#Re-rewind, when the crowd say bo-selecta. Artful Dodger - Rewind

So, I'm here at my keyboard at 1:40AM on a Monday evening, chewing gum from a half-opened packet that I just found on my bedroom floor. Ryan Adams/Damien Rice are queued up in iTunes. I've been here before, of course, but never written anything worthwhile. Yet I'm posting a node. Something must be up. I can't categorise it. Who ever has? How do you know if you're in love, or just in an infatuation? Maybe I'm in love with the idea of being in love? Unrequited, of course.

#Maybe in Spain, she'd ask me to dance in a mansion on top of the hill. Ryan Adams - SYLVIA PLATH

So I'm outside of the club, my face in my hands. I'm wondering how it got to this. I never saw Her the way that I do. I never saw Her coming. I never saw Her. But there She was, waiting to get her coat to come out and get a taxi with everyone else. I sat outside in the cold. It felt more real, like some sort of punishment for the way I was feeling. Maybe, just maybe, if I stayed there long enough, things might go away. It might go away. But it was there. And it wasn't moving. A sinking feeling. The sort of feeling I used to get in secondary school. I used to cycle by Gereldine's house, and go and sit on the nearest bench, wondering why I was doing it. I never understood. How could I? I was 15 years old. It could have been anything. This could have happened to every boy who ever lived, this could be fancying people. You know, properly.
I never felt that way since.
Until now.
I let Her and my friends get in the taxi. I'll be OK. I don't mind being raped on the way home. They didn't think that was a very appropriate wording. Neither did I. Anything to get them away was fine with me. I sauntered towards the kebab shop. Am I in love? How would I know? I've only been here once before. I've never had a girlfriend. Can you love someone who is going out with someone else? Is it simply I case of I Want You Back by the Jackson 5, or is it something else? Can you even be in love at twenty years old?

#Cold, cold water, surrounds me now. Damien Rice - Cold Water

So I'm inside the club, and the couple of Reefs I had at the Weatherspoons are beginning to work. The group are on the dance floor, and I come to join.
"Where have you been?"
"Finding cheaper drinks!" was my typically eloquent reply. I keep telling them I'm good at English. I used to be. I got an A-Level grade A in it and everything. It's times like that I question how on earth I managed it. Maybe the signatures got mixed up. She's there, of course, dancing with Her boyfriend. I try and slot it away in the mental drawer "I'm a man, I fancy all girls, especially those that talk to me." I wonder how Ellie would be feeling if she knew.

#I look to my Eskimo friend, when I'm down, down. Damien Rice - Eskimo

So I'm in the pub. Phil and I are getting a few Reefs in before closing time as we're poor students who can't afford the drinks at the club. Phil has managed to bring a couple of his friends over. I'm there chatting away, and hell, I get a number. I reckon there was another there if I was a bit taller (she waved goodbye and everything). I've never been this bootylicious since that time when a guy tried to pick me up in the gay bar a year ago. My self-esteem is soaring. I wonder how Ellie would feel if she knew. Maybe it's Ellie that's made me this way. Being able to get numbers is something I've never managed with any regular success before. Perhaps it's just the Dutch courage.

#I'm too scared to know how I feel about you now. Ryan Adams - La Cienga Just Smiled

So I'm in the club. I'm dancing with Her. The jazz is playing, the mood is, as some of my friends would put it "fluid" (hell knows what that means). Dancing hasn't ever had that meaning. Sure, I've been dancing in a way that's felt sexual to me before. Never has it felt wrong. She has a boyfriend. I like him. I like the fact She's gooily (in the eyes) happy, everytime She sees him. I like the fact She's happy. She's my friend. She has been for over a year now. Not Her. Not now.

