I don't even know how to start on the number of things that are eating my brain from the inside out. I have the nasty feeling that if I started a list, I'd be here two days from now, snarling and weeping into my keyboard, and we can't have that, can we? ("Dry your eyes and behave, like a good girl.") My grandfather is dying of Parkinson's, and today is the day I realized that I will never have another meaningful conversation with him. I caught a brick to the back of the head thinking that his brain is being taken over and unraveled by an invisible invader that will not retreat, and there are too many things that I will never know about him. ("Now, now; we all make mistakes. It's not worth fussing over.")

It's not the simple fact of his imminent death: death is such an inevitability that it doesn't even occur to me to resent it. I might as well be furious at the gravity that pulls my body toward the pavement when I stumble. The principle idea that gives me so much confusion/anger/anguish is knowing that I missed my window. The one precious slice of time I was given is now wasted. I, with the effortless self-centeredness of youth, was far too busy to be still and absorb some of the million unique experiences of my grandfather. ("If you poke your lip out like that, a bird's going to come sit on it.")

But I can only hate myself so much. It occurs to me that I should tear my focus away from ME and look around at what other priceless and transient things I'm ignoring. ("Better late than never.") My grandmother for instance. I am beginning to realize that I've never met a woman as strong as my grandmother. She survived the Great Depression, spent World War II raising children, and built airplanes in a factory while her husband risked his life in unknown foreign countries. She lived through years of hard work and near-poverty, and now sits by my grandfather all day every day, patiently and serenely talking to him, caring for him, and loving him. ("If you have to do it anyway, do it with a smile on your face.")

Or there's my mother. I see her dealing capably, although painfully, with the fact that her father doesn't recognize her as herself 4 days out of 5. She accepts that the only person he reliably does recognize 100% is grandma, and leaves it at that. My aunt and uncles are much less graceful about hiding their discomfort; but they are untiring in driving grandma wherever she needs to go, visiting with grandpa, and trying to keep their family whole. ("Blood is thicker than water.")

I need to move through this to some kind of peace. I need to think less of what I missed, and more of what I can salvage and give. But I can't help wishing I didn't have to wait for another world to see my grandpa look at me and say I love you. ("Wish in one hand, crap in the other, and see what you end up with.")

Rest in peace Grandpa.
Dennis Edward Allen, Aug. 16, 1916 - March 9, 2002

I can never decide if I should write my daylogs on e2 time (which is about eight hours ahead of the time here) or if I should just use Mountain Standard Time. Today, I'm going with the e2 time; these thoughts really ran through my head February 26, 2002.

If that makes sense.

Disarm you with a smile
And cut you like you want me to

Today I could taste time. Like a variable motion it swept across my mind all day, tearing away at the love I want too badly. We've been reading As I Lay Dying, and discussing existentialism; today I felt alone, like all my connections were floating away, like there was an irrevocable schism between the human race and myself. This was the morning. When I fell asleep last night, it was snowing heavily, so much so that when I looked out my bathroom window-- which has perfect sight to a streetlamp that shows snow falling in the night-- I couldn't make out individual flakes, only an ethereal white sheet. When I woke up, the sun was rising opposite the mountains, but the temperature was hovering around zero (fahrenheit). The roads were icy, but I didn't slide up. I felt the inherent loneliness of the road behind a woman talking on her cell phone and in front of a man drinking his coffee and-- I think-- applying lipstick. Who was he? Who was she? Who was she talking to, causing her to drive terribly and skid every time she started up? We floated on the street, our wheels not touching the asphalt, and I thought we might fly off this white drapery and into the blue sky.

I'll burn my eyes out
Before I get out

You know, I've never written anything with lyrics interspersed, but I just bought the Smashing Pumpkins' greatest hits album, and I today I knew what they meant.

As if I'm standing even further away, last night I talked to my best friend and realized that she couldn't tell me everything, realized that sometimes I don't even know who she is. Today I got to school in the middle of this freezing cold and looked up at the sun, so distant that I can't even feel it. It seems to be moving away, up and above in a scorched out sky.

drinking mercury to the mystery
of all that you should ever leave behind

If my day was blindingly solitary up to that point, I would give my soul for every love note ever received. It sat in my pocket half the day and radiated heat, and then the one that I adore wrote words that I have spoken in my mind over and over. We must leave a personal record, a history, a connection to the future... Why do I date everything I write, why do I think that every document in this world should come with an explanation, some sort of microchip embedded containing all the knowledge we have, so that those who come after us may understand all? His words melt the ice, keep me alive through physics, keep me through the day.

