Ok, I'll admit it. I bought Black & White. I had planned to all along, I've been following the hype for months. But...

The *very* day it came out, a friend of mine managed to get a 'copy' from somewhere, and brought it over to my house. I figured, 'there's not really anything wrong with playing it for a little while, then purchasing the boxed version.' And fun! Oh, glorious fun. The game truly is a masterpiece. And true to myself, as soon as I was able, I bought it. I was hoping that the rumours of the white box/black box option were true, but it seems that EA went with a double-sided box instead. No matter, my $65.95 CDN was well spent, no matter what the packaging.

However, now I do feel guilty. My rationalization behind using the un-purchased copy felt right at the time, as Lionhead has not released a demo of the game. Since I was going to purchase the boxed version anyways, what harm did I do?


Coffee exuberance makes mistakes.

Having just moved out, several realizations have struck me. One, it's going to take me a while to get up to my peak creative speed, being in a new environment and all. Two, my roommate is getting on my nerves with his 'you should get outside more, eat properly', etc. Three, the convenience of being very close to the downtown core is wasted on me. I know no-one living in downtown Vancouver, all my friends are back in Coquitlam and Port Moody. Four, DSL is dependent upon my future employment prospects, which in turn depend on getting my creative speed back.

It has just turned five in the bloody morning, I am going to sleep.

Out of the light came you. You didn't have to come but you did. You came and made my day today. How sweet. How unyielding. How unworthy do I feel today. But still, I appreciate how you made my day, and how you gave me warmth on an otherwise rainy day. You have made life better, even at least for today.

I thought about today, how we should hide from the secrets that we hide, from the problems that we face. Concern abounds the people around me, and for that I'm gracious. But still, I deem it not worthy use of your time. Why worry? My decision has been made. Its just a matter of time. One decision will change it all and even then, only will I decide whether it can be the way it should be.

I sit in quiet solitude, thinking about how things should be. How things have changed. Many don't understand. There is a limit to everything, and even then, the limit can be broken. To surpass such a level would require tremendous pressure and a feeling of tremendous relief. To undermine's one's own passion and anger to simplify the lives of the people around them simply isn't a deed done for nobility. It is done so that things aren't harder for others.

The dark speaks no words, and tells no tales. I hear the silence, yet I hear what I fear, or what I want to hear. Not unlike a dream, it becomes a haze, simply to become a fog lifted from my eyes at a later time. I flex my arms, then hold them, outstretched, and scream. Insanity has not grasped my mind, but it would have been a better explanation of everything. I tell my body that there is no pain, yet there is nothing else but. I feel a twinge in my knuckle, and an itch on my back. I stand with the breeze on my cheek, and a raindrop on my eyelid. I step back inside, into the warmth of home, yet it seems colder inside.

I wrap my blanket over my shoulder, and slowly place my hand on the keyboard. I lift them slowly, then place fingertips together. I whisper a silent prayer underneath my breath, hoping that the celestial maker hears me. But nothing responds back. It never does. I chuckle. I taste iron in my mouth. Blood rushes up from my throat.

I guess the day can't be perfect. If it just stayed the way it did in the morning, it would have been perfect. But like anything else, it wasn't meant to be. I don't wonder why my limits have been reached. Most people don't. They just wonder what took so long. No longer do I expect things to get better. I just decided to stop having such great expectations.

Tears of hope, tears of fear. Don't be afraid. I'll be here. Waiting for you. Stretch your hand blindly in the dark. Someday you'll find me. If not, I'll find you.

A letter to the man I love more than I've loved any man in my life.

My dearest one;


It seems that whenever I finish a wu, you send me mail. (I know that's not really true, don't get hot.) But - I am beginning to wish I had not told you about who I am on E2, because I wish I could have it for myself, not worrying about you reading things, and censoring myself. I am feeling very strongly this way right now. I have stopped myself from saying this to you many times. But now I am just expressing my feelings to you about this problem because it has gotten to be too much. I know that since I want to explore these feelings about my epiphany it feels very strong and important to me right now.