#Dancing where the stars go blue. Ryan Adams - When the Stars Go Blue

So I'm in the club. We've been queuing for the bar together for what seems like hours. She couldn't ever know how much She means to me. I thought about telling Her that She was the best female friend I'd ever had. I thought it cheapened the whole thing. She was telling me that if Ellie and I didn't click, then what was the point? I had to agree. I'd been dating Ellie for a while, and kind of went silent over Christmas. I tried stoking things up again, only to remember why it was I stopped contacting her in the first place. She doesn't watch TV, so pop culture is out. She can't operate a computer, so work is out. She is a devout Christian, so atheism is out. I can't find a slot that I could ram the puzzle piece in. Although I wished I could. She's been the only girl I've ever known that wants to go out with me. She wants to go out with me. Not the other way around! How novel! And yet I can't bring myself to talk to her again. I feel like I've strung her along. Of course, her cousin getting cancer doesn't help. I feel like I should be there for her. But we don't click. As She says. I pay for the drinks.
"Don't you want my money?"
"Of course not, don't be so silly. I'm a gentleman."
I hear my student loan wincing.

#Nothing unusual, nothing strange. Damien Rice - Amie

So I'm entering the club. I'm waiting for Her to set me up with Her girl friends. I wasn't sure how well it was going to go.

† Tage Christian Johansen †
December 16, 1900 - February 10, 2004
Hvil i fred


Tage was my grandfather-in-law. He was an old-fashioned blacksmith and all-around handyman for most of his life, and remarkably spry for his years. When I met him, he was in his early 90s, and he was still climbing the plum trees in his yard to prune them.

He also had a grip that could bend steel - and years of hammering away at solid metal had left him with very little feeling in those strong hands, so he really had no idea of how hard he was squeezing. It was sort of a family in-joke that nobody would warn new arrivals in the family about this unfortunate combination. I have a strong grip, but when I first shook hands with him, that vise-like grip brought me to my knees. Ouch.

Tage shared a birthdate with my oldest son, and when we attended Tage's 100th birthday, just over three years ago, we also celebrated Lucas' 4th birthday. It was amusing to see Lucas looking at Tage's cake - yes, there were a hundred candles on it - and comparing it with his own.

Though any death is an occasion for sadness, I am glad that Tage managed to live a long and full life, and that his last years were not marred by any sickness or disability. He was lucid to the last. A nurse at the retirement home gave him a drink of water at 3 AM this morning, and chatted briefly with him, and Tage was as sharp as ever. When she came back to check on him half an hour later, he had died in his sleep.

It was a privilege to know him.

Returning this morning from my girlfriend's place to my own, I walked past the local deli on the corner of Merchiston Avenue and Polwath Gardens, like I always do, and was rather miffed to notice a policeman, then a lot of blue and white police tape. Then a TV camera. Then a police command van.

I thought no more of it 'till I popped back out to buy some food and saw the Edinburgh Evening News.

The story was something like this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3476585.stm

I walk past that corner a lot since it's on the direct route between her place and here. I walked past there last night. I walked within inches of that wheelie bin.

Jaysus...

This is me, I said, and then I talked for hours
The moon is come, bobbing along the floor
If I could write the sound of this song for you
Here is the rainbow I've been praying for.

One could do worse than being a swinger of birches
silent and still, trapped on glossy paper
And the moon with fast wisps of cloud over it
water, lifeblood of which I was to rob her

A thousand thanks and a blessing on your head
May you live to see a thousand reasons
to rejoice, Falling apart from the inside out
Stream of conciousness - yes I will yes

You leave me shivering alone to face this
as if he knew that words were how I kissed.








This is a nodeshell sonnet writing challenge.

The rules:
You must use existing nodeshells or titles, and you are not allowed to use your own or create new ones.
You MUST use a strict form, preferably a sonnet, but if you use another form that has both a rhyming scheme AND a specific meter it'll count.
I won't insist on iambic pentameter, and you can use blank verse if you want to, but please do not completely neglect the meter.
IF you use the nodeshells or titles of only one noder, bonus points.

Unfortunately. I cannot ching a poem, but if you try to do this, and send me the link, I will send you mad props and a mix CD. Also, the glorious and incomparable fuzzy_and_blue has offered to Ching poems attempted in this fashion.

dedicated to stand/alone/bitch, whose nodeshells I borrowed, and panamaus, who gave me the idea.
Cheating Death and other tales

In fact, the title is a lie. There are no other tales here, this story is true, and it is almost exclusively about cars and cheating death.

