This journal is over.
I am closing this book, and will not be opening it again.
It has served me well, but it is now purely a chronicle of things that, for whatever reason, I have decided to move away from.
Perhaps I will write another. Perhaps I will not.
I began this LJ seven years ago, at the request of a friend, and we're none of us who we were, anymore.
Thank you to everyone I have connected with through this medium. I hope to retain contact with some of you.
But this journal has become a part of my past, and I'm putting it behind me.
My health issues are of a nature such that I cannot fast for a day without severe physical repercussions, but I always perform my Selichot devoutly. I usually keep it pretty private (like the rest of my devotions, really) between only myself and individuals I can distinctly recall having erred against , but it's been a very, very imperfect year for me (and a half, really, but that half was atoned for a year ago), so I'm going to put this out a little more publicly...
It has been an odd experience for me, these past months, allowing my faith and my participation in its practices to be more visible to those I trust.
If I have hurt or disappointed you in this last year, whether consciously or otherwise, I hope you will forgive me. If you ever wish to speak about any time at which you feel I let you down, I hope you will approach me, so that I may have the opportunity to atone, and you may have the opportunity to release those feelings of offense.
I believe the reason that being flawed is integral to our nature, is so that we may always have something to strive for. I believe that complacency is anathema to growth.
I hope to be better in the coming year.
Things are coming along swimmingly. ^_^
Currently, I am dealing with some very difficult stuff.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will survive, and ultimately prosper, but right now, I'm struggling.
I'm really struggling.
Chances are, if I haven't spoken to you about it (and I probably haven't), it's because I don't really want to, but kind wishes and/or offers of prayers are both welcome, very much appreciated, and kind of needed.
Please bear with me if I don't seem to be myself, and take it with a grain of salt if needed.
That's all. Thank you.
It may surprise you to learn that I never have anything to wear to funerals. Given that the majority of my wardrobe is, in fact, black, that may seem unlikely, but when black is your everyday colour, what colour do you wear, then, to mourn? I usually try to go for something in brown/beige/fawn/taupe. I hate that colour family (I really, really do hate brown - and grey!) and would never wear it voluntarily as a formal garment, therefore it makes the perfect mourning colour for me.
I had forgotten what it was like, on the Dexamphetamine.
I forgot about the tunnel-vision-focus. I forgot about the unsettling purity and clarity of emotion, each neatly separate and distinct with no interbleeding. I forgot about the creative inspiration, the intrusive ideas that demand voice relentlessly until satisfied. I don't mind these things, actually. My whole world sharpens, but it's quite nice; everything is hyper-real.
But I also forgot about the hunger, and the weight loss. Weight loss is no great tragedy for me - I'm slim, but I haven't been what any doctor would call 'skinny' since I was fifteen, and, like most women, despite academic knowledge that the culture of thin is unhealthy and dangerous, I tend to respond emotionally to any weight shed as a positive thing - but the hunger is a problem. I already naturally have a fast metabolism, and a need to eat frequently or else rapidly become sickly and vague, but I had forgotten how the Dex speeds it up; increases energy output. Necessitates greater consumption. I had forgotten the need to eat more or less every hour, to the point that normal, daily activity needs to be planned around it, to allow for food within arm's reach, and one hand free to eat. I had forgotten how that hunger rapidly becomes the only thing I can think about. I had forgotten the shaking that comes if that hunger is denied, and the slightly mad but nevertheless powerful and compelling impulse to bite anything soft in sight.
It took a while of the raised dosage (I'm on three and a half daily) for this to set in, because for the first few months of being back on it, I was only taking one one and a half a day before my doctor recently reccommended a higher dose - so I'm only now noticing it sufficiently to recognise and understand it as something familiar.
It is a price I accept in exchange for the very large benefits of the Dex - and it is quite a serious drug, so some drawbacks must be expected.