Sometimes I can't talk to you about things - it is safer to be anonymous and express them on E2. In posting here, there is a danger that I will move away from you. And others. But writing helps a lot. And I don't want to be accused of passive aggressive behavior again - although in that one case, it probably was (although not my wu on my menage a trois).

I feel like writing in my drummergrrl persona, as others there have come to "know me" and send me supportive little notes, so I want to continue developing those relationships by being honest, like I have been. But now I can't, and I haven't been writing much in there because I have let you know who I am on E2, and let you read my wu's. It is wrong to ask you to stop, and foolish, I know, and it feels like I made a huge mistake in telling you my user name.

But I have to just figure this out for myself, I guess.

I will probably decide to start writing on there again, and just tell you that if you read something that bothers you, and I haven't discussed it with you, and you feel a need to talk to me about it, then I will deal with it then.

But I think because our relationship is so complicated, this is part of the problem. If you were truly just a friend, this wouldn't be an issue. Since I love you romantically, I automatically censor many thoughts before speaking to you, like most people.

If you were actually my boyfriend, I would feel compelled to talk to you first, to forestall any issues before writing about them.

But you aren't, and I am single, and free, and want to be independent of your feelings and thoughts about my thoughts and feelings - if you know what I mean.

I can't talk to you about this epiphany right now. I want to talk to other people first, people I don't care about as much, before I have to deal with your reaction, which will probably be along the lines of "is that it?", I am pretty sure. But you know how it is when you have a revelation. It feels big and scary and all kinds of things. It's actually not what it IS so much as how I FEEL. But I wanted to write about how I feel, and I couldn't even do that, without having to worry about being passive-aggressive.

I feel better for having written this, and I am sorry if I am causing any pain to you - I certainly am not trying to! Just being very honest. So the bottom line is - I am going to try and write my feelings again as it really is an important venue to me. It feels like therapy.

You know how much I love and respect you. But that doesn't mean I want or need to tell you everything.

Love, me

This is me (but not here)

I forgot my middle name
which sums up were I am
as far as ego goes
a real case study
for some shrink somewhere in a city
who would pay $10 an hour to hear a story or two
about a seawall and a season
spent outside the ball and chain
sun on my back
cuts on my feet
a smile
awhile
not seen in snow
serene
I'm out of phase with the rest of humanity again (at least the bigger part of humanity). I have a total of five days off (in view of my coming birthday). Immedeatly on the very first day I went to bed at 4am. It happens every time without failure. I revert to my natural state - a night lurker. It's now 5am. I probably won't go to sleep till for another hour. Hour after that normal people will go to work. I will wake up when they get home. My day will start when they go to bed.

I went to a concert of Paco de Lucia and Septet yesterday. Or was it the day before? The performance was excellent, even though I must admit I'm not a great fan of Flamenco. I "pretended" to learn how to play guitar for a short while. I failed miserably, but at least now I can apreciate the incredible skill of such artists as de Lucia.
The performance was at the Orpheum. I haven't been to anything as formal for close to 5 years. Last time it was a play at one of the Moscow's bigger theaters. Anyhow the Orpheum was pretty nice. We sat almost on the balcony, near the ceiling. I wonder how much the tickets were at the bottom near the stage, considering that our tickets were 40 bucks. During the intermission I grabbed vodka cranberry from the bar. Tasted like water.
I had to dress semi-formally there. Everybody commented on how handsome i looked (I also had a haircut that day) - welldressed, cleanly shaven et al. My mom lectured me when i got home. I have to dress better etc. I'm 20 next week for god's sake! But I guess I see her point. On the other hand why should I dress "well"? I dress comfortably right now. That's all that matters to me personally. I'm not trying to impress anyone.

