{just for today…}

I
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

~ W.H. Auden

 

Tomorrow will be better….the day after that better still.  But today…

Bobby died.

Do you understand? Bobby died!!!!  Bobby. Died.

Bobby and I were twins separated at birth.  It had been discussed and agreed upon that except for our taste in men, we had far too much in common to have been anything else.   He dubbed me a gay man trapped in a woman’s body.  Which made sense in ways that I didn’t know existed, and slightly troubled my husband who had been Bob’s best friend since they were 7.  What does it say that he married a woman that was so like his gay best friend? But even that makes a kind of sense.

Bob and I shared a love of many things.  Mundane things that everybody loved: movies, a shared sense of style, the turn of a well crafted snarky comment. When he was full of compassion and love, he showered his friends with joy and light.  So much so that occasionally the need for that light, our need for that light, led to him needing to hide from the responsibility.  Unfortunately, we also shared a breath taking ability to spiral down into depression so quickly that we could disappear.  Our ability to become hermits was stunning, although I will admit that he was better at that than I was, mostly because I was stupidly lucky enough to have married a cheerleader extraordinaire when it came to lifting me out of that darkness. Bob had the ability to let the world go by without him even though there were those desperate to find him.  It was not a competition by any means, but his abilities, to those of us who understand what it feels like to sometimes want to give in to that apathy, were stunning.  And also made us goddamn mad.

I borrowed Bobby from Keith, my husband and in some ways stole him.  I  did not know him as long as most of his friends but the bond we had was odd and strong and unbreakable.  A phone call we had a couple of years ago kind of summed up our relationship.  He had been in the hospital for his heart, (it had been sudden,  harrowing and surprising and he was in Oklahoma and we were in Texas and we had been very scared.) and was now at home.  He called and I answered, we had the usual greetings and how are you’s.  Then he told me that his sister was being rushed to the hospital for open heart surgery.  After a beat I just started laughing.  His response was ” I know, right?”.  He knew that laugh meant “What else?  What else can go wrong for you?”.

He knew.

{still working on it…}

She blinked at the elf beside her at the bar.

“Save me?”

“Yes, save you.”

“From what exactly?’

“Not from what but for what?”

 

She paused and tried desperately not to rise to the bait.

 

She failed.

 

“For what exactly?”

“The afterlife of course.  The eternal reward.”

 

Damn elves.  You never knew what you were going to get with elves.  And damn her love of pretty men. Just…damn.

 

“I think your idea of an eternal reward and mine are a bit different.  Mine involves fangs.”

“You wish the change?”

“When I find the right one, yes that is exactly what I want.”

“And if you never find the right one?”

“Well,” she grinned evilly “at least the hunt was fun.”

His return look of boredom peaked her interest.

“That is a fools errand.  The change never delivers what it promises.”

 

She looked at him steadily. “ You sound as if you have experience, but that is impossible, elves can’t be changed.”

 

“Elves can be changed, but not completely, so we revert back.”

 

Interesting.  She wasn’t even sure she could be changed.  Her nature was already predator, so there was a more than decent chance that it wouldn’t work on her, but she pressed on.  Changelings were so much fun to tease and the sex was amazing! Aw dammit, she had gone and gotten interested in this elf.  She so didn’t need this.

 

“Wow, that would totally, and completely suck.” She grinned slightly at her semi-unintended pun.

He was not amused.

“This is no game.  This is also no way to live your life.  I have seen your like and watched them fall into the Pit never to be seen again.  Mark my words. You will not last long in this place with your easy morals and playful banter.  This place will eat you alive.”

 

“Are you through?”

 

He nodded, looking at me as if I had finally gotten his attention for the first time since he sat beside me and started his soul saving spiel.  Well, what do you know, maybe this might be fun after all.

 

“In this place you dare to judge me?  Really? You know nothing about me.  If you have been in this place as long as you act as if you have, how could you dare to think you know the first thing about me.  You have seen my kind before?  Look around you, you have never seen the kind of half of the beings in this Inn!  So, by all means, you sit beside strangers and roll out your beliefs, which you don’t even seem to believe anymore, and decide who, or more importantly, what these people are.  I would love to see how that works out for you.”

 

He smirked at me.

 

“They told me you had a brain and a fiery mouth to match it.   How intriguing.”

 

“They who?” I glared at him with intensity that masked my instant mortification.  I had been played.

 

“Your parents of course.”

 

Motherfucker.

 

“Yeah, no, I just don’t think so.  You can try to take me back.  Try.”

 

“They have no wish to have you back.  They just want the family name protected from whatever trouble you get yourself into.”

 

He knew what I was.  He knew…wait a minute, Mom and Dad didn’t want me back?

 

Inexplicably my eyes welled with tears. Damn it.

 

The elf in front of me froze.  I imagine that this is the last response he ever expected from me.  Inside my triumph of flummoxing the elf and the pain of his pronouncement warred. I stared at him for a few moments more then silently got up and walked out of the inn.  I had learned a few rules from my father, the most important being, always leave with the upper hand.

{brotherhood 2.0}

I was going to go to bed before 12:00 last night.  I promised myself I would.  Then I made the fatal mistake.  You know what I am talking about, the one that takes well laid plans and turns them into so much future guilt. I was in the mood for the Vlogbrothers.

The Vlogbrothers are Hank & John Green. Hank Green is a YouTube media guru, wizard rocker & founder of Vidcon (a convention/conference for Youtubers and and new media).  His brother John is a New York Times best selling author whose latest book The Fault in Our Stars is about to become a movie that both Keith and I are fairly vibrating with anticipation to see (please, please, please just let them do it justice!!!).  Together they are the Vlogbrothers.

We are relatively new converts to John & Hank and of course as I have said before the converted are always more zealous than those born to it. After all we are nerds and the very definition of nerd is that we unironically , enthusiastically like stuff!  Hank & John have formed a organization that is called the Nerd Fighters.  The mission of Nerd Fighteria (yes, this is a word. It is a word because John wills it so.) is to decrease world suck and increase awesome.  They do this by explaining complex subjects (like what is happening in Ukraine) in a way that can be understood, raising money for charities via The Project for Awesome, a youtube centered event that challenges nerd fighters to create videos for their favorite charities.  Last year they raised over $721,696 that was divided among 20 charities.  There are other various projects and craziness as well.

So, yeah I made the mistake of looking over at the play lists at the Vlogbrothers youtube site.  What I found was the beginning.  The initial idea was a project  that these two brothers would spend the year of 2007 in textless communication.  No email, no texting, no letters, nothing.  They would only communicate via phone or Vlog.  They would alternate days (nothing on weekends) and post them on youtube.  The Nerd Fighter community grew out of this project and still thrives today.

I can’t tell you how exciting it was.  How many goose bumps I got watching.  Knowing where things were going and saying “There, right there that was the first time we heard the word Nerd Fighter” or “That is the first time Hank played his own music on the internet.”.  It was an awesome trip backwards.

The downside is envy.  Why couldn’t we have known?  What was going on in my life that I didn’t get to participate in this wonderful maddness?  I personally don’t know how to answer that, my memory is horrible about last week much less what was going on in 2007.  What sort of person would I be if I had accepted my nerd long before I did?

All the speculation is useless of course.

I have found it now and I am excited by it and it gives me joy.  Even at 46.  You never get too old to be a nerd.  Never.