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10.22.02 12:08 a.m.

Women should be obscene and not heard.

  - Groucho Marx  

Previously in Xenology: I was fond of Emily.

The M-press
I have to apologize in advance for the relative brevity of this entry. My mouth is vaguely achy from oral surgery last Friday and my bed has this cozy thing I like to call "pillow."
M, Queen of Llamas  
My hooded hoodlum.
The topic of this little section, as should be evident, is Emily. No, no, don't get worried as such is your inclination. Just because I have decided to speak of her at length, it does not mean there are problems. You must be thinking of Kate. I intend to do one of these little examinations of characters from time to time, so you may see the cards on the table, as it were. So I guess this time we are examining The Empress.
Let us begin on this Emily character.
Physically, she is a mess right now. She is allergic to all but beans, rice, most veggies, tofu, and, surprisingly, beef. This means her diet is going to become less than fascinating, which is a pity for anyone, let alone someone who has an epicure's tastes for eighteen inch snail. Also, unbeknownst to even her, the lass has been suffering from a perforated eardrum for the past month or so. I would imagine this is the sort of this one should know, and yet she was not aware. It seems like a painful and dangerous condition, though that may be owing to my mental image of someone jabbing her with a pencil. She also has hypothyroidism, which is not as bad as it could be. She has begun on hormone therapy that will give her more energy (so bed time needn't necessarily be before prime time television has ended), help her have more body heat (as she complains of being frozen from September through May at the moment), and cause her to lose weight. It should be noted, for the record, that I think she looks fine so the latter condition is only beneficial in that I know Emily used to have a problem with her self-image and I occasionally worry that it will reintroduce itself. Given that she exercises more than any other human being I have ever met owing to her profession (though I do know largely lethargic people who live by the Simpsonian philosophy, "Watching stuff is better than doing stuff"), I always thought it was a particularly cruel jab of fate that this should have to be her concern. She assures me that she really doesn't care much about her weight anymore and knows she looks quite good. There is one more condition that rightly should go in the "physical" category. She has been training much harder and if fighting better than she ever has before; better than she ever thought she could. This exhausts her tiny reservoir of energy and makes muscles ache that she didn't know she had, but she is growing in awareness of how amazing her body is.
M, Queen of Stars  
She who makes my eyes twinkle
Scholastically/Fiscally, she seems genuinely excited at the possibility of becoming a registered nurse. Despite the fact that she will have to dissect a cadaver, give injections to organic material other than oranges, and serves a residency in a geriatric facility (she dislikes dealing with the elderly more than cutting into a dead body), she seems to find joy in the prospect of this work. And the money. Oh, the joy she sees in the money. Her mother jokingly suggested that Emily should make sure I earn a lot of money so she doesn't need to work. I scoffed and informed her that she has hitched her plow to the wrong horse, that I was more of the starving artist type. Thus why the idea of her making money is so appealing. I am clearly the sort that is interested in a person only for the opportunities I can hew from their friendship. Clearly.
She worries that her gym is headed for closing, however, and thus she is submitting her resume and preparing to get what she ominously refers to as a "real" "job." I am afraid I don't quite follow her. Possibly because I haven't the foggiest clue what species of entity this "real" "job" is in my reality. Emily has certifications, degrees, and marketable skills. I have the ability to make works sound pretty in a certain order.
Domestically, Emily has decided to move back to her parent's home. Given that she only attends Dutchess a few days out of the week and attends New Paltz exactly never and the fact that she spends only a few nights a week in her apartment, this decision wasn't terrible hard for her. I admit, I sort of liked the idea of Emily having her own apartment at which I could crash and have fun. However, Emily is not the sort that thrives in the college town environment. At New Paltz, unless one is a binge drinker, there is really very little to do. In addition, M was paying a disproportionate amount of the bills at the apartment because she was the only one regularly pulling in a paycheck of note. Worst of all BSDO was drinking M's special Scotland tea and lying about it. There are some sins so grievous that they cannot possibly be overlooked.
This move could be good. She will be closer to her dog Quest (honestly, this may have been the whole reason she is moving home), she will cease putting thousands of miles a month on her leased car, and her parents will pay for her very selective dietary needs. We will see if she is driven mad, however. It is a distinct possibility.
M, with my family  
From left: embarrassed Emily, my affectionate father, and my slightly apathetic mother
Her long-term plan is, when I graduate from New Paltz and Zack... does whatever it is that Zack will do, we will all move into an apartment together. I do have to admit that the thought of living with Emily and Zack fills me with no small amount of joy. At least until I ponder the fiscal feasibility and realize that, on my best month working nearly full time, I only pulled in $1000. Perhaps I will have a better job by that point, but possibly not.
I do have to admit that, when Emily is not around, I am lonely. It is a little harder to fall asleep when she is not squeezing against the wall to keep me from falling out of my single bed. I am a little less inspired to write when I don't hear her breathing in her sleep at ten PM. I have grown quite accustom to her presence in my life.
The idea of living with M and Zack (and possibly other people, there was talk of renting a house) reminds me of the biographical stories of artists and poets who begin to create wonderful things when around other creative people. It seems like a commune or the setting of an excellent novel. It seems like pure potential. It could be a beginning to the life I have been seeking for a very long time. I never got the experience of living in a dorm, so perhaps I am just longing for an experience that other people have had and disliked.
Emily feels more like a part of my family than any of my friends have before. My parents were not shy in telling me what they thought of my friends; though they spoke as though they were friends of mine themselves. For the purpose of this entry, we will limit this to girlfriends. To further limit it so I get to actually sleep tonight, we will only consider those young ladies with whom I was "serious," as defined by my having been physically amorous.