I went to south yorkshire to have some small servicing done on my car (ah, the irony), and was going to go see Jon, a friend, about a web site afterwards. Around one o clock the car was fixed, and I set off for Hull. I was driving along merrily, more or less within the speed limits, and there was a fair amount of traffic on the road.

Jon called me, and I took the phone (long live bluetooth hand-free kits). "I will be there soon", "good, see you in a few". Phone conversation over. About three minutes later, I was overtaking a few trailers, when - out of the blue - someone pulls out in front of me.

Fair enough. I brake a little, to allow the fellow to get up to speed. Suddenly he (or she, but not wanting to be discriminating to female drivers, I will keep this on a "he") stands on the brakes for no reason in the world whatsoever. So I have to stand on my brakes as well.

All four wheels lock up, but it appears that my left front brake is an itty bit more effective than the other ones, and my car starts sliding - the tail continues forward, and the front is turning to my left. Before I know it, I am actually across both roads (luckily this was a dual carriageway. Had it been a two-way road, this story might have been quite different, and chances are it would not have been up to me to tell). Next thing I know, I have done a 180 - the back of the car pointing in the direction I was supposed to be going.

All I could see in front of me was a massive container trailer, who was standing on the brakes. He slammed into the front of my mini (It is a precious little thing indeed, a 1990 Rover Mini Cooper), sending it (and me) on the continuation of the circular motion - and suddenly I was facing the right way again. Except this time I was not moving, and there was adrenaline everywhere. My car was neatly parked on the side of the curb, I switched my engine off (still running? My, those minis can take a punch, I thought) and got out of the car.

As did the trailer chauffeur, who was convinced he had killed me outright.

We stared at each other for a bit, confirming neither of us had any limbs missing, and marveled at the fact that his trailer didn't have as much as a scratch. You know, in stories like mine, you always hear "not a scratch", but this time, it was literal: Not a single dent or scratch in his semi.

The trailer driver (Paul) asks if my car still drives, and if it would be possible to drive to a lay-by, so we would be in less danger. Looking at the state of my poor, poor mini (and crying in frustration and anger and shock and horror, by now) I doubted it, but after checking for fluid leaks, I started her up. Sounded a bit odd, but I managed to drive her to the lay-by.

Before we knew it, the police arrived, and made sure we were both okay. We had a breathalyzer test, just to make sure that neither of us had drunk anything (we were both okay, but I was starting to feel the need for a stiff drink, to be honest). I was quite happy to do the breathalyzer test - in fact, I was quite elated about breathing at all, at this point. I told the police officer, and he grinned in such a way that made me realise he had probably heard that one a hundred times before. So much for original comedy in the face of hardship.

Paul and myself exchanged address details, and I asked him about his version of the story - what happened? Paul basically confirmed everything else I've said, and added that the car that I had to brake for was blue. Not terribly useful, because I would have needed his licence plate number in order to call the police (fleeing the scene of an accident, or something like that.)

We continued on to inspecting his truck, only to not find a single blemish whatsoever. On closer inspection, my mini was in a lot better shape than I had worried about as well (some bent metal) - but I also noticed the distributor cap was smashed. As such, I believe I must have been running on three cylinders. Other than that - no real problem: The truck was so high up that my pretty chrome bumper was unscratched, and it hit me square in the middle, so even both my lights survived the crash - only the bonnet and the centre front were dented.

I thanked Paul profusely for not killing me (although if he had, there wouldn't have been anything he could have done about it, but he laughed, and we were all relieved), and shook hands - which was when I discovered blood on my hand. I checked everywhere, but eventually realised that it was my hand that was bleeding, and only from a tiny little cut. Paul had plasters, Haje was happy again.

Paul took off, and I drove (veeeryyyy slooowllyyyy) to the nearest exit off the dual carriageway, just to get the car off the road. Then I saw a Halfords car parts store, and thought, "Hmm, perhaps they sell distributor caps". No luck, though, and so I crawled the car to Jon's house.

Here, I took the front part of the car apart, and - still - as far as I can tell, it is only the distributor cap that is broken. And the grille and bonnet, of course.