I think I figured out the question. But not the answer. I'm afraid - I'm a coward. The only reason I'm saying it here is because e2 offers a semi-anonymity. People who know who stands behind this handle, I can trust to certain extent. I'm afraid of a lot of things. Death, pain, loneliness. But most of all I'm afraid of people judging me. I'm afraid of them talking behind my back. I'm afraid of hearing laughter, pointing fingers and knowing looks. I'm afraid...and yet I dont know why. Maybe i need to go to a psychologist. Lie on the movie-cliche sofa and talk about my childhood...time to face the facts and pay up..

Carpe noctem..

This morning, as I put her in her crate, before heading to work, I noticed a place on the steel bars that was covered in dried doggie slobber. As I looked closer I saw something subtle and disturbing...The bars were no longer straight. Powerful jaws forced painfully between bars had clamped down and squeezed.

She is scared. She is afraid of being alone. My windows, carpet, screen, and door frames lie shredded or in pieces. He final week of freedom made me into a landlords nightmare, and a shambling ball of stress.

If I put her in day care I may loose two hours a day getting her there and then home. The extra $500+ a month is barely affordable and would leave me with no savings or way to build one. And even then there would be times when I would have to go out of the house for an evening and leave her terrified and crated once more. Drugs don't really work. And, it seems I am left with only one good option: get a second dog again.

This all started when I put Frasier to sleep. She was ok for a while, calm, like she used to be when I left her at home with him. But her old destructive ways gradually returned. The fears built in her and no amount of cuddling or treats can keep them from coming back.

With Frasier gone I found myself looking forward to being able to visit friends again without having to leave her behind. I could go away from town without being killed by the expense of a kennel. But, with him I couldn't even kennel him if I wanted; too aggressive, too dominant. I think maybe my fears of loosing a piece of my life again to a second dog are unfounded. I wouldn't take a dominant dog. I wouldn't take a dog I couldn't take to a kennel without worry. And Ebony... Ebony would be sane again. She would have a friend to keep her calm again. My movements would not really be significantly constricted (nobody wants a friends dog in their house anyway). And an occasional weekend at a kennel for 2 is far cheaper than $500+ a month for one.

There is love in my heart for another. I think I am just fearful that my life has changed so much since I got Ebony: I have friends, I have a life, I fear loosing those as they are so new and precious to me.

Well, last night was um.... hella interesting. I am not officially cheating on my girlfriend. Yes, its true. It's all most over with my girlfriend anyway, but I didn't want to start something else so soon... it's kinda eerie. The new girl, came on to me. Well, I work with her. I'm customer service, and she works the snack bar, and well, I had been flirting with her for a bit. Ya know, making funny faces to her, tickling her, and just bugging her, in a fun way of course. Then, when I got off, she was still on the clock, so I gave her the usual hug, just because thats how we are, but she told me that she didn't want me to leave. Then we kinda backed into the back room, and shared a kiss to end it all. It was GOOD! Hehe, well, you get the point.



Wonder what'll happen tomarrow...
I'll write a daylog because there's nothing that I've learned in the last week that isn't subjective.

"Some people call me a space cowboy...." or a space cadet.

Got the job in Fell's Point today. I start next weekend because I have company some of this weekend and then I'm on the planning commitee for Lord Bear's birthday schedule. That's tomorrow, for those of you who care...., yes, on a full moon, (10:22 pm EST), and I'm not telling you how old he's going to be. The vote was up for tits and whiskey....I don't know how he'll feel about that.

Found out last night when I crept in at almost three in the morning, that SatyrBoy and I are not getting evicted. Yeah, we were warring with the landlord. Actually, we're warring with th hyper-sensitive neighbor downstairs....damn. What a bitch!.....Though we did have that really ignorant party involving a drum circle in the front room.

Satyr's cat snores.

Um....what to do, what to do. One LOVELY fact I found out last night, is that my love life really is entirely Vegas Style. People are betting money on me....well, not just me. Who am I to complain though, I owe my mother $100 on top of all the money I already owed her. Thanks guys, for the reassurance. Jerone...you owe Bear money...and thanks for the compliments. Yah! Ten pounds lighter than the day I graduated high school, and fifteen lighter than when I.....ugh, nevermind.

