Monday, December 31, 2007

somebody rip my heart out, and leave me here to bleed

I go to bed with uneasy heart, unsure of what to say or how to say it, torn between love and love as I have been before, as I have ever been before. I barely tell the one goodnight, and do not tell the other, and think I crawl up the bed to another night of staring at the wall fixedly...when I fall asleep.

But...there's a difference. Oh, there's a difference.

tried to take it all away
learn her freedom
just inside a day,
and find her soul to find there fears are laid...

For I wake the next morning, throat too clogged to scream, but the scream wanting to emerge with each shaking breath. The bones and bloody flesh full-borne, the twisting in the wind, despair in my wide eyes as I cling to the bedding.

My first months.

gold and silver rings and stones,
dances slowly off the moon,
no one else could know, she stands alone...
sleeping dreams will reach for her,
she can not say the words they need--

It doesn't matter what I dreamt. It doesn't, in the fullness of all things what I dreamt is meaningless. It is that I dreamt. More, it is that I dreamt of horror and pain, loss and fear, eviscerated visions and torture behind my eyes.

When I have been protected--from myself, from whatever in me fosters such things to stagger into conscious light--by him.

The only thing in my life that changed...has changed again.

ocean gypsy of the moon,
the sun has made a thousand nights for you to hold...
ocean gypsy, where are you?
the shadows followed by the stars have turned to gold...
turned to gold...

I pick over the shreds of the entry I'd planned to make, another diatribe against the train wreck, and it's meaningless now, just words, empty posturing. This is real. This is the danger. Not some allegorical vision of a possible collapse.

One tells me, it's a test. One tells me it lifts when he's home. But he's not sure, yet, whether he wants it to end.

And the other says, then tell him there's no issue. We're just friends, now. Resolve things with him. I'll still be here...if there's room for me.

And there may not be, he thinks.

And I go to bed, doubts circling inside, unsure which way to turn...

--and the weapons come out and the weapons go in and the weapons do not come out again--

...and I wake, shaking. I touch hands to my face and realize I'm crying.

then she met a hollow soul,
filled him with her light and was consoled,
she was the moon and he the sun was gold...
eyes were blinded with his light...
the sun she gave reflected back the night
the moon was waning almost out of sight...

I had so hoped the nightmares were gone...

This is more than allegory. This is more than pretty broken words and the careful described anatomies of past pain. This is more than nostalgia, more than reflection.

These are the patterns I'd been accustomed to, the patterns I'd happily left behind--shadow creature, formed of nightmares and choked-back screams, all the horrors I can't remember, all the ones I can, trapped with me behind my eyes.

This is my life. Full circle stop and we're here again.

something gone within her eyes,
her fingers, lifeless, stroked the sand,
her battered soul was lost,
she was abandoned...

Was it me? Did I bring them back? I have sought my sleep before, more than once, more than a handful of times, doubting I was making the right decision, doubting my path.

But I never doubted him before...and maybe that, that, is the difference.

And I sit, shaking, feeling tender and raw and half-formed, thrust up into the light half-made, sick to my soul with what my mind does when it's set free. And it's all back again.

This won't be the last one.

I have to find a way to resolve this, now.

Because this? Could be the real train wreck.

(Lyrics taken from Blackmore's Night, their song, "Ocean Gypsy".)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

what are you doing New Year's Eve?

(The following is a press release from Radio Riel. Yes, it's a press release, but it also sounds like great fun, do come if you can.)

The Caledon Gaiety Company, Prim Perfect Magazine, Radio Riel and Riel Events cordially invite you to celebrate New Year's Eve in the Independent State of Caledon at the:

Gilded Age Masqued Charity Ball

It will be held at the Gaiety Theatre in Caledon Penzance, the sim I'm proud to name as my second home on the grid.

Join us--I say us, I'm working as a host for two of these events!--for an all-day extravaganza of formal balls, live auctions, silent auctions and "best dressed" contests! Let's celebrate the new year and give to a worthy cause - "Gardens of Hope"!

* 4:00AM - 6:00AM SLT - Sydney/Melbourne New Year's Eve Ball
* 2:00PM - 3:00PM SLT - Live Charity Auction
* 3:00PM - 5:00PM SLT - London New Year's Eve Ball
* 8:00PM - 10:00PM SLT - New York New Year's Eve Ball
* 10:00PM - 11:00PM SLT - Live Charity Auction
* 11:00PM - 1:00AM SLT - San Francisco New Year's Eve Ball

The Silent Auction will run for 24 hrs starting at 1:00AM SLT December 31st. You can view, and bid on, the items for the Silent Auction in the glass pavillion just south of the Theatre.

Attire: Formal gowns and suits from 1850 - 1910 with masques
Or whimsical, yet tasteful, Victorian period costumes with masques

L$500 awarded to both Best Dressed Lady and Gentleman at each event!

The event hosts are donating all auction proceeds to "Gardens Of Hope", an organization that builds greenhouses, tree nurseries, and more in Lesotho, Africa. These gardens are then used as a source of food, firewood and income for several communities in this Southern African nation.

For more information visit Better World Island on the grid, or Gardens of Hope on the net.

In case of Sim crash or unbearable lag, we will have Coughton Court in Caledon Carntaigh open for the event as well. Guests can enjoy the simulcast of the event, view pictures of the Silent Auction items, and dance free of lag!

Do attend! It sounds like grand fun. I'm working the four to six ayem gig, and then, because I thought it was on the first and got confused, working during New Year's Eve, here. Oops. Ah, well. :) Still fun for all!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

but I'm sure you're on your way

Gentles of all persuasions...


...Tusk is back.

shouldn't let you torture me so sweetly

Under your spell again.
I can't say no to you.
Crave my heart and it's bleeding in your hand.
I can't say no to you.

She tells me wait, and taunts me. With lips and tongue and teeth and hips, but she says wait. She says wait, and teeth gritted, I'm waiting. It's never half so hard not doing something until one is told not to do it.


Before we begin, I want to bring up a new designer I've discovered. Well, probably not new, but as *I* hadn't seen her on anyone before...This is a shot taken in the store Kurotsubaki, where Miss sato Yifu creates kimonos and more 'Westernized' clothing...only, it's not, not really.

For one, the curve on the sweater. I mean, you can't line all the buttons up to button it up, they just don't line up, and that's the point! But it's gorgeous, and so comfortable, with big cable-knit sleeves that fall over the hands and separate sleeves for flutter one wears around the upper arms.

She tends to sell separates, though--for example, this outfit? Works out to four pieces. The oatmeal turtleneck (which comes in a pack with two other shades); the black flowered skirt; the brown sweater-jacket; and I decided to throw in a pack of over-the-knee knit socks, because the brown matched the rest of the outfit.

Total for these several pieces? L$500.

You heard me. Yes, she prices beyond reasonably.

Shouldn't have let you torture me so sweetly.
Now I can't let go of this dream.
I can't breathe but I feel...

Good enough,
I feel good enough for you.

