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06 June 2011 @ 06:32 am
I made a backdated entry about my last exam here and it has many all-cap statements. Writing it made me giggle. But it doesn't make much sense.

It's also 5.30am so this entry may not make much sense either but I want to make it before the terrible Memory Monster that resides between my ears noms up all my memories. The feeling of fright when you realise you've just lost track of three days. Anyway, moving on!

27th Friday: I went to Pip's in Swindon and nearly got stuck on the train because I had a big back with a double duvet for my Dweeb of a brother. Hung out with Spud (Pip's daughter) during errands; delighted at looking up from my book often to wave at Spud whenever she waved at me from the playground. Pip and Amanda (her other daughter) went off to the shops for a bit and had to leave me with something to do, so they put on the Rocky Horror soundtrack; I was dancing the Time Warp when they returned and Pip lost herself to a fit of giggles. (She texted Jo something like "there is a Kiwi dancing the Time Warp around my kitchen" to which Jo replied something like "that's the stuff dreams are made of". My friends make me laugh.) In the evening Pip and I talked like adults (I had forgotten how to do that) and she kept calling me amazing for things I've done/things I am so I cried and she told me I daren't do that because I'm her Kiwi and she's the one who's going to miss me. Topic turned to DiaCon Alley (everyone knows it's my graduation gift) and she rushed me upstairs to try on an old dress of hers that she made and loves but never wears. After much convincing, she got me into it. I stared into the mirror and nearly cried. I've had moments of liking my body a bit, in the ignore-what-I-don't-like manner, but not of loving my body. She has instructed me to buy a purple bra and is taking it up for me - which means it's a gift, for me, and that nearly set me off into tears again. We gabbed a bit more, she went to sleep, I wrote SMACKDOWN stories and sniffled (because I was ill) and came face to face with

28th Saturday: which was the day of Pip's BBQ. There was drama in the morning about the weather and Pip feeling like she should cancel it. She didn't. I was unabashed in sitting around Pip's kitchen in my jammies, even as guests arrived. I met Sally, Pip's friend whom she talks about often, and Sally liked that I was in my jammies. She had a very "screw 'em" attitude that I enjoyed. Eventually there were enough people around that I decided to put on clothes. Once I was downstairs in a bra and shirt, Pip had me show off the shirt...only for me to find she was actually showing off my waist. I zipped up my hoodie. Somehow, my chest was the main topic of conversation throughout the entire evening - I kid not, the entire evening - before and after everyone was drunk. Jojo arrived soon enough and we squeed and hugged. When a Cat Steven's song played she told me she had purchased Harold and Maude (after falling asleep while watching it with me) and had loved it. That and the song made me cry-laugh-smile-frown as I somehow manage to do in odd moments. Jo told me she cried when Glee included For Good, which is now our song since she listened to it driving in the car, cried and texted me; both that and Glee playing it made me cry. I had Pip play Bitch by Meredith Brooks (my favourite song since age 7) and danced around like mad. Didn't drink much during the evening (I pretend to and don't). Played Rocky Horror music (Pip telling her friends that they would never see the Time Warp performed in such a way) and made me dance. Jojo joined in and suddenly I wasn't at a BBQ performing slightly lesbionic acts in front of nearly-drunken party-goers, it was just me and Jojobird, celebrating our freedom from the institution with a camp production we both love. Pip gave us champagne as we danced; we all toasted...but before Jojo or I could drink, In Just Seven Days (I Can Make You a Man) came on and we had to dance. I carried her out of the room on my hips. Then we drank the champagne and hugged. I sat on the floor with Jo and Pip lost herself to a crying fit about how I was leaving. I don't tend to cry in situations like that (see: Cat Sevens, instead) and my immediate reaction to someone crying is to stone up and comfort, so I did that; Sally and Jo helped. We got through that. Pip was later very very drunk. Jo and I excused ourselves to chill out upstairs in Amanda's room; others occasionally came in to see where we had gone. I posted my Circlecest entries to Goldenlake's SMACKDOWN. I was going to write more but people kept coming up to me and telling me that Pip was upset in the garden, talking about how I was leaving. (I had told her as soon as I got off the train on Friday that I needed to dedicate 3 hours to my writing competition in the evening; despite that, I had cut it down to two.) I looked at the flooded SMACKDOWN arena (the other team was flooding), saw Sketchy's plea for help in writing (and the 'can we do it?' message) and realised I couldn't. I sighed, bit my lip and went to deal with the ramifications of alcohol that have always made me uncomfortable. Jojo and I comforted her through it; I made her laugh; we got her inside. Turns out she was a bit high and PMT/PMS, too, so that didn't help. We all made it to bed. I realised I had drunk the least there, save the 13-year-old - yet had still suggestively danced to Rocky Horror. Such is my life.