Most importantly, though, I am sitting here, writing this, and feeling remarkably lucky about being able to do so without doing a detour to the nearest hospital.

This whole thing has, as a whole, failed to make a great impression on me, I'm afraid - not in the literal sense (thank heavens for that), nor figuratively. I would love to have a chat with the fellow who pulled out in front of me, though. He must have seen me (and heard it, not least) spinning and crashing into that semi-trailer. I wonder why he didn't at least stop to make sure I wasn't dead. And I am very curious what story he will be telling his friends and family right about now. I guess I will never know.

<a few hours later>

My mini was towed to Elloughton by a friendly towtruck guy. Elloughton is where Katherine's parents live, and her dad knows a good mecanic who "can work on a mini blindfolded". That I would like to see, but I don't doubt he can get it running again, which is good news, I guess. After my car was rescued, and Katherine's dad had fed me my much-longed-for units of alcohol, Kath (who had driven from her work in Manchester in order to come pick me up) drove me back home in her cold (heater is broken) but much better-running car. (well, at least at the moment. Just you wait.)

Well, thank you all for reading this far. I just kind of had to get it off my chest.

Take care - and drive carefully!

Lots of love,

A slightly shocked, but otherwise perfectly fine, Haje

I normally would be in psychology class at this time, but we had a test tonight. I finished it in about forty minutes, including the time I took to go back over every question and answer twice. It was fairly simple. It was on research methods and I had read the chapter several times, made notes and worked hard to memorize the material. The test itself was 30 multiple-choice questions, 10 true-false questions, and one essay style question. I think I got an A. I knew most of the material and only was unsure on 3 or 4 of the questions. The essay basically said something along the lines of “As a psychologists you want to know if caffeine affects driving ability. Set up an experiment. Be sure to give your hypothesis, independent variable, dependent variable, and any other considerations to make the experiment scientifically sound.” I think I did fairly well on this part. I should find out my grade a week from today, which is the next time the class meets.

In other parts of my life things are not going as smoothly as my psychology test. I have been in a manic-like state for over a week now. I have not been sleeping much and have started many projects, but have not been able to follow through very well. My self-injury has been increasing recently. What the doctors would call my psychotic symptoms have also been increasing. The inside people are becoming more and more active as of late and I am beginning to seriously consider seeking out professional psychiatric help once again, despite my past experiences. I don’t want the disappointment of another doctor saying they cannot help me. That will just spiral me deeper. I am frightened.

My car is still being fritzy. My grandma is still nagging a lot, as much as ever. I still do not have internet at home. I am working on the internet thing, however. I have ordered Adelphia broadband internet service. I now need to get a cable line installed in my home and wait for the modem to arrive in the mail. There is much frustration here because the people at Adelphia have not been helpful. The operators I have spoken with all say they cannot do anything, that I must wait for the department that is responsible to call me. I got one phone call, a recorded message, saying please call when the same number once I have received the modem. No one will do anything until I receive the damn modem , but this is wasting time. They could install the line, or at least make an appointment to install the line before a package makes it through the postal service! I need the internet to complete my school assignments. There is a computer lab here on campus, but I have difficulty concentrating and some of the assignments require downloading or installing software that can not be done easily on public computers. You have to get the less-than-gracious staff member on duty to type in passwords and such, and many of the staff members do not even have the codes needed.

Once I do finally get back to having reliable internet I plan to audit my entire collection of nodes. I will rewrite or at least edit most of my write-ups, and finally have the time to search and compose factual write-ups, which actually helps me with my studying because it forces me to truly integrate the material into my crazy little brain and put it into my own words. It also helps my low self-esteem when I receive praise in the form of up-votes and my writing ability when I receive constructive criticism. I am also looking forward to having the ability to connect with people again. I am tired of being so lonely, especially in the dead of night when all my friends are sleeping, or at least should be. I hope to be nodding again soon! And I hope to chat again soon.

P.S. Is everyone having as much trouble with errors on this site as I am? I get an error about 9 times out of ten.

And now I return to doing the dreaded school assignments, despite the endless distractions…

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