6:10 a.m. Alarm clock wakes up. Groan. Turn over to grab ten minutes of sleep. Who's been hogging the covers? OMG. I slept with dannye. Again. No more of TheDeadGuy's umbrella drinks ever ever ever. Pounding headache. Fish for water bottle. Looks like somebody pissed into it last night.

6:45 a.m. Stumble into communal shower. See badly constructed naked bodies. It's too early, man. Where's the Dial? On the floor. Evil Catullus dropped it again, and cackles evilly. Forget it sucker. I ain't picking that up.

7:10 a.m. Sniff tee shirt and jeans. They pass muster. Tee shirt says WIKI, with the pipelink exposed. Jeans have knees missing. Where are those Birkenstocks? Dammit. Halspal's been borrowing my clothes again.

7:30 a.m. "Oatmeal and tea AGAIN?"

grundoon slops my meal tin with the gray goop and waves the oatmealy spoon menacingly in my direction.

"I hear you complaining one more time, Face, and I'll take the rolling pin to you. Now eat it and qwitcherbitchin."

"You look kinda cute when you've got your hair in a bun." I make a kissy face.
Grundoon throws down her apron and climbs over the counter.
"Face, you've had this coming for a while..."
I get scared, but then tkeiser, hunt05, and DimView restrain her. I pay the cashier in E2credits and find a seat.
"She must not like the cornbread either."
I look up. AllSeeingEye smiles. We do the hand jive thing and laugh.
"Who made the coffee today?"

"Yurei, I think."

"Rocket fuel?"

"Like speedballs, man."

"Think I'll pass. What I wouldn't give to have a Starbuck's at the corner."

"I hear you. But the Council won't have it. Buncha communists."
ASE whispers plans to sneak out of the compound tonight and hit some titty bars in Lawrence. I ask him if I can tag along. He laughs derisively.

8:30 a.m. Start the work day. Log onto Wikipedia. Chat with a few moderators. Get people riled up. Laugh. Leave.

Write my contribution to the E2Horror XCVLXVMCIIIII quest. Time: 40 minutes, with superficial edits. Good enough. Ship it!

IM with new girlnoder who desperately wants to get into E2KS. Make it sound like paradise on earth. ASL? 19/F/Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Dear Lord, they're getting younger all the time. This sickens me. Do I stop writing? Of course not.

IM with aionaever, knock out a made for television screenplay.

IM with bitriot. Check on life in California.

IM with bud in Kazakhstan. Another shitty little war. Jenna Bush says if we don't win in Kazakhstan the terrorists will have won. I sure as hell didn't vote for her. But about 65% of the US did. Bud in Kazakhstan needs some advice on military hardware. I type back and say, d00d, I'm in a commune now, I don't do that shit. He laughs. How's that working out for you, he asks. I look up at the Internet cafe and see The Custodian sipping a pre-noon scotch and think to myself, My god, what have I done? I type, "Just fine. Life is great."

11:45 a.m. Shit. Same food crew as for breakfast.

Grundie would undoubtedly lace my hamburger with strychnine. Gonna avoid the grill line. However, this means wandering over to...

shaogo's Chinese food area. Wok steaming with sorry looking vegetables and some vague meatish lumps. I peer down, and ask

"D00d, is that grass?"

shaogo looks at me with bleary eyes, and says, "Don't start with me. Just don't."

"We've been missing some cats. Laura Elizabeth's missing her three white Siamese. You know where they've gone?"

"I tell you for the last time, Face, I don't use pets for meals." He gives me the evil eye.

"I wish we had periodic food inspections like they do in the real world."
shaogo motions for thefez and RangyJoeyHondo. They take me under the armpits, drag me outside, and beat the snot out of me. Rangy asks if I'm trying to set some sort of record.
"I just want a Big Mac. With real fries. And a Super Sized Coke. Is that too much to ask?"

thefez says, "Why didn't you say so?" He lowers his voice. "Me and the Witch are doing some private business on the side. Bring real cash. Meet me at midnight around the back porch of our place."

12:30 p.m. Admitted to the E2 clinic. paraclete looks up.

"You look like shit. Again"

"Thanks for that sterling vote of confidence, dollface." I can't even smile. Those damned Australians like their beatings.

"Ribs?"

"Yes"

"Internal bleeding?"

"Probably."

"You ever going to learn to shut up in the cafeteria?"