the more you change the less you feel
believe, believe in me, believe

I am not alone, and I know it, but still I feel the time on me, pressing me down. There is too much to say and I am too scared to say it for fear of losing him. So I am not myself I am not myself but a shade, a caricature... I will lose him? As I inevitably must. Uh oh, here comes the angst! Emotions are within me that I barely understand anymore. Do you see the moon? Look at it tonight, long and hard. It shines opposite the mountains that have marked my place every night forever, and tonight it shines fully. I wonder

Hey what a great idea for a node!

does the moon have the same phases at the same time everywhere in the world? For instance, is he wherever he is, looking at that moon, and is he, and is she, and is the person she was talking to? Are we all looking up at that moon, wondering what a sad imitation of life we are living because we haven't walked on its cratered surface? Or are we all content because we do have someone we adore, and because we are adored in turn, and we know it? Don't fall away now, the moon will keep us young, keep our sangre (a word infinitely prettier than blood) flowing, our corazon pumping, save the night around us and preserve our better selves, preserve our love for every other night we ever remember in the course of this journey into the heart of darkness we call death.

Turn to the gates of heaven, to myself be damned
Turn away from light

If nothing else, I can still fight to keep myself from being committed.

My regular appointment with Kelly, my social worker, brought lots of worries from her end from my recent suicidal tendencies, which have been stronger and stronger lately. So she suggested we go to "the deck" - the Diagnostic Emergency center.

Four hours there. Waiting, crying, second-guessing myself. (You're too chicken, you'd never go through with it anyways. Why are you here?) Once I was finally 'evaluated', the three doctors who knew nothing about me decided I should "play it safe" and "stay with them until I was feeling better". I said no.

Long story short, I'm here and not there. I don't know if it was a good decision on my part. Time will tell.

This is what she says: I don't want that kind of attention .

But this is what she does:

strolls into the student union wearing three scarves, boots with three inch heels and just enough Chanel to leave a trail. She is carrying an armful of of magazines and then sits down between unoccupied chairs to sort through them. This stack includes, but is not limited to Wired, Cosmopolitan, three crossword puzzle books and a copy of Playboy Nudes.

She strikes up several conversations and cuts several more down to size. She is always liberal with her praise and flattery, throwing around compliments like confetti and then wondering why people think it's a party.

Yes, this is the girl who tells me she doesn't know where all this unwanted affection comes from. I think she knows.

I am off work. In the AM I went to the mall to get more cardboard boxes, a haircut, an international drivers licence, and more razor blades. The guy from the alarm company came around and checked the house’s alarm, which has been acting up. It seems OK now.

My house contents, and thereby my life, is being triaged: Throw away, put into storage or take along.

So much stuff, so many consumer goods, so many things bought to make us feel better, and all of it is landfill in the long run, if not now then in 20, 50, or 100 years time

The day was hot and muggy, pregnant with moisture but withholding rain. It is still over thirty centigrade. Cape autumn is a little spring, when the heat and dry weather finally breaks in March or April. But I won’t be here to see that this time around.

In the evening, live in concert, Roger Waters, on the first date of the “In the Flesh” tour. I Noded this when I got back.

I’ve been looking forward to this concert for while, as it’s the closest that I’ll ever get to a Pink Floyd gig.

The venue was the Belville Velodrome. For those of you who don’t know Cape Town, this is a moderately sized stadium. They mostly filled it.

I had bought a good ticket early on for R330 ($33). Though these tickets had been recently sought for more than that, I had no interest in selling. I love Pink Floyd and own about two thirds of their albums.

I got there about 7pm. The hall was still filling up. This was definitely not a teenybopper scene. There were many greying or balding people wearing tie-dyed clothes. And some younger, and some more smartly dressed. Quite a mixed crowd, ages 18-80, but centred somewhere over 30, which I guess is me. I was conservatively dressed: blue jeans and black T-shirt.

I counted somewhere between seventeen and twenty guitars propped up on their racks on the stage while the roadies pottered about. I was near the front, only two people in front of me.

When the concert started, the spotlight came up on a sprightly Rodger Waters, singing in his understated voice and holding a bass guitar. It took me few seconds to remember that even though he’s the star of this show, he’s not going to play lead axe, he always was the bassist.

The show started off with fitting words

So you thought you might like to go to the show
To feel the warm thrill of confusion that space cadet glow
I got some bad news for you sunshine
Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the hotel
And they sent us along as a surrogate band.

Which is true enough, there were eleven musicians total, and only Mr Waters from Pink Floyd. I passed on the souveneer T-Shirt (R130 is just a rip-off), and on the booklet (Too many people around the stall after the show), but it looks like the lineup was quite similar to the one that bozon describes.