I've decided to take personally every parking ticket I receive from here on out. Meter maids have indeed met their match, and as soon as I figure out exactly which chromosome in their DNA compells them to rat out their fellow man...er, woman, I would like to propose testing in order to breed out this errant trait. Or, I propose an uprising involving just hunting them all down and slowly suffocating them with their notepads, gouging out their eyes with their pens, and sticking quarters in easy to reach orifices. But maybe I'm just bitter. I presently owe Baltimore City over $200, and I've been here how long?

Swamp Yankee is coming. No, I don't know what to do about that. I found a picture of him today.....So I get to show him around MY city. Yippee. I know I should be more enthusiastic...I will be in a few hours...but right now I'm just kinda like, "Now what?" And this weird feeling in my stomach is something no Alka Seltzer can fix. Somewhere I hear bike messengers giggling at my expense....nevermind.

I guess I'm just trying to wrap up the week here. I scared a lesbian away last week. How? By not showing any interest. Don't get me wrong, she was cute. I just didn't feel that kind of libido boiling up in me. That and virgos. Great friends, but not my style when it comes to attraction.

Spent a good deal of the night with Bear's head in my lap last night. Talked Satyr into not continuing that romance with that Libra boy.....he needs someone a bit wilder.

So I guess I just need to plan the itinerary....

I don't want to talk anymore, it does make me want to either laugh hysterically ...or jump over the table and commit murder....and I hardly see that as being productive.

Let's talk. I don't want to talk about that.
We don't talk. You don't have time. Something's come up, can I let you go?
I don't really have time, I'm booked, but I've been waiting for you to ask me to see you.
Let's talk about what you're doing wrong, which has nothing to do with what I'm doing wrong.
Let's talk about us, we never talk about us. Let's stop talking about us.
Just when I want this....you don't seem like you want this. Why did you change your mind? I don't understand. I don't know how I feel about you, but I want you to love me.....
Gads! I am seasick with all of these ups and downs....get to the fucking point already. Get a story and stick to it.

I will be in the middle of Read St. brandishing a shovel at mutant meter maids when you have a better idea you'd like to share with me. And that goddamn Nellie Fortado song is in my head...fucking sugary pop....."You're beautiful, that's for sure..........."

Itenerary
Griffin supposedly arriving around six this evening.
Meet the crew at Brewers Art for Happy Hour.
Try to hit Layola for the play.
Drink, drink, drink.
Go see the Buddha.
Go see Poe, (the dead one, not the little husky voiced hottie)
Did I mention drink?
Never on Sunday...why? Because he said I owed him that.
Crash, or use up all of our stamina floating around the city....that might be a better idea.
Send him back to Florida to ship Onya, Thor and ficus back up.....and don't forget that goddamn bed!

A title:
THE DISCORDIAN ESSAY
It does not represent this writeup. Thank you.

My report card, for the 3rd 9 weeks of my Senior year in High School:

Chemistry: C <- gotta figure that one out...
AP English: B <- that amazed me, I expected a D
EAST II <- A. It's a gimme.
Teachers assistant: N/C <- same classroom as EAST, just I do less.
Physics: B <- more annoying than anything.
EAST III: A <- another gimme.
Pre-Cal: D <- the one class that habitually kicks my ass. I think it's just because I'm lazy, and a little too used to my surroundings when doing my homework, seeing as I got a B last time...

Of course, me being the bright person I am, I decided to take all those classes my senior year, when I only needed 3 classes (AP English, last core, and 2 extra-curricular). I could have taken it really eazy... but no, I had to take the math (which I probably would have anyways), and two science courses.

The irony here is I'm going for EE in college. Only at least then I'll see some ultimate goal of all the learning than simply "do it because you're here."
The essential thing for learning is a drive to learn. I'm burnt out in highschool, but I can't wait for college... Some say college isn't all that great (a few annoying people say college is easy, and a waste of time), but it's got to be better than high school...