Anyway. Since I couldn't do anything else--wants me to wait, FINE, I'll wait, I can wait, I'M WAITING--I thought I'd check out Steelhead Harborside.


If one is not accustomed to Steelhead, the relevance of this will escape. Let me put it in simple terms. If I had stood exactly here--before Harborside arrived--I would have been looking at the end of the pier, and ocean.

Nothing else.

Now, there's else. I'm immensely thrilled by this.

Drink up sweet decadence.
I can't say no to you,
And I've completely lost myself, and I don't mind.
I can't say no to you.


Already the first shop has gone in. I know for a fact there will be more. But it's nice to see the thriving jostling of commerce come in, too, with the first residents.

Place looks HUGE.

Shouldn't let you conquer me completely.
Now I can't let go of this dream.
Can't believe that I feel...


I'm not entirely sure what the point of Myfi's Doughnut Shop is. Four doughnuts for a building this large seems...excessive. Plus the black box in the corner scares me.

Still, the cider's fresh-pressed, and the doughnuts are good, so maybe that's enough.

Good enough,
I feel good enough.
It's been such a long time coming, but I feel good.


One of the bridges I've been hearing about. A great deal of effort went into this. It's gorgeous, frankly. Very detailed, and obviously built to withstand much foot traffic, and wide enough for motorized as well.


Another shot from the bridge, this one of Steelhead at large, both the city and the side of Harborside adjoining it. an accomplishment, indeed.

And I'm still waiting for the rain to fall.
Pour real life down on me.
'Cause I can't hold on to anything this good enough.
Am I good enough for you to love me too?


I'm rather amused seeing gypsy tents in Steelhead, any part of Steelhead, old or new, but...what's that by the blue one...?

So take care what you ask of me,
'cause I can't say no.


Ah, Steelhead, how I've missed you. It's good to know that all of the weird didn't leave when the new sim arrived. Great news, indeed!

Do come visit. I don't know if there are any parcels left, should you wish to live there, but dropping a notecard to Mr. TotalLunar Eclipse will at least answer that question. It's coming along nicely.

Apparently next up? Steelhead Boomtown. With mine carts!

(Lyrics from Evanescence, Good Enough.)

Friday, December 28, 2007

feel no shame for what you are

Another one that needs your votes. This one about the new 'beacon-less' transport system. It's bad. It needs to change. Like NOW.

Fall in light, fall in light
Fall in light, fall in light

I reach out to the universe when I dance. I reach out and embrace it, draw it in, make it part of me as I'm always part of it. I reach out, dancing, and beckon those I love to follow.


(Mysterious birds outside of CreamShop in Koenji.)

Feel no shame for what you are
Feel no shame for what you are
Feel no shame for what you are--

I have lived my life in shadow, always in the hinterland between true dark and true day. I live my life half-lit by half-completed thoughts, half-glimpsed realizations, and I have never minded until now.


(Snowman terror in Rivula.)

Feel no shame for what you are
Feel no shame for what you are
As you now are in your blood
Fall in light

Now I'm thinking. Now I'm learning, again. Now I'm feeling, again. Such heights, such new depths of pain....I'll get used to it, eventually, but now, everything's new. I haven't been here for some time, you see. Almost as if I've been given new eyes to see the world...and maybe that is true, in a sense.


(Mysterious huge bunny by a random fire in Callatropia.)

Feel no shame for what you are
Feel no shame for what you are
Feel it as a waterfall
Fall in light

Struggle, always a struggle. But this one's worthwhile, at least. And it's one I may not want to win...because if I win, it will be on my terms, and my terms say--don't let anyone see you. Don't let anyone hurt you. And if they do, don't let them see they have.

Enough of that. A full life of that, and enough. There are other ways to live a life.


(People dancing at Colonel O'Toole's Rez Day Party. I'd name 'em off, but I didn't know a third of the folks in this picture!)

Fall in light, fall in light, fall in light
Fall in light, fall in light, fall in light
Grow in light

I just need to remember I have the option. Keep the doors of my heart open, and let the world in; or close them, close down, submerge below the shell of earth again, and never another thaw. I'd rather, as frightening as it is at times, as out of control as it feels...stand near my gates, and watch the world without cover.


(Hotspur draws down on the evil Friendship Bear.)

Stand absolved behind your electric chair, dancing
Stand absolved behind your electric chair, dancing
Past the sound within the sound
Past the voice within the voice

But I falter, of course, I withdraw, I pull back...I think these reactions are natural. This time out, at least, I'm remembering I have friends, who can pull me out again if I get lost. And I'm trying to remember that no one makes me feel anything--it's my choice, I'm not forced to feel, and I can choose not to. They just influence, these outer pressures, these outer pulls and pushes towards and against. Influence is external. What I choose to feel is all me.


(The Polonaise begins.)

Leave your office
Run past your funeral
Leave your home, car
Leave your pulpit

Today, I stood in Caledon Prime (hee--until it crashed beyond recovery without Linden assistance--go, Bah Humbug Bash!) and danced. I had lovely dance partners and tried to do my best not to be the typical mainland caller host in all caps (I've never been that type of hostess, anyway, so that didn't hurt), but really, by and large? I just had amazing fun with it.

And I think everyone else had amazing fun, even when the sim crashed beyond recovery. (It's since come back up, and the party moved for its last hour to Carntaigh, where we had smaller, but no less amazing, fun.)


(The Polonaise continues. After it finally broke up, Mr. Hassanov kept in pattern for a good half-hour, and we got to watch him run in circles around the dance floor. Wonderful sight.)

Join us in the streets where we
Join us in the streets where we
Don't belong, don't belong
You and the stars
Throwing light

I will edge out from the gates and say this: being open? Better than being closed to all who might knock on my doors. Being open and seen? Better than being invisible. Being able to be hurt? Still better than not feeling at all.

These are not bad things.


(Near ShadoWiccan's store, in the hybrid reindeer avatar I cobbled together. I had fun with this look, I'll have to remember it for next winter.)

Fall, fall
Fall in light, fall in light. fall in light

And in the meantime, I dance. In the meantime, I celebrate. In the midst of privation I have joy. In the midst of loss I have redemption. My troubles are just that, and they do not have to be all-encompassing, and a burden shared is a burden lessened.

I learned this, long ago, why did I forget? Well, I'll try not to forget again.


(Taking a moment from the festivities to breathe, in the store in Penzance.)

Fall in light, fall in light fall in light
Grow in light...

In the meantime, I have a life to live. Train-wreck or not. And I mean to live it, because if I'm not living my life...why am I bothering? The life consciously always, always more of a hassle.

But it's so much more worthwhile.

And that's the point of the game, after all. Or at least, it should be...

(Lyrics from Jeff Buckley's "New Year's Prayer".)

Monday, December 24, 2007

we're never gonna survive, unless we are a little crazy

Running the gauntlet again, currently at MilcaHolic. Noticed something I'd missed the first time out.


It's a freebie. It's a 0 Linden garbage bag. With PARTICLE FLIES.

