[s]D E E E P[/s]


I'm an alcoholic.

That's not really a joke. It's not one of my Classic Cynewulf Cold Openings. It's kinda just the only really honest way to express this. It is mildly significant. I drink mostly Taaka, which is a shitty brand of vodka. I love it, and it is shit. These things are not mutually exclusive. It is cheap and it comes in 35% alcohol by volume and 50%. I take the fifty percent. Hundred proof. It gets you gone fast. It is bitter and harsh and it does not taste good. It must be mixed with something for me to stomach it--I can longer drink it in large quantities straight as I once did.

In college my tolerance was very high. As in, it takes a third of a large bottle (and I had to be kind of aggressive about it) to be buzzed for 45 minutes and thats if I chain smoke high-tolerance. Nowadays it takes less. But I'll be back there soon if I'm not careful. In Law School, during the last third of The Night is Passing, I was at two jumbo jumbo margaritas bigger than my head every two days, and vodka in tea (I had lots of booze and not much to put it in) in between. This was also when I was smoking a pack and a half of heavy american spirits a day but that's not the point. And I usually drank more after I stumbled back into my apartment. I was hungover almost every morning for months.

I first drank alcohol by accident. The evil mother of my first girlfriend tricked me into vodka and cranberry juice and cackled as I choked. I was about 17, I think. Later on, I developed a taste for wine and that same girlfriend and I would enjoy some when we would internet together at the table while I smoked the pipe I had just gotten. My 21st birthday was celebrated with a margarita but that was it.

In college, in a dark semester of my life, I spent very little time sober. I drank. I toked. I did high doses of vyvanse and would pace excitedly at 3 AM in the wet grass ranting to the stars. I woke up hungover or coming down from something 4 days out of 7 easily. I did like 6-8 grams a week minimum. Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot. I don't know. But for me? I was the first person in my family in generations to drink at all, even a little bit, for any reason.

This happened for a lot of reasons. One of the reasons is that I wanted to join in.

I have always been lonely. I didn't know how to make friends. I still don't, really. When I have them I don't know what to do with them. I have never been the main friend or in what I and Lewis call the "Inner Circle". I was always in the outer ring. The occasional circle, the outer courts of affection.

Quiet. Easily forgotten. A great giant shadow that shuffled from place to place with a book in hand, eating in the back of the mexican restaurant with a book and a margarita. The kid sitting on the wall outside with a Redwall book. In my room for hours on end playing another marathon campaign of Medieval Total War (Byzantines!). Alone alone alone.

I had friends. But for the vast majority of my life I have always been or felt as if I have been on the outside of the Inner Ring.

The Inner Ring, as Lewis says:

In the passage I have just read from Tolstoy, the young second lieutenant Boris Dubretskoi discovers that there exist in the army two different systems or hierarchies. The one is printed in some little red book and anyone can easily read it up. It also remains constant. A general is always superior to a colonel, and a colonel to a captain. The other is not printed anywhere. Nor is it even a formally organised secret society with officers and rules which you would be told after you had been admitted. You are never formally and explicitly admitted by anyone. You discover gradually, in almost indefinable ways, that it exists and that you are outside it; and then later, perhaps, that you are inside it.

There are what correspond to passwords, but they are too spontaneous and informal. A particular slang, the use of particular nicknames, an allusive manner of conversation, are the marks. But it is not so constant. It is not easy, even at a given moment, to say who is inside and who is outside. Some people are obviously in and some are obviously out, but there are always several on the borderline. And if you come back to the same Divisional Headquarters, or Brigade Headquarters, or the same regiment or even the same company, after six weeks’ absence, you may find this secondary hierarchy quite altered.

There are no formal admissions or expulsions. People think they are in it after they have in fact been pushed out of it, or before they have been allowed in: this provides great amusement for those who are really inside. It has no fixed name. The only certain rule is that the insiders and outsiders call it by different names. From inside it may be designated, in simple cases, by mere enumeration: it may be called “You and Tony and me.” When it is very secure and comparatively stable in membership it calls itself “we.” When it has to be expanded to meet a particular emergency it calls itself “all the sensible people at this place.” From outside, if you have dispaired of getting into it, you call it “That gang” or “they” or “So-and-so and his set” or “The Caucus” or “The Inner Ring.” If you are a candidate for admission you probably don’t call it anything. To discuss it with the other outsiders would make you feel outside yourself. And to mention talking to the man who is inside, and who may help you if this present conversation goes well, would be madness.

Badly as I may have described it, I hope you will all have recognised the thing I am describing. Not, of course, that you have been in the Russian Army, or perhaps in any army. But you have met the phenomenon of an Inner Ring. You discovered one in your house at school before the end of the first term. And when you had climbed up to somewhere near it by the end of your second year, perhaps you discovered that within the ring there was a Ring yet more inner, which in its turn was the fringe of the great school Ring to which the house Rings were only satellites. It is even possible that the school ring was almost in touch with a Masters’ Ring. You were beginning, in fact, to pierce through the skins of an onion. And here, too, at your University—shall I be wrong in assuming that at this very moment, invisible to me, there are several rings—independent systems or concentric rings—present in this room? And I can assure you that in whatever hospital, inn of court, diocese, school, business, or college you arrive after going down, you will find the Rings—what Tolstoy calls the second or unwritten systems.

I highly recommend the whole essay.

The Inner Ring changes. It changes with time and geographical location and with, well, you. As you change ,so it changes because you want different shades of a singular thing. In college I wanted any circle, any at all. I chased circles. I chased associations. I joined my school's equivalent of a fraternity. I dreamed of being accepted and valued by a circle of authors on FiMFic, that one day they might also include me in their hollowed company. I dreamed of circles that included me, a valuable person within the greater web of association.

