I am I'm skipping Orycon, this year, I think. I may still get talked out of it, but... frankly, most of what I'd been going for, the last five years or so, was that it was a vacation, for me and Penny, from the daily stress of being unemployed, of her cancer, of the ongoing drain of everything we'd "hoarded up" together.
Last year, she was eager to go, but then when we were there, the pain got extreme. At that time, though we didn't know it, the cancer was making one of its surges, spreading into other parts of her body, to the cardiac membrane, the esophagus, further into the liver. She was only able to enjoy a small part of the convention, but it was good. We left a bit early because she wasn't feeling good.
I don't know if I'd be able to face any of our friends and acquaintances. Even though there was supposed to be some sort of a communication that she had died, I have no idea how far it got, and I can't really cope with explaining it all to a dozen people, and while I would, very much, enjoy being away from home and among friends that I see only occasionally... sympathy would make me dumb with the effort to not go all weepy, and pity would make me angry, so, I think not.
Thanksgiving is next week. I've been invited to my youngest brother's place for dinner with his freshly married new wife and her family and my family, what parts of it are here in Oregon. So, I'll find some of those nice herb rolls from Beaverton Bakery and head down early in the morning Thursday.
I'm going to take my PSP and some movies with me, most likely, and watch Kill Bill or something, if the family activities suck.
Last week I wrote about the Wednesday night convulsions. Well, Saturday, I discovered that I did, indeed, have physical as well as emotional spasms: my lower back was sprained, and the (comfort-aire) bed has been leaking on the side I sleep on, so I had a few days of crippling lower-back pain, and it's still not completely healed. The Taits invited me to stop by for a bit on Sunday and were kind enough to give me a neck-and-shoulder massage, which helped with some of the remaining tension, and it's been responding to pain meds, but I have to make changes to my workstation here to get it to a really tolerable place.
Monday, I got a call from a consulting firm. Note, not contracting - consulting. They don't provide X pounds of disposable programmer for X months, plug compatible.
They provide a consulting service, developing a product, embedded within the company. And I want this job. It's every kind of thing I like, there's enough change to keep me from going stale from boredom, there are benefits (!!) and it's long-term. I interviewed with them, briefly, Wednesday afternoon, just before driving south along a noxiously crowded freeway through a heavy rain and high winds - love those winter storms - to my Mom's place in Dallas, Oregon. It being her birthday, I had promised to visit and take her to dinner. My brothers were also invited but were both doing some long-haul driving. So. I drove to Spirit Mountain Casino behind Mom and Mitch, in the same storm, only this time it was dark and there were idiots behind us who were just dying to get to the coast - or wanted to, by the way they behaved. The roads were covered by fallen branches, there was enough water to hydroplane on, and there were high winds, and these guys thought that slowing to 45 in places was an impediment to their progress.
Anyway. I won enough gambling to pay for my dinner (but not hers or Mitch's, which I bought as well.)
Yesterday, I was exhausted and slept until 11:30 for a total of 8 hours sleep (also, exposed to all sorts of disease vectors and a ton of cigarette smoke Wednesday) and got a number of weird spam calls and a "did you get home safely" from Mom. I thought about what's been happening, and I was unhappy to realize how useless the flashbacks have been. I don't get her voice, I don't get her face, I get the emotions attached to them. Even dreaming last night, a whole mess of weirdness. It was an odd combination of genres, very narrative; like many dreams Penny had, it had a complicated spy motif, and it tied into Orycon indirectly by having some of the story being a convention of wizards, spies, ninjas, superheroes, science heroes, and mad scientists, a lot like the bazaar on Deva but not a giant collection of hucksters. Penny was showing up all through the dream in disguise, by message or by overheard words or brief glimpse across a room or going through a door, but I only actually saw and touched her at the end of the dream, and it wasn't really her, it was the prison-of-her-body symbol, bloated by disease and unable to move without help, and she didn't really talk to me much; with that blocking the reality of her, all I got was the sense of her presence, twice removed.
So when I woke up, I was disappointed.
Tonight, before writing this, I was looking at the one-word meme, and came to 'best friend' and it's like pouring a bottle of headache directly onto the top of my head ... and even writing about it now, it's hitting again.
My best friend is gone.
I won't see her again in this life. The best I can hope for is her occasional dream guest appearance, which is not good enough damn it.