Now, look, I'm all for realism on the grid. But I've noticed this creeping trend. About a year back, Tensai found rotting fish, and promptly bought them and installed them on the Steelhead docks. Roaches arrived a few months back. Then creeping rats. There's always been a tendency towards oil-drum fires and couches with exposed springs, and then the cardboard-box homes arrived.

Okay. It's all a matter of perspective. And we build what we're familiar with, that's true too. And I'm not a champion of neat, either, places I live get terribly cluttered--projects in progress, random boxes I'm filling with random objects for storage, furniture I'm trying out and haven't yet positioned, furniture I'm building, so it's in pieces and sections. Bits of hair I'm laying out. Skirt panels floating in midair.

I get all that.

But...garbage?!? Do we really need this?!?

Anyone? Because I'd love to know. Was this really necessary?!?

and it looks like I am shaking but it's just the temperature

First up, I don't normally post random shots, but:


This one very nearly demanded it.

It's not my usual capture shot, because she turned to go right as she rezzed in--I had to hitch my cam to her hair and hold on tight until she turned around. And then snap and scamper. :)

So many questions with this one. First, announcing to the world that one is "naughty"--in that outfit--is rather like earnestly walking up to everyone one sees and informing them water is wet.

Secondly, "I'm a naughty girl, spank me" scrolling around one's head--when one is quite clearly owned by the stern fellow I didn't snap a picture of--because he wasn't nearly as interesting--well, really, isn't it a bit of untruth in advertising?

And third, she was quite pretty. Pity she had such large block letters scrolling over her face...

Anyway. Onward. Let's talk about the Winter Stamp Hunt Edelweiss, among others, is putting on.

The Creators Stamp Rally is fairly simple: First, buy a product at a participating merchant. Hold (attach) the stamp card. Go to twenty different (Japanese or mostly Japanese) sims. Find the stamping machine. Get a stamp. Go to the rebate center. Claim your prize.

Now, some of the prizes are very entertaining, and I may want to do this more than once. But along the way...


Another pic snapped on the fly, because I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. This is outside of Honey Kitty, which seems--for all I was able to see--to sell sweet little dress combo sets, and nearly everything is savagely festooned by hearts.

So okay, ubercute, that's fine, Japan works well with ubercute, but...then...the panda.

The tick-infested panda.

And both the ticks had cleavers, and were repetitively slicing into the panda.



About as separate as you can get barring being on another continent to start with...Edelweiss' main store. Which is set in, I swear, an old sea fortress rebuilt with clapboard Victorian homes, adapted for storefronts. Yeah...

Even better? The cannon. Just haphazardly left there, some disassembled, some assembled and just leaning against the sea wall. Oddity. Lovely oddity, but...oddity.


At any rate, here's a shot of the completed card. Those who choose to run the gauntlet will receive a blank card, and as they get stamps in various sims, the card slowly fills up. It's a sweet little conceit, and nearly makes up for the work done in acquiring twenty stamps.

Try it if you like. Just remember, though the stamps are free, you can't get the card without paying for an item. Has to be an item over or at L$100, but some of these places price much higher. It's up to you.

*curls up at the feet of establishing love, wondering where it's going to take her this time*

Sunday, December 23, 2007

you were watching the whites of your eyes turn red

Well, you didn't wake up this morning,
'cause you didn't go to bed
You were watching the whites of your eyes turn red

Go back. Go back a month. Go back six months. Who were you then?

Me, I was still in Steelhead. I was still in love with the one, and losing the other. And the statue was still the statue.

The applecart had been upset, but for the most part, I was happy, and things were--if not tranquil--at least understandable. To me, if no one else.

The calendar on your wall is ticking the days off
You've been reading some old letters
You smile and think how much you've changed
All the money in the world couldn't buy back those days

Maybe that's the problem in a lot of situations. I understand--or think I do--and the rest of the world doesn't. Or understands different things.

I don't always make sense. I know this.

But I try to mesh with the world anyway, and the people in it. Doesn't always work. I don't think I'm a unique snowflake, I think there are a lot of people who think like me, for better or for worse--but there aren't many like me overall.

And overall? That's not the best thing in the long run.

You pull back the curtains, and the sun burns into your eyes
You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky
This is the day--your life will surely change
This is the day--when things fall into place

Six months ago...The princeling's crypt had been destroyed by his blood sister, whom he'd wronged on his return to life. And I lost the place to go when all else failed, and I needed to say things, and no one in my life I could say them to.

I hadn't yet realized, that's what friends are for...I was still insisting on doing everything by myself.

Go back another month. Go back another six months. Who were you then?

The demon's neko son had yet to manifest; the spirit of vengeance that Sekhmet had sent was out in force, though. The demon's daughter was being hounded by the appearance out of shadows, the claw to the shoulder, the lurking presence above, beneath, behind. Always a step behind.

You could've done anything, if you'd wanted
And all your friends and family think that you're lucky
But the side of you they'll never see
Is when you're left alone with the memories
That hold your life together like glue

But earlier...I lost the demon. The second greatest pain I ever suffered on the grid, and the single one that affected the greatest change to self, to whom I thought I was, in this place. One letter. One goodbye. One chasm between.

You pull back the curtains, and the sun burns into your eyes.
You watch a plane flying across a clear blue sky.
This is the day--your life will surely change.
This is the day--when things fall into place.

Synchronicity. A little less than one year. From ultimate loss to rising again. A little under the full wheel, from ashes to airborne. Putting the puzzle pieces back together. Reconfiguring who I am. Reassembling from shatter.

Have I spent this year in mourning?

Isn't it time I stopped?

This is the day--your life will surely change...

We've passed the longest night in fellowship, guarding the light from the dark. We have returned flame to the province of day, and must dole out our provender until spring can warm the earth, we can plant again, grow and harvest and put aside for the next season of cold.

And I must not shut down, I must not seal off those entrances into my soul I've flung open. I must not be afraid of the light, and of exposure.

I must accept it will be easier to hurt me. I must accept it will be easier to wound. I must accept that my heart is tender, after so many years wrapped away, set in the dark chamber.

Because without this, it will be less easy to love. To depend on others. To ask for help, and expect it will be received.

It is time to put mourning away. And choose to live the rest of my life unhobbled.'s the harder thing, to live on. But I never was known for taking the easy way out of things.

(Lyrics here are from The The, "This Is the Day". Seen in excellent style in Empire Records [which, if you haven't seen yet, what on earth is stopping you??])

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I guess you are afraid of what everyone is made of

This? Needs your votes, people.

Catch me as I fall
Say you're here and it's all over now
Speaking to the atmosphere
No one's here and I fall into myself

What would it be like? Handed such an ultimatum. This, or my life. This, or everything I am in this place. What would I say? What would I choose? How would I know I was making the right choice?

This truth drives me
Into madness
I know I can stop the pain
If I will it all away

What would it feel like? Spinning off bits of my soul. This part to the inventor. This part to the fellow shapeshifter. This part to the Seventh Son. This part cast adrift for the moon to find.

Don't turn away
(Don't give in to the pain)
Don't try to hide
(Though they're screaming your name)

This part, that part, all the parts of me, jigsaw strange and glittering. What would it be like? What would I be like, then? Who would I be?

