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03.13.02 8:59 p.m.

If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight,
moonlight, no light
If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls
I will write always
I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to
you.


 -Dino Corvino  




Previously in Xenology: I sign up for classes with people that I picture as rodents. I write. Dave becomes my friend while discussing our respective love affairs. Sarah... well, Sarah was insightful and wonderful. I have a very unpleasant and very long lasting break-up with Kate.

Zum Hoctsten Dasein Immerfort Zu Streben
I see no particular purpose to some of the assignments I am given for my classes. I am not being cynically bitchy, though it no doubt sounds that way.
I am learning very little about myself or the discipline of teaching by explaining clichés like "knowledge is power." Is there any question that truly knowing something gives one power? It's like the original Faustus, wherein he had to relinquish his soul should be ever stop improving himself. Of course, near purposeless busy-work (especially at the college level) detracts from those pursuits that I find to be valid forms of self-discovery.
I wish I could have written all I needed to last night rather than sleeping so I could be fresh for Jenks's class. It is like having dialysis stopped in the middle, knowing that your body has yet to fully empty itself of the poisons that build up as a function of living an interesting life. I did not have the empty relief last night that fills my sleep with the peaceful dreams that come from a sense of completion. My body rebelled against itself as I had to spend the entire days researching and writing various Shakespeare papers for my midterm with Badger. I was writing and researching (which I do when appropriate for the journal), but I was not filtering my blood. My body didn't get its release.
I honestly think I need to write. If stranded on a deserted island, I would chronicle my time on bark with berry juice (after I got food, shelter, and clothing. I'm not yet addicted to the extent that I would ignore the functions of life).
Increasing, more people visit my site and read the journal. 34 people are in the update group as of this writing, largely strangers. I am led to presume that what I write has some value beyond myself and those about whom I write.
What is ironic is that I don't think I, myself, would read someone else's journal. It just doesn't seem like something that would interest me. Maybe I just haven't found the right one. I used to be quite fond of Sarah's (which I am trying to seduce her into sending to me), but I love her and was increasingly in love with her.
Dave told me that he had written some about his life, as he is enjoying his spring break, and asked if M and I would be interested in reading what he has. I wrote back enthusiastically, assuring him that we would love that. This would give us greater insight into someone we respect and care about. So it is not that reading about others' lives is disinteresting to me. I enjoy the biographies of strange and passionate people and I adore whatever my friends can give me.
So, what is your excuse for reading these entries? I don't mind, it validates my personal fable. I am, in some small way, significant and interesting to you. You enjoy what I tell you. You may take meaning from it. Or you may think me a strange and/or passionate person. I can sympathize.

Angels I Have Heard on High
I have been getting a lot of, shall we say, "feedback" pertaining to my decision with Emily. My father told me that I was a jerk and this is not how relationships work. I am arrogant enough still to think I am an exception because I am special (see also: personal fable). Melissa doesn't really understand what I am doing, as I don't act like I am broken up with Emily. This is because I do not agree with the weight of that term. Emily and I have a relationship, and it is a warm one. I just don't know what it is, exactly. As for Emily, she says this is the best we have ever been and I have to say she is right. This is a very nice situation.
However, my best feedback came from Sarah. I am going to, completely without her permission, quote parts of her letter to me about the situation as it is so terrible eloquent and puts a very good voice to what I am thinking and feeling.

