Forcing the technology to work, bridging gaps, bridging worlds, functioning at three-quarters speed regardless, it seemed like...
It was a challenging night.
I got things done, got some of the backlog of old hunts, old group gifts, processed and sorted, awaiting the draining work of trying on everything, seeing if it fits, seeing if it works...
The night was harder than it should have been.
And then, just when goodbyes were being said, my attention wandered. A momentary mention--lies and deceit--and I wondered at it, wondered why the former hope had turned on the edge of the knife. Not even knowing what the former hope had been...
...and I looked down the list of updates, lightly, where I'd read the words of betrayal, and I saw her name.
And even the name, the name alone, still makes me heartsick.
So much of my life on the grid wrapped around her, the dark muse dancer, insanity's unwelcome mistress. More than any demon, more than any distant love, she affected me. We never were involved, no matter what the rumors said, but I was loyal to her, I was servant and champion, and I tried to do right by her.
Did the glittering throng dizzy me? Of course. Did the beauty of the situation call to me? Of course. Visual artist to visual artist, how could it not?
But then. Then. She threw me away. As casually, as thoughtlessly, as she'd thrown away so many. Just a simple gesture, expedient and pure, and I was gone as if I'd never been.
But I still am.
I still stand.
And I have not forgotten.
I wander farther now, I wander in and out of other worlds, I have found other causes to convince me. And I am resolute in my resolve never to be in her thrall again. It will not happen.
But nights like this, dark nights, when a word leads me here, a phrase there, and I follow, and I follow...
In my own way, I remember all of them, for all the good it does me.
I don't listen to the Deftones anymore. I don't listen to Thrice. I rarely go to the elven lands, or to any lands of magic. By and large, these days, I stay indoors. What moments I spend outside, I'm spending in flurries of snow, and I cannot see the night sky.
I've boxed up all her art, to deal with later. I've thrown away or locked away every letter she wrote to me.
It's all I can do, for now, my version of locking the gates against re-entry. Those who have hurt me, before, I see no reason to arm and welcome them in again. Time and more than time to refuse the knocking along the wall.
And I will never be her toy again. In this life or any other.
It is morbidly interesting to me--though I've kept them, at this point, anything given to me, any picture taken, any word sent, is carefully boxed away, labeled, and boxed again. I don't need to see those things, I need more to move on. And by and large, I have.
I still listen to VNV Nation.
It's the one thing I've kept. Odd little quirk of personality it may be, but...they still speak to me.
I don't think it means anything, at this point. I don't think it can. But it's there.