Would I be?

Don't close your eyes
(God knows what lies behind them)
Don't turn out the light
(Never sleep never die)

I can't imagine it, I can't envision it, I don't stretch so far. In the world beyond the world we know...the choices are harder. And just the thought makes me shudder.

I'm frightened by what I see
But somehow I know
That there's much more to come

"You're in my blood like holy wine, you taste so bitter, and so sweet..." Whenever someone touches us and leaves. Whenever someone touches us, and dies. Whenever someone is torn away before their time. Joni said it best,'s still a shock, still a blow.

And should it be? Shouldn't all my demons be put to rest?

Immobilized by my fear
And soon to be
Blinded by tears
I can stop the pain
If I will it all away

Maybe it's that the stories aren't over. And I'm waiting for the next chapter. Maybe it's that I never truly let go, as much as certain of my friends despaired to see it. Maybe...

Maybe. A thousand questions and no clear answers. A thousand questions, and one answer I don't want to accept. Seeking and not finding. And seeking and finding but...not what I wished to find.

Fallen angels at my feet
Whispered voices at my ear
Death before my eyes
Lying next to me I fear

Maybe it's just me, seeing through my eyes, and seeing what an injustice a similar act would be, to me. And I can't read by me, the light is too strange. It won't refract properly, be diffuse enough for understanding his motivations.

She beckons me
Shall I give in
Upon my end shall I begin
Forsaking all I've fallen for
I rise to meet the end

What price love, if it's to be torn away? What price friendship, if it's only 'til summer ends? More, what price love in one world, when all love in another has to die?

Servatis a pereculum
Servatis a maleficum...

It's not my call. With luck and love it never will be. makes me shudder, and chills my soul, the thought of parting off. Parting off parts of me.

This one to the mad tailor. This one to the departed half-Drow. This one to the lord, this one to the lady. This one...

Which one would I keep for me? Besides me...

Bye bye, baby
Don't be long
I worry about you while you're gone...

What would it be like?

(Lyrics are, save for the last, from "Whisper" by Evanescence. Bottom stanza is from "Worry About You" by Ivy.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

it's heartache every moment

A long time ago, back when Le Jardin was still open, I used to go to the crypt of a certain then-dead princeling and talk over my life with him. Well, with his ashen remains. Some of these talks were good for me. Not some few of them ended with me screaming at his crypt, berating him for dying.


It helped, in the downward spiral of that winter, to be able to talk to him, air my pain in open conversation, responded to or not. I had friends, but my lost princeling, at that point, I was more accustomed to speaking to, and I retained the habit with his corpse.


Now I'm here again. Sitting vigil, this time, candle burning against the darkness, the Longest Night, Yule. The turn of the key between winter and spring. Celebrate, make merry, rejoice in the sun's return, keep hearts warm and bodies surging with life and call it back, call it back, call it back!

And rejoice at its return.


I think rejoicing is somewhat beyond me. Worry's trumped that. And irritation over being worried. But I can't not worry. He was a part of my life for quite some time, and in the vast turbulence of my soul, there's still a place for him, as unnatural as it sounds.

So I sit in vigil for Bloodwing. And urge the Longest Night to pass quickly.

It never does, but tonight? Is going to be very, very long...

they try to make me go to rehab, I say no no no

Did I mention how deeply I adore my landlord?


Happy Yule, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

what do you do when the music stops?

Well you can do it all
Just don't let the music fall

It's cool down here, dark waters at night, brief dim glimpses of rippled moonlight penetrating from the surface on down. I swim beside the train, one eye on the deep ruby glow of the engines.

I lead with my left hand
I stop with my right foot
Well I just want to freak out
I just want to move

I look around, seeing bones of old construction, columns worn by deep water currents, once, half of an iron-sided submersible. Briefly I stop there as the train moves on, wondering if I can replate.

Dance with me baby boy tonight
Dance with me and we'll be all right

Train wheels churn through sand, creating murk impossible to see through. Briefly the glow rises, and I feel it like physical pain, old worries, old pains, fog of loss...and then with a hiss, the glow begins to die down.

Is there a drum beat
And is the bass beat
Well then the rhyme is complete
Then get up on the floor
It's time for you to move your feet

I wait, I watch, I swim left and right, peering at the melted engine compartment. It takes a while, but soon the metal's cool to the touch, and I climb in. Lots of restoration work here, but...nothing vital harmed.

Hmm. That's new.

Dance with me baby boy tonight
Dance with me And we'll be all right
It's a rough loving follows gasping with me
So follow my lead and we'll one two three

Coal scuttle's useless, nothing but what can't stop burning would light under the waves, anyhow. I consider, brief wicked thought tossed up in a moment, and swim swift through the air to Morgaine, holding my breath. I land on the floating mountain, search a bit, converting back to breathing oxygen but not changing the rest of the form.

Finally I find what I'm searching for, and head back to the train, with one brief stop at the lab. Spend some time craning under the control panel, wiring chips of cavorite into place, using the little power-generator I'm, err, going to "borrow" from Mr. Allen for a while. I stand back, flicking the new switch, watching as the dim green glow emerges from beneath the instruments.

What do you do when the music stops?

I turn the train, gasping in air as we surface, changing back to an air-breathing form as we move towards shore. Winterfell, Caledon, I don't know at this point and I don't care. We're landbound for the station. We have time now to fix, to repair, to heal.

What was I worried about?

I shake my hair, changing to green in honor of the death of worry, and seasonal festivity, smiling as we trundle onto land.


Well, glad that's over with. Now all we have to worry about is what happens next...

(Lyric selections from the Pipettes, "Pull Shapes".)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

the secrets that you keep are at the ready, are you ready?

I'll be swifter
damn the speed of light
carbon on my body
a billion years of time


When will you listen? Will decades pass and stars descend streaming to earth, vibrant glitter of death across our skies, before you hear? What will it take? How long will you cling to this fanciful notion that your pain is purity and you must never let it go?

you'll wake
with the stitches
over both your eyes
and deny
me my body
and all earthly delights

By everything I hold holy, you sound like me, and that's not a good thing.

it's time
you are alight
I guess you are afraid of
what everyone is made of


Just a little breathing time, just a little foreknowledge, just a little hindsight--and it will make the pain more bearable. You do not hear, you do not believe me, but I know these things. Pain becomes twinge becomes ache becomes melancholy nostalgia, and if you still cling to it at that point, it will slip through your fingers like mist. You will not remember the sound of his laugh on the morning air. You will not remember how she danced under moonlight. You will not remember the possessive look in his eyes, over you, knowing you were his. You will not remember her embarrassed smile, the first time your hands touched skin, and how your heart leapt to see it.