Jen: Jen was pretty much solely mine. I doubt if my family knew her middle name (Lynn, for the record), nor if they much cared. It wasn't exactly that they were apathetic to her existence; my mother was quite fond of her and had thought we should date for a long time. It was just that Jen kept to herself and wasn't really known outside the context of "Xen's girlfriend." This, evidently, was much the case with my friends and Jen as well. We can blame this both on our ages and Jen's personality. It wasn't that she had a caustic personality, but that she was very private with her thoughts and feelings. Having been raised in a stereotypically male dominated household, she had perfected the art of not showing much to the outside world. Her family, as well, barely acknowledged that I was around. I think I had dinner at their house once, maybe. They didn't seek to know me and I certainly didn't put myself out to be known.
As an interesting side note, it turns out that Emily's lab mate claims to be best friends with Jen. It is almost fitting, in a way, that these connections should continue.
Katie: Initially, I don't think my parents much liked Katie, though we grew fond fast. In fact, I recall my mother telling me in so many words that she didn't approve of Katie because she drank coffee and wine while eating a Popsicle I had given her. I thought it was terribly eclectic and cute. Just as initially, I don't know that Katie's parents cared for me. They were just relieved that their daughter wasn't dating a girl again, so her mother forgave the hickey I gave Katie the first time I was at their home.
Katie on the beach
Katie's parents certainly grew to dislike me more once I harbored their daughter when she ran away. I had no idea what else to do, so giving the woman I loved clothes, food, and money seemed reasonable. However, they threatened my parents with having me arrested for a slew of crimes including statutory rape (we were both seventeen, quite legal in New York), contributing to the delinquency of a minor (I was making her go to school and brush her teeth, hardly criminal), and, remarkably, car theft. They actually had the police harass me at work once, which was quite horrifying and pretty much set in stone that Kate's and my parents would hate one another. It really quite reasonable, one pair thought their daughter was being defiled and stolen away and the other pair thought the first pair was trying to ruin their progeny's life.
After the above situation, Katie's parents decided that, if I were to have a relationship with her, I would have one with them. Perhaps they wanted to make sure their daughter wouldn't flee from their ostensibly authoritarian rule. Perhaps they actually wanted to take an interest in their only daughter's life. All I know if that it made me uncomfortable, as I had acquired a healthy mistrust of people who wanted me to go to jail. Nonetheless, as they made it clear I abided this edict or they would not let Katie see me, I played nice and tried to be social with them. It was not easy, especially after they thought they spied their daughter and me being physical. There is no way to not feel awkward when a six foot three man who has difficulty finding the right words thinks he has seen your ass.
My parents began to accept Katie as someone who would be there if I were around. This, perhaps, was the attitude of my friends as well, though I learned that most disliked Katie for one reason or another. My parents certainly grew to care for her as an entity separate from her parents, but I don't think they ever forgot that she could cause trouble. They knew that I loved her, sometimes too much (for this, please see entries after the break-up), and thus that she certainly had her positive points. I don't know that she was ever really considered a member of my family or anything of that sort.
