The abandoned cliff house.

What's happening to me? I leave home for a long night at the local pub and this happens. I say local, but it really is a five mile hike on the old road to get there. Normally it is worth it -- the local alcoholics have endless stories that they'll relate whether you wish it or not, but not tonight.

Earlier on this particular day the rain had parted for a short time, which was lucky in the traditional sense -- who likes walking in the pouring rain? When it came time to leave, however, I would probably not have let the rain alone stop me from having that little bit of socialization with others from this small community. I take a look back as I step off the porch onto the moist ground with a satisfying bounce and see the bird which has been a regular around my bird feeder I installed last year. It was looking right at me. I know it was looking at me because it's beak was pointed away, orthoginal to me. The great bird fakeout. Birds come and go and I appreciate the company, but all they care about are seeds.

And this one certainly wasn't startled by my exit. Apparently familiarity does breed complaisance.

But that's not what makes me reflective, it's the...well, you know that feeling that can sometimes can come over you when you know that you are completely alone, say when you are away staying at a remote lodge, or at home recovering when your family has gone away on vacation when all of a sudden you are overcome with a creepy feeling that someone is there with you, right behind you, watching you silently in the shadows. Ridiculous but the mind can become ones own unique spiral twisting around whatever fears are manifesting. Ahh, god, there I go again...what the hell does this have to do with me? I am so cold and so is she walking right in front of me stumbing and laughing quietly along the path, completely innocent of the circumstances. No. I would not let anything happen to her.

I should have worn warmer clothes, but last time I was a coat too many, and you know how that is -- so much better to walk without having to carry something in ones hands, but this biting cold wind is unexpected and is stripping the illusion of fair weather away, minute by minute. At three miles into the walk, it would be weird to turn around and go back, of course I wasn't worried particularly about the walk there so much as the walk back in the dead of night. Turns out it isn't the dead of the night, but just night, but we are both cold and shivering. I am thinking and fantasizing about cranking up the Techric 10 space heater and even dipping into a hot bath. And food to deal with the alcohol, and RF-fungus / chamomile tea for her (she'll thank me later).

The eventual walk back to the cliff house. At least that's what I call it. I mean, it's just this little cottage near that government facility near the radio tower, but the funny part is how remote it feels, with just that little patch of non-state owned property. Yet, if you looked at it from another angle, you might cringe, with the huge power lines to one side, and the concrete delta of the flood aquduct on the other.

While I was at the club, I engaged in a conversation with a complete stranger, although not quite. What I mean is that we had been kinda sitting near each other at the bar on and off throughpout this particular meaning, and like all other students, you look out for your brothers and sisters.

That said, the whole talking to strangers thing is so not me. I mean at least most of the time. This time, however, I was sitting at the bar late in the evening and she was sitting to my left one seat over. I don't like to sit right next to anyone, per say, but bar stools are a binary flux and somtimes people need to push in, so that's ok. Anyway, she said, "Ever had Sadrun 5?" So I said, "Well, I've had Sadrun 2 once, and it was very nice." Which was a lie -- I'd had Sadron 4, but I wasn't going to offer that. That's not something that you just disclose to a stranger, not since the restrictions in place (which was obviously the point of her joke); you see -- jokes do get funnier more they are explained. I thought she might just want another girl to align with to feel more comfortable, but then she turned to me and said, "I just took some six minutes ago."

I sat there for about ten seconds just taking that information in. I remember how it was when I was under, and I understood exactly (or so I thought) how she felt. I can't believe this has happened. Five minutes. Five minutes to form a plan and execute it, but you have to be careful. I say, "Have you been to Masser Chi?" "Why, no I never had the right opportunity.", she said. So I said, "I thought it would be prudent to retire and have a repast, but perhaps you would join me?

Ten blocks, or so, a maze, and it's time to go two minutes ago, and I don't even have her confidence. So I say, "Come with me if you want to live." A long pause. We've both had several drinks, obviously, as it's an unwritten requirement that allows you entry to this place. Not coming on to you but flirty, a sister in the same boat taking care. A shuffle with diverted eyes, "Ok." Hand to credit ring overpay and a prayer to the bartender. Hand in hand leaving with direction towards the pedestrian path. On the way to the only place that would make any sense under the circumstance. The place that you wanted, needed to be during The cliffhouse.