I had certain duties to dispense, in regards to absentee noder-friends. I had promised to get coffy a beer when we met at the E2 meet, and hoopy, in expressing his regrets, requested that we quaff a La Fin Du Monde on Canada Day for him. It's a long-distance toast, and a salute, a lovely, simple, casual gesture.

Several doors and a floor beneath Panna II, there's a market with spices and incense, and dried fruits, "conveniences", and 400 kinds of beer, arranged by nationality. For hoopy, then, the end of the world. And for coffy? I don't know what she likes, but how can one not like this bottle, Delirium Tremens, from an old Belgian brewery, with dancing alligators and pink elephants on the label? So i got one and yoss got one, and we thought of the people who couldn't make it.. coffy, hoopy, hatless, Deborah909, kenata, ansate, who narrowly missed us in Central Park though we didn't find out until Monday; and the others, whose plans or restrictions had them elsewhere. And those others far away. Every gathering contains an absence.

But not every gathering has pink elephants!

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