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Nineteenth Sitting

Okay, let's just stop with that obvious-flowing-segue stuff right now. Yes, yes, quite soon I will give an account of (in the form of a verbatim insert) a certain attempted contractual agreement put forth by Yours Partly to obtain His blessing in the long car or truck journey North during which She and I would be sleeping in a tent or back-of-truck together many many times. As has been said, this isn't going to happen, so the agreement is pretty much moot anyway. I will get to this, but we've got a long tradition of gratuitous procrastination going here, with which I must comply.

...Which is actually pretty typical of the way these events have moved for me: stuff happens, I hang around thinking about it for a long time (in the shower, in line at the post office, writing this book, all of the above, etc.), then I get restless and go out and make some more stuff happen, or try to and instead end up wandering around lonely forest paths asking squirrels for spare change.

...Las Vegas picked up a log to show to the children. "See you the bugs that crawl on this log, living in and off of it, making it their home, giving it meaning with their devotion... Oh my, they are on my arm now. Little fuckers."

You may split your sides at my wackiness. Or you can say oops with me, for I have made an error of teaching, concerning sleep. The previous recommendation said "Yes, you problem child, sleep. Go to, that is, and you will awake refreshed... eventually." The truth is, `tis not true, not always at least, and I mean by this not the obvious, but something else; sleep-as-suicide-alternative brings habits of a) sleeping, b) waking up because you just can't sleep anymore, c) being groggy=depressed for a long time, and d) sleeping more (though never quite enough). So, the drug of choice is not sleep, but something else -- maybe love, as mentioned, but maybe something as yet untried, like actual narrative, or protein, or Special K... certainly not Kix, which is just nasty. Oh, and here's that "contract" I mentioned:

This document concerns the party of the first person ("I"), the party of the second person (for the sake of clarity, "He"), and the party of the third person ("She"). Its purpose is to forge an agreement whereby She and I may drive together very far without Him flipping a gasket.

The purpose of the proposed trip is: a) To get Her safely, efficiently, and enjoyably very far; b) To give Me a chance to get out of this stinking town on some pleasant and adventuresome excursion, which I sorely need; c) To cement a friendship that, alas, started too late, but would most likely have been a long-standing and pervasive influence in the lives of Her and Me had We met a few years back. As it is, the companionship is exceptionally enjoyable, energizing, and dare I say meaningful to all concerned. Nonetheless, it remains friendship, though of an intensity unfortunately rare for the two parties.

The purpose is not to transform this relationship, and most definitely not to destroy or weaken the long-standing relationship between Her and Him, which is to be regarded as an absolute role-defining limit upon all behaviors.

Behavioral restrictions: As a general rule, then, I and She must and will restrict all behaviors to the types that would not create violent conflict were He present. Specifics include:

--No physical contact except in a purely casual and/or accidental manner, with the following exceptions: a) She may thwack Me for stepping out of line, engaging in crappy puns, or otherwise being annoying for several hours straight. b) One party may tap the other should the tapped party be driving and on the verge of falling asleep as the great white cliffs loom near. c) One party may save the other from falling off a mountain cliff if desired. d) Thumb war.

--No utterances of affection of the sort that would make His hair stand on end, i.e. no actions, commitments, etc. will be taken to make things more complicated than they are.

--No ripping on the absent party, who seems to be a pretty damn nice guy and so doesn't deserve any.

Enforcement, Primary: Enforcement must of course come from parties She and I, both of whom have large pain associations to the premature dissolution of long-term relationships, Hers, of course, especially relevant here. She has demonstrated extraordinary devotion to Him (brood though He may), and part of respecting Her as I do requires Me to respect and support that devotion.

Given the brevity of acquaintance between Him and Me, there is of course no direct reason for Him to trust Me to abide by these restrictions, but a functional equivalent can be attained by combining two elements: First, She must trust Me in character, motive, and action. If She does not feel She can do this, She must cancel said excursion and thwack Me. Second, He must trust Her, in both deed and judgment, and if He can't... well then, there's not much relationship worth saving, is there?

Enforcement, Secondary: Should the situation somehow arise that after said trip the primary relationship (Him & Her) is weakened, He may trommel Me, this trommeling restricted the infliction of debilitating but non-crippling injuries. Should He be averse to doing this, He may hire Burly Thugs, and I will reimburse Him for 1/2 of their fee. The secondary enforcer, then, is fear of pain.

Failing this, there must be some way to sue Me for breach of contract, as I intend to have this notarized by at least one of my housemates, which is, well, almost legal.

This, then, is an expressed record of My honorable intentions and good will, a pledge and hopefully an agreement. So, again I say: chill.

[My illegible scrawl signature]

All names have been changed except Mine, to avoid My being hurt. In pursuit of this same goal, I will rationalize that the reason this contract was not accepted (though it was not explicitly rejected), is because nothing could appease the Man in His situation. For the Damaged, threat is always immanent, or already victorious, having a nice buffet of one's vital organs in the halls of victory, which are somewhere down near the pool tables, but not in the direction of the snack bar. He called it "patronizing," yes, and hence was I the patron-wanna-be for my rival, which I suppose is like the KKK inviting Grandma Moses to come set up a studio in their garage ("Yes, Grammy... we want you to be comfortable..." (evil music ensues)). It was because of this, because of her honest and admirable respect for a person who was very important to her, whom she could not bring herself to slight, that I was bidden not to come, that she found cheap flight arrangements and said I should not follow, not yet, anyway, not until those important months of adjustment had passed. This was not because She didn't really want me there, that she didn't want to weasel out of her present commitments, because she didn't even trust me to stay to my role as innocent friend and protector, and not because she didn't want my company... really... I... yes, I almost sort of believe that maybe. (sigh)

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]