July 18th

This evening we explored some of the better aspects of being in a community. I've heard all the blahblahblah discussions about 'is there really such a thing as community' or 'are we fooling ourselves calling ourselves a community' and other such intellectual masturbation. It's more than simply having similar uniforms or using comparable tools and implements. Just as I mentioned in one of my first ever journal entries [March 2nd, 2000], how we are there for each other, how we interrelate in family units and situations, bonding despite both our similarities and our differences, some of these things are what have to be factored into in any such discussion. Visiting Jane and Jim and ignoring business to play with their kids... the acquaintance who gave me work hammering nails when I was burned out on my medical Other Job. ... the disparate collection of souls who come together when one of our tribe passes away ... tonight was a again a simple example of community.

Nia and I drove down to Omaha's place tonight to take her out to dinner. Although Omaha doesn't drive, and I had suggested doing Greek food at Costas up in the University District, the real reason for us driving waythehell down near Seatac to pick her up was so that I could introduce Nia to O's hubby Elf, to see how yummycute he really is. She agreed with my opinion, of course, as soon as she met him [barefoot, long hair flowing, in near-Daisy Duke cutoffs, cooking dinner and chasing their toddler around the house].

Nia and Omaha are both sparkling personalities and none of the three of us is bashful in the least, so we had a great conversational time the entire drive up to the U District. Parking was easy and everything was hunkydory until we got ready to order. There should be a law against sending a rookie waitress out to serve a cranky old codger such as myself. The three of us were giggly and having fun and the simple fact of ordering two servings of Saganaki shouldn't have been that much of a challenge. Saganaki is a favorite - I believe Elf first showed it to me and I've ordered it as often as possible ever since. According to the menu it is "Traditional Kephalotyri cheese fried in egg batter. Flamed at your table..." and that 'flamed at your table' is where things broke down tonight. It isn't rocket science... one person whooshes a shot glass of high test booze over top of the cheese and the other touches a match to the fumes, then douses the resulting flames with a squirt of lemon. [That lemon juice, by the way, is the only healthy thing about the dish]. It's served with pita bread and is real yummy. Problem tonight is that they couldn't get their booze-whoosh and their match-to-fume coordinate for a flare-up, and at least 3-4 servings of cheese got taken back to the kitchen to trade for fresh. I finally took the matches and helped out, and we were able to get down to some serious artery-clogging.

Once we settled in and started chowing down we actually started the actual meat of the evening that I was alluding to in my prattle about community above. Nia is in her first trimester, first child and early in her exploration of kink. A couple years ago Omaha went through a similar time, although she was a more experienced player. We spent quite some time chatting about all the various things that new mothers are concerned about, along with some of the concerns specific to us kinky folks. It was a good talk, quite reassuring to Nia, and as well she took home a handful of reference books on loan from Elf & Omaha's parenting library.

Another day recently, by the way, I was home alone and hitting an emotional bottom. Nia was inaccessible on a family thing and I ended up chatting with my smut-sister Vamp on ICQ. She let me pour out all my grey-cloud-over-my-head stuff, figuratively patted me on my head, and I felt much better. As well, she took the initiative to send Nia a nice long informative and comforting email talking about all sorts of things that she as a first time mother experienced and Nia was touched by Vamp's thoughtfulness.

I guess I'm with Justice Stewart in this. I know it when I see it, and all around me are examples of 'community'. It keeps life good.

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