I kind of forgot that it was a day for writing. I spent the weekend with my sister, with whom I am doing this blog challenge. I went to see her in the play she’s in, a “comedy about depression” called “Tigers Be Still.” It was really good, well written and well staged, and my sister’s performance was excellent (I laughed a lot and cried a few times). But as much as it was a beautiful and moving performance, I don’t really feel like talking, or writing, about it. It was a little too close to my soul, and there are a lot of other things on my mind.
But I’m not really sure if I really want to share the things on my mind. Some of them are a little too personal, or involve other people, and I don’t want to betray any confidences. I think I might just be speculative about some random things that come up as I’m writing.
It’s interesting how people can experience things so differently. I love baseball, but some people find it incredibly boring. I suppose it can feel slow, as opposed to soccer or football. But that’s what I like about it. It feels considered. I love watching the pitchers consider their throws. I love trying to call the pitch a second before the umpire. I love the 7th inning stretch, and jumping up to cheer a home run. There’s just something about going to a baseball game in the summer, sharing the experience with other fans, and I don’t do it often enough.
I’m not going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and for me NaNoWriMo is about learning discipline and writing on a schedule. This blog challenge has really helped me do that, and things in life have been really stressful. I don’t really want the added stress of trying to write every day and not being happy about the outcome. I don’t really feel like I have a solid idea, even though usually I just start with a scrap of an idea anyway, and write by the seat of my pants. I have a story I want to write, but I would rather give it the time and attention it deserves, rather than just write whatever comes to mind every day and work to edit it later. I would like to be published someday, but with the exception of one story, I haven’t ever seriously gone back to something I’ve written for NaNoWriMo and spent the time to edit and polish it. And I really wasn’t pleased with the way my story turned out last year. It just didn’t come together the way I envisioned, so I’m just not really feeling it this year. I like the variety of things I come up with for this blog, I don’t want to spend time doing NaNoWriMo if I am not going to enjoy it.
I’ve been trying to go roller skating more often, to build my confidence. I’m pretty good at regular skating in a rink, but I’m still not great at stopping, and I’m working on my crossovers. I have done them regularly in the past, but for some reason now I get scared that I’ll trip over my own feet and fall. I have taken to wearing my knee pads and wrist guards even at the indoor rink. It really helps me feel more confident, because I know that if I do fall I have some protection. I should skate more outside while the weather is still nice. I think it’s supposed to be cold tomorrow though.
Sorry for the random thoughts tonight. It’s therapeutic to be able to just record your thoughts as they come, and not worry about how they fit together. It’s probably not as interesting for someone else to read, but I feel my life hasn’t been completely cohesive recently, so my thoughts are subsequently disjointed. There’s something about just letting the words flow, and not really thinking about them, that allows certain thoughts to come to the surface, things you hadn’t ever really spent much time considering. I usually do this on paper, in a random notebook that then I’ll misplace and forget about for a few months. I’ve been trying to reorganize and downsize a little bit, even though I own very little as it is. But it’s kind of fun to go through things and find scribblings or objects you had completely forgotten about. And then you have the challenge of deciding whether or not to keep them.
I guess I’ll leave you to it. I’ll write something more coherent next time, I promise.
Things have been very stressful for me lately. Work is very, very busy, I have been dealing with a personal relationship issue, and my insomnia has really stepped it up a notch.
One of the things I do to de-stress, or when I can’t sleep, is listen to podcasts. Right now my favorite podcast is The Good Place: The Podcast, where actors, writers, directors, designers, and the creator talk about that marvelously beautiful, hilarious, and very very strange television show.
At the end of each episode, the host, Marc Evan Jackson, asks the guests “what’s good?” Some people talk about charities or activist organizations, and some simply talk about spending time with their families, or their pets, or their favorite ice cream flavor. Now I find myself asking that question often, especially when I’m feeling particularly frustrated or fatigued.
So here, I will share with you a few of the things that are good in my life right now. In no particular order, this is only a small fraction of what I find good in my life.
Need to catch up? Here are Chapters 1, 2, and 3!
Cass was standing in the doorway of his building when Terrin approached, his muscular arms crossed against his broad chest. As soon as he saw her, he stepped down into the street and drew her into a hug. Terrin, quite tall herself, tucked her head under his chin and returned the hug.
“I heard you almost died,” he said, pulling back and studying Terrin closely.
