Sunday, July 10, 2011

We All Needed This

"Remember when
We stayed up all night talking 'bout the boys we knew?
You were the only ones who'd know the things that I've been through.
We'd get together - just the few of us.
You helped me through the hardest times.
When I was lost,
You found my way.
Together now
For one more day."

Whenever I come here, I never want to leave. I've said it before, there's something about the three of us - yes, three Nick would up coming too - that just works. Kay thrives on the company, of course - a woman like her shouldn't be alone as much as she is - and Nick and I thrive on her cooking, not to mention the chance to just lie back and chill with good friends. Good, in the know friends. The knowing helps more than anybody could realize.

I wound up arriving at Kay's house sometime around 5:30pm. I had mostly cried myself out on the way there, but I still couldn't help hugging her pretty tightly. I explained about the image the song gave me that wouldn't leave my head, and she made me some tea and gave me a piece of amethyst to hold. And then we looked at lolcats until I was laughing too hard to be upset.

My personal favorite. XD

Nick arrived a short time later. Green Man dropped him off. I had spoken with Green Man before, during a relatively nasty situation, so it was nice to meet him in person. Nick, however, looked like death warmed over. Which is apparently what happens when you can describe your day to the tune of "Like A Boss".

So he came in, and Green Man left, and Kay immediately wrapped Nick up in a blanket and scolded him for behaving... well, like himself. He shrugged it off, of course, with a few well-placed jokes. I never get tired of his one-liners, but he worries me sometimes all the damn time.

We talked for a while, as per usual, and eventually we got to the purpose of our visit, which was examining the jade elephant. Kay sighed and went upstairs, and came back down with a small square package in her hands, unopened. Didn't take a genius to guess who it was from, despite the lack of a return address (which is a shame, it would've been interesting to have that) I was curious as to why she hadn't opened it yet, but after a bit of thought, it didn't surprise me much. Apparently she needed love and support just as much as I did.

So we all sat down on the couch, and Kay opened the package. The jade elephant looked different than I expected. Smaller, and more simply carved. And very very black; you could only see the green show through when you held it up to a really bright light. It also didn't sparkle or shine the way you'd think a gemstone is supposed to. Even onyx and obsidian have a certain glow to them. This thing just looked murky, like swamp water filtering out the sun.

She... she had been crying quietly throughout opening it, but when she held the elephant in her hands, she just started bawling. And all I could do was hold her as she hugged the figurine tightly to her chest and tell her over and over that she didn't do the wrong thing. I'm still not sure whether she did the right thing, and told her so a month ago when she called me that night. But I know she didn't do the wrong thing.

What happened to Zero was not Kay's fault.  His mind was broken a long time ago, and the decisions he made, he would have made eventually, with or without Kay revealing Remnant's identity. If it wasn't bones, it would have been something else. And the truth is, Kay helped him in a way that no one - not Maduin, not Reach, and certainly not me - was even capable of doing, even if Zero himself never realized it. And maybe she hurt herself in the process, but...

But nothing. She hurt herself in the process. That's the way it goes sometimes, and no one can hate themselves for it. They just can't.

The elephant wasn't the only thing in the package though. Along with a brief and painfully polite note from Guess apologizing for the confusion, there was also a small stack of yellow post-it notes. And... well, to anyone who's read Records of an Impossibility, those should be a painfully familiar wrinkle. I'll let Nick explain exactly what went down with those, but suffice it to say that his buddy Time Lord is very stressed, and Nick and I will be back at Kay's house in a few weeks for... whatever he's got planned.

A couple hours later, and Kay was busy distracting herself by cooking for her guests. Her way of dealing with things, I suppose. While we were waiting, Nick and I took a few pokes at the taint inside the elephant - we had persuaded Kay to let us have a look at it before she dumped it into a bucket of rock salt. And let me tell you, the taint itself was nasty stuff. It clings, too. Kind of like cobwebs, only more nauseating. I had to run my hands under cold water for, like, 10 minutes for the feeling to go away. I... I accidentally started thinking about the ice image again, with the bleeding, crying girl, but I clamped it down by singing Caramelldansen to myself (guaranteed to shove everything else out of your head XD).

