October 27, 2002

It's Sunday night. Very late Sunday night. Actually, it's about 1:30am Monday morning. I wonder who I became this weekend... why I became this person... and how. Yesterday was Saturday. Any other Saturday would've been the same ol' same ol' type of day, working 9-4pm at SBCC and then going home to do some work for my other boss. But yesterday was different... quite different. Saturday started like any other, with me going to work at Santa Barbara City College... a few minutes early as usual. 8:55am found me standing outside the Multimedia Arts & Tech. building at SBCC, waiting for someone with a key. I should have a key to this place. Why don't they give me a key. I think they're afraid. But anyhow, at about 9:02 David comes running down the slope of a very dewey well-trimmed mound of grass, jumping from the cement wall to the floor, where I'm at. He's got keys. He's a very lucky guy. I wonder about Atlas; he told me he was coming by.

It's warm inside, and grey. Very grey... like the way everything looks when you first wake up... after you've slept in an extra hour, and have not quite opened your eyes. Almost a "pre-greatness" type of place. Genius in the workings. Yes. And the humming of 70+ computers in one room helps.

Grabbing two sets of keys, I open up one of the remaining three classrooms; the Maya lab. Gay Marie is here too, she's got her own keys and a line of dutiful students following to her classroom; yet another room of computers. I've never taken a class from her. I simply don't want to. The production lab stays closed for now, this is only for the special people. Going back into the main lab, I see David opening up the office I share with him during the day. It's 9am on a Saturday, and there are students waiting to be checked in. This is how my day begins. My computer is a Maya server, and is slow to wake up from its 11 hour sleep. After sitting behind my desk, the front desk, I check everyone in... and begin to relax into the Saturday morning routine. Check in - check out. Headphones? Sure. Audio adapter? Sure. No student I.D.? Give me your drivers license. Your credit card. Hell, give me everything. I know you're not leaving.

"Message Received"

Atlas will be here in a few minutes. The phone rings; it's my tutor for the open-lab floor. She's running late. That's fine. This job pays less than a third of my regular day job. No worries. I'm a veteran here, no classes this semester, yeah I've been through this program. Yes, I know what it's like. I'm here for a little relaxation... just hanging out, helping out, the room of SGI's being a slight comfort. Rob's desk is currently inhabited by David; I recall not talking to Rob in a very long time. I'm so out of touch with most of my social relationships. He's still my best friend, though. Atlas is here now, bringing coffee and a smile, attempting to alleviate some of the boredom that invariably occurs. I'm signed in to my lovely simple browser-based version of AIM, and e2 is open as well... of course. The hours fly... as they always do. It's just after noon, and David comes back from lunch. Atlas and I have spoken with fogboy0; he says he's coming up the hill to visit us "noonish".

I'm having this conversation with Achromatic that is baffling Atlas. I can sense the questions burning... and it's funny. I'm glad to have both of them to talk to and to mess/be messed with. I don't know now that Atlas will comment on it later, when fogboy0 is here. Atlas gets a little edgy so I let him log on to his e2 acct; so he can node a w/u waiting in his scratch pad. I settle down to my yellow notepad, writing a letter in longhand cursive. Atlas glances over every so often, unable to read my words, but he expects this by now. I'm always writing something...

We give up on waiting for fogboy0, so decide to... go see him. We know he's procrastinating or distracted. His away message on AIM said something about showering and clean clothes - and possibly being late to all of his appointments today. We've been warned.

Quickly we walk down the hill and to the Harbor... fogboy0 lives in Marina One on a boat. We're not sure exactly which one. Neither of us have a key, but in less than a minute somone walks out and we grab the door and go inside. Walking down the docks my mind is wandering. We pass by the sailboat my boss bought for his wife. "My Dream" makes me smile. I wonder about "Sea Dragon". Atlas says the guy who bought it has it in a different slip. He keeps track of things like that.

