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Here I go again, embarking on yet another journey. Like a merry-go-round twirling to the chiming music, it starts again just where it stopped; and off we go again in the same direction as before, again with no real destination, just round and round and round until we stop once more. It's sort of nice that there isn't really anywhere specific I have to go, as long as I just get there. Like the Wind in the Willows song, we're merrily merrily merrily merrily merrily on our way to nowhere in particular… Except I don't really think I'm a toad.
Even though winter is supposed to be a time we think of white, this month always makes me think *green*. Must be the evergreens. I love the smell of freshly-cut Christmas trees, evoking images of snowy forest depths where pine stand close together beneath snowy blankets under the crisp winter sky, the stars cold and bright above. One can almost hear the jingling of sleigh-bells as a regal sled glides past the trees, a man clad in furs within, smiling to himself as he contemplates the next child on his list to receive his heart's desire beneath the fragrant fir.
Today was the most gorgeous sunset. All day the sky was grey; but then, as the sun slipped low, all those veiling clouds suddenly went up in flame across the sky, east to west, orange, red, and fiery pink across the still-bright blue. Then, as the sun became a ball of fury at the horizon, the fire in the east faded slowly to violet, mingling with the orange in the middle of the sky. Gradually, the colors blended – pink, orange, night-violet, fading green, and dark peacock blue, until the sun vanished with a final blaze and all went to darkness.
Another lazy day. I don't want to be doing this. I was tempted to stick in another poem or bit from one of my books, but I don't know what stopped me. I certainly have not been squeamish about doing it before now. For some reason, though, today I wanted to say something new even if it was something completely worthless. I suppose I'm just tired of doing what I've always done before, being what I've always been, going nowhere, and not doing anything about it. Not that this is a major shakeup, but at least it's better than complacency.
Tim totally offended me, which is actually rather hard to do since someone has first to break through my general apathy in order to cause an offense that I register. But anyway, he deeply offended me and he doesn't understand why what he did was wrong. That probably offends me even more than the original trespass. He thinks I'm getting all worked up about nothing. I've tried to examine it rationally and choose my response, rather than simply going with the first reaction, but even after consideration, I still can not say what he did was all right with me.
I'm not supposed to be doing this right now. I'm supposed to be baking. I didn't volunteer, but somehow I just sort of ended up with this stupid project on top of everything else. That's usually what happens when he volunteers for things. When he says, "I'll do that!" he really means "we" but it always actually ends up being "she." It's not altruism. I guess I just can't allow mediocrity, even if it would serve him right to have to explain to everyone why it is that he didn't get around to doing the things he said he would.
I remember the sky, heavy, grey, looming, inexorable. I remember the wind, sharp, whipping my hair as I ran in the rain. I remember the taste of the rain, earthy and electric. I remember the branches of the orange trees scratching my face as I ran from imagined foes, wrapped in childish fantasy. I remember the swirl of my cloak and the reassuring weight of the wooden sword in my hand. I remember being alive. But most of all, I remember that I had to go inside to the dark, to the calm, and pretend there was no life outside.
Have you ever noticed how people want to be "different" and "just like everyone else"? Which is it? Is it "different, within certain set parameters"? If that's the case, what we have is a world full of people like the houses in one of those neighborhoods where there are 4 floor plans to choose from, and 4 options on those floor plans. But what if I want to design my own house? What if I want my pool in the front yard instead of the back? Oh, that's deviant, that's unacceptable, that doesn't fit within the accepted parameters. That's insane.
Sometimes I feel like the world is shouting at me, and I can't hide from the screaming anywhere. The noise hurts my head, until I feel like driving my fist through a wall. But that wouldn't stop the screaming. "Endure, damn you! Endure! Be strong! Keep going at all costs! It doesn't matter how much pain you're in, you have to keep going anyway. Because God gave you this life, damn it, and you'd better be grateful. Shut up, stop complaining, and keep going. And smile. Smile, damn it, whether you're happy or not! Smile! Endure!" Shut up, damn you!
There comes a point in every epic quest or crusade when one realizes that victory simply *can not* be attained with clean hands. A decision has to be made, then: to turn back, and maintain one's integrity, at the cost of the goal that once seemed of primary importance; or to dirty one's hands deliberately in a good cause, in the manner of one's choosing, to reach success. Either way is fraught with regret and self-doubt ever after. "What if I had followed through and succeeded?" "What if I had stayed true to myself?" Of course you can never know.
It seems like the month just started, and already we draw near to the great paradox that is Christmas. One wants to view it in appropriate context, with full spiritual connotation, but at the same time one is bombarded with the shameless media blitz that is the Holiday Season. The fat guy in the garish red suit really does tend to overshadow that one small baby in a barn. Add to that the flashing lights, "Ho! Ho! Ho!s, reindeer, bouncy secular carols, and brightly advertised sales on requisite gifts, and it gets really hard to keep things in proper perspective.