You will not remember. I know you don't hear me, but you will not. It will fade, everything does.

time and light
I guess you are afraid of
what everyone is made of

And you are light and life and vibrancy, cast your net upon the waves and pull it back straining with new interest--I have seen you do this, never intending, and still you say you cannot be loved. It's inconceivable.

all of your brain
amounts to just one breath
keep your victory
but give me a little death


You say you're freezing, you're falling into the center of your own cold winter. I tell you we are wintered now, and I am in thaw, and I see more than you do from here. I tell you I have been where you are, frozen, cold, and growing colder, mourning and growing bitter, shut away where none could see me...and it is not the way to live a life. Not mine. Not yours. Not anyone's.

When we stop reaching out, we stop living. We might as well lay down and wait to die. Are you hearing me, at all?

it's time
you are alight
I guess you are afraid of
what everyone is made of

It's fear of future pain. It's fear of love ending. It's fear of giving up love again. It's fear of future risk.

I know this. I know this well. Do you think I never stood at your crossroads, wondering if it would be better to shut the doors of my heart? Do you think I don't know, even with them as open as I can make them, those I love still have to fight me to gain entry? My heart is still guarded and the thorns are sharp. I injure everyone I hold close. And I mourn their pain, and struggle to remove more of my defenses as I find them.

I'm not reinforcing. Someone leaves now I shatter. But I know I can put myself back together. You can too.

Listen. Hear me. Why won't you hear me?

time and light
I guess you are afraid of
what everyone is made of

And it's not just you you're hurting. As I had to see, when I finally looked around--all of my dear ones I hurt. All of my dear friends I hurt. By hurting and not letting them help. By hurting and holding them off. By falling, and insisting I could rise on my own, and not accepting their hands outstretched.

Accepting help, taking that's humbling, it can feel crippling, it can be the most terrifying thing...but you must continue to let it happen. You are not me...yet.

But I think you can see me from where you stand.



How much repetition do you need? How loud must I scream at the air you're stilling around you? How much will it take for you to hear?

How long until you close in to mirror distance, and realize whose face is embedded in the other side?

time time time
time time time
time time time

Tell me. Must I repeat it? Every second, slipping through your fingers. Every minute you're a little older, a little colder. When do you finally look around, and see you're not you, you're me, and the long hard road back you'll have then?

I'd spare you that, if I could. I'd spare you such pain. Because that pain you will have paid for dearly, in heart's red and soul's wounding, and you'll say to yourself, because of the price you paid, the cost excised from your living flesh, you must cling to it, make it yours, wrap yourself around its razor weight and hold it slicing tight.

And you do not need to do this. You do not need this. Do you hear? Can you hear? Am I just words on the wind, wailing past your ears?

you are alight
I guess you are afraid of
what everyone is made of


All I have to offer is where I've been. And where I've been holds joy and light, suffering and darkness. Would I do it differently, had I to do it again? I'd love to say yes. But I think I'm wrong.

All I can do is reinforce, guide, advise...I can't make you do anything.

But if I have nothing else, I have my standing as a bad example. At the least I have that.

And in spite of it, I have love. You can too. Do you hear me?

time and light
I guess you are afraid of
what everyone is made of
what everyone is made of

Or is your fear overriding everything else?

so take to the streets with
apocalypse refrain
your devotion
has the look of
a lunatic's gaze...


The fear that you will be the cold thing at the center of the thorns, unable to move...

(Song is St. Vincent's "Apocalypse Song".)

Monday, December 17, 2007

I'm all the days that you choose to ignore

Love's the funeral of hearts
And an ode for cruelty
When angels cry blood
On flowers of evil in bloom...

I swear, I only left for a moment.

Was it longer? Was I gone long enough for neglect to set in like rust? Was I gone long enough for a mutiny to happen? Or was it the programmed course all along?

I saw the red glow from the cliff's edge and turned and ran for the last hairpin curve.

Growing heat, heat I've felt before, but this deeper, somehow, stronger...the train wreck wasn't on fire, I'd have seen flames. No, this was just...heat. Anger. Rage, melting the walls of the engine compartment down to skeletal struts.

My eyes dart around, but putting out coal fires is tricky enough. This is...sourceless. How do I put out a fire without flame? How do I put out something hot enough to melt the steel?

He tells me I wouldn't hide things from him. He tells me I wouldn't lie to him. He tells me I'm open. Oh, how the hell does he know what I would do, who I am?

I close my eyes and climb aboard, at the nearest safe place. The heat still sears my hands but I hang on. It's my train, after all.

The funeral of hearts
And a plea for mercy
When love is a gun...

We're off the tracks now, and headed for the coast. Such promise when I stood there.

I'm not at the engine controls, I don't even know if they still exist. I smell smoke and molten metal, feel pain and loss, and I wasn't gone that long, I wasn't!

I wrap both hands around the nearest support, warping from the heat, hissing at the pain of it. We're heading down to sea and the wind whips through my mane. Maybe the cold water will help.

I'm sure the crash won't kill me, and obscurely, as we head in, that makes it all the worse...

The water closes over my head and all I can hear is hissing, all I see are bubbles and roiling dark water and for a moment, I'm too shocked by it even to grow gills and breathe properly. Winter waters, ice melt, snow made fluid, now vaporizing to steam with the heat of the engine.

He feels ashamed. I feel lost. Where will we end up, this time?

And the ocean floor gets closer. I close my eyes, inhaling deeply, shifting in instants, survival a powerful motivator. I exhale slowly through pearlescent gills, wondering how sturdy seahorses are...

Just before our love got lost, you said
I am as constant as a northern star
And I said, constant in the darkness
Where's that at?
If you want me I'll be in the bar...

(First two stanzas are from HIM's "Funeral of Hearts". Last stanza is from Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You".)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

so paint it black and take it back

The essence of punk, to me, has always been to a large part fair use, continued use. Appropriation with meaning, but more than that--making do. Taking what comes to your hands, your heart, and making do with it. There is no disposability of punk, per se--true punk, anyway. There is no 'buying new', there is no 'wait and improve'--you make art, you make music, you write, you act out--all with the tools you have, the things you have in your hands, ragged and patchwork and proud--singing with cracked voices, writing with tattered educations, wearing hand-me-downs and scavenging food from back-alley bins--this is punk. Let nothing be wasted, says one ethos of punk--save for our lives, ends a darker half of it. Rebellion, rejection, independence--these are punk's bywords, in every form punk occurs.

Add the Age of Steam. The Age of Steam was one of powerful invention, people driven to invent, to take what was in their hearts and minds and research it, discover it, map it, to understand the building blocks of nature, architecture, culture, science. Frenzied learning, in and out of institutions of the same, the air of maddened loss hanging over all as the spectre of war grew nearer.

To me, though she comes in very late period for the Age of Steam, indeed, is found the story of Marie Curie--a woman driven to understand radiation, radioactive isotopes, and their interaction with the natural world. She and her husband, Pierre Curie, in fact, named radiation--"radioactive" was their word to describe the active agents of pitchblende, and they named the element radium. In a profession few men excel in, she is notable, but the fact that always sticks with me is the image of her scribbling frantically in her notebooks, trying to get down information for the world before she herself succumbed to radiation sickness--and the fact that to this day, those notebooks are considered too dangerous to be handled.