Atlas and I realize that neither of us have fogboy0's number, so he calls spitefulben and I call a non-noder. Said non-noder has fogboy0's number and I call him. I learn that fogboy0 left to go visit someone at SBCC. Smiling, I hang up when we see him walking towards us... stopping once for a quick salute. He is hilarious as I've heard... I've never met him, but Atlas knows the guy well. We go back up to SBCC and fogboy0 sticks around for awhile... good company. Atlas and fogboy0 are talking, and Atlas starts to speculate.

Atlas: You know how a cat will sometimes catch her prey and play with it for awhile? This is how cami is.

fogboy0: I'm not so sure about that...

They go back and forth, debating how evil and playful I am... and I just sit there grinning from one to the other, amused.

Almost before I know it, fogboy0 has to leave, my shift is over and David is helping me lock up. Atlas goes home and I'm getting a ride home from David. God I need a car. As soon as I arrive home, my little brother is waiting for me at the gate. He's dressed as a "karate kid" and ready to rumble. We're going to Montecito, he says. I find out that I'm taking him and my younger sister to a trick-or-treating event that the merchants on Coast Village Road are having. It's about 5pm when we get there, and the kids have fun.

Stopping into a gallery where I've set up a reception for my boss, I see the owner. She shows me a black and white invitation to an event she's attending later tonight. She says that it's Melinda's 50th birthday and there's going to be a big party; it's also a Halloween bash, and it's going to be incredible. Smiling, I realize who this is. I remember Arron. I haven't seen Arron (aka Yohe) in about 8 or 9 months. We went to school and worked there together. I remember meeting his mom Melinda, and his younger sister Bree, one time at school. They're wonderful, sweet people. I know I have to go. Briefly I wonder if Yohe's friend Aaron will be there as well. Aaron and I have been talking online for about 6 months, and never met. We both know Yohe and that's been enough so far. Glancing at the invitation again, I memorize the the address and time, then give it back. The theme of the party is "Rockstar". Ooh, I can have fun with this.

Every day wear for me is generally in the image of a business professional. I can usually be found wearing a black skirt or pants, nice shirt and and business jacket. Tonight I dig into my closet for a bit... run things through my mind. Rockstar, eh? Hmm... I juggle the idea of combat boots or high heels.. sandals or barefeet. I wonder about wearing a dress or skirt. After about five minutes of debating, I've got it. I decide on wearing a pair of tight black pants with laced slits to to the knee. Two gold anklets and black heeled shoes. Striped tube top and a black leather jacket. a chain around my neck finished the effect. Alright, the rockstar's in town. My mom is my chauffeur, decked in black lace and gold. She's always gorgeous.

Walking down candlelit pathways, we arrive at a Spanish Church style home full of people. The folks at this event are for the most part very well endowed and of great import to many. They really went wild last night though, more so than I could have ever imagined... but it was nice. very nice. I was transformed as well, I'd gone from the sometimes quiet, sometimes smart ass, sometimes professional, geek, to... another one of the wild people. I was the youngest at the event, but that didn't matter. I'm always the youngest. Walking through the house was incredible... Yohe did the decorations supposedly, and did an excellent, amazing job. The bar was the best, I think... very dark smoky room intricately decorated in so many ways it is indescribable. I walked into the back room... and was surprised.

Are you... Cami?!?

Smiling, I realized that this must be Aaron. He's dressed in a regular business suit but has silver tinsel hair. I think he's fabulous.

Yes, I'm Cami...

We try a handshake and that doesn't work out. Hugging, we continue to joke and laugh like old pals... 'cause we are... but until now, never in real life. Great fun. I ask him if he's seen Yohe or anyone? He says he knows no one here. I go off in search of more people I know... if any?

The dance floor was wild, but I found Melinda and told her happy birthday and all that good stuff... She was in the middle of telling her daughter Bree to stay out of the bar. My mom happened to be nearby... saying almost the same thing, except that I just wasn't allowed to get drunk. I think she's more lenient with me because I don't hardly ever drink, and have never been stupidly drunk. As I'm speaking with her, I turn my head and notice someone in an incredibly extravagent costume...