On and on. I drank to enter the circle and enter it I did and like Lewis I found it both not empty and empty. I made friends and also became constantly high and drunk and hungover and miserable. I wrote and wrote and wrote and cried and stared and laid flat on a bed. I called RazedRainbow one day and begged him just to talk to me because I hadn't talked to anyone in days because the Inner Circle had demanded of me the drinking and then I did it because I had to and I laid in bed doing nothing for hours on end.

The important part is the circle.

I used to dream about joining some illusionary inner circle of writerliness. I looked up at the people I put on pedestals (some still remain on pedestals tho I am mostly better about this) Perhaps, I told myself with this and with other things, perhaps if I try hard enough, one day I shall make it in. I shall be within something and not always on the outside. If I kept writing--If I kept drinking--if I kept--If I kept--

Restless action conquers the world. I forget which Roman said that. IT's not exactly that but my version is close enough. Restless insistent needful action, worming one's way desperately into the core of things. Into the heart. The world was the great hordes of the In-Group, the Loved and the Listened-To, and a few miserable worms like myself.

I've suspected for some time that this is bullshit.

Desperation is an ironic thing. The more desperate we openly are about friends or loneliness or wanting a relationship, the more people shy away. I'm not sure I can articulate why, just that it happens. I think about that every time I'm tempted to crawl back (again) to an abusive ex. They won't be nice to you this time. They won't. Desperation twists our view of the world into a hateful binary of the In and the Out. It takes a fact and turns it into a fate.

There is In and Out. They are different. It is better to be within.

But I think I am growing more okay with sometimes feeling without. I've been lucky to be Within before, and I did it despite alchol and drugs and my own self-defeating miseries. I have sat upon the late night porch in the damp summer heat and spoke of things you people wouldn't believe at 2 in the morning. But I am not very noticeable. I'm the least queer queer person I know. I am don't wear flashy colors or keep a party going. I struggle to keep myself together, and I struggle to talk to friends despite how desperately I want to. I lose touch. People scare me. I like them a lot. I have massive crushes that linger and never say anything because I'm shy and terrible. I still secretly have the same fashion sense as I did at 15 when I was an emo kid. But secretly. I'm not the kind of person who is inside many Inner Rings.

I'm learning that being on the Outside of something is not to be actively rejected by it. Spouses do not neccessarily reject all friendship because they are married, after all. To be outside of the Circle is not to be its anathema.

One day, I won't need 100 proof taaka to feel like I belong anywhere at all. And I'll be glad for that day. I'll set this bottle down at last and not return to it. I'll be free.

To be free is a beautiful, terrifying thing. It's the dizzying height of Kierkegaardian freedom.

It's the essential thing.

I think it's called living.

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The Night is Passing-- FINISHED

MY STEAM NAME IS LYREWULF look up juliusscipio

Collected Bio's

A Sad Son of a Sad South Writing Sad Stories about Sad Magical Horses

I look at these things, these little monuments in the dust and I ask myself: What does it mean? What do these things mean? What is it?

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#1,269 · 3w, 1d ago · · ·

Been awhile for some music rec's. Lately, been hitting old post-punk revival bands. A few years later, but rediscovered a little known band "Standard Fare"

Standard Fare - Suitcase

Standard Fare - Dead Future

Standard Fare - Fifteen

hope these links work. Too old and dumb to figure out new software and/or interfaces.

#1,268 · 4w, 3d ago · · ·

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/330082/when-the-levis-break I ended up shaggy dogging it because I wasn't really sure where to go with it, so it's extremely anticlimactic, but I'm going to pretend that was the point.

Anyway, it's now published

#1,267 · 6w, 5d ago · 2 · ·

>>2426743 that would be an excessively long list.

#1,266 · 6w, 5d ago · · ·

>>2412813 Has there ever been a fanfic that's moved you emotionally in some way?  In what way did it impact you?

Comment posted by bigbear deleted at 8:11pm on the 8th of April, 2017
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Many of my fics belong to a sprawling continuity affectionately dubbed the Songverse. The name originated probably as a reference to the fact that most of the titles and much of the imagery was intentionally taken from Song of Solomon, but later because of the Cosmology hinted at in the idea of the "Song" as creation story.

The "Songverse" and the "Nightverse" are something of a gestalt entity. The main branch of the Songverse is listed, but you will notice there are others--it is best to think of all of these stories as parallel if not directly one after the other. One of the conceits of the entire continuity was that the world is several, reflected endlessly with variety.

Primary Songverse (Chronological Order)

The Lilies of the Field

A Lady Does Everything With Feeling

Browsing Among the Lilies (NSFW)

Where the Sun is Silent

Catch For Us the Little Foxes

Like a Mighty Flame

Learning to Soar

Great Heart Will Not Be Denied

Up From the Wilderness

The Concept of Anxiety

All the Wealth of Her House


Splinter Songverse (Where Rainbow Died in “Sun is Silent”)

My Love, a Ghost

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Stories Parallel but of Uncertain Categorization

Where Mad Gods Dance

Towards Some Greater Dawn

Broken Voice

Redeem Us In Our Solemn Hour

NightVerse—The Night is Passing shares thematic elements with the Songverse proper and also much of its lore and even some of its locations/events. It is a long, self-contained story.

The Night is Passing

Lily’s Song

But Bears it Out, Even to the Edge of Doom

Beyond Seas of Mountains

I think this makes you all my Wolfpack, doesn't it?

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