Merry Christmas.

Last night I managed to remember that I have lots of people who love me and like to spend time with me, and ended up going with my old housemate and her boyfriend to an acquaintance couple's house for a night of dinner and playing games. It was wonderful, since I really enjoy this particular couple, and all four are experienced at all kinds of games (and I'm no slouch on that score, even if I normally lose). So there was a game, and wine, and snacks, and more wine, and then homemade lasagna, more wine, another game, more wine, dessert, more wine. (The games ran concurrently with the food.) It was just the five of us, with good games and food and people. Just what I needed.

I crashed at my old house, then came home when I woke up early, showered, and got ready for folks to come over and watch bad movies. There were bagels, lox, oatmeal sugar cookies sprinkled with salt, zucchini-feta fritters, Tim Tams, and, uh...well, that was enough. I had carrots to try and keep my body balanced, and get this facial tic settled down that started a couple days ago. It's lovely to have everyone over; the thing is that my friends are not a Christmasy crowd in the way my family is, so spending Christmas with the friends is not very Christmasy in a visceral sense. The urge left by my upbringing is to bring my girlfriend back to Massachusetts to visit with my family. Except there's no girlfriend, and I was put off by some complications over the past few years, so visiting out East might induce a mood change I'd have a harder time dealing with than if I just stay home with my usual set of coping mechanisms (friends, books, computer, mobility to dash off whenever and wherever I want).

Something I've learned this year is that while I am profoundly unusual and complicated, I'm not impossible, and as difficult as I might be to either deal with or understand, there are a variety of friends and lovers out there who find that compelling and are willing to give it a go. Finding them is another issue, but they're there.

Tomorrow I gather up the last of my gear, clear out my car before repacking it, look at maps to see where I'm going. It's about six hours to Baker, I think, and I'm guessing seven or eight to Kelso, so if I take any fun non-freeway routes, I may need to stop someplace else. I'm feeling good about the trip, and my ability to keep myself safe; or faililng that, alive. It'll be good to be alone by myself, instead of alone with other people.

I may be the worst loner ever. Someone should revoke my union card.