But I have lost quite a bit of weight (easily a size, probably not noticeable to anyone but myself) in the last year already due to other factors, and now I am losing more. I'm not worried about becoming too thin, because I've got a fair bit of breathing room before that becomes a danger, but even my smaller clothes are starting to slip, now - my high-waisted grey wool wide-leg sailor-style trousers are now low hipsters, and too loose even to belt in without bunching the fabric unattractively - and I don't want to have to buy new ones, because I can't really afford to. Add to that the additional inconvenience of also not being able to wear a belt with anything that sits lower than my waist (which, given that everything's now a bit loose, is a highly impractical problem) because of the discomfort caused by my hipbones pressing against it, and feeling sore and visibly bruised by the end of the day. So, I hope it doesn't get worse.
At least it's not interfering with my sleep this time, though. I can take anything but insomnia.
“Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.”
- Shari R. Barr
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
– Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight
“It really doesn't matter whether it's the villain or the hero. Sometimes the villain is the most colourful. But I prefer a part where you don't know what he is until the end.”
– Glenn Ford
From a letter by Ivy Darling to her younger broodmate, Angela, dated January, 2011:
No doubt you have heard a great many tales of my wilfulness and tendency to selfish motivations from our Sire. Some of them may even be true. I am not interested in addressing for you what is fact and what is fiction; make of that what you like.
I write not to enquire about your health, nor that of our Sire. I shall not waste time with pleasantries; this letter contains a lesson, and it was hard-won on my part. I would spare you the pain of having to learn it for yourself and, should you fail, I would spare our Sire the grief of your loss.
This is not nice, or pretty, and it’s not something anyone will tell you, but nevertheless, it is something you need to know, and it is a lesson all Neonates must learn – one way or the other. I hope you will forgive me a certain frankness in my manner, but these are the harsh realities and painful truths that will define the course of your existence – whether you choose to take my words on-board, or disregard them – and in discussing them, the cynical tongue is the only one natural to the subject matter.
Pay attention, now, because this concerns your survival.
The heart of the Kindred problem, as I see it, is this; we go from stupid to evil.
That’s it, those are the only options we’re allowed – that is the total range of our operational settings as an organism, though they do exist on a sliding scale, so thank God for small mercies, right? We start out stupid, and if we survive the stupid phase, we end up evil, and that’s a pre-set inevitability, and it stinks, and there’s sod all any of us can do about it. And every one of us thinks we’re going to be different, and every one of us ends up the same – stupid and dead or alive and evil, because there’s no room for stupidity in the jungle, and that’s where we live; our whole damned (no pun intended) species.
People talk about the corporate world being dog-eat-dog, but business isn’t in it with the Requiem, not by a long shot. There’s only ever room for so many Kindred in the world – even less if you want to have any sort of life that doesn’t involve eating three square meals of shite a day – and if you want a space of your own, you have to carve it out for yourself in blood. There’s not an Ancilla around didn’t fuck someone over to survive as long as they have, to say nothing of the actual Elders; if they’ve made it past the first century or so (which I’m told is the major point of attrition for our kind – if you can get past that, your chances of actually living forever, like your Sire promised you could, improve considerably) then it’s fair to assume they’ve murdered at least one poor bastard on the ride in, and worse, that they’ve made their peace with it. ‘Cutthroat’ isn’t a quaint turn of phrase for these people; it’s where they live.
We’re an evolutionary and moral dead end, an inksplot in God’s design – though He does have a purpose for us, we must not confuse value with virtue; there’s nothing intrinsically positive about what we are or what we do, and any good we want to hold on to, we have to bring with us from before we were turned. Even then, it’s hard to keep it from slipping away, what with the Voice whispering constantly in the deepest, worst parts of our brain – like a wolf, hammering at the door – taunting us with how sweet it would be to let it go when it hurts so much to try to keep a hold of, how easy, how right, like relaxing a clenched and cramping muscle, or maybe giving into sleep after a long period of wakeful exhaustion. It wants us to move on from stupidity and accept our destiny, the way we’re supposed to be. It understands that true goodness was out of our reach the instant we swallowed that first drop of Vitae, and the best we can do now is to try to make the stupidity last as long as possible, which is preferable to the alternative – isn’t it?