I think a lot of what you are going through right now is necessary. The fact that Kate has been sort of around and on your mind is for a reason. What you are feeling gives you a wholly different perspective on her state of mind when she left you, and that is something you need to understand. It's part of your path, for whatever reason, and part of your problems with having a relationship just deal with things you are still figuring out about yourself and your past. It's strange the things you have to go through in order to understand other people, but isn't that the nature of evolution?
She is very right here, of course. This whole experience, perhaps my prior relationship with M, has taught me a lot about Kate. Which may seem like a terribly thing to say at first glace. Certainly my relationship with M was not about Kate. However, throughout my relationship with Katie, she held an unpleasant view of sex, even as it pertained to the man she honestly loved. At the time, of course, I was baffled and took this very personally. It made me feel unattractive, unloved, and like a terrible person for desiring this union with her. Now I truly feel I understand what she was going through at the time and this insight is somewhat liberating. It certainly makes me feel I understand her and myself better, which cannot possibly be a bad thing.
My original point is, Kate is someone who at least so far, has impacted you maybe more than anyone. And so the way she works is something your mind will consciously or subconsciously try to figure out for quite a while, and it will affect your outside life. Being that deals with love and romance and sex, it will especially affect those areas. And you are seeing what it is like to be with someone you love wholeheartedly and want to be around, but not know if you can do it. Not know if you are supposed to be with anyone. Not feel sexual. A lot of what you write reminds me of how Kate felt towards the end of your relationship, or what you expressed to me she was feeling.
Of course, again, she is very right. If I love someone, my brain works constantly, unraveling every new mystery they throw my way. That I ended up in a situation that mirrored hers with me isn't necessarily that surprising. To quote Richard Bach's Illusions "Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you." So, I drew Emily to me because I needed the gifts she has brought me and continues to bring me. She is in my life because she is supposed to be there and I am supposed to be in hers.
I think the bright side is that it could be a minor lesson for you, while it was a major life change for Kate. But it's just as necessary. You seem like you want to have happy, healthy relationships in your life, and if there are things you must learn about yourself or on your own in order to do so, then do it.
This is the point, I think. That I need to learn these lessons and get comfortable with the idea of relationships if I am ever going to have a satisfying one with someone that I truly love. Kate... I don't know what her goals are, exactly. I don't know if she feels she is evolving to a higher purpose or evolving at all. I called Sarah on my break at work and we spoke of college. She said that is irritating her that people go to good colleges to drink and socialize. They can do that without being at college and much cheaper. It reminded me a bit of Kate. Not her specifically, but her situation.
You see a lot, in the media, in fiction, whatever, about teen angst. But in your early twenties, it's something else that hits you. You finally have a full sense of your demons and they are going to beat at your head until you figure them out or let them destroy you. And I think knowing it's a necessary battle, and that it ultimately makes you stronger, happier, more relaxed, and more alive, is why you fight. And fighting, especially within yourself, is never easy.
I have become abundantly aware recently that there are parts of me that are not, in the view of conventional morality, good. To paraphrase someone also named Sarah from a graphic novel series that I am sure no one remembers, "I think it's important for a writer to know that they can be just as rotten as everyone else."
I have to figure out just who I am and what I am doing in life. College is a terrible time for all of these decisions, but they are unavoidable and aren't about to stop because you are confused. I know I have demons and they are just as aware of me as I am of them. It is a delicate balance sometimes keeping the demons in check until you can have the necessary experiences to tame them and incorporate them into your soul. Reading books can't do it, though popular culture will tell you a book can heal you. But, as Sarah says, the fighting is necessary and crucial is one it to truly live ones life to the fullest.
I don't know if any of this helps, but off the top of my head I decided to write and then whatever came out decided to be there. And I let it. I am not feeling very controlling these days, but usually that is a sign it is building up for something important. I am going to have a nervous feeling in my stomach for weeks, I can feel it, but something is coming.
This is left mostly for the sake of foreshadowing. One of my demons is clearly big on drama. Her letter helped me immensely, as I am sure is not a surprise. I read some of it to Emily, as I felt it summed up quite nicely what I was going through. Emily responded by openly weeping at the beauty of it and saying that she loves Sarah. Can't blame her there.
I see good things for you, though. And I honestly don't think this is the end of you and Emily. I just don't feel like that is what would make either of you happy. But you are doing the best thing possible, which is taking a little time off to deal with yourself, in order to do it right. It is very mature, I commend you.
This is the part that touched me most. It was the first external confirmation from someone outside myself of what I was thinking and telling me that I was doing the right thing. I know it is egotistical to blush so from honest praise, but I can't help it and can't help but love Sarah the more for sharing this with me. I needed this letter more than I think she knew.
It is amazing when one you so respect, respects you just as much in return for being a flawed, evolving being.



Soon in Xenology: The classroom visit. Jenks's crumbling empire of dirt. I love Emily. We hate Nextel. Sarah is actually seen. I get a witness to DwB idiocy. More stalking of strangers.

last watched: X-Men, Rush Hour 2, 9.11
reading: Summoning Spirits
listening: The Bends
wanting: To be wrapped in a warm, velvet sheet with those I love.
interesting thought: You do it to yourself.
moment of zen: writing furiously without looking back once.
someday I must: See the lights in the City.

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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