“How’s Yumi? Are they ok?”
“They’ll pull through. It was close though.”
Cass nodded, looking thoughtful, before turning and stepping back up onto the porch. Terrin followed him inside the building, which was well lit and comfortably warm.
Cass owned the building, which housed the resident attendants of Wy-dess. They paid rent for rooms and were able to provide whatever service they were skilled in, whether that was massage, spiritual services, or, more likely, sex. Cass kept the house in order and employed an in-house doctor, but outside of that his interests remained firmly in the area of real estate. Most of the attendants lived elsewhere in town, allowing themselves a comfortable distance between work and home.
“How are the dennies?,” Terrin asked as they moved through the foyer. There were several coats hanging on the rack, as well as a fair number of hats. Terrin wondered if their owners were actually here or if people tended to forget and leave them behind. Depending on what service the attendant provided, she wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few things got left behind.
“Everyone’s doing really well, thank you,” Cass replied, waiting while Terrin shed her own coat and hat. “We even have someone named Denny. He’s new.”
They entered the parlor, where several attendants were vetting customers or simply enjoying the evening amongst themselves. Cass led Terrin up to a young man who was standing in the corner, talking to another dennie Terrin thought looked vaguely familiar.
He was thin, waif-like, standing a few inches shorter than Terrin. His curly chestnut hair sat atop his head like a crown, and his blue eyes were lined in black. He smiled as they approached, and Terrin thought he was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
“Terrin, this is Denny. He recently joined us from So-mars, and is our newest sex attendant.”
The young man tilted his head, his smile deepening, and said, “I also give singing lessons.”
His voice was certainly musical. It was a light tenor, and colored with an accent Terrin didn’t recognize. It was rare to meet someone with an accent, especially out here. The continent was small, although she knew there were some settlements that still spoke old languages amongst themselves. But she had never met anyone who spoke anything other than Standard.
“Terrin is my oldest friend from Ne-riv,” Cass explained, while Terrin and Denny continued to examine each other. “She’s just stopping by for a drink tonight.”
Denny nodded and reached out to touch Terrin’s sleeve. His nails were painted a dark green.
“It’s very nice to meet you, Terrin,” he said, his voice gentle and lovely. “I hope to see you again sometime.”
Terrin nodded, afraid to speak for fear the rough cadence of her voice would spoil the moment. Denny seemed to understand and laughed lightly. He turned back to the other attendant and Cass and Terrin moved away.
“Quite taken, are we?” Cass laughed as Terrin ducked her head and blushed. “You’re not the only one. He just got here and already his appointments are booked for six weeks.”
Terrin cleared her throat.
“Why’d he move out here?”
“Why does anyone? New blood. New prospects. Boredom.”
They rounded the corner and entered the dining room, the biggest room on the ground floor. Several attendants were dining with customers, and someone was lightly playing the piano. Terrin saw a familiar face, and strode away from Cass to greet her.
Selena sat placing cards out on the table, reading them idly. She looked up as Terrin approached, and immediately broke out into a bright smile. She wheeled her chair out from the table so Terrin could bend to kiss her cheek. She was dressed in a red satin gown, the hem resting just above her knees, exposing her soft caramel skin. Selena caught Terrin looking and laughed.
“Reddy!,” she called. She was the only one who called Cass by his surname, and only because he allowed it.
“Get us a drink,” she said sweetly, and Cass rolled his eyes but walked off to oblige. She smiled at Terrin, rolling her chair back to the table while Terrin settled herself next to her.
“I’m glad you came,” Selena said softly, reaching out and placing a hand on Terrin’s for a moment, before sweeping the cards into a pile in front of her.
“Did you hear what happened?”
Selena nodded, shuffling the cards and placing them in a neat stack at the edge of the table. Terrin watched her nimble fingers.
“Are you surprised?”
Selena gave Terrin a sharp look but chose not to answer her question. Instead she picked up the top card from the stack and looked at it, her expression blank. Terrin started to lean over to look at the card but Selena pulled it toward her chest, smirking. Terrin raised her hands in surrender and settled back into her seat.
“So why did you move out here?” Selena had been the most popular attendant in Ne-riv. Her appointments were booked months in advance, and she had the means to do anything and go anywhere she wanted. Selena shrugged.
“I’m always up for a challenge,” she winked.