The 9 Manliest Names in the World
Indeed. So the slightly cracked tones of the wireless doorbell go off yesterday, and three heads pop out of three doors. Doorbell works. We converge upon the door. It's the UPS guy. The package is for me, and is a telephone! I promptly fall asleep reading the manual, and go to bed, because the manual is not supposed to send me to sleep. The vital thing about this phone is that it is the old telephone number, once the number is ported over. I can then foist off Ruby upon hcolleen, who claims to not need a leash. (Ha, I say, having pressed the thing upon her more than once in her peregrinations about assorted places, especially with the B-O-Y.)
The old number isn't yet live for the phone. It is a flip-phone. I have spent more than my fair share of moments looking at it, giggling, flipping it open, and flipping it closed again. You can't actually flip it open from dead closed. You have to nudge it open a bit and then flip. But. Kirk to Enterprise. Beam us up.
There was an IKEA run. I behaved myself. Granted, there are now more working photo frames than there were, and I have a red-purple box to take to work to bundle up the Massive Ton O' Snacks (how we love it when our blood sugar doesn't line up with break times) in some coherent form, and there are a few other things as well... but the main thing is the Great Big Picture.
The state of the living room has been the subject of much controversy. hcolleen, myrrhianna, and I seem to have a fundamental incapability of agreeing on living room curtains. myrrhianna tends in the direction of the Autumn pallete in her decorating tastes. As a very picky Winter, I am more than somewhat disinclined to this, and while I can live with pillows and such that don't meet my standards for color, I can't go for curtains. (We managed to reach agreement on a set of tasteful blue curtains, but of course they managed to be a foot too short for the space. We reached the conclusion that we really won't be able to agree on anything IKEA has to offer, so we'll look somewhere else.) Myrrh wants red. I can agree on a nice blue-undertone red. (Not brick.) She wants some COLOR! in the living room, and I'm all for that. hcolleen located a very large rose painting-thing. (It looks like it's a painted print of a photo, on a canvas.) It is RED! and will fit in nicely right over the couch in the living room. (It is not quite an O'Keefe-level zoom; you can still see most of the bloom.)
The fun part came when it came time to get the thing home. It did not quite fit in the back seat. It did not quite fit in the trunk. We wound up strapping it to the top, and then grabbing onto it (for great justice) all the way home. We stopped in at the drugstore on the way and got me a new wrist brace. I got some photos of the painting on the car. The occupants of the car hid. :) There were fortunately no wacky hijinks -- the painting stayed on the car and did not dance off. It got carried up to the apartment with no real scary moments that I know of.
First thing, I put on my brace. Second thing, I started pulling photos out of the old frames and putting them in the new photo clippy things I got. I'll have to get more.
There is only one photo of Shanna. Not many people following this LJ now will necessarily know what I mean, or who I mean. Shanna predates this LJ. See, back when I was a very small child... Mama and Dad named me Joan. But after the manner of small children, I became Joanie. I was only ever Joan when I was in serious trouble, or doing my taxes. (Alaskan children get to do taxes, thanks to the oil payouts.) But when I started school, Mama registered me under my legal name. I went from a very sheltered home life (just the four of us, no TV, occasional visits with friends and neighbors) to the absolute social overload of public school. Under a name that I had to struggle to answer to, at first. That's what started it. I really didn't notice, because it was so very mild. But when you have a reasonably bright kid with the aptitude to self-partition answering to different names in different environments, you're going to get at least a little bit of a division. In 7th grade, I encountered the story of Eve. If you tell a kid like me that it's possible, you're encouraging at least a little experimentation. But things didn't really take off until the 9th grade. I would sit in class writing my observations on everything in the journal that I always carried with me. Then, I started answering -- in a different handwriting. Hello, Shanna.
Shanna's role in my head was twofold, and very deceptively simple. There was really no one else I could safely confide in except myself. Depression had kicked in full-force. Shanna's surface role was that of best friend, confidante, and source of absolutely filthy sexual innuendo. The woman was a walking HR violation that had already found a place to happen. Multiple places. In multiple positions. Her real, underlying role was to keep the Collective from going stark raving mad and killing ourselves. She showed up right about the time when I had to keep telling myself that I needed to stay alive long enough to see the new Star Trek movie. It was a strain for her to take over "driving" for long, but she could be counted upon to do that for long enough to make sure that ideations didn't make their way anywhere past the bad idea phase. Her favorite ploy was to lock up the unacceptable emotional memories out of range of daily access of the main set. We knew the stuff was ethere; we theoretically had access to it; but Shanna had it all in locked storage where the rest of us would have to deliberately violate the security to get that access. That didn't happen particularly often. There was rarely any specific knowledge in there, just the emotions. She would occasionally try and conceal the fact that we were depressed in there, but that rarely worked well.
It was never an antagonistic mental roommates relationship. We had policy disagreements, and disagreements of opinion like any roommates would, but during the largest parts of those points in time, no one was actually actively acting out and causing the sort of problems that would lead to other members of the household wanting to get them kicked out. (Exceptions involved Shawn-related problems; repercussions from those didn't go away until well past Shanna's time.)
Shanna made herself known by commentary from the peanut gallery rather than making herself known by coming to the forefront and "driving". Even if no one met any of the others that later developed, Shanna would come out around any of the usual friends, usually with me having to slap my own hand and declare "Shut UP, Shanna!" as she made some new obscene joke. ("Rude, crude, lewd, or otherwise inappropriate," was the phrase I used to describe what she said.) (And it wasn't so much "saying" as it was a mental nudge in the ribs, and I'd know that Shanna was there and just *smirking* at me, because someone had said something that could be interpreted wrong.) Shanna was a bizarre cross between Deanna Troi, Diana Tregarde, and Mary Motherfucking Sue (though I didn't realize that at the time). She later grew to encompass The Vulcan and The Warrior, and was on the verge of merging separately with Azure when The Great Merge happened.
I don't think I have the journal from the Merge anymore. At that point in time, there were four (there were always four): Shanna, Azure, Mona, and 'Ni. Shanna and Azure were together half the time