My head feels crowded. Partly it's the cold medication, sure; but the rest is full of these ideas I have to get out somehow, whether with pen and paper, or with paint, or whatever way I can contrive. Why today, more than any other day? Probably because I should be studying. The necessity of doing schoolwork seems to be my greatest creative motivator these days. "I should be studying. Hm. I think I'll paint instead." Sad. What's worse is that no matter what artistic pains I undergo, I still can't seem to say what it is I need to say.
Why do I have to be so damn sick?! It all happened so suddenly. One day I was just feeling a bit under the weather, and I thought it was just exhaustion, but then – WHAM! – here's a little bronchitis for you. I don't even have any more of the happy drops for my special medical hookah. Like I have time for this crap. Finals! Parties! (Eugh.) The stupid fecking house! And have you ever *seen* what happens to Christmas when the mom is sick? Utter chaos reins supreme! Okay, time to stop. Obviously the medicine is making me delirious again.
I feel odd today. Not as sick as yesterday. And not depressed. For lack of a better way to describe it, a sort of impotent artistic urgency. There's something in my head I need to express, but I can't even figure out which way to express it, let alone what needs to be said. Is this a need for writing I feel, or do I have to paint, or pound my frustration out on the piano? I can't tell, and it's making me restless. At times like this, I feel like taking out a crayon and scribbling on the walls.
Come to think of it, I guess that's how I've always been; I've just learned to suppress it most days. Otherwise the pain of being unable to express myself can reach an unbearable pitch. I feel like Salieri, when he rails at God for his musical inadequacy saying, "All I ever wanted was to sing to God. Why implant the desire, and then make me mute?" It seems unjust. Harsh beyond measure. What did I do before this plane of existence to warrant such cruel retribution? And worst, sometimes I'm close, only to have it elude me at the last.
I have these amazingly vivid dreams, where the emotions are so strong, so real, so deep; and it all makes sense. Everything I've ever wanted to say, I dream. When I awake, I feel myself trembling with the force of what I've just been through in my mind. "There it was!" my spirit cries to me. "Catch it!" I pull out the pen and paper and try to catch something of what I've just endured; but somewhere in the dull act of scratching lead to tree-pulp, the memory fades to a dim echo that can not recall the grotesque magnificence.
Sometimes when I breathe it's like there's a load of bricks sitting on my chest. I feel like if I was just strong enough, I could push it off and breathe more easily. I'll never forget that one time I was hooked up to an oxygen tank. I've never felt so relaxed in my life; and never before that moment had I realized how much of my energy I waste just trying to get enough oxygen into my lungs. Other people may have worse problems, but it's annoying that *breathing* has to be a matter of supreme effort for me.
"To kill" (tuosí): tuosí, tuosía, tuosío, tuosíos, tuosían, tuosíoth. "To die" (thonaros): thonaros, thonarosa, thonaroso, thonarosí, thonarosín, thonarosír. "To be lost" (chavíqo): chavíqo, chavíqa, chavíqor, chavíqos, chavíqon, chavíqorí. "To be shattered" (qorajía): qorají, qorajía, qorajío, qorajíos, qorajían, qorajíor. "To despair" (nacíno): nacína, nacínas, nacínos, nacínu, nacínath, nacínor. "To destroy" (nagatsuo): nagatsuo, nagatsua, nagatsuor, nagatsuos, nagatsuon, nagatsuorí. "To lose" (chavorai): chavorai, chavoraia, chavoraio, chavoraios, chavoraian, chavoraior. "To be weary" (ésalo): ésalo, ésala, ésalos, ésalosí, ésalan, ésalor. "To be cold" (soríjai): soríjai, soríjaia, soríjaio, soríjaios, soríjaian, soríjaior. "To fall" (loraílo): lorailo, loraila, lorailos, lorailosí, lorailan, lorailor. Chavíq na soj í lí narías….
She looked around at the rest of the simulation. Everything seemed to be functioning normally. She tried for the control panel another time, but still with no result. "Ah, merde," she swore aloud. There was only one thing she could do. She would have to go to the Information Center and ask for help logging off. Fortunately, she had just passed it not too long ago and so she knew where it was. Pulling out her map of Paris to verify that she was correct, she then quaffed the last of her drink and stood from the outdoor bistro table.
I know it's silly to have invested so much hope in a mere movie, but I really couldn't help it no matter how I tried. And that's why, now, I can't help the overwhelming feeling of loss and betrayal. I thought he understood what it was we all treasured so much about the book, what we needed to see on the screen; I thought his vision, if not my own, was that of a fellow lover. Apparently I was wrong. He's more in love with his own creation than with the source, and for that I can never forgive him.