That image. Paper she wrote upon gone so lethal, just from the radiant dust in the air and the touch of her hands--it won't leave me.

Steampunk. Another odd byway that the Steampunkopedia has led me down--that of My Chemical Romance's Welcome to the Black Parade.

There is no discounting both that MCR is a very modern band, and that "Welcome" as a song is a modern anthem, nigh totemic in its swelling chorus and the wails of Gerard Way, the lead singer.

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(Gerard Way, in a still from the video, belting out "Welcome" with a snarl.)

It was the first single from the "story" album, The Black Parade, in which a young man, the Patient, dies of cancer in an unnamed vintage ward--we get the feeling, from the nurses' attire, it could be anywhere from 1920 to 1945, large war years for many countries--and sets out upon his journey through the realm of the dead. This is mythic, meaty stuph for alt-rock, even post-punk pseudo-gothic rock, yet MCR tackles it and pulls it off with, by and large, panache and style.

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(Alternate cover for the album, The Black Parade, featuring the Patient--in the video of the title song, played by Lukas Haas--and a cast of several of the dead come to guide him.)

Above and beyond the concept behind the album, though, is the video of this song. Note, Steampunkopedia is not naming My Chemical Romance as a band, nor any other video released off this album--just this one song.


Well, part of it I think comes from Sam Bayer's direction--he envisioned a partially-real, partially-CGI (and expertly blended, btw, it's nigh impossible to tell) shattered landscape of broken black wood and twisted wreckage of former homes and transports. Everything has that run-down, vaguely-bleached look about it, sun-faded, ennui's very soul--save that it's not, for screaming down the one street left is a parade float, black and white bunting streaming in invisible wind as it edges ever closer to the Patient, through whose eyes we see the land of the dead for the first time.

What makes this Steampunk? I think it's half that marvelous sense of using what comes to hand, the melding of various things to make the thing that works, and half, pure and simple, the passion inherent in the band and the song.

Do not give up. Rage, rage, against the dying of the light. Fight back. Try again. Perservere. Learn. Words screamed as cutting memories of abandonment and loss and the will, nonetheless, to keep trying, to keep moving forward, to never give in.

So you didn't make it into the air with this machine. Try again. So you didn't do it with the next one. Try again. There are no absolutes when so little is known, anything is plausible, if not possible--it is only when knowledge ossifies into the things "everyone knows" that we freeze as a people.

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(Ray Toro, Bob Bryar, Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Frank Iero--the current lineup of the band.)

Colleen Atwood designed the costumes for the band, the now-iconic black marching uniforms that have been worn in every video to date. She's done some amazing work, most notably with Tim Burton, but she's also worked on more considered-Steampunk films than Edward Scissorhands--she also designed costumes for Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the upcoming Sweeney Todd, the fashion impact of which is already being felt on the grid. Beyond Steampunk, but I think firmly establishing her design sense, she's also worked on Big Fish, Gattaca, Beloved, and Sleepy Hollow.

For this, perhaps her most accessible design task, she used a sheaf of papers that Gerard Way, also a graphic artist, had sketched out during a series of discussions with his bandmates on what the fictional band "The Black Parade" would look like. Colleen pored over these sketches avidly, and pulled from both her wide knowledge of historical costume, and her personal trove of collected memorabilia--the braid of the trim, for example, is several decades old, and to further age it, she scrubbed dirt, soot and leaves deep into the weave.

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(Still shot from the video of the band performing.)

The video itself relies a great deal on half-remembered histories, the knowledge gained from overhearing grandparents speaking, not in school or on one's own. Images of blimps and balloons, images of the dead walking, images of loss, of grief, all surmounted by that powerful, echoing refrain--We'll carry on!

Mother War, in a gas mask and a deconstructed petticoat draws our eye--motes of something, undoubtedly toxic, float in the air around her, and it takes some time to realize that her lungs are the vehicle by which the air is becoming filled with drifting specks.

The draping of the medal around the Patient's neck, the tracing of the unseen scar down the singer's face--resonance, meaning, beyond the symbols, the actions, we see on the screen.

Fear and Regret, twin girls, kiss the Patient as they walk away--he is done with them.

The sign, which could have been written anywhere from 1800 to 2800--Starved to Death in a Land of Plenty--resonates with everything else.

The oddly kinescoped feel of it, the screen closing down to the spot, reminiscent of machines most of us don't remember remembering, or have only seen in distant echoed visions like these.

The set evokes strongly distant memories-not-ours, tales of Dresden, tales of the London blitz, the bones of our world brought down.

Two of Gerard Way's favorite films, two films that influence a great deal of his art, are The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis, and their influence is powerfully felt. German expressionism in general seems to have some intriguing link to Steampunk, and that ties in this video as well.

But more than anything else, the triumph of the human spirit, the will to go on--the will, moreover, to make your presence known, to be remembered for as long as you can make that memory last--to discover knowledge, that one step further, which will aid everyone who follows after you--that is the heart and soul of all invention.

And that is what powers Steampunk, perhaps.

"Welcome to the Black Parade"

When I was a young boy,
my father took me into the city
to see a marching band.
He said,
"Son when you grow up, will you be
the saviour of the broken,
the beaten and the damned?"
He said
"Will you defeat them,
your demons, and all the non-believers,
the plans that they have made?"
Because one day I leave you,
A phantom, to lead you in the summer,
To join the black parade."

(screamed) When I was a young boy,
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band.
He said,
"Son when you grow up, will you be
the saviour of the broken,
The beaten and the damned?"

Sometimes I get the feeling she's watching over me.
And other times I feel like I should go.
When through it all, the rise and fall, the bodies in the streets--
When you're gone, we want you all to know
We'll carry on,
We'll carry on
And though you're dead and gone, believe me
Your memory will carry on
Carry on
We'll carry on
And in my heart I can't contain it
The anthem won't explain it

And we will send you reeling from decimated dreams
Your misery and hate will kill us all
So paint it black and take it back
Let's shout it loud and clear
Do you fight it to the end
We hear the call--
To carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're dead and gone believe me
Your memory will carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're broken and defeated
Your weary widow marches--

On and on we carry through the fears
Ohh ohh ohh--
Disappointed faces of your peers
Ohh ohh ohh--
Take a look at me 'cause
I could not care at all
Do or die
You'll never make me
'Cause the world, will never take my heart
You can try, you'll never break me
Want it all,
I'm gonna play this part
Won't explain or say I'm sorry
I'm not ashamed,
I'm gonna show my scar
So give a cheer, for all the broken
Listen here, because it's only..
I'm just a man,
I'm not a hero
Just a boy, who's meant to sing this song
Just a man,
I'm not a hero
I -- don't -- care

We'll carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're dead and gone believe me
Your memory will carry on
We'll carry on
And though you're broken and defeated
Your weary widow marches on
We'll carry on
We'll carry on
We'll carry on
We'll carry
We'll carry on...

