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11.08.01 9:06 p.m.

The great paradox of the 21st century is that, in this age of powerful technology, the biggest problems we face internationally are problems of the human soul.

 -Ralph Peters  

This Entry Features: Elizabeth Bishop, an abundance of Kate, employment, palatable refractions of the light spectrum, asexuality, non-capitalized fate,

One Art
Not that this is much of an issue, but I feel the need to state nonetheless. I would never return to Kate, were anything to happen to end the relationship between Emily and me. Miss Katherine and I have drifted so inexorably away from one another into quite different beings. I guess she was right in the end, after all.
Think not that I do not love her, for all the pain we have shared, I must confess I always will. I look to her, think of her, and there is warmth. She is not, in my mind, an ex-girlfriend, in all pejorative senses. She is a dear friend with whom I once shared intimacy.
However, I cannot find myself attracted to her. She is so very different from whom she once was with me. Now she is not at all the sort of lass with whom I would choose to fall in love. She has done too much, shared beds with too many. She is a charming Kate, by not my delightful Katie.
Nor will she be.

Art Won
I currently find it difficult to be attracted to anyone. I am not experiencing a stage in my life where I can enjoy attraction, enjoy sexualizing and being sexualized in turn.
I love, of course. I'd die before I give up my love. Sometimes, however, touches lack their spark. They do not hurt, merely hold disinterest. As such, there arrive occasions when I am unable to see Emily as more than a dear friend. I feel that this is immensely unfair to her, as I think she deserves a constant boyfriend. She does not leave me, even knowing that I cannot show her the kind of affection she warrants.
I cannot justify how I feel, nor do I see reason. This has existed to varying degrees since... I cannot recall. It is precedented. I am only getting to voice this now, but it is not new.
I do not feel attraction toward any one, so do not think this is only a cooling toward the concept of attraction as it pertains to Saint Emiliana. I am not certain as to what I wish to do. Likely wait and let the world unfurl. I want M to be content and I am not sure I am making her so.
I do find people attractive. Emily, Sarah, Venessa, Eileen, Conor, Zack. They have a charm. Cute, sexy, transcendent, what have you. Random strangers can captivate me. At times, in the past, I have ached to know them to some degree. Not now.
It may return in some form. It likely will, in fact. I am not in the moment where I can understand how. I do not lament this. I seek intellectual, spiritual, and emotional stimulation. It pleases me to be so, even if it means I act as a eunuch. The world has desensitized me and I am driven to find my joy in different matters than corporeal. The word choice of an anonymous conversation can give me goose bumps, the timbre of the sirenous Sarah's voice when she seeks to corrupt me makes me glow, the reverberations of Emily's laughter like chimes, the lush burning floral scent that surrounds Kate when she is happy, the feeling of desiccated autumnal leaves insinuating dervishes around me, night. Why is it wrong to crave these things over the sliding together of bodies? I am a non-sexual sensualist. This is not new.

