Pantheon - Pratchett, Gaimen, Heinlein, Adams, Stephenson, Moran
Previous - this entry written on November 13, 2007 at 2:18 am - Next
This isn't precisely relevant to my life, as far as topics go; illnesses yes, sex yes, but fortunately the two don't go hand in hand unless I'm bitching about yeast. The reason it's come to mind at all is because I was watching Lifetime movies. Yes, yes, I know, it's a female thing I think. Seriously, every now and then I just have to watch cheesy emotional dramas involving rape, psychic mothers, runaway daughters, teen pregnancy, and/or murder committed near a high school soccer game.
The next-to-last flick I watched was called "Girl, Positive" and I can safely say it was inspiring, depressing, mind-numbingly predictable, and so full of female hormones that I think Cate has gained a full cup size while watching part of it. Yeah, it's that bad. No, seriously. You don't believe me? Clearly you haven't watched Lifetime. I assure you, this was one of their better flicks. *twitch* I'd seen part of it some other half-remembered time when clearly I was on crack, and so I decided to watch the whole thing today.
I get tested for AIDS (and a couple other STDs) pretty much every time they draw my blood in the ER, the few times they haven't thought of it I've mentioned it out of sheer paranoia, and I'm still clean. Most of my random fooling around was quite a few years ago now, and the few people I have slept with in the last 4-5 years are all clean as well, so it's not that I really expect it to suddenly come up positive. I'm still careful, though. I honestly don't think it would do too much to change my life if I was; sharpie markers have so much alcohol in the ink that even if I was masturbating with one and then drew on someone's pussy, there's no way the virus would get shared, I don't get enough physical contact with Torian or Angel to put them at risk, Cate is likely to jump off a bridge or something if I die first anyway, and it'd be a perfect excuse not to fuck Puppy...
...or if I were extremely angry, a perfect excuse TO fuck him, and that thought really shouldn't turn me on as much as it does. The idea of teasing him until he was utterly fogged, coaxing him into bed, fucking him... I can't decide if I'd rather do it when he wasn't suspecting it for the look on his face when I told him afterward, or if it'd be more fun to tell him first, then get him fogged until he's begging me to fuck him, to infect him, so that I could see in his eyes that he knew what was happening while it was happening. And yes, this actually does turn me on, a lot.
In one of the conversations I've had recently I was talking with someone about the darker half of us, the side of a person that wants, even needs, things that the other side considers wrong or bad. We talked about Vimes - if you read much Pratchett you know who I'm talking about - and his Beast, mostly. I was trying to find words for the reasons why, much as I admire Vimes, I would never be him, or aspire to be. This is a big one, right here. My Beast isn't tame. It isn't captive. It isn't held back, held in reserve, ohhh no. Sure, I could wall it away, only let it out occasionally. Thing is, I've tried that route a couple of times. What happens is that when I do let it out, it's overwhelming. Bad Things happen.
So I've made my own sort of compromise with it. I see everything, every moment, every activity, every passing thought, through its' eyes. I hear everything spoken to me through its' ears. Torian, Puppy, both of you have said at times that it's frustrating to be trying to talk to me seriously about something and I'll crack a dirty joke about it or relate it to sex or in some other way make it clear my mind is in the gutter. Thing is, I am listening to you, I do understand the seriousness. There are other ears in here though, this body houses more than one mind, more than one thought process, more than one persona. Part of me will always, ALWAYS have that crude hunger, and even if I don't mention it, believe me, it's there.
Part of me loves the idea of fucking someone to death. A large part of me. I think about kidnapping, about tracking down whoever it is I'm dreaming of right then, stalking them, pouncing, taking them against their will. I fantasize about riding someone, my hands around their throat, my eyes meeting theirs, cumming while they struggle and finally fall still. I have daydreams involving knives, rope, and red-hot branding irons. I've gotten off on just the thought of watching another human being suffer and die at my whim, I've gotten off more than once, thinking about more than one person. Hell, some of them haven't even been of legal age yet.
This is my monster. This is the shadow that is always at my back. I like snuggles, I love cuddling, I adore having someone to wake up next to, relationships are good, friendships are great, packmates are wonderful...
...and part of me will always be licking its' lips as it looks at anyone I touch. It doesn't matter how innocent the interaction, part of me will be spending the entire time fantasizing in painfully sharp detail about the destruction of that particular scrap of flesh and blood and bone.
There are benefits to this, of course. I can, if I have the time and energy, have quite a bit of emotional drama; when I need to turn it off to survive, I can, in an instant. I can't keep it off, but if I come up one-on-one against someone who thinks they can hurt me? I can stop time. I can freeze feelings. I can erase them from every memory I have, I can ensure I'm not vulnerable, and I can plan and plot until they are in my web instead. I can Hunt, I can satiate myself with things most people don't know how to properly savor. I can See; the vision that sees ink on unmarked skin is part of this Beast, reading aura patterns and scent triggers as easily as the rest of me reads a book.
I can survive.
Y'know that lovely little breakdown on the 6th or so? The reason I ~can~ have that, the reason I ~can~ survive that, is because of this darker half. Even when my heart is breaking and my hormones are flooding and my body is out of my conscious control, that side of me fights to keep going, to keep breathing, to stay alive. I needed it, needed to admit to myself that I was feeling so miserable that death seemed good, needed to just get it OUT. Without the other half of me to hold on, getting it out might have meant acting on it. *shrug*
I have a shadow that protects me.
