It's been a serious evening, for some reason. With all the recent turmoil with friends and acquaintances, it's really no wonder that relationships have been on my mind a lot recently. i was on my way to the Target of Denial on the motorcycle, thinking about relationshipness - those qualities that distinguish a "relationship" from a "friendship" and those qualties that make them the same.

Somewhere between razor blades and soap, it really hit me about all the sacrifices and compromises i've made for relationships and how it's usually bitten me in the ass, about how i keep coming back for more. Not that i'm a glutton for punishment or some old sad bastard, just that i usually entertained different ideas about where the relationships were headed, as opposed to where actually were heading.

i was looking back in my journal the other day. It's a big wire-bound art notebook, crammed full of loose sheets of paper, the cover torn off and held on with rubber bands. i started writing in it in the spring of 1998, just after i caught Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and i wrote in it more or less steadily ever since then. It's been to Europe and back and survived going on four years of college. i stopped writing in it last year a bit after i was dumped by the first person i ever really loved. i didn't have anything else to write. The words just didn't start, so i stopped until they'd flow again.

Tonight, i've got stuff to write about. It's all starting to come back - the desire to write, the words tumbling out of the pen like fresh snowmelt in a barren streambed. i've seen a lot this year, both good and bad. It's a big, crazy world out there. i'm already thinking about the future, both the immediate and far, something i really haven't done in over a year. Resolutions for New Years have never really been my thing, but i've already started to make a few.

Relationships have always seemed iffy things on which to base wishes. It feels so different this time - more confident, stable, quiet, unyielding. i've never felt as at ease and as wired around anyone else in my entire life. Being around Laura is like being wired into a 440 volt socket, yet i've never been more relaxed. It would be nice if it was easier to see each other on a regular basis, but it seems like we're both ready and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make this work, which feels very nice. i'm also starting to be able to see the end of the road for my undergraduate work (finally) and thinking past that point for the first time. And i like what i'm thinking about, what i see in my slowly unmuddied crystal ball.

Somehow or the other, i'll make it through this next week of class and through my finals, then it's off to NOLA to decompress for a while and hang out with Laura, Ken and Bryan, some of the random friends that come out of the woodwork at the strangest times for the strangest of reasons. i can't wait.

Once in a while
you get shown the light
in the strangest of places
if you look at it right

- Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia, "Scarlet Begonias"