"Probably not."

"Well then, it's your own damned fault. Take two ibuprofens. Here's some bandages. Now Get the hell out of my emergency room."

"Thanks for the sympathy, Doc. You're a real charmer."

"You wanted charm? You can look that up under C in the dictionary."

"How the hell did you ever get through medical school with a personality like that?"

She gets out a syringe with a No. 14 needle. "By threatening people with this."

"Can't I spend two hours just sleeping off the beating here? Please? It's so quiet."

She sighs. "You know, you're way overdue for a proctological exam."
I grab my denim jacket, remembering a most urgent appointment with a librarian. Frickin' docs in a box. They're all alike. It's all about the ass.

1:45 p.m. Take a nap back in my hovel. First, kick out izubachi and eien_meru, who are playing checkers on my bed. Or something. Damned noders. They're breeding like fricking rabbits.

3:45 p.m. Simulacron3 kicks me in the ribs. Jesus that hurts. I wake up and ask him why he's not dead. He tells me I'm snoring like three 747 jet engines.

I prop myself up and squint at him. I'm still coming out of this dream where I'm chasing after some nubile newcomer, and we're running naked through a meadow and there are flowers blooming and birds chirping, and I've almost caught her when...

He kicks me again. Solar plexus. Jesus. I blear at him.

"You're looking exceptionally vigorous this afternoon. Have the SSRGs been helping?"
Another kick, con brio. This time right in the junk.
"OW! Didn't you get the memo? This place is about love and understanding! Quit with the malignant behavior, man, or I'll talk to Lometa."

"Get up. We're hotbunking. I just got off graveyard shit. Get that lazy ass outta bed and get moving."
Kee-rist.

Back to the salt mines.

5:30 p.m. If I can waste another hour it'll be dinner time.

I head over to the barn

RangyJoeyHondo smoking a faggot. Halspal's watching West Wing on a samizdat television, black and white. Transitional Man's reading Field and Stream. Jet-Poop's working on an old Mustang engine in the middle of the garage. He's covered in grease and oil and chemicals I can't identify. They're green. I've never seen such bright green chemicals. I resist the urge to ask.

It's the guy hangout. Beat up couches everwhere, springs exposed. Doesn't matter. There’s borgo, unshaven, looking exceptionally leonine, drinking beer straight from the keg.

"How many days?"

"Thirty seven."

"You really look like shit."

He brightens. "Thanks, man."

"Tell me something. How is it that the women all adore you?"

He farts AND burps, simultaneously. "It's my innate charm."
I head to dinner.

6:30 p.m. The secret to dinner is to let people shovel food onto your tray but don't look at it.

I sit down by the women's table, next to bewilderbeast.

I ask in my most charming manner who'd like to partner with me this evening. I eye jessicapierce.

She's given up sex for Lent. Several women have given up sex for Lent. Several more are thinking of giving up sex for Lent.

I say, "It's October."

"Well, then Advent."

"Advent hasn't started yet."

"It's never too early to start thinking about the Baby Jesus."

"Wow. You women have all gotten real religious, haven't you?"

"Oh yes," says one. "You should try it sometime."

"Am I going to have to go AWOL and get some non E2 fun?"
They all think that's a wonderful idea.

I leave and join the gay table.
"Hi guys! Hey can I sit with you?"
They say they've just finished dinner. Sorry! I catch C-Dawg stuffing food into his mouth at a furious rate.

*sigh* My life has reached a new nadir.

8:00 p.m. The highlight of the day is the evening catbox chatter. We all clear out the cafeteria, head back to our rooms, get our laptops, bring them back to the cafeteria, sit down, open our laptops, and begin typing.

Sporadic laughs are heard.

Lots of typing is heard.

You can tell when someone's said something funny by the volume of typing that follows.

I lean over to NotFabio and start chatting.

Seventy five heads lift up from their laptops and look at me like I'm a bug.

"Silence, worm!"
Who died and put you in charge? I'm just trying to engage in, you know, real conversation.
"If you're so gol-darned sociable, why don't you head over to the MySpace compound? I hear they actually like talking."
An undercurrent of sniggers ensue.

9:15 p.m. I head back to the barn. Rap knuckles on the keg. Totally empty. borgo's body sprawled across a pool of green chemicals. Magnificent ticker. Bastard's going to outlive us all.

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