29th Sunday: Jojobird, Pip and Co. let me sleep in. (They know what alcohol - even a little - does to me. First year, when Pip gave me a glass of half-wine-half-water, I slept like a rock and found myself cuddled up to Spud 12 hours later.) Pip had cooked us all a fry-up and it was nummy. We all chatted. Jo headed out. I booked my tickets for Stoke-on-Trent and hung around some. Saw that Circlecest had lost SMACKDOWN by nine stories and I bawled my eyes out because I am super silly like that. It just combined with the darker parts of the evening that I've experienced a few too many times and that tend to trigger me. Said goodbye to Pip and her family, headed off to Stoke-on-Trent. My brother picked me up at the station and talked about his drunken antics a lot. Instead of heading back to his, we went to his friends' Mike and Rusty's. They gamed through the night (until 5am or so) and I snoozed on the sofa after some Internet-surfing. I realised I was getting coldsores and was not a happy kitty-kiwi. At some point during the later part of the day I realised, regarding SMACKDOWN, that I still felt a bit like a winner. Two more minor fandoms had beat out pairings from big fandoms and nine stories was not a lot to lose by - less than two digits? It felt like Minerva McGonagall/Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank losing against McGonagall/Hooch, but only after both pairings beat out all the popular Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Luna/Neville or whatever else popular pairings there are. With that I decided that both SMACKDOWN teams were winners for being awesome. It stopped stinging.

30th Monday: Dweeb (my brother) and I walked around Keele campus. We stuck to the woodsy area and walked around the lake. We crossed a stream, as well. I used the slippery bridge (Dweeb: "Taking the dangerous path, eh?" Whenever I can); he jumped. He got me to use the crazy wooden swing tied to a tree and I flew through the air, unaware of when my feet would touch rooted ground again. It was beautiful. We walked around more, taking pictures and videos occasionally. He took interest in the variety of Rhododendrons, which made me smile. We hung around at his and then went to his nearby bar, where I met some more of his friends and got along with a fellow graduating third-year. (This all despite feeling diseased and having sores over my lip - any socialisation then I have to applaud in myself.) In the late evening I read one of my old fanfics and went to sleep.

31st Tuesday: Not a happy day for my lips. Dweeb packed up his stuff into his trunk and Mike showed up. We got a taxi to Mike's with the trunk and left it there. I hung around as Dweeb, Mike and Rusty chatted. Rusty, Dweeb and I headed into Newcastle. We visited the Hippy Hippy Milkshake place, where I had a Cadbury Caramel Egg Milkshake (mmm) and two cupcakes. I bought a medical mask at Boots and Dweeb couldn't understand why I would want to look like a hypochondriac (i.e. look strange) rather than walk around with my virus on display (i.e. open painful sores). I'm used to people looking at me for being strange, looking and making assumptions; my particularly bad case with a virus is personal and painful and I would rather not everyone see it, or subject myself to knowing people can see it. We walked back to Mike and Rusty's. Dweeb, Akash and Rusty gamed until 5-something in the morning and we all parted ways on a more permanent basis. (I also can't believe I tumblred all night. I completely blame my brother for the fact that I'm pulling an all-nighter right now [6am] to fix my sleep-schedule.)

1st Wednesday: Dweeb packed up the rest of his stuff. We headed out, caught the bus into Stoke by the skin of our teeth and had hot chocolate at the station. (Well, Dweeb had hot chocolate; he gave me the marshmallows he had to buy to make the purchase on card.) We got in a semi-heated argument over conservation on the way to Stratford (or change); he doesn't seem to believe in human-mediated (or -aggravated) climate change, which was sort of a shocker to me. But many people haven't spent 3 years straight in lectures about it. It reminded me why I studied ecology instead of hopping straight into English. I think I needed that. The train from Stratford back to Reading was odd.