Today I realized that DiGi Charat is one of the best, most fucked up anime in existence. Go watch it. It's ultra-kawaii, and supremely insane.

My DVD didn't show up!
It's an interesting dvd, has Windows 98/98se, WinME, Win2K pro/srv/adv, and I believe winnt and win95. In Japanese. Yeah! Maybe tomorrow though.

Whoever softlinked Evangelion is evil. I haven't seen it yet =]
3 more dvds to go, then the movies!

YAY! My spring break has finally arrived!

Now for a week of laying around the house, going cruizin with my friends, noding like crazy, and having a several late night dates with my dear sweet mary jane :)

Well, today was interesting.
I am in AP environmental in high school this year.

Today we took a field trip! Don't we all love field trips! No going to school, good lunches!
Today we canoed (all 30 of us) down the Anacostia river for five miles (which took 3 hours with stops). For those in the non Washington-Metropolitan area, the Anacostia is very well known, mainly for its horrible water quality -- pollution. So we were not swimming but trying to keep all water from the river out of our boats and off of us.

For those in the area, we started near where the Rhode Island stop on the red line and ended near Anacostia Station on the Green Line.

It was a lot of fun. However, it was very cold and raining for the most part of our trip so that we got quite soaked and got wierd stares from other metro passengers. I'm sure we smelled too. But, fun nonetheless since we missed a full days for of school and canoed!

Today is also our school Go-Go, which I may be attending. There was a stupid NPR thing this morning about how our school is practicing ratial profiling, whatever... I didn't hear it.

So, hope to party tonight but I'm very tired after today's trip. Who knows.

I hope everyone on Everything2 has a great weekend!

There is an uncommon winter wind sweeping gray clouds over North Island, threatening the line with rain later in the evening. This is enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck and arms in a biological attempt at keeping the body warm. Standing in front of me is the XO and the CMC while the Maintenance Officer stands behind the podium reading from the awards binder. The CO is out flying at the moment, probably a random bounce to keep his day quals current. Not a good deal of flying to be had when you're the CO, far too many other things going on for your name to be plastered all over the flight schedule every other day.

I found out yesterday that I was going to be one of the ones standing in this neat little line here in front of the uneven ranks of maintainers in the parking lot. This was something that was not expected given that I was told some time ago by my now former detachment Chief that I was going to be summarily declared 'Sailor of the Month.' This was something that I took in stride (as usual,) and promptly filed away in the back of active memory until someone mentioned that I needed to be standing in front a day ago. Remembering that I was supposed to act surprised and pleased as to what I was going to be getting, I feigned ignorance in the ensuing discussion of what I was supposed to be awarded with. The usual jokes about the fact that when you go to Captain's Mast you are 'awarded' punishment of various sorts went through the shop for a few minutes until the collective ADD of the maintenance department forced attention elsewhere.

I salute, carefully maintaining the balance between being snappy and smacking a lanky arm into the folder that the XO is holding in front of him at the moment. This happened once at my last squadron (embarrassingly enough when I was being promoted,) and I make an effort not to repeat the performance here. XO returns the salute hands me the folder and then steps back after we are photographed by one of the Yeomen doing the usual drill with a digital camera. Meanwhile the MO reads off of the copy in the awards folder.