It's a hungry shadow, though. It needs to be fed regularly, if it's to stay strong. It needs to be a part of me, bound up with the rest of me, so that the times when my better half fails, it'll be there to step in and take over. If I tried to lock it away it'd starve, it'd fail to pretend to be me when I needed to hide for a while, it'd stop being useful.
So I feed it, I use it, I let it lurk just behind my eyes every minute of every day, and I take comfort in the knowledge that I am not denying who or what I am. This shadow is me, as much as any other fragment at the very least. It's MY desires, MY needs, MY hungers, and I won't ever pretend the shadow doesn't exist. I warn people, the ones I care about at least. They know that it's not just a caretaker lurking in here, that I don't care about laws, about emotions, about society or nobility or authority or really anything other than my own personal version of Right, Wrong, and Necessary.
I try to be a protector and friend when I can, yes. I want to be the Aunt that you can talk to, the scandalous one, the smiling one, the one with the huge pantry and huge bed and huge heart, the one who always has a present for nieces and nephews, the one who gets cheerfully drunk at weddings and dances with every man (and half the women) present, married or not. I want to be Nanny Ogg. I want to be Miss Dearheart. I want to be Sibyl. That's my goal.
I accept, however, that sometimes I'll have to let the Beast feed. I choose my partners carefully now, I make sure they know what I will need and are willing to give it.
In other news, I have the most adorable hamsters on the planet. *sage nod*
To explain the title of this entry:
I do not consider myself an athiest. I also don't consider myself much of any other religious label, really. My beliefs are strange, circumstantial, and hard to explain. I think there are powers beyond what science has found, that there is a Force beyond what we understand, and that everyone can connect with it if they honestly want to. I believe that good and evil are choices we make, not sides we choose.
I also believe that anyone who can find words to express other aspects of my beliefs, who can write down things that, just by reading, encourage me to be a better person, who can say things that make me more aware, more alert, more alive, can be considered a deity. *grin* Worth worshipping to, worth talking to, worth studying, etc. There are quite a few authors who have stated things that changed my life, but few as drastic as these.
Pratchett, well, we've talked about that one.
Gaimen: "American Gods" and "Good Omens" (the latter was co-written with Pratchett) are the two that leap to mind spiritually speaking. Both have heavily affected how I view religions, and Christianity particularly.
Heinlein: The rumor is that he and L. Ron Hubbard had a bet going regarding who could write a better 'way to live' book. Hawking got a religion. Heinlein has the smart ones. *grins muchly* "Time Enough For Love" and "Stranger In A Strange Land" are a good place to start.
He talks about love in ways few people dare to, he is honest, he presents a way to live that is so close to what I strive for and dream of that it shocked me the first time I came across it. A large portion of my views on relationships can be coalesced into these two books.
Adams: Because of him I always carry a towel. Figuratively too; I make a point of being prepared for adventure always, and I remember that small details can produce big results, and I laugh a lot. Humor is an important thing to me, I can't see myself being at home with any spiritual belief that couldn't take a look at itself and snicker occasionally. Humans are funny. They're sad, and desperate, and brilliant, and wonderful, and inspiring, and amazing, and pitiful, and pathetic, and strange, and so many other things... but funny, that's first on my list. Anyone who can't see the humor in life is missing the point of the whole thing, IMO.
Stephenson: "Snow Crash", "The Diamond Age", and "Zodiac". Of the three, "Snow Crash" is the best sci-fi read, "Zodiac" kicks ass as far as present-day fiction, and "The Diamond Age" is a frighteningly possible view of the future that has shaped many of my dreams and goals. It's "The Diamond Age" that makes me want to raise children, have pets, be Nanny. I want to be the voice that lifts someone up. I want to be the hand that keeps someone from falling. It's because of this book that I was able to recognize this, define it, accept it. Neil Stephenson taught me that you don't have to be the hero of a story to be the hero of the story; little things, background action, all the hundreds of details add up, dominoes knocking each other over. I want to be the Primer, the narrator.
Moran... oh, this is a long one.
Daniel Keys Moran has written books that I regard as scripture, literally. They are the words of a God.
The first book I found was "The Last Dancer". I read it so many times that the covers fell off and the pages were all dog-eared. I was amazed.
The next one was "The Long Run", and that got me too. A story, a simple story, and yet every time I read it I see something new.
Of all the authors on here, this is the one that I would hesitate to view as a simple human. Something about what he sees... there's more there, more than ever gets put into words. "The Last Dancer" and "The Long Run" are a light in the darkness. They are part of Who I Am. If you want to know me, read these two books.
Of course, that does go for the other books mentioned too. *wry grin* And the Crystal Singer series (Anne McCaffery), the 'Ship Who' series (Anne again), the Pern books involving singers (More Anne), everything involving Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamilton) or Miles Vorkosigan (Lois McMaster Bujold), "Catspaw" and "The Snow Queen" (Joan D. Vinge), "The Hobbit" (J.R.R. Tolkien), C.S. Lewis and John Norman and David Brin... yeah. A lot of my philosophy of life can be credited to the books I've read rather than the sermons I've heard or the examples I've seen.
Fish, this entry has dragged on a LOT longer than I expected it to; I've been typing for over an hour now and I think it's about time to wrap it up. Scott, it may take me a while to reply to th' email with more than what I wrote here, consider this a partial continuation of our conversation? *hopeful look* Torian, I'll likely be online and available-ish at some point tomorrow, I'll be keeping an eye out for you. Kadin... hehehehehehehehehehehe. That is quite possibly the most amusing dream I've heard this year. I soooo don't envy you. Puns while awake are one thing, puns while asleep another.
And dammit, Puppy, UPDATE!
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