But One Word With One of Us?
I said, and meant, in the prior entry that I no longer felt myself naive enough to believe in soul mates; that there is but one person on the planet that an individual is destined from birth to be with. It trivializes every other relationship a person has prior to the one in which they currently find themselves entangled. This is psychologically unhealthy, in my opinion, as this is tantamount to repression and denial.
For my part, every set of lips that touched mine altered the course of my life to some degree. Good and bad are unnecessary, subjective terms, gradations of the same theme. I was different to some extent. I obtained an experience I may not have otherwise had. Had I not fallen in love with Jen and eventually given my virginity to her, I would not have been in any way equipped to fall in love with Kate. Kate and my love was one of the most glorious feelings I had experienced at that time.
My theory, which I can no more accept credit for than Kurt Vonnegut Jr. can (though I don't doubt accurate parallels can be drawn, I am quite a fan), is essential that there are certain people that are supposed to be in your life, that are preordained to become entangled with your life by the choices you have made in the past. Call it divine intervention, if you must. No matter what you do, no matter where you go, there will always be these linked souls. Sometimes you recognize them on first sight, though not always. They may not even by your friends, though it behooves you (bees with hooves?! Good heavens! They'll trample the roses!) to be cordial to them.
Let me give you an easy example: Kate. Year and years ago, when I was only fifteen, Kate and I started writing to one another on-line. The original reason as that I had AOL for a month and Tina, Kate's then best friend, had asked Kate to IM me. Just so you have the correct temporal alignment, this was before she or I dated Sky. This was an entirely different life.
So Kate and I began writing to one another. She would send me news stories with her own snarky commentary. I have to admit I was fond of her in a vague way even then. I imagined that she was a very tiny Asian girl for some reason it's likely best that we not get into. So we were in contact for a very long time.
On my sixteenth birthday, just after I had stolen Sky away from her (hey, I didn't know and wouldn't have done so had I!), Tina and Kate were going to give me quite a treat and attend. Unfortunately, Tina's parents would not drive them so our meeting was put off again. Still, we wrote and talked. I like to imagine that, had Kate come to the party, she and I would have fallen instantly in love. But this is likely naive. Instead, I continued by crush on Jen.
When I was about 17, we met for the first time, face to face. We were going to be attending a terrible, free concert at a local music store with Tina. When I first saw her, and Tina was not in the frame, I wanted to flirt with her. She was just immensely attractive to me that I would have done anything to touch her, and not merely because I was so full of cold remedies that I could hardly see straight. At one point, they reported that I lifted Kate's face up to mine and they both thought I was going to kiss her. I do not remember, but I was quite doped up. We hung out for a few hours. I was very much taken by Kate, but I was with Jen at this point. I remember that I was trying to have us all take our pictures in the photo booth so I could have a picture of Kate, when Jen showed up. She was sweet and girlfriend-y. I think she knew that I had an odd interest in Kate, because she chittered on to the two of them to the extent that Kate didn't understand why an interesting guy like me would be with a sort of vapid girl like Jen. I am paraphrasing Kate, of course, but I think that was pretty clearly how she stated it.
After this, she and I wrote to one another, far more intimately, far more often. It was not something we could resist, and yet it was nothing.
After Jen left me for Nick, we began chatting on AIM. About a month later, we asked one another out and eventually fell in love.
This, to me, represents a person that I could not resist. I could not get away from her because she and I were destined to have a significant interaction that would change us both. I do not doubt for a moment that the two years I spent with her have shaped who I am more than I can ever describe and I think she would say the same (perhaps less positively).
I know, given that I write I could never find her attractive again, this summary of five years seems incongruent. I am pretty much saying that I could not resist the force between us in the past. But this makes sense. We have had our interaction, and thus lessened the ropes fate bound us by. Are we still entwined? I would bet on it. But I do not know how much, or in what way. She is still significant. They all are.

If The World Was Equitable, I Would Have My Occupation
On Tuesday, quite anxious to know if the library would grant me employment or deny me as so many had (sometimes of very fun stationary!), especially given that the only offer of employment came from the personal massager store in the mall for the holiday season. Clearly, given my demeanor, helping people purchase masturbation devises in a dangerously overcrowd public place, in the middle of winter, for minimum wage is somehow a good idea. You know, in that way that it completely isn't.
So, were I not to get the job by Wednesday, I would be required by fiscal necessity to accept the job at the massager store. You can thus understand my great desperation. I called and asked for the woman who interviewed me. She sounded decidedly nervous on the phone and stated that she had been meaning to call me for a while, but had been putting it off. Then she informed me that she had an awkward question for me. I braced myself for the worst, though awkward questions are far better than and outright rejection. Trust me on this one, I was quite the awkward teen when I was younger (and quite the young adult in denial now, evidently).
She asked what my plans were with the future. My brain went to work to decipher the question, and I finally responded that I intended to stay into the area at least until 2003. She sighed and said, "Oh good. You're hired."
The work has an odd, ticklish texture in my ear. "Hired." "Employed." I like it!
I ran out of the building, jubilant, and called Emily and my house. Then I ran up to the nearest friendly face, that of Kate, and vibrated happily. I almost ran up and kissed her in a hyperbolic fashion, which I could be okay with doing to several of my female friends. However, Kate would not understand and her "cool" punk friends surrounded her. So I just chittered, pleased. Then I gave her Skittles. Tis the way.

Soon in Xenology: Sarah enters my world. Spells are performed. It snows. I work.

last watched: The Buffy Musical, if you must know!
reading: Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, Tom Robbins
listening: "Rest in Peace" performed by James Marsters with Lyrics by Joss Whedon
listening: that first paycheck so I can take my love out to a nice meal.
interesting thought: Spam was, at one point, an animal. Unless it is vegan Spam, which is just wrong.
moment of zen: tell me the moment that isn't.
someday I must: wear pleather pants... you know, tomorrow is a day...

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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