Epic Love, Gorn, Kirk


I have loved the stars too fondly

to be fearful of the night

In Which There is an Opossum, a Shovel, and a Pair of Shit-Kicking Boots
Epic Love, Gorn, Kirk
No possums were harmed during the course of these events

This is a reposting of a story that I told elsewhere.

I was happily asleep in my bed around 10:30 AM when the guy who was scheduled to deep-clean our carpet (an appointment about which I was unaware, hence the sleeping) came upstairs and started pounding on my door. I put my pants on and answer it, and he tells me that there's a possum in the living room and promptly flees.

So I call animal control and ask them what the hell I'm supposed to do with it. They say, "Oh, it will be so scared that it will just play dead, and you can pick it up and carry it outside with a snow shovel."

"Alright," I say, "I'll go do that."

Hoping that the possum would hold still for a few more minutes, I put on some jeans and my brother's sturdiest shit-kicking boots, because I had a fervent wish to avoid the necessity of a rabies shot in the near (or indeed distant) future (after events had unfolded, Google informed me that a possum's body temperature is generally too low for rabies to incubate. The more you know).

The carpet shampooing guy has made sort of a barrier around it in a corner (this barrier is made of detritus he found in my living room, and includes some of my dirty laundry and a large number of coat hangers), so I scrape all of that out of the way with a shovel and make to pick him up. But he kind of squirms off the shovel and retreats to his corner, looking uncooperative and bitey.

So I go and find a laundry basket with a lid, shovel him into it, and slam the lid on the box, then shove that out the door and pry the lid off from as far away as possible, then retreat back into the house. He appears to have left the box and wandered off to greener pastures, where I devoutly hope that he will remain, far from the comfort of my living room.

So this is why my journal is empty despite the fact that it's almost 8 years old
Epic Love, Gorn, Kirk
Long ago, on an older, more innocent incarnation of Livejournal, I had a relatively active account. I lurked in several fandoms and posted here a couple times a month, mostly about me and my life and fandom-- fairly typical LJ stuff.

Then, in May 2007, this happened. Fandom was not happy. The Powers That Be behind LJ probably had good intentions, but the level of censorship that they were trying to impose was simply unconscionable, particularly to my 17-year old self (who was a bit of a drama llama). I didn't want to delete my LJ entirely, because it was one of my main methods of interaction with fandom at the time, but I also wanted to show my support for the people whose journals had been deleted for things like having "lolita" in their interests (LJ didn't discriminate between fans of the book by Nabokov [who they had apparently decided were pedophiles, despite that being the exact opposite of the point of the book] and people who were interested in the lolita fashion movement, which should give you an idea of how careless they were being in their wanton deletions).

So, my show of support was to empty my LJ. I deleted all previous posts and stripped my journal of all its personality, only maintaining those features which would allow me to continue interacting with fandom friends. From there I slowly descended into lurkerdom, still an avid reader but less likely to comment or participate in discussions.

I do feel that the executives of Livejournal have come to a better understanding of their client base, so I'm trying to get started again and reach out to the fandoms and groups in which I'm currently interested. So hopefully you'll start to see me around LJ more often!

On Traveling Alone
Epic Love, Gorn, Kirk
It just hits me sometimes. I'll be looking at a sign, or talking to a friend, or reading a book, or walking in a flower garden, and the all-consuming desire to be elsewhere crashes over in a huge, startling wave, one of those waves that you remember from childhood trips to the beach, that picks you up and flips you over and leaves you umkempt and winded and a little exhilarated. It's not because I hate wherever I am-- I can honestly say that I've never lived anywhere so awful that it had no redeeming qualities-- it's just that there are so many breathtaking things all over the world that I have and haven't seen that I feel the need to be out seeing them, not drinking coffee or lying in bed or knitting or doing work.

I think that this is wanderlust. I've lived on 4 continents and visited 5, and I've loved every single one. Perhaps not every moment, and there were certainly ups and downs, but I haven't yet been to a place that I wouldn't happily return to. It's probably the vainglorious passion of youth that makes my bones skittish and unwilling to be still, but I still haven't found anything that compares to the exhilarating rush of stepping out of a hotel room or hostel dorm or tent (or rolling up my sleeping bag after a night out under the stars) and having absolutely no idea what will happen next. I don't know a soul; I might speak a bit of the language, but it's no guarantee; I'm rubbish at reading maps; my understanding of local customs is straight out of a guidebook and could be entirely wrong, and it's intoxicating. I'll buy a breakfast food I can't pronounce, walk on streets with names I don't know, visit temples and churches and mesjids that are not of my faith, or do something that I can't even imagine at the moment.

Maybe I'll visit ancient Roman ruins in Morocco with a pair of French lesbians, or end up platonically sharing a bed in a tiny hotel in Paris with a Japanese woman I met six hours ago, or drink 6 shots of espresso and 4 pints of Guinness at a pub in Ireland while a native tells me his life story, or get a bit part as a token white person in a Bollywood film, or spend 3 hours on a train translating from my 2nd to my 3rd language for the passengers sitting next to me, or spend two hours on a park bench in Madison listening to a woman who's stoned out of her mind telling me about why her relationship failed, and convincing her to go backpacking alone in Hawai'i.

All of these things have happened to me, and anyone who's traveled extensively will have similar, probably better stories. There's a bond between travelers-- albeit often a shallow and untrustworthy one-- that can lead you to do things you could never imagine doing in the comfort of your hometown, with your comfortable friends and your wonderful family. You can be someone new without censure, and everyone around you is doing the same.

Le véritable voyage de découverte ne consiste pas à chercher de nouveaux paysages mais à avoir de nouveaux yeux. --Marcel Proust

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Epic Love, Gorn, Kirk


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