes of a flute from far away. Capricious lad that I am, I immediately began walking in the direction of said music. It was a spring time sort of song, with no set pattern but with an obvious bit of talent.
Eventually, I came upon an attractive boy sitting on a bench, recorder to lips, playing. He stopped when I approached. I beseeched the handsome boy not to stop on my account, as I had come to heard him play. He explained that he cannot play under pressure, he smokes under pressure. Here he extracted a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and lit one. I told him I would leave so he could play anew. When I was fifty feet away, I heard the notes again. It is a pity I could not hear it closely, but it is more important that he play.

Wednesday night into Thursday, Emily and I had a relaxing break. My school, for some undetermined reason, grants us all Jewish holidays off, but doesn't allow us time off for Labor Day or Columbus Day. Communists, I tell you. Not that I am lamenting the Jewish holidays at all. Breaks are breaks.
We lay on my bed, eating breakfasts and dinners, playing SimEarth and Lufia II (which impressed Emily as I could figure out the puzzles in the game relatively quickly. She claims that this is a form of genius). It was all very lazy and nice. She, however, got sick because she insisted on sleeping with the window right next to our heads open.
Thursday, she mostly lay and groaned. She was to go to work and I was to go to Kate's for dinner. However, owing to her sickness and her being at my house, neither occurred. Kate was not pleased, as you can well expect.

Tonight, Emily and I are going up to Albany to attend her cousin Daniel's bar mitzvah. It should be noted that I am fairly ignorant of this ceremony, knowing only what sitcoms have taught me. Namely that there is a lot of food and the lad will be given oodles of money. And there are tiny funny hats. I'm fairly sure of that. Possibly the boy has to recite the entire Torah from memory or circumcise a goat. I'm really quite vague on the matter.
The beneficent part of this excursion for me, other than the food and Emily's company, is that she and I get to stay in our own expensive hotel room for which someone else is paying dearly. Who am I to pass up a free hotel?

Soon in Xenology: Xen actually getting lunch with Kate. The Haunted Mansion.

last watched: Angel
reading: Lasher: Lives of the Mayfair Witches, Anne Rice
listening: Elza
wanting: A job at the library.
interesting thought: A handful of words can make one a man.
moment of zen: The color of the clouds at dusk.
someday I must: undergo a rite of passage.

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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