It was hard because when I saw a sign that said a train was going to Reading, I read it as 'going home' - and that will not be true in less than two months, which my brain reminded me, so there was a spike of pain. On the other hand, I had my first sexy daydream. This may be TMI for my journal but it also documents something that has never happened in my life before, so I want it down.

I've had sexy dreams (rarely). I've been aroused before (to a degree). I was listening to a sexy Ani DiFranco song and my brain started playing up with these fantasies involving me (which is unheard of). Another part of my brain went to shut it down: "That's not going to happen, not with us. Don't bother. People don't think of us that way. Think of something else." For the first time, I actually argued. "That's not the point! Fantasies aren't about reality - that's why they're fantasy! Some day, someone will want us that way; but regardless that isn't what matters. We can dream about unicorns and talking butterflies and saving teachers, but we can't dream about a steamy dance or heated exchanged glance? It's fantasy. We can dream up whatever we want." So I did. It was amazing. I played the song on repeat the rest of the journey home, just letting my mind go crazy with this new land in which I was allowed to be desirable in my own mind - to others and to myself. I hope I can get back to that place. I've always considered myself a dreamer, but that was just beyond...

The rest isn't that exciting. Dweeb and I got home, Interneted on the sofa. Jacqueline gave me a poster of Lightning from Final Fantasy XVIII (I think); she bought it for me at the anime conference. Thursday was spent doing pretty much the same. I also packed up a bag of stuff for him to bring home for me. It felt odd and final - as everything seems to finalised that I am Going Home, but I am Leaving Home to do so.

Friday Jacqueline and I went into Reading to drop him at the station. Dweeb and I hugged awkwardly. As we were walking away, Jacqueline asked me if it felt weird. I told her it did. "I'm sending him off and don't feel the urge to directly follow him, which means I know I'm not done here. But I also know that's the last time I send him off with the knowledge that I'll soon be following. When I send him away next, I'll be on the other side of airport security, watching him fly back to a land of my friends while staying landbound myself. That's...hard to handle." But I'm handling it. Jacqueline and I ate lunch at the Global Cafe, then met Judy and Sam (anime society people) for a little shopping. We watched two Sailor Moon film back at Sam and Judy's, then headed off to Mojo's (student pub) where I chatted with lash_larue. At anime society I continued chatting and uploaded some SMACKDOWN writing. Got a lift home and hung around with Jacqueline.

The rest of the weekend has been spent much the same. Lots of lounging around, picking away at things for progress and minimal productivity. Late nights. My thoughts have been swaying about. I think about the state of this house and how I'm not thrilled to live with six men (we were all sure someone had vomited in the kitchen sink; thank goodness Kieran cleaned it up). I think about how amazing the friends I've made here are, how much I can't imagine my life without them. I think about how I don't have to imagine my life entirely without them but that I am leaving and that is big. I think about the next few years of my life and the mystery there-in and sometimes I get goosebumps but mainly...I feel as though life and I will sort things out, with a little help from Lady Luck, Señora Serendipity and a spoonful of humour.

Sorry for the long entry. I guessed it would be. That's the Travels and State of Kiwi. Every moment feels like a bit of a goodbye, but I remember this feeling from when I was leaving to come here, what feels like so long ago...and at least I know I've grown. And learned. Loved. Bonded. Found fits. That makes me smile. So despite the pain of stretching the bonds and fits, at least I can take faith in knowing I can probably do it again. My heart's still open.

(But hopefully the next entry will be short and frivolous and ridiculous anyway. [; )


You'll be with me like a hand print on my heart.
Current Mood: indescribableIndescribable.
Rosa | ¯\(ºдಠ)/¯: real life?rosaxx50 on June 6th, 2011 08:32 am (UTC)
I see this is a fuller answer to how post-SMACKDOWN treated you :P

Also, you weren't the only one who nearly cried when the 9-difference was announced. The entire time I was thinking, if I'd stayed up a little longer last night and wrote the stories.....
Kiwi Crocus: Women || Flowers in her hair.cranky__crocus on June 6th, 2011 08:36 am (UTC)
Yes, this is definitely a fuller answer on how post-SMACKDOWN treated me. (: I had to go through my phases of grief, of course...