If we do nothing else. Invention. Passion. Making do with what we have. Making it work. And always, always, going back to the plans, making it better, stronger, faster, weirder if we have to--


It's as good an explanation as any as to why this video was tapped. Though me personally? I think it was the fashions.

and every road I walked would take me down to the sea

I go nowhere high
Go nowhere warm
Until I see your smile and feel your calm

Always happens on hunts. Always. But I'd forgotten, I suppose, sleep-deprived October, so was unprepared for the surge of must-finish that seized us all.

To be fair, the hunt at FallnAngel Designs will only be active until the 17th at three ayem. And we thought we had two days yet, and I only gone one of those days. So we had to play hurry-up-hunt.

But it still took us five and a half hours to finish this quest, and part of it was--no clues! Honestly, if we hadn't had the help of a lovely fellow at the start, who told us each one was about palm-size, maybe hand-size...we wouldn't have had any information!

And I lick a dime
I crave for you, boy
You're like a parachute, descending from the sky

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Let me digress briefly, though, since I didn't get any pictures of the actual hunt--and explain why I have this dislike for sculpted objects.

On any average--I hesitate to say "normal", but that works too--prim, the surfaces are textured, and it takes a bit, sometimes, for those textures to rez in across the surface of each one.

This is basic, this is known.

But for sculpts, the texture is the shape. And if it's a high-detail texture...I'm left with a field of insect eggs, as you see here. They are supposed to be mushrooms.

And I'm sure you're on your way
Yes I'm sure you're on the road

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Not convinced? Okay, let's talk trees. Once these rez in--which, as busy as these two sims of the hunt were, never happened--they will be strong, tree-shaped trunks and branches.

As it is now, though? More hovering barked insect eggs. It takes me, on average, between five and fifteen minutes on good days to load in sculpts. So people with sculpted attire, buildings with sculpted additions, or worse, people with actual sculpted bits of their avatars? Walking round objects.

With sculpts, the sphere is apparent, *because* it's predominant. Sculpts can be anything, absolutely anything, within the skill of the programmer, but they are based on the single sphere for form. All of them. Every single sculpted prim.

So, until the texture rezzes in, that's what I'm stuck with. Rounds with surface texturing.

I go nowhere high
Go nowhere warm
Until you're by my side

Back to the hunt. There may be no time for anyone to catch it, but if you go to the main Falln location, and click the notecard giver next to the dais, you can get a general description of the hunt, and the two sims it's going to be held in. We're pretty sure it's not ten in one sim, ten in the other; we think it's nine at Falln and eleven at Tor--but the hunt 'prizes' are fairly cool and worth all the aggravation: everything from nifty eyes, to a skin, to jewels and other baubles, and gods, have I gone into the clothes yet?

Your hand in mine
And I've always known
You're like a feather
You go where wind and fire melt together

In other words, Mr. Azriel Demain--designer and titular elven god of Falln--and the other designers who retail there put a lot of effort into this. Moreover, each individual ornament--they're all individual--is a small sculpted object, from snowflakes and icicles to snowmen and bells. And, once emptied of prize goodness, they can be kept and used as ornaments.

And I'm sure you're on your way
Yes I'm sure you're on the road
And I'm sure you're faster than before

The search took us everywhere on both sims and accomplished at least one thing: I want to revisit Tor when I have the time just to wander. One of the places we found an ornament was a fully equipped Elven music hall--the complete drum set, a rain stick, a harp, and all of it playable. You could have concerts as the sun warmed the leaf-scented air, those who didn't want to play sitting by the outside of the drum circle, or dancing on the balconies of the round hall.

Yes I know you're somewhere on the road
I reckon there is nothing more to say

There was a very frustrating aspect to this hunt--in addition to the lack of clues--and this happened more than once--we would search a place we knew had an ornament, just had to have. We would search it thoroughly. And nothing.

And then later, flying past looking for something else...there we would see an ornament. Hanging from a lintel, hanging from a bird's beak, hanging from a tree branch...and all of us knew it hadn't been there before, because we'd searched there.

It wasn't just tiredness, at times, the ornaments simply didn't appear. Which may again be, because they were all sculpted objects, and at times, just didn't rez in until they rezzed in all at once.

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I was wrong, I did have one picture from the hunt. This was the wee small ghost ship next to the much larger pirate ship. And it's absolutely fascinating--that smoke-streak, fog-wisp texture? Is animated on all surfaces. So there it sits, in the water, shimmering as if it's about to fade out of existence entirely.

Small, and just a detail, afterthought, really...but very, very impressive.

[7:01] Neome Graves: We get and then we sleep?
[7:01] You: Yesplz?
[7:01] Neome Graves nodsnodsnods

Towards the end of the hunt all of us were talking in lolcat. I have to own up and say I started it. But I was very tired, and tending towards the silly and euphoric, and using full sentences with correct spelling? All apologies to the Library Militant, who will probably wince for no coherent reason even at me typing this, but it grew wearisome, and I stopped.

At any rate, we completed the hunt, and staggered off homeward, where we cuddled together, blinking at the walls for another few minutes before we parted and fell off the grid. All in all, worthwhile for the hunt prizes, I can't wait to see the outfits--save for...yet another...set of silks...*rolls her eyes*

But hey, being Falln? They will at least be interesting ones.

(Brief final insert: Harborside is on its way.)

(Song is Kate Havnevik's "Nowhere Warm".)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

since the dawn of man is not that long

Caledon is rushing by while we stand in place. Some days that's how it feels. Each advance and we get bigger and we already count the size of Caledon as a whole in the millions of meters.

Tonight, Fawkes and I decided to see if I could walk to work. From our door in Caledon Penzance, to the door of Der Hut des Jaegers in Winterfell Absinthe.

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(Reaching the first objective--Caledon Penzance to Caledon Morgaine. Which rezzed too slowly for this picture.)

Penzance to Morgaine was simple, really--walk to the Penzance Studios, take a left. That was pretty much it. The Studios aren't that far from us, either, so Morgaine? Ridiculously near us. But still, we achieved it, and we were off and walking.

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(Walking through the pass into Caledon Brigadoon.)

We decided to follow the trolley tracks, just past the Morgaine border, considering first, the trolleys aren't running yet, and second, they aren't finished. But it was a good guideline to take us sim to sim.

It was getting colder out.

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(A meeting with Miss Martini Discovolante, chief architect of Caledon Brigadoon.)

We stopped in Brigadoon, marveling at what had already gone up, and met with Miss Discolovante, designer of the sim. Looking around at her homes, her architexture, and her land layout, we knew Des had made the correct choice for Brigadoon's build. Her textures are lovely and photobased, for most of the homes; her lead-glass/amethystine-chunk paving stones are hand-created. She does lovely work.

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(Nearing Cape Wrath.)

We made our goodbyes to Miss Discovolante, after a conversation on building, gender confusion--Fawkes switched from Zorro to CiCi during the trip through Brigadoon--and steampunk fashions, and walked slowly up the hill, heading for Cape Wrath. On the distance we could see glittering Winterfell, buried under ice.

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(A meeting with the Guvnah.)