Today I discovered the value of a silent pair of shoes and a strategic position. They didn't even hear me coming, and before they could react I had shot them all with cool precision. Four shots, one a piece, and the position was mine. With the wall at my back, protecting the sensor there, two conveniently placed mirrors giving me a view and a shot at the two approaches to my spot, and access to the level above via a grate, I was in heaven. Once I mastered the angle to bounce the laser off the mirrors, I was unstoppable.
Today was much better than yesterday – fewer people, lower noise level, and I was mercifully not the hostess. Parties are not as bad when they're not at your own house. Something about being the one in charge of everyone else's good time is a cruel burden for an introvert. Unfair. I much prefer to crash on someone else's couch with a notebook and let the extroverts do the talking for a few hours while I get some writing in – none of this smiling and getting drinks and food and music and welcoming everyone else crap. That's *not* my bag, baby.
It sort of scares the crap out of me when I finish telling some horror story about how my mom treated me when I was a kid, and then realize Stephen will be telling those same stories about *me*. How much will I scar him? How much have I scarred him already? Shouldn't there be laws regulating who can be a parent, who can be trusted with the responsibility of shaping another human being's psyche? His perceptions of the world are forever going to be colored by what I put him through as a child. Who then Hell am I?
In fifth grade, Katie and I decided, for some reason, it would be amusing to compile a list of the various expressions people use for throwing up. We questioned everyone we could find for more than a month, occasionally turning up an unexpected gem. I think our list reached over fifty before we stopped getting new material. Sadly, I lost the list and I can't remember most of them now, but some of my favorites were: blow chunks, spew, hurl, hurk, pray to the porcelain god, lose your lunch, toss your cookies, ralph, and taste your lunch a second time.
Well, this Christmas wasn't as bad as some. There were no nasty family blow-ups, at least. No gifts designed to make me feel like a piece of trash. No blatant disregard for basic human kindness. Actually, I was given a cell phone. Apparently I'm quite difficult to get a hold of. This will put a serious cramp in my best efforts to be a recluse. The excuses for not answering a cell phone have to be pretty good, so I can't get away with it as often. Dashed inconvenient. Everyone keeps telling me I'll get attached to the thing. Right.
It always amazes me, the big Christmas come-down. You spend an entire month getting yourself all worked up for this one day, this special day; but then it comes and it's no longer than any other day, so obviously it ends. You sort of wonder why you went to so much trouble for one stinking day. I tell myself it was for Stephen. Christmas is special for children, or at least it should be. I'm conflicted about the whole stupid thing, torn between feeling like a sorceress creating magic for him, and a cheat, a purveyor of the great lie.
Stephen and I are both sick, taking turns puking our guts out. It makes it fairly difficult for me to demand that he clean his room, like I said he had to. He simply can't do it, and there's no way I can make him. We're both pretty pathetic at the moment. Well, I guess it's sort of nice being freed of the obligation of actually having to *do* anything. Not that I think involuntarily emptying the contents of my stomach periodically throughout the day is a fair exchange for some relaxation time. Wow, the holidays are fabulous, aren't they?
I got this game for Christmas – The Sims. I asked for it, actually. After only a few days of playing it, I realize that it is pure evil. You spend hours at it without realizing that you have. And the big catch is that you continually justify playing it longer because you feel like you're waiting for something. Waiting for another paycheck, waiting to become friends with someone, waiting to be able to buy that spiffy VR simulator. But it all amounts to nothing. You're waiting for *nothing*. Because every time something happens, there's always something else to wait for.
It's sad that it took me three viewings, but I finally love The Two Towers. At first, I was too pissed off by it to see its value, but I've managed to overcome my irritation. Now I see it as a stunning piece of art. A faithful representation of a book I love? Hell no. But without question a fabulous movie *based on* a book I love. A shame PJ couldn't trust Tolkien a little more. Meh. The day *I* get three hundred million dollars to make the trilogy, *then* I guess I can criticize the way he did it.
I *really* don't feel like doing this today. It might possibly be the fact that I feel rather like burying my head under several pillows and not taking it out again for several weeks if at all possible. I feel like Hell warmed over. The best part is that Stephen is naturally very demanding when he's sick, so he "needs" something every few moments and won't simply leave me to die in peace. Maybe I can convince him he needs a nap. That's it. We both need a nap. That's it. That's the ticket. Poppies will make them sleep… Sleep…
End of the year. I'm supposed to feel some sort of nostalgia for the year that's passed; muse over the changes I'd like to make in the new year. Oddly enough, I feel nothing. I don't even feel that the *month* is ending, let alone the year. I feel almost like I'm caught in a vacuum, in which nothing ever happens and I don't really want it to. The new year means more school. It means I have to try to finish this stupid degree, and *that* means I have to pretend like I'm ready for this supposed "real world."
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