I wish I could say I 'nearly' cried with the 9-difference announced but I'm afraid there was no 'nearly' about it! I was alone when I found out so I just let myself sit and cry for a bit. First I felt stupid for feeling so involved in fandom...but then I realised that it's nice to feel so invested and involved. It was a community effort; there was much bonding; I wrote new things and experienced plenty of new stuff, writing and otherwise. I've never experienced anything like SMACKDOWN before. I needed some sort of reaction!

Yeah, I was thinking that too. "All those times I thought 'should I write ten more or go to sleep?'"

But we tried. We did a damn good job while we were at it, too. I'm proud of Circlecest! ♥
Rosa | ¯\(ºдಠ)/¯rosaxx50 on June 6th, 2011 08:40 am (UTC)
yeah, I admit my grief was somewhat tempered by the knowledge of approaching exams, and I wasn't actually alone when I checked.

:) Bonding through spamming of the boards FTW
Kiwi Crocus: Women || Cat and plait.cranky__crocus on June 6th, 2011 08:42 am (UTC)
I think my grief was increased by the fact that my exams were done. "Wow. If I can't win with a week straight of writing with no exams, I'm really not a winner, am I?" But my brain was just being rude - it does that sometimes. *Shakes head, just to smack the rude portion a bit.*

Hahaha I guess that's what we were all bonding over, wasn't it, spamming boards? But there were the threads and the occasional prompts we got off each other. That was fun. Plus the reading and reviewing that went into the early days of each week. :B
Nicki: friends!peroxidepirate on June 7th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Rosa and Kiwi, I remain awed by everything you put into SMACKDOWN. I kicked myself a little bit for not pulling out 10 more fics, too... but we gave C/M a hell of a fight, and I'm proud.
Nickiperoxidepirate on June 7th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
I love reading these glimpses into your life. It sounds like you had some great adventures, even if they're shadowed by the bittersweetness of knowing you're leaving soon, and I'm glad for you!
Kiwi Crocus: Ani D || Grinning.cranky__crocus on June 30th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
I love reading these glimpses into your life.
I'm glad, since I always feel so guilty for posting long entries! Bittersweetness of knowing I'm leaving soon is definitely (still) difficult, but I'm having a good time. (: Plus, I know my life is going to be an exciting whirlwind when I get back! :D
gerristgerrist on June 7th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's a lot of days and a lot of emotions. I was looking for each entry on the actual day and was so surprised when they weren't there. Now it all comes together!

As I read what you wrote about leaving your university friends behind it reminded me of that time in my life. Don't worry, I'm not getting into it : ). Great Journey's always have endings, or near endings. It seems to be part of what makes them spectacular. On the grand scale, we know our lives have an end. Its quite profound . (No, I'm not enhanced in any way : ).

Most times, when a good journey ends (and also begins, though it doesn't feel that way) it is painful at the start but it usually turns delightful - I saw that anew as I watched you with your new and wonderful friends at camp last summer.

I've just watched Alex re-enter this part of his world. I've watched you do it many times as well. I couldn't be more proud of the two of you. I so value your ability to create yourselves as grounded people in different situations, with different friends, in different places. A very important life skill.

I have confidence that you will find a way to include England in your future life. Your father has continued to be a Brit even having lived here since 1981/2, when he was 26 or 27. Yeah, you save up for plane trips a lot --> some people have expensive cars, we've flown to the UK many times. Choices.

As for fantasy - I couldn't be happier for you. Its a wonderful pastime, and very healthy. Good for a writer too : ). Also a lovely way to spend time on a raft - as the water lulls you to the place between "reality" and sleep - where constraints disappear and a flow of beautiful energy can blossom freely. What better way to spend time than to dream of our love and desire? One upon a time I was an ugly duckling with only a dream on a dock. And what an excellent dream it turned into! Dream away ....


Kiwi Crocus: Kiwi || Magnolia.cranky__crocus on June 30th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
Thank you for this response! :D It's going to be strange for me to not be entering-exiting-re-entering groups of friends every few months, the way I have for the last 3 years. I'm sure I'll adapt and learn to love it! Plus, with Facebook, it's easier to have friends all over the world. (: With things like that, I definitely think I'll find ways to include England in my future life!

Fantasy is fun. (: I'm perfectly content to remain an ugly duckling on a dock for a good deal more - the fantasies in themselves are great fun! I'm sure I'll metamorphose when I'm ready.

(And fantasy or no, I'll always be a dreamer. :D)