My head is spinning. There's been so much going on lately, both inside and outside of it, all around it.

To wit, the past month has been full to bursting of all kinds of stuff. Some good, but mostly bad. I think I shall start at the beginning.

The month of November started off on the sourest of notes; I got dumped. Via email, no less. Net addict that I am, even I would've prefered a phone call for something as serious as that. The dumper was the girl I'd often daylogged about how happy she made me, etc.; none other than Anna Lisa. The 400-mile buffer zone between New Orleans (my home) and Birmingham (her home) made getting dumped that much worse. No real opportunity to go somewhere serene and talk about it, not without a long drive or $150 airfare, anyway. A couple of days later I emailed her back, saying I understood and so forth, but it still hurts. It hurts quite a bit. The fact that I haven't heard from her since receiving her breakup email makes it hurt worse. I don't know where it went wrong, even though she attempted to explain all that in her email. She made several good points, but I don't know. I don't know what to make of them, or what to think anymore, or whether I will ever feel the same about anyone else again. I think it's pretty unlikely that I will. If I do, it'll be years and years later. I remember it as the sort of love that doesn't just end when the end comes. It hangs around, semi-tangible, at all times and takes a really long time to shake. I know I need to move on, but I wonder if I'll ever really be able to shake it.

Like I said, my head is a right mess.

I guess that doesn't really give me reasonable cause to go out and find someone else to try to take the pain away, but I went and did it anyway. And it's just making the pain worse. Like about a million love songs I've heard, the bit about I'd always be thinking how she's not you keeps playing itself out in my mind as I do things and go out with this new girl. As a direct result of that line of thinking, I've been growing more and more distant with the new girl. She doesn't understand me (mostly because I haven't given any inkling to her about how I'm really feeling) so she's feeling dejected. And so am I. It's savage, how this sort of stuff works out. I don't know how much longer I can deal with it, because it's driving me into the ground.

The new girl has personality problems of her own that contribute to how poorly I'm feeling, but I won't get into that, at least not while it's still going on.

As a break in the monotony of day-to-day life, the new girl, work, and bills has become, I rented a car and drove up to Nashville, Tennessee, for an E2 gathering. It was my first gathering, and it was oh-so-memorable. I loved every minute of it, and though I'd heard it said before, I didn't quite understand to what extent it was meant, so I'll say it myself:

Noders are the fucking bomb.

Everyone I met was so nice and fun to be around, and what other group of people could an obscure in-joke be told and actually understood? Where else would XP whoring come up in conversation? Where would the puns and in-jokes outnumber the facts? Nowhere but a gathering! Though I had to leave relatively early, it was one of the best times I've ever had. Julia and Scott, thank you so much for putting it on. Everybody else, thank you for showing up and talking to me. I'm by no means the most popular noder on E2, but you made me feel as though I was, and I got the impression that was how most everybody else was feeling, too.

Mental pictures were completed and expectations met: radlab0 is a sweetie. WonkoDSane somehow knew who I was without being told, and then melted everyone's hearts by... well, I'll let them explain that one. thefez is a total weirdo. Chris-O and LadySun are cute together. witchiepoo is witchie indeed, and spoke volumes on the subject of poo. jessicapierce is an enigma, and seems to move throughout the universe at a higher vibrational frequency than the rest of us, making it impossible to take an in-focus picture of her. tandex is the bubbly, funny, picture-taking guy. Spackle reminds me of Mr Owl from the 1970s Tootsie Pops commercials. enth is the most well-spoken raver I've met. Cow Of Doom is also a total weirdo. So is karmaflux, who reminds me of what Mr. Belvedere would be like were he 40 or 50 years younger. Bitca was all over the place, like a superball. gwenllian is exactly as her homenode describes. Strong_Bow79 reminded me of an unplacable yet very established author, in his earnesty. Metacognizant does the genderqueer thing very well (enjoy the CD!). Walter is like unto a monkey in his tree-climbingness. zade and I clicked on the gender thing. Everybody else, I didn't get to talk to as much as I would've liked. I'm already planning on attending next year, though. Yeah!

The drive back to New Orleans from Nashville was very peaceful. It took from 10:00PM to about 5:00AM, and for most of that time I was totally alone on I-65, I-59 and I-10. For a few 2-hour stretches I didn't have to disengage the cruise control. It was just me, the CD player, and my thoughts. The drive through Birmingham, Alabama, on the way there and on the way back, was wrought with sadness and wanting but unwillingness to slow down, take the I-459 exit and drive by her place. My thoughts drifted around Anna Lisa, and by the time I came back to them I'd passed out of Birmingham and was on my way out of Bessemer. It started raining, softly at first but with increasing intensity. The rain continued all the way home, as kind of an homage to my frame of mind over the past month. I slept for nearly 24 hours straight after getting home.

I still don't really know what's going on or where I'm headed. The gathering got me out of that funk for a few days, but now I'm back in it. After my day of sleep, I haven't been sleeping much. Right now I'm positively aching for it, though I'm at work and I can't leave for another three hours. The new girl wants me to go to her place after work, and I just want to sleep.

I just want to sleep.