"From, Commanding Officer, HSL-49. To, AT2 Yurei Gijutsuka. Subject, sailor of the month." The MO pauses and attempts to cover the side of the microphone which is picking up a good bit of the wind blowing through the parking lot in front of the squadron. He continues after giving up and just accepting the breathy static. This is enough time for certain muscles in my stomach to tense, forcing the nervous urge to run away quickly back into the forefront of consciousness. Run, fly, escape. "Congratulations on your selection of HSL-49 sailor of the month for the month of February 2001…"
"How long did it take you to write the program?" The XO asks with a curious smile.
"…selection is the result of your loyalty, selfless dedication to duty, and many hours of hard work…"
"Sir?" I ask with a slight lean forward. Flee. Run. The MO in the background and damage done to my hearing by seven years of work with these birds makes for a slight problem hearing in noisy situations.
"…selflessly volunteered to deploy as Detachment Four's Lead Electronics Technician during a time of critical undermanning…"
"The program you wrote for tracking the calibration gear?" The XO looks at me like I have a torpedo sticking out of my ass and am waving it around Wagga Wagga for the benefit of all to see. Internally I feel this foolish. "How long did it take?"
"…operational commitments during Operation Southern Watch…"
"Oh that. 'Bout an hour." I stop short and wonder what bullshit it is that Chief managed to make up this time around. Part of the warning that he gave me was just to accept whatever was said despite the fact that I may or may have not done as much. Go. Now. Escape. "Sir. Just an Excel spreadsheet with a few modifications."
"…job well done…"
"Terrific. Nice job there AT2." The XO says, signaling the end of the conversation.
"…signed…"
"Thanks, sir." I manage another salute and watch as the XO shifts one place to the left.
"…commanding officer, HSL-49." The MO finishes, turns the page and begins again with the next recipient of whatever.

Later I am standing in front of the bird in a slight drizzle driven into a stinging rain by the wind whipped up by the rotorhead thinking of the last time the gave me something I didn't deserve. That particular time the award had been a Navy Achievement Medal, something that I was awarded for doing nothing more complex than my job. The newer of the two pilots in the cockpit is attempting to figure out how to mount a set of night vision goggles to the front of his helmet, something about which I am becoming more than a little peevish.
"Sir?" I knock and speak deferentially into the CO's office. It is minutes after quarters nearly two years ago.
"Come in." The expected reply arrives at about the same time I was thinking it would, removing the battered command ball cap from my head I smartly advance into the office. Under my left arm there is a soft blue folder bearing the Navy seal on the front, the vinyl surface quickly turning slick from the cold sweat of a nervous hand. The CO is half-standing behind his desk.
"Sir I don't know about this award today." I spit quickly.

The rain has intensified to the point where it is now soaking through the thin blue material the coveralls are made from. Cotton wicking comes to mind as the first traces of wind begin biting through the fabric and gnawing away at the front of my legs. The jacket collar is pulled up again so that the fatigue material meets with the base of the back shell of my cranial and prevents water from running down the back of my neck. This of course, does not work nearly as well as I was planning.
"Sir I don't think I deserve this."
"Excuse me AT2?" The CO gives me the look that officers give enlisted people when they're under the impression that Petty Officer so-and-so is off of his fucking rocker. "You what?"
"I don't think I deserve this NAM sir."
"You do." Sitting heavily in his chair with a sigh, the CO rubs the bridge of his nose in parental frustration. "If you didn't we wouldn't have given it to you."
"But sir." The time for figuring out how to mount a set of NVGs on your helmet is not shortly after climbing into the airplane. Enough rain is now falling that thin streams of water are dribbling across the clear lens of the goggles I am wearing. "All I did was my job."
"AT2." The CO starts and then trails off while staring at me, apparently I have managed to convey earnestly enough what I am thinking that he is now taking this seriously. "That is for a hell of a lot more than what it says there. You've done a number of other things that come to mind, however we chose to recognize you for what is there. Okay?"
"Yes sir." Finally the lieutenant figures out how to operate his equipment and begins playing with the eye relief adjustments. Enough rain has fallen that the rotorwash is kicking up the occasional sheet of mist from the flightline. Static being generated by the rotors sweeping through the air shows up as thin traces of purple-white. There are times when the humidity will get high enough that you can see the rotor arc at night as a sort of hazy disc of discharged electricity.
"Petty Officer Gijutsuka?" I stop and pivot on the thick blue pile carpeting about halfway across the CO's office to answer this new question. "You're doing a good job. Accept it."
"Yes sir." I've never felt closer to failure. Again pivoting, I walk out of the office and back downstairs to the waiting phase maintenance. The plane has been in phase for about a week, causing maintenance control to do silly back flips about needing it at the twice a day shift meetings. Back there I feel better, back in coveralls and pushing the machines toward their eventual exercise.