The sound was good but not overly loud - i was happy without my usuall earplugs. I recall when the prodigy played that venue a few years ago, they were deafening even with plugs in.

The setup was simple - well-chosen visuals projected onto the white cloth behind the band, and a whole lot of great musicianship.

I’m quite glad that I decided to forgo the psychedelics. Tripping in a large crushing crowd is IMHO not a good idea.

The first half of the set started with songs from The Wall, followed by a run-through of Wish you were here, and then some tracks off Animals. Besides Waters, there were three axemen on stage, all of them excellent. The first lead was a guy called Snowy White, and they certainly did justice to David Gilmour’s licks between the three of them. Money was particularly well done.

After a 20-minute break, they were back. The second half opened with Set the controls for the heart of the sun, which made me very happy, as I had become resigned to them not playing any really early Floyd, after that, parts of Dark side of the moon, and on to Amused to death. Unfortunately, nothing from Radio Khaos or The Pros and con’s of hitchhiking.

All in all, for someone like me who knows lots of Pink Floyd, or likes fine blues-rock guitar playing, a really really wonderful experience.

Hmmm, today I enter the world of Everything2 as a noder. I've used it for reference for some time, but never dared to dive into noding. Then... I got bored. Indeed.

After an abortive attempt at noding a few System of a down lyrics, I took inspiration from the book I am reading at the moment Waiting for Godalming and checked to see if there was a Lazlo Woodbine node. To my amazement there wasn't. I quickly grabbed every Robert Rankin book I could find and started searching thorough for Woodbine sections. I wrote down everything I could think of and noded it straight away. To my suprise I started getting feedback almost striaght away. That nice bloke Wharfinger pointed out my numerous typos and someone else who's name escapes me at present (sorry!) gave me advice on hardlinking. To my amazement it already has a +5 reputation. And I've had a few ideas for some new nodes to fill in some gaps that really should've been connected to nodes. I think I may like it here.

I love you everything!

Until tonight, I was never sorry for having called you.

Not after that first conversation, when all I was asking for was a ride to the game, and somehow I managed to fuck even that one up. I'm not good on telephones. I put down the phone and smacked myself in the forehead with the heel of my palm.

Not when I called from the Red Cross to ask if I could come over and watch CNN with you, because I knew that you could tell me what was going on, you could translate it through the media giberish, use that fine expensive degree and help me understand.

Not when yours was the last number I called and the phone was in my pocket and I accidentally pressed the button when I sat down or leaned wrong, and you called a little later, with mild annoyance in your voice, because it was, after all, 1:30 in the morning and while I was out drinking tea and heckling while others played pool, you had to work in the morning.

Not when we'd had our first fight, and I'd decided that I'd punished you enough with a weekend of silence, and we only ended up fighting some more, and had to be mediated, finally, in front of other people, cause we were causing a scene. Repeatedly, I'm told.

Not when I decided that our relationship was too light, too fluffy, that we needed to have conversations about the meaning of life, about god (The Supreme Architect or The Diva, either one, really). And that night when I tried, we ended up gossiping for 2 hours about game mechanics and snippets and little bits and pieces of nothing.

Not when I called you from the height of the fun and still managed to sound wistful on your answering machine.

Not when I'd decided that it was over, when I hovered around the corner from your place and a block from mine, in the annex in front of a school with the janitors looking out the window at the crazy girl on her cell phone in the middle of the night. When, at the end of the conversation (that I'd sprung on you from nowhere, you had no idea this was coming, did you darling boy?) we both had tears running down our faces.

Not until now, a month later, which I've spent flirting and laughing and turning down dates with your friends (because I thought it would hurt you, stupid me, if I said yes to any of them, and I lectured them about loyalty and friendship). When I call you, and I've had hell tonight and today, and I want to vent and get your advice like way back in the day.

But thanks for helping me find that core of hard, bitter, bilious anger. The kind that I can ball up into a hard little nub and use to power myself better than a nuclear plant. I've worn my knuckles raw on the punching bag and it's still not enough. These hateful words aren't enough and tomorrow my box of hollow points that I've been saving for a special occasion won't be enough either. I've remembered, finally, the bitch. Thank God.

It's not really any of my business who you fuck, is it? Not anymore. But I thought you had better taste than that.

Useless women annoy me, and she's at the top of my shit list these days, without any of your help. I respect anyone's right to slut themselves, but looking tacky while doing so is completely another matter. Is it possible to be both a tramp and a tease at the same time, because I didn't think so and yet somehow she manages it. she makes everything we do less valuble simply by her presence. I said all these things to you months ago and you agreed wholeheartedly, but maybe it was because I was fucking you then and not now.

Because she was there, with you, when I called.

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