Cold Ground
email Derryl (replace AT with @)

Places to Go:
Derryl's Fotolog
Fictionwise (reprints of some of Derryl's fiction)
Alyx Dellamonica
Boing Boing
Charlie Stross
Jena Snyder
Making Light
Randy Reichardt

~ Friday, May 02, 2003
Remember the scene in the original First Blood when Rambo stitches his arm after being wounded? I recall flinching during that scene, imagining how tough someone would have to be. Well, I'm now here to tell you that Rambo was a wimp.
~ Thursday, May 01, 2003
"I don't think we're aligning ourselves with countries who have bad records on human rights", says an American delegate talking about why they voted with Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Libya and others on the subject of women's rights. Axis of Evil, indeed.
~ Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Zoë Mackie was 3 when I first met her, a beautiful little girl with straight black hair, a wonderful smile, and already the signs that her legs would be long, long, long. She was a ball of fire, quick of temper, loads of fun, difficult to handle, warm and precious and caring. All the things you'd expect of a little girl. I was, to put it in a not-quite-true fashion, Zoë's third father. Carole, my first wife, and Norman, her first husband, had adopted Zoë when she was an infant.

But the marriage didn't last, and one day I took a temporary job running an adventure daycamp for the city, and we were blowing off steam at the playground before the parents came to get their kids, and Zoë had an accident, fell and hurt her back. I called an ambulance and the rest, as they say, is history. Carole and I were married the following year, and the less said about the state of that relationship, the better. Everything about it was a mistake, for both of us, and I need not dredge up old crap.

Did I say everything? There was Zoë, and she was not a mistake. I was glad she was still in my life, and a few months after the split she came with me on a trip to visit family in Nova Scotia. The trip went well, aside from the usual hassles of dealing with a child who was now 6, and I have memories from then I shall cherish until the day I die.

Shortly after coming back, though, Carole decided I couldn't see Zoë any longer. I tried to fight it, even went back to my lawyer, but ran into dead ends everywhere. Again, I needn't trouble anyone with residual bitterness and long forays into the details. Just let it be said that I lost, was not allowed to contact her anymore (this was no court order, mind, just a decision of the parent), and for a month or more I essentially lived in a fetal position. I saw her only one time after that, when I was at a movie theatre with a friend, and when I tried to say hi to Zoë, it took her a second or two to recognize me (I had completely changed my look, as I am wont to do), and before she could say much beyond a hello, Carole put her hand to her daughter's back and steered her away.

Fast forward through a number of years of happiness, thanks to Jo and the boys. I still think about Zoë now and again, I have a file filled with little crafts she did for me, and a number of pictures of her (perhaps I'll scan and post one or two soon). Last night I dreamed about her, about how she would look as a young woman, and when I awoke I realized, assuming that my mental math is not pulling a fast one on me, that this May she will be 17. This stuns me. She is a young woman now, probably with a tight circle of friends, maybe a boyfriend, and perhaps she's even driving now. All the hallmarks of passing from childhood to adulthood, and all I can do is guess about the life she is leading.

Based on last night's dream, though, I'm going to attempt to do something about this. Norman, her father, is hopefully still of reasonable disposition towards me (I have reasons to believe this is true, although they are dated, since I haven't seen him for so many years). He's a provincial court judge, and I can contact him via mail to his office. So I have purchased a suitably non-threatening birthday card, and will enclose money and a note, and then put all that in a package addressed to Norman. He'll get my return address and phone number, not Zoë, just to be on the safe side. With luck, the package will get to her. With more luck, she will not only remember me (no guarantee there), she'll remember me in a favorable light (nope, no guarantee there, either).

Am I setting myself up for a fall? Possibly. I know I have my wonderful family here, and a wife who understands this situation, bless her, so if worst comes to worst, I'll have three extra pairs of hands to help me brush myself off. I'll update here, for better or for worse, when the time comes. Even if the only answer is silence.
~ Sunday, April 27, 2003
Geek heaven, via Boing Boing, it's One Pixel Per Meter.
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