Ironically, Katie's parents (or, more correctly, mother) finally embraced me as a member of their family when we returned from our vacation to Nova Scotia. Katie's mother (whom I called PseudoMom) actually said that she loved me. There were oodles of warm fuzzies. Three months later, Kate left me for a life less stable. From what I was told, Kate's mother was devastated that I would no longer be around. I have to say, I missed her a little, too.
Emily: M integrated into my life rather quickly and rather well. Initially, my mother thought I did not like her as well as I did Kate. This was true, in a way. I was still very much love sick for Kate when Emily and I found one another. I had just gone on a few dates (I still insist that is what they were, though they may not have been so called) with Kate in the weeks before. My father worried that I was rushing into thing with Emily, in the beginning. I squinted my eyes at him and stated, "We are not having sex." At this, his argument seemed to melt.
It seemed that whenever I introduced Emily to a friend of mine (with the understandable exception of Kate, though they did try once), they would hit it off to the extent that I almost felt left out. My family has warmed to her so much so that they buy food for her when they go shopping. She's like a pet! (No, not really.)
Her paragraphs justifying her inclusion in my family is, ostensibly, considerably shorter than Katie's or Jen's. However, this section of the site speaks of her inclusion often and well. My relationships with Jen and Katie were very much ended when this site began. As such, content yourself with Emily's ubiquitous presence. Everyone else has.
Ah, back to the topic of M after that long digression that was vaguely pertinent, save that it mentioned those femmes who are not M.
Magically/Supernaturally, I think a lot is to come for M. She is making an effort to reconnect with her coven, which will be made easier now that she is moving back to her parents' home. She and I do not work magick near as much as I would like. I see magickal workings as a sort of exercise. I am not sure if she sees it the same or if magick is something done of necessity to her. However, Halloween/Samhain is next week and we will have to do something then. I think that magick opens up too many doors that Emily might wish didn't exist. If one can create a set of circumstances to affect a desired result (and one can) despite logic to the contrary, it changes ones perspective of reality. Plus, you know, the witches always end up having to fight the Big Bads in horror movies and that rarely turns out well.
M's poltergeist (which needs a name) is still present, though considerably quieter. Given that poltergeist seem to become more active when the person to whom they are attached feels most powerless, this could be construed to mean M is feeling more self empowered. She did a ritual alone to rid herself of some overwhelming fears and asked if we could dispossess her of her poltergeist as its existence frightened her. I speculated that this was indeed possible to remove a poltergeist, but she should consider is a force protecting her from the astral nasties. She begged to disagree.
I think that she has a lot of potential in the supernatural realm especially, if I may be so arrogant, with my help. She and I can often speak without words and seem to grasp things that have yet to come to fruition. This has all been detailed in this journal; you don't need me repeating myself except to say that I want more of this aspect in my life. The idea of working magick with her excites me. It makes me see the world for what it is, rather than what people think it is.

Soon in Xenology: Grad class. Red Dragon. Toothlessness before godliness.

last watched: Stir of Echoes
reading: Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
listening: Rasputina
wanting: to already be a salaried editor/researcher for a magazine or publishing house.
interesting thought: New adventures begin daily.
moment of zen: finishing this entry.
someday I must: deal with concepts like "rent" and "insurance"

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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