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02.05.02 12:30 a.m.

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.


 -Marie Beyon Ray  




Abbreviation Is a Very Long Word
Sunday, M and I almost broke up. I think. I'm not exactly sure what to call it, for it wasn't really a fight. Certainly, there was crying on both sides. More on hers. And I did initiate the conversation that spawned this, so one would be inclined to think I would be the person to know what was going on.
But I am not. Nor, actually, do I think Emily is. Do you see how complex these "relationship" things can be? Anyway, the end result is, I believe, that she and I are mostly friends. 80% best friend, if one wishes to quantify. Which suits me just fine.
Though I realize this is quite an odd statement, I would describe my sexuality in a Ricean vampire fashion. I am passionate and certainly attracted to the opposite sex. I just largely feel this attraction in the pit of my stomach and lips. I want to kiss and caress. But sex? Inconceivable to me. Not disgusting, necessarily. But not the operative way to demonstrate affection in my worldview. Hardly necessary.
Which suits me just fine.
M has asked me to not delve deeper into the contents of the conversation or the process whereby we arrived at the decision to be mostly friends, because she fears it will make her burst into fresh tears. I am choosing to honor this at the expense of a richer narrative, dearest readers. So deal.

Like "Your In Town" Or...?
Friday, Emily and I went to the city to see Urinetown. As I told you, her therapist gave the tickets as a gift for getting her blackbelt. Unfortunately, owing to the fact that a new and overzealous (read as: macho, chauvinist prick) student at her school felt the need to slam is elbow as hard as he could into her ankle, Emily was on crutches with a third degree sprain with a side of bone chips. A crutchy M is not conducive to ease of city travel. As such, we stayed at my house for much of the day and took it easy.
We caught a late train to the city, so we could have a nice dinner before the show. We took up a whole booth to accommodate Emily's current infirmity. This was decidedly nice, as I sat there reading Ghost: Investigating the Other Side occasionally nudging her to share a quote, theory, or the beautiful post storm view over the Hudson River and in turn being nudged to be asked about the fate of one of Rice's vampires (M had been reading Memnoch the Devil, a personal favorite of mine). It was such a great system, until a family containing no less than eight screaming devil spawn entered. I swear to you, I have no memory of being anything near this annoying when I was eight to twelve. In fact, I would likely have been sitting quietly, reading about vampire or ghosts. Hmm...
M hobbled a few blocks of the city, trying to get to a very nice restaurant she wished to share with me. Carmine's, I believe it was called. Unfortunately, this eatery specialized in family style dining and given that we were a couple, there was little to no chance we would be able to get a table. So, being reasonable people in a not quite desperate situation (albeit far from the ideal of total mobility), we compromised our hopes for an easy meal at TGIFridays.
Though, when I say easy, I am being relativistic. Despite M's inability to do much hobbling, they had us wait a good twenty minutes and allowed an older woman to get a table in front of us because "we weren't on the list." The List. At TGIFridays? Someone was having delusions of adequacy.
The meal was nice, though as expensive as one would expect a city meal to be. During the course of the meal, Emily confessed that, ever since she had been a wee baby, she wanted to be an actress and she still did. Which, from most people, would deserve a compassionate hug. However, Emily not only went to a performing arts high school, had starred in an off-Broadway production of The Who's Tommy as Tommy, was good friends with Christina Ricci before she decided to become a sex symbol (to which Emily invariable reminds me, "she once cried because the other girls found out she wore Garfield underwear"), but had an impressive number of "connections." So, I looked at her and queried, "If this is what you want to be doing, why aren't you?" She demurred that she didn't think she was good enough, though her pride in her immense abilities shone through when she told me that she would sing as full Broadway volume for me one day. I don't know who ever told her she wasn't great, but I wish whoever they were, they fostered her gift so her problem could be with the theater department rather than the women's studies department.
The show was, to be blunt, amazing. I have to say, this is the only good thing to ever come for the popularity of post-modernism. (Possibly Stevehen is the other... though he might be a naturalist in hiding...) It was hilarious and shattered standard conventions. Plus, I will be honest, I was very much digging on the actress playing Little Sally, until I realized that she was the voice of Mrs. Pepper on Blue's Clues. Then less so. But only a little.
The premise is that, in the near future, there is a severe water shortage for twenty years and this eliminates private bathrooms. As such, people are forced to use pay public bathrooms. A bathroom attendant incites revolution. Yeah, I know it doesn't sound good, which is one of the reasons it is so great. As Little Sally says in retort to the assertion that nothing kills a show faster than too much exposition, "Yeah, except for poor subject matter or a terrible title!"
Really, go see it. If you can get tickets. I was told it was sold out through this run.



Soon in Xenology: I tell you of my near scary mission to make Scarf Girl and Radio Goth my associates. It's all a fun game to me. Flattering. I tell you my displeasure with orbs being ghosts, except when they are. I fill you in about Dances With Bunnies, my psych teacher. I complain about the dyed progeny of hippies. There is another MHPN meeting. The future is told.



last watched: The Daily Show
reading: The Indigo Children, Lee Carroll
listening: Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos
wanting: satisfaction.
interesting thought: Breathing puts death off another moment.
moment of zen: feeling calm despite the wrongness in a part of my body.
someday I must: hopefully not need surgery.

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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