"C'mon fuckers." I mutter through clenched teeth after telling the pilot to release the parking brake and begin taxiing forward. Green arcs from the NVG compatible wands sweep past, round and then into the 'X' at hip level signaling stop. The back end of the bird lurches upwards, then settles again. Brakes off, crack the tailwheel and turn toward the hanger. Good. Turn the other way now; yes that's right, follow the yellow lines you can certainly see with those luminous green lenses, okay forward now lieutenant. Hand off to no one in particular. Salute. Watch the bird taxi by and brace for the expected blast of rotorwash and water just after the tailwheel passes where I am standing.

The bird rolls down the taxiway toward the helo pads, leaving me to another night on the flightline as the reluctant night shift supervisor and another round of unanswerable recrimination. Just once, I'd like to think that these things are deserved and that I do not need to feel guilty about it afterwards. At night you can see the cans at the back end of the deswirl ducts on the engines. Two black eyes with glowing red irises, staring down the doubting technician.

It's my reflection I stare at in the half lit LIRR window this time. Full lips, flat cheeks, straight nose, hair framing my face. My eyes are hidden in the darkness, but I can still see me. For the first time in a long time, I see simple beauty in the mirror. I realize my face has matured. Something about me is no longer girlish and small and just cute. I often wondered when I was younger if I'd ever notice the moment of metamorphasis from girl to woman. I understand now that it's not something that happens overnight. I've spent my whole life becoming who I am today. And now, I see I've crossed that milestone.

Today, Friday, I am an angry, jaded woman. But I know the girl in me will return tomorrow, adding the usual shine to my eyes. Anger passes for me. Hurt passes through me, stopping only to remind me of my dislike for it. I move on because I've been consumed by the negative too long. It feels good to feel good and each new setback fuels me to live and love more.

No sooner do I start to reflect upon my present pains, though, than I look out the window to see my old haunts, the neighborhood of my youth, Elmhurst, Queens. I always do seem to end up living near train tracks. The view out my apartment window now is definitely more ideal, though, considering I haven't any memories (bad or good) with the Metro-North tracks. The Conrail tracks hold memories of cutting junior high, and my earlier days with weed. The first time I saw a pipe I literally thought they were smoking crack. I knew nothing except rolling a joint, which I still can't do right to this day.

I vividly remember walking the tressel we just passed, wary of falling between the gaps to the ground below. I'll climbclimbclimb, but I'm gonna piss my pants when I peer over the edge. Just push me out of a plane and I'll be fine. But I'll be damned if I take that first step alone.

Another bridge, industrial park area. I can smell the frantic can of spray paint claiming a section on the wall behind us, and the cigarettes smoked. The conversation with my teenage fuck buddy wondering what it would be like to have sex in a black hole.

Calamus Avenue, the condo construction site. Not the one where I lost my virginity, though. That one's further up Grand Avenue, in a little hell called Maspeth. If I had to choose a place to call my crackhouse, it would have been this building, though. It had been erected in bits and pieces over the years, progress slowed by neighborhood arguments. I remember when the upper levels of this brick building hadn't been built yet, and the sky was open. Once and only once I found the courage to walk a beam from wall to wall. Would I have the balls to walk it now? I like risk, but I think at this point I'm smart enough to rig up a rope harness just in case I fell. I'm an adventurous girl, but I'd really like to live to take chances again. I take a lot for granted, but I'm not ready to be held accountable for my actions in this life. I'm still paying off my debts.

Would I have become who I am today if I was still confined to Queens? Old faces, bad memories. Entrapments, of sorts. I was a different person then. I think I've survived the neighborhood better than most I've run into. Amusingly, I was rumoured to be part of the problem back then.

No answers for now, though. Train ride's over.
Beautiful woman, exit stage left.

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