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September 13, 1998
a year ago

Sunny Sunday

We had the alarm Sunday morning. Woke up early enough to get to a birthday party at John's mom and dad's house. It was for John's brother and niece. John's mom did that lovely baked blueberry French toast for breakfast. Emily loved the pearl, silver and gold hair combs and they got cool presents. I even got a present from Walt and Cathie, as my birthday was the 2nd of October and they weren't sure if we were going to be down there at all for the Balloon Festival this year.

I got a bottle of cream jasmine bubble bath and talcum powder and four scented soaps. Very strongly scented, but Scottish and floral.

We headed home as we had both Flynn and Kathy at home, still. We kinda bummed around the house, Kathy packed some, and then around 3 or so, we made burgers for the four of us. I hadn't gotten to eat much of anything the day before. I just forgot to. Even after urging Flynn and Tibo to eat early on in the party cycle, I just never really got around to anything more than munching a Portabello mushroom on a bun. The burgers were all gone by the time I even thought to look at 'em, but we had several pounds of hamburger that we'd frozen earlier, and so that's what we had for our 'lunch'.

After that it was time to think of getting Kathy to the airport, but there was still time, so she and I took off in the Stoat to Border's to see if they had the newest Brockman romance, Harvard's Education. It turns out that this is the first romance published by this particular publishing house that features a *black* protagonist. There's only been *one* other black protagonist in all of romance novels known history and the previous one didn't do so well. The author wants this one to do well, if possible, in the first week of its publication. I'm likely to get multiple copies once I actually run across it, I have a few friends that are curious about this romance novel thing I have, and Suzanne Brockmann has entertained me with her SEAL's so far.

Sadly, Border's wasn't carrying it, yet. They were still on last month's books. I might try again later this week.

The good thing was finally getting away with Kathy, alone. Flynn sometimes dominates conversations that I am in because I speak so seldomly. I don't like speaking, much, but I also don't like to always be questioned when I do speak. I have no need to constantly perpetuate a conversation, but sometimes it feels like he does, so it gets very hard on me when he's around *all* the time.

As Kathy put it so well, "He needs a lot of listening."

And I get tired of his need. So... she and I went to the bookstore and wandered about quietly. We have such a long time relationship it's very close and keen. She is the younger sister, so has more courage, more brashness, more loudness, and, I dare say, more pain, in some ways. I like listening to her, and talking with her, as she knows my ways and she actually stops to really listen when I do say something and when she has nothing to offer, she says nothing.

Much as Mark does, too. John sometimes tries to say things anyway, but is more tentative and listening when he does. It's at least accommodating. Kathy and I had fun shopping, wandering through the aisles as subjects grabbed Kathy's attention. Hither and yon and about, talking about taste and thought and various things. That was cool.

I hadn't bought her her birthday gift, yet, and so mostly we were just getting her stuff there. I was saving up ideas for my birthday list to make things easier on the people that really wanted to get me something I really wanted. But we wandered through romances, literature, poetry, mysteries, horror, up to music, CD's, recorded books, the Classics in both Latin and Greek page-by-page with the English translations, around to travel books, the kid's section, then down again to comic books and SF. We eyed books in all those sections and picked a few out here and there. Some part of my brain really wanted the full, complete collection of e.e. cummings, but I'll likely wait on it.

But I just couldn't pass up on the Elizabeth Peters.

We drove home in the sunshine. Kathy really liked the Stoat. She thought it was really keen, and we had a lot of fun just driving around. She liked the wind and wanted to go down to the airport in it, but realized that without seatbelts, it would be rough to have more than one other person and if John wanted to go to the airport with us, we'd go in the Rangy.

So, we went in the Rangy. All four of us. And I got down with her and went through the electronic check-in with her, which was much faster than the normal way of getting in as the people behind the counter only had to attach baggage tags and haul the baggage away and check the ID, not do all the other stuff. So, by the time we were done, John and Flynn appeared and we walked toward the gate and got distracted for a bit by a Starbuck's where we all got something to drink before going in.

We sat and watched the baggage guys playing tag with the baggage carts. They were a little punch drunk or something, and were whizzing about racing each other, playing games with each other and basically entertaining themselves and us. Kathy and I found seats next to each other to watch the tarmac and talk a bit and be quiet a bit. The sun was moving towards setting as we watched turning the world into fire.

Kathy got on after a while, with Flynn and John and I waving at her as she filed on. John was making faces at her and thumbing his nose at her and wigging fingers in ears. She did them back, cracked up and kept going.

I miss her.

Miss her a lot.

Spent most of the evening in a depressed funk. John was smart and left me alone. Flynn was... oblivious and pestered me with questions about the loom. I simply got tremendously angry at him and he was either oblivious or simply decided to plow through it anyway rather than just leaving me alone. Finally, I just told him that I was completely overloaded on socialization, wanted to be completely left alone, and it took a few more questions about the loom before he finally did. It was definitely my fault as well as I wasn't communicating very well, at all, as I didn't want to be communicating at all.

It's funny to see someone say that there might be a pride in solitude, or that it's a skill that's honed. For me, at least, there is a point where I break off relations with the rest of reality and let them go to hell while I deal. It's more of the survival thing than a honed skill. It simply seems to be the way I'm built, with a need to be alone, inside my head without having to deal with anyone. I spend a lot of energy trying to negotiate communication channels with any other person. There is less efforts spent with those that I know, and even less with those that I know well. But some folks seem to take great amounts of my personal energy every time they interact with me.

I know that some of it is because of my reactions to them, my assumptions, which may be entirely wrong. Such as my assumptions during dinner the other night. I know this to be true mostly through the simple fact that Mark no longer takes much energy from me at all. I know some of it is that he has matured, and needs much less from me; but quite a lot of it has to do with the fact that I expect little and assume little about him and his motivations. It's taken a lot of time and training and learning to get to where I am now. I like being stable, and I like being able to interact with people without being drained.

A few people, now, manage to actually give me energy. Kathy is one of them, John often can be. Surprisingly to some Mark now manages to be a good help and can give me energy on one of his good days. Some of that is because he and I have low-key contact pretty much every day now, and familiarity seems to breed comfort. There are many reasons why I once said leaving him was a bit like leaving a part of myself. Raven is another person whom I am comfortable with, and who leaves me with good energy when I do get to see him. Carl has always managed it in face-to-face situations, and there are a few other people that I'm comfortable curling up with and trusting. Regis, Genevieve, Eric, Bryant, Gretchen, and a few other people are in the latter category.

After a while I simply sat and watched TV. I stayed away from both the guys, and even when they joined me to watch the program I stayed away from contacting them verbally or physically. By taking the room I managed to get some of my energy back together again. Eventually, the program was over, and I hugged Flynn goodbye and his flight was leaving very early in the morning. He had to get up at 5 a.m. and there wasn't any chance that we were going to see him before he left.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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