Well, it turns out that stupid Kindred die in greater numbers than evil ones; in fact, they make up the bulk of our mortality rate, and that’s not by accident. Taking the life of another is to step through a door that immediately slams and locks behind you, an irredeemably evil act that brands the Mark of the Beast upon you, and forever stains you as truly Damned. But in a world defined in terms of predator and prey, kill or be killed is the only law that really matters, and making the choice not to take life identifies you as easy meat for those with no such compunctions. Kindred are a self-culling species; the evil slaughter the stupid in droves, and to choose the more noble path is to offer your life for the taking – to declare that you don’t believe it’s worth defending. The pack doesn’t differentiate between hunter and vegan, except to mark one as easier prey.
So, your options are to die, bravely struggling to keep a firm grasp on what’s left of your soul, or to live, and watch see yourself turn into a monster by degrees. This is not a decision you can avoid - someday, you will have to decide.
Perhaps not tonight.
Perhaps not next week.
Perhaps not next year.
But on that fateful night when the pack finally comes for you, which way will you jump? It’s a decision we all have to make, sooner or later.
When push comes to shove, which will it be; will you kill, or be killed?
What’s more important; your life, or theirs?
What you are is written in blood on the fabric of Creation, and it cannot be escaped. You’re not going to change the world. You’re not going to be the one to change what you are, and what you must become.
No matter how hard you struggle, your destiny eventually comes down to this; stupid or evil? Alive or dead?
Ivy smirked as the text-to-voice software read her the email in the staggered tones of Christopher Walken.
Marja...it could be enjoyable.
She thought of the heavily-accented Carthian, and the word 'frenemy' turned over in her mind, like a coin running across knuckles, and she wondered what colour her eyes were.
She was looking forward to the trip. It would her first real excursion out of the cathedral in months, aside from the brief venture to retrieve Darius from the airport, and then to return him there. She thought of being so far away from Aulus overnight, and felt a sudden, brief stab of...anxiety? No, that wasn't possible. The very concept was ridiculous. Ivy went where she wanted, when she wanted. The discomfort had been an instant's passing confusion, that was all; perhaps a reverberation of some momentary panic, picked up from an unidentified member of her family. She could feel for it, try to place its source, if she wanted, but...
She shook her head to clear it as the shadows unfurled around the edges like dye in water, and returned her thoughts to Marja.
It would be a bit of fun to dance with her; all potential, all implication, but no real stakes - not yet. A trial run, for now, a few casual first dates, but maybe, if it went well...
It would be diverting to have a frenemy. A slightly broken smile tugged at her lips, and Ivy wondered with dreamy distance if she was lonely or just bored.
Was Marja thinking of her? she wondered for the briefest of moments, and then she threw back her head and laughed, shattering the silence.
"Don't be ridiculous, Ivy," she said aloud, and lifted a hand gracefully to push a skein of hair out of her face.
"Of course she is."
I have apparently managed to buy the only corset in existence capable of making me look not slimmer, but actually fatter; it flattens my bosoms to ironing-board dimensions, and squishes what's left out the top in a very unflattering fashion (it just looks like flab-spillage), and appears to thicken rather than emphasise, let alone narrow, my waist. :'-( It's a leather steelbone, so I'm hoping after I've worn it around the house a few times and 'broken it in' (as the tag reccommends) it will magically become marginally more complimentary, otherwise that's good money down the drain. :-/
Forum Fruitcake sent me another "final" nasty message, further expressing her indignation at me for...something, but I've now blocked her since reading it, so can't retrieve it, and don't want to unblock her so I can post it here, because I don't particularly want to read it again.
I finally caved, and sent the entire string to a Mod.
But, for what it's worth, I feel the need to say this; if someone sends you two emails, and you send them five, they are not harassing you.
That is all.