Azure Jane Lunatic (azurelunatic) wrote,
Azure Jane Lunatic
azurelunatic

A day, complete with the Darkside!

When I called on Saturday, Darkside's mom told me that the top two things I could do to help were come and take Darkside out for tea or something, and pray.

Praying, we have a handle on. Visiting him, that's a little more complex when there's a situation like the existing one, namely the lack of reliable transportation at any given hour for any given local distance. I told her as much; she subsided with something akin to "Alas, true that; if only you could!" I privately made plans to prevail upon the local Figment for a ride in exchange for gas money. (He's offered rides to see Darkside before. I've generally declined, but under the circumstances, I figured it was time to do something.)

Sunday was the day I'd been planning on, but that got cancelled; Darkside was not going to be home after all. I mentally re-scheduled for Monday night. It was too late to call Darkside's mom again and ask when they'd be back home, so I did some detective work on my Caller ID logs, reasoning that the time of Darkside's mom's callback last Saturday would be about the time they got home from the hospital, given that they only leave when visiting hours are over and they get kicked out. 7:30.

I plotted. I schemed. I called Figment and let him know the plans, and hashed them out to a finer degree, realizing at the last second before I called that it was entirely likely that he had game that day. But he didn't. Yay!

Today I went and gave plasma. There was a long wait, an hour and a half, during almost all of which I sat sending text messages back and forth to Sis. This was followed up by Coach Carter, and interspersed with LJ posts. I wound up deeming it far more time-effective to take the bus home and attend to a few last-minute things like changing out my heat-dampened shirt for a fresh one, given that it would take Figment about an equal amount of time to get to me at the plasma place as it would for me to get home.

Upon returning home, I beheld the somewhat-alarming sight of a strange man disappearing inside my apartment! I was undismayed, because his manner and clothing said "fixit guy", and indeed, he was engaged in taking apart my bathtub water-control handle when I poked my head in and inquired. His shirt proclaimed him from the usual fixit-stuff outsource team, one Preferred Multi-Services. (I'm not sure if the TLA is intentional or not.) The apartment's fixit-guy appeared at about that point, and indicated that he'd also be fixing the thermostat connected to the chiller unit, where by "fix" we mean "replace". I indicated my glee that I would be going out of the apartment soon, to miss all the disruption, including the welding and the water being off and more banging (related to the banging of this morning). He indicated dissatisfaction with the part that was to be replaced, and also indicated that they'd be cutting a hunk out of the wall behind my refrigerator to fix the bathtub plumbing, and could I please clear off the top of said appliance for moving purposes. Gladly! That task being done, the Figment and I beat a hasty retreat to parts saner and less filled with hearty fixit personnel.

We'd planned to go early to avoid rush hour, but that was not to be. Instead, we wound up with rather sluggish traffic on the way there (on the jam scale, I'd say it was apple butter with little bits of strawberry) and then did some random poking around Mesa, because we'd arrived just before six. Figment was looking for an extension of the Mormons' answer to the Salvation Army that had used computer bits a lot, and since he hadn't been in the area for quite some time, he stopped to ask for directions. (While he got directions, I got coffee. Figment attempted to sneak up behind me, but failed: Dad trained both of us how to both see and implement sneaking.) It was closing by the time we got there, alas. Instead, we wound up at Bookmans. Yay books! I found things, including the rather bizarre commentary about the character type Dire Elf.

I'd printed maps from my address book prior to that, but I navigated us to Darkside's without any of them. I'm starting to know my way, I think. They weren't in when we got there, but we were early. And, like clockwork, Darkside appeared. Exhausted Darkside, and I know my iterations of Darkside well. He invited me in nonetheless, and I stood there stammering my greetings. The Figment was summoned from the car, and "So you're the Figment I've heard so much about." "And you're the Darkside I've heard so much about," accompanied the handshake between the two deliciously geeky men. There was some standing around awkwardly at first, but when I cracked the first Paranoia joke, the ice started breaking.

"The computer is your friend," I said, grinning at each of them in turn.
"The computer is your friend. Trust the computer!" Figment returned.
"I know I've heard that somewhere before," Darkside said.
"Feeling paranoid?" I asked.

That did it. The two of them started swapping tales from their respective single runs through the game, and the geek was on. We adjourned to the living room, and Lady Malfoy sat crocheting and giving me the "Men are strange. I don't understand a single word they're saying!" look from time to time as the gaming stories kept getting wilder and wilder.

I started making the "I'm getting tired" body language at about 8:30, but didn't actually mention the "and some of us have to get up in the morning" until 9:00. The men got up and started discussing stuff in the hall in the general vicinity of Darkside's room; I leaned over the arm of the couch by Lady Malfoy to inspect what had gone wrong with her afghan this time.

This resulted in some girl-time while the guys kept going on about games. One subject slipped into another. I found myself given a rather more detailed description of Malfoy Senior's condition, the technical medical fiddly-bits that most casually-concerned parties get spared. He's in the ICU. He's stable. He's in a lot of pain, and quite sedated. Prayers are appreciated. And more than that. She's been going back to the theme that there are quite a few parties who get spared the details. I am good at sitting there and reacting. I listen, at least when I care.

Darkside threatened to whack his mother about with his wooden practice-sword for issuing me my marching orders on the topic of the cheering up of him. I was refreshed by this: Darkside does not offer mock violence to a loved one while he's feeling abysmal. The fact that he was in a condition to threaten over this rather than snarl and disappear meant that it worked.

I finally checked my cellphone for the time around ten, then a retreat was made in good order.

Darkside and the Figment get on reasonably well. I should like to watch them discuss assorted things under circumstances less dire.

figment0 was worried, after, that he'd gotten in the way of my ability to comfort Darkside by monopolizing the conversation and turning it to gaming. I wound up explaining that, in fact, the Figment's impression that I know so very little about gaming is incorrect. I have approximately ten years of experience in being the Mountain Dew girl (female gamer-groupie who can be sent on errands during the progress of the game proper) and have picked up enough to hold my own in that time. Then I pointed out that it was actually probably the best thing he could have done, and explained. I am not good at comforting Darkside on his social level of personality. Social!Darkside is witty and charming and utterly geeky and fun. He was being Social!Darkside tonight. (Before the introduction of gaming, he'd been Formal!Darkside, which is a nice little mask that goes off well in the work world, but not so well around me. Before we showed, he'd been Exhausted-and-Cranky!Darkside, and the Formal was a definite glass mask.) The side of him that I comfort is Quiet!Darkside, the side that comes out only after a length of extended and mutual silence, the side that houses the things too precious or intimate to ever speak of in public. That bit never comes out around People, and the Figment is People.

So.

A day.
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