Just over the crest of the hill, heading down into Cape Wrath, still very nearly raw, we ran into the Guvnah, actively building. We meant to edge by and leave him to his work, but he paused for a few moments and we discussed topics of the day, the future of Caledon, and bright spangled things. We made our goodbyes when he accidentally raised the three of us above the level of the established pavement, and left him busily lowering the land again.

And then we were at the shore of Cape Wrath, facing Winterfell Absinthe across the quay. We saw a boat with the Caledon flag strapped to the main strut as aa sail, and Fawkes got in, piloting the boat over. But it was a single masted, no room for a passenger. I thought for a moment, then came up with my solution.

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(Swimming to Absinthe.)

Again, a hybrid form, this one odder than usual--half kitten (the upper half) and half fish (mer for the lower half). I hit the water and the chill of it took my breath away. I floated out of the waves, water freezing to my fur, and nearly crawled into the first fire I saw. There has to be a better way to do this!

We turned to the northwest, angling for where I remembered the pub was, and immediately ran into someone's killer death security! We fairly flew across the snow, trying to outrun the guards, and thus, very nearly accidentally, rolled down the hill into the back garden of der Hut des Jaegers.

But finally we were there! We had made it! Long for a stroll, but with the ferry, eminently doable on those days ports won't work!

...Now what?

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(Fawkes' answer: Now we dance! Hope those joints hold up in this cold...)

There are now little chairs by the fire, and tables, and I still adore the neighborhood. There's a dance shield for the back garden, though I somewhat fear for the strain on Frau Lowey's sanity, with the dances I saw, and a brain in a jar on one of the shelves inside.

How apropos.

Now all we need is Mr. Writer's confirmation that he does, in fact, have the wines for us, and we can open, I think. That and finalize my tip jar. I am also reliably informed--by Miss Discovolante--that Mr. Gray--1wuz, the tiny otter--has at least one bottle of a reliable vintage he might be willing to loan to us.

Slowly, slowly, the pub transforms from real estate to Third Place--or, as Miss Discovolante said, that place you go that is not work, nor home, but as comfortable and odd as either.

I like it. der Hut des Jaegers, where all the Jaegers know your name? Don't know about that, but we'll always welcome you with a smile. Mayhap even an invite to a friendly chair-throwing contest. :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm gonna wake up, yes and no

They invented a reason
That's why it stings
They don't think you matter
Because you don't have pretty rings
I keep telling you I don't care
I keep saying there's one thing they can't change

Nights like this, I want to be held, I want to throw things. I want to seek out ludicrous complications, I want to stay home and lock the door. Do something injurious just to prove I can.

Keep myself safe because those I love would ask me to.

Mass of conflicting impulses walking, and it hurts, and I don't even have the words to say why.

I'm your moon
You're my moon
We go round and round
From out here, it's the rest of the world that
Looks so small
Promise me
You will always remember who you are

And it seems, in the early days, there was always a place to go to be ignored. There was always someone to call who would hurt me. There was always somewhere, someone, to circle, to draw in, for play, for pay, who'd send me battered and bleeding from their arms.

But it's not what I want anymore. I've moved past that. I don't crave pain for pain's sake, I never have, and I'm better than that.

...Aren't I?

Let them shuffle the numbers
Watch them come and go
We're the ones who are out here
Out past the edge of what they know
We can only be who we are
It doesn't matter if they don't understand

He says we need to rein back the late nights. I agree. We've been burning too much daylight as it is, and fatigue sinks into my bones. But it always feels like we have so little time, and some nights my heart is in my throat, aching to remain with him.

And I need his warmth, the warmth of his hands, the warmth of his heart, but...something else calls, too. Something I don't want to put into words.

Something I hope will go away, unresolved.

I'm your moon
You're my moon
We go round and round
From out here, it's the rest of the world that looks so small
Promise me
You will always remember
Who you are

He tells me, in the house with round doors, he regrets nothing he's done. He tells me he's sorry anyway. I don't regret, but I can see trouble on the horizon's far edge. What will happen, what might happen, those are territories I no longer choose to walk in. Who needs to borrow trouble that may never come? For now, I know I like being in his arms. I know I like talking to him. Isn't that enough?

But I see potential complication if we keep moving down this path, potential impact on all my other relationships, and I can't juggle hearts anymore, if I ever could.

Who you were
Long before
They said you weren't

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He stares at me and wonders. I can see it on his face. And it's not that I've been dishonest, it's not that I've misled, but...I haven't mentioned every single thing. I've told him as much as I can, as much as I have words for, and I will, I want to, be the woman that can speak of such things without flailing for description, or throat knotting closed.

And then nights like this come, and the screams I want to have excuse to use swell behind my throat, and I will not, I will not ask him to do this for me. It's the one thing I agreed never to ask.

And I won't, I don't, want it. Pain, brutality, disregard...these are not the tools of my current trade, they're not motifs of my life as currently lived.

I don't need this. I don't.

Sad excuse for a sunrise
It's so cold out here
Ice and silence and dark skies
As we go round another year
Let them think what they like, we're fine
I will always be right here next to you

He says I sink down into submission too easily. He says he never realized before, he says it's dangerous. He says he must remember, he must be careful, what he does, when I'm breathing and unstrung.

But I only give in that completely with him. Nearly everyone else I fight, on some level. Even if it's just fighting myself to remain in the passion play, to take what comes, not to press, not to demand, not to ask for more. That constant iteration of the rules behind my lips...for otherwise, I'd forget, I know this.

I'm your moon
You're my moon
We go round and round
From out here, it's the rest of the world that looks so small
Promise me
You will always remember who you are...

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He touches the heart at my throat and smiles softly. A metal heart, he remarks, and I smile. He doesn't know what it means, so I tell him--that the doll needed a heart to live, that I'd never had a non-organic form before, and that it was made for me, crafted for my use, to be my life in that form--and in others.

He nods, understanding, or at least, understanding what I've told him. And inside the battle rages, between safety and danger, between protection and exposure. The need to be loved.

The need to be hurt.

I retreat, it's safer, it's better than words which can turn or twist, especially in my mouth. I retreat, and breathe in safer spaces, and tell myself it will pass, it always does. It will pass and I will not need to do anything.

It will go away and I'll be free of it once more.

Until the next time. Maybe the next time I'll understand more....but in the meantime, it's the one thing I don't ask him for. The one thing I'll never ask him for, the never that stands between us but doesn't hold us apart.

Because that never? Keeps me safe. How can I possibly begrudge that?

(Save that these nights...these long, dark nights...something in me does. But that grasping, trembling part...that will leave, too. Given time. In the meantime, a space of not talking about other things that happen? Just in case...should be fine. I can tell my loves later, when it's quieter inside. Tell them later of agreements and potential and change, because it would be premature indeed to tell them now, nothing's been agreed...

(And mayhap nothing will be.)

In the meantime, I breathe myself to sleep and tell myself for the next few days...I won't ask. Because it will pass, this jittery sensation. It always has. It always does.

The problem always comes back...

(Song is Jonathan Coulton's "I'm Your Moon". And no, if you were curious? This doesn't all refer to one person.)