Funny thing though. Unless I was actively probing it, I couldn't actually feel anything there. If the statue was sitting on the table instead of in my hands, it seemed like an ordinary black elephant figurine. Nick said he could still feel it, but then again, he's Nick. But the fact that the taint wasn't flailing or pulsating wildly is interesting. It may be disgusting, but it's also incredibly stable, so you can't deconstruct or change it... which kind of puts Core Theory even further down the drain, now that I think about it.

It also makes me wonder about that whole "opposite" idea I had a while back. You can't control what you can't perceive. So you fear what you can't control, and then you deny your fear, and then your fear subsequently controls you. We're all under the thumb of an illusion made real, all because we can't break that cycle... except it's stable, so it can't be altered quite like that... which means it's more than what I'm thinking of as an "illusion"... Aaand once again, I feel like there's a piece to the puzzle I'm still missing. Getting tired of that feeling.

...Kinda makes me wonder whether or not Zero's shadow was "real" in that sense, though.

I also wonder what would happen if we could get a proxy to willingly carry a large enough piece of jade around for a few months, but I don't think that's really feasible.

Later that night, a plan that Kay brought up to me privately went into action.

You see, she's come to the conclusion that Nick's Stepford Smiling is a dangerous thing, and I happen to agree with her. So we started up a few movies, broke out the popcorn and cookies... and got the boy stone drunk.

As mentioned before, Nick + drunk = rather hilarious, but he was almost about to nod off by his fifth round, so we decided to just go for it.

The whole plan was slightly anti-climactic though. Nothing changed, we just found out a bit more about what he's always so worried about. And considering how secretive he was about it even while utterly plastered (and considering how pissed off he was when he found out our little plan the next day), I shall refrain from mentioning what was talked about. I just wish he didn't have to hold all of this in.

Heh. Actually, Kay cornered him on Saturday morning (I was still asleep, naturally). The combination of questions and a blinding hangover made him not exactly cooperative, and by the time I was up, a fight had broken out. Like I said, he was pretty angry when he realized we got him drunk on purpose. It didn't last too long, I guess, but a lot of unfortunate things were said before everyone calmed down. Still, he understood our intentions in the end... and then apologies all around, so it was all good. ^^

The rest of Saturday was pretty quiet, and then Sunday was a gloriously lazy day. Nothing but chillin' and talking and pretending to be a completely normal group of friends. I love those kinds of days. Especially when I feel like we've all earned them.

But now it's getting late, and it's time to go home. Back home, back to work, back to Camden and all of its bad memories.

I feel a bit better knowing I'll definitely be back here. No matter what Nick thinks Time Lord is cooking up, it's always good just to be with the two of them, even when we argue. They're more than just my friends, they're my constants. Something to focus on that'll hopefully always be there. And I don't need anyone telling me that that's a foolish hope. I'm gonna hope for it anyway.

Well, I can't put this off for much longer. Until next time, guys. Stay safe.


  1. I still feel like crap. Kay's hurt enough as it is, I shouldn't have blown up like I did.

    Ach. I got nothing.

    I'll see you both again soon.

  2. Glad you got to have some fun. Kind of wish I could've seen drunk Nick, not going to lie.
    All three of you deserve the break, I'm glad you got it.
    Hope things go well for you, at least for a while.

  3. Good to know it arrived safely.

  4. "But nothing. She hurt herself in the process. That's the way it goes sometimes, and no one can hate themselves for it. They just can't."

    Ryuu. You know differently, don't you?
    It's very, very easy to hate yourself.
    Even harder for anyone to prove you wrong.

  5. @Nick: Relax, man. What's done is done. Now we move on.

    @Elaine: Always entertaining, though I still feel a bit guilty for it this time around. But I'm taking my own advice on this one. -shrug-

    @Guess: Any clue how you wound up with it in the first place yet?

    @Spencer: Dude. Why do you feel the need to do that? I've said it before - there are things about me that are not applicable to my purpose here, and are therefore nobody's damn business but my own. So just lay off.