Prince was stunning. His blue velvet tailored jacket had coattails and he wore a ruffled white shirt underneath... absolutely perfect. His hair was a mass of fake dark brown curls, and the hat topped it all off quite nicely. Excellent costume! --Why, thank you my dear. When he kissed my hand I noticed the long fake manicured blue nails and the costume jewelry rings. I was dazzled, to say the least.

As fate would have it, we got to talking... and he happened to be a software engineer, working for the guy throwing the party. We have a lot in common... and he was so surprised that he could talk to me, a young female... about subjects that would bore so many others. Bree comes over to us, obviously crushed. She's got a boyfriend, but told me that she's single tonight. I'm not sure how that works, but I understand. She told me that she's going to ask Prince to dance. Bree is shorter than me, blonde in a red dress... with bare feet. She's incredibly sweet and innocent. I smiled at her, bit my lip, and lifted my eyebrows in such a way that encouraged her.

Drifting off, I finally located Yohe, who knows too much about me, and too little. Glad to see him, such an old friend... he did an excellent job in orchestrating the event. He points out that his dad is playing the keyboards. Yes, I said.. the band is great. I could sense that he was uneasy about something, and I still don't know what it was. He was surprised at how I found out about the party... at first he suspected that Aaron had told me. Why is it that I'm always surprising people?

Mulling that last thought in my mind some more, I walked into the bar and bumped into Aaron again. He was ordering a drink, and when it came, shared with me. It was mild... rum and coke, I believe. He warned me to watch out for the everclear which was on the other side of the room. Everclear is illegal in California, also. I debate trying it... and finally decide to have some of it later.

I headed out to the dance floor and danced with everyone. I'm not that great at party dancing... having gotten awards for much more classic types of dance. It was fun though, and Bree helped me to loosen up. Costumes. Everyone's costumes were wonderful. I especially enjoyed the girl who had a table around herself, complete with a black table cloth, mirrors, razor blades, and rolled up dollar bills. In case the necessity arises, she says. For the Rockstars attending the party. It's a bad habit...

Pumpkin pie and apple cider in the dungeon. Candles and more candles. It was nearing midnight, and I was notified that I needed to head home soon... my mom is rarely lenient about letting me stay out too late. I said goodbye to Prince in the hallway. Hugged Bree, and told her I'd give her a call sometime. I found Aaron in the bar, he was drinking Crystal Geyser, trying to sober up he said. I gave him a long hug, and told him he was wonderful. We'll talk online. As I neared the dance floor, and was saying goodbye to Melinda and her husband, Prince comes up behind me and whispers delicately in my ear, "May I have this dance?"

I could say it was any number of things... his cologne, his accent, the fact that he was courteous and kind, and very less drunk than the others... but I'll just say that I fancied him at the moment. We danced and discussed tcp/ip and dns issues, we danced and talked about the uselessness of visual basic, and the strong foundation of C as a programming language... we danced and discussed the colors of our eyes, and the level of jealousy in the men watching us. We discussed everclear and the burning sensations that come along with it. Deadly juice. My mom was watching, as well... and waiting. She was amused I could tell, but happy. Wow - he met her approval. I think it's because he kissed her hand too... but I can't be sure. As the song(s) ended, we bowed, and I introduced him to my phone. His email is stored there until I decide to utilize it. I'm not a good dancer. But I danced.

Come with me, dance to the tensions of a world on edge...

I won't forget his voice or his stunning eyes or the smell of his clothes and the emotion of the moment. I won't forget Aaron, and I know we'll be closer too. I have resolved to find Yohe and talk with him until he is at peace. I will call Bree. We'll go horsebackriding or dancing with handsome Puerto Ricans. Atlas will come again, and I hope fogboy0 will as well. Melinda had a fantastic 50th birthday I hear, and her husband's keyboarding career continues. My revolving conversations with Achromatic are still mysterious, and still rule my mind in a way I have never truly felt before. Starke is now my mentor. I will node and link and try for the factual stuff. I like it here.

ps: what happened on sunday? I don't know...