I'm an empath.

And despite the fact that I have chosen words as the tools for my artisitc expression, I can never manage to adequately convey exactly what this means for me, and ultimately the people around me.

I'm emotional. Not really in the conventional sense, though. People who don't know me well often think I'm kind of cold because I have a tendancy to be quiet and withdrawn. That is, when I'm not nattering on at 100 miles an hour on some trivial topic that I happen to know way too much about that has no applicable use in the real world other than for having conversation fodder. No, I'm the sort of emotional person who will cry at the sad parts of movies or tv commercials, as well as a beautiful sunset or the joy of happy endings.

Most noticibly, I care about people. I care about people I know. I care about people I only know online. I care about people I've never interacted with, but through some agency learn that they are hurting somehow.

I want to help.

I want to do somehting for these people that will somehow ease their pain. Suffering is anathema. I know that suffering and pain are often necessary for growth, but that doesn't mean I like it. I want to reach out, to somehow make things better, to be a positive force in the lives of others.

But as most of the others I know I only know online this is a difficult proposition at best. The most I can offer is virtual hugs and be there as someone to talk to.

Often, just being there is helpful.

Normally I wouldn't feel that all of this rambling is anything for posterity, although my periods of melancholy are a facet of who I am. But in the scheme of things, it's not something that I need to put up for the world to see unless they're looking for it, which is what personal websites are for.

The reason today is different is due to the fact that my current mood is a direct result of the actions of some borg-wielding curmudgeon in the Chatterbox.

Other than the pain of an abcessed tooth, I've been in an extremely up mood for the last week or so, which followed about five weeks of introspection, which I realized today was also partially caused by Chatterbox curmudgeons.

Today, I logged on, as I do most days, and proceeded to make my presence known. As most people who hang out in the Chatterbox know, I have a habit of hugging people, virtually. It's cheesy, harmless, and for some people makes their day a little brighter. But to at least one person, I must assume that this activity is somehow offensive. I can find no other logic to the two times I was borged today other than that, as both incidents happened directly after I typed the phrase "/me hugs " into the Javabox.

After the first incident, one of the people I had been chatting with asked what it was that I had done that would earn me a borging. After both incidents any and all conversation ceased for at least five minutes. There was neither warning nor explanation given for either incident.

I have had people express to me before that they prefer not to have so much huggy stuff going on in the Chatterbox. In response I've replaced at least half of the incidences where I would have hugged someone with a wave, which I have yet to receive a complaint about. Obviously, for someone, this is not enough. For whatever reason, be it that he or she doesn't get enough hugs in real life, or perhaps this is some decendant of The Grinch, but whatever the case, this person is punishing me for bestowing virtual hugs to people in the Chatterbox. And the worst of it is that they can't even be bothered to let me know why I'm being borged. I don't know if they are somehow complimenting my intelligence by assuming I can figure out what's going on or if they just want to have more opportunity to borg me. I find this even more upsetting and perplexing in that I am the only one so punished for this act as shortly after my second borging, someone else in the Chatterbox did the same exact thing with no punishment. This is not the first time I've been borged for an offense while others committing the same offense are not. If I were paranoid, I'd think I was being persecuted.

Either way, it's disheartening and damaging to my will to node. I know that E2 will survive without me if I go. I'm only one person in a vast sea of faces. But I do make a contribution and I would be missed, even if only by a few. It was this sort of thing, although not as forceful, that caused me to leave the site and not return for a period of five weeks. My next two writeups after my return happen to be daylogs, both about being borged. There seems to be some sort of trend developing....

Anyway, for those of you who like being hugged by me, prepare for a dearth of such. I have too much to say to people to spend my time in the borg's belly. It's frustrating. Let's just see how many of you out there actually give a rat's ass...

At the end of the day, I attended a small gathering at a small pub to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. On the way traffic stopped and we crawled past a 5-car accident, blocking three of the right-hand lanes. The backup would have been exponentially worse had it not been for the fact that the accident took place some small distance before an interchange, so there were still 4 lanes remaining. Once past the accident, but before the interchange there was a highway message sign. This one actually bore a message. It read: