My usual coping mechanism is failing me.

In the past I've been able to daylog my most traumatic experiences in the ER, and have it be a type of catharsis. I've sat at the keyboard, tears streaming down my face, and felt eased and more at peace afterwards.

This time, I can't write. I don't know why, only that I've sat down to try and the words are stilted, awkward, forced, and I still feel like there is a pressure in my chest and a weight on my shoulders I can't release.

It's not even as though this had been the worst thing I've ever seen - it was a quick death, she didn't suffer, and there was no abuse involved, just a stupid ATV accident.

So why can't I let go of her?

Kids should not die before their parents.

I still can't cry.

A problematic poll

The current E2 Poll (Books! Books! Books!) seems to present us with a variation of the time-honoured question “Have you stopped beating your wife?”

As BookReader - being a book reader, like myself - undoubtedly knows, book readers don’t in general get bogged down in just one predominant category of books. What is missing among BookReader’s alternatives are items like “All of the above”, “Most of the above”, etc. And in that case the result of the poll would become nearly meaningless, because these would be the alternatives which almost everybody is likely to choose.

Is there a moral to be had here? Well, perhaps that getting a reasonably clear picture of people's reading habits is not as straightforward as it might seem.

Day two of Lost Gems of Yesteryear sees us add another 15 writeups to the master list! A few noders have made second appearances, but we have also added quite a few new and notable names to the roster of nominated authors.

Please take the time to read these fine works, and if you'd like to make your own suggestions, just let me know!

Writeups submitted (more or less) on 2 August 2007:

And now, ladies & gentlemen... Time for some good old-fashioned Dem Bones sycophancy, just as in the days of yore...

Psych! Not really. Just thought I'd slap up a daylog explaining my pick for the Lost Gems of Yesteryear. (So... Wait, lemme scan through... Yes. This is pure, unfiltered nodevertising. If I understand Brawl's intent correctly, though, that's what this particular quest is all about.)

The node that I picked is Letters from a Savior; Offer for a few, posted by bones way back in March 2000.

Briefly: it's a chain story written by hemos, dem bones, clampe, lawnjart and others from their group of friends-- the same group that invented Slashdot and Everything, a.k.a. the Mutants.

In the story, lawnjart is shot to death in Florida. The rest of the group retrieve his body and carry it on an existential west-bound roadtrip, all the while pursued by the mysterious "laughing men". Towards the climax, the crew break into Wall Drug in South Dakota during a power outage and enact a quasi-mystic ritual using Kool Aid laced with LSD.

In a lot of different ways, I've always thought of this as a prototypal piece of E2 fiction. Consider:

... and all the little things, like the real names, or the Bowie lyrics, or the way it fed into and played off of the low-grade mysticism that's always surrounded the e2gods group... It was one of the first things I ever read on E2 that made me think "Yeah. Fuck yeah. Now I get it."

As a side note, I've always loved the parellels between this story and Neil Gaiman's American Gods (published a year later: June 2001). In American Gods, roadside attractions like Wall Drug are America's places of power (equivalent to Stonehenge or Giza) and the gods often hold their summits there... At a pivotal point in the novel, Shadow (the protagonist) has a vision of a buffalo-headed man, whom he asks: "What should I believe?". To which the Buffalo Man replies: "Believe everything.".

When I first stumbled onto Letters from a Savior in late 2001, I seem to recall it sitting at +40 Rep or thereabouts. Right now it's at +48. Which leads me to believe that, in the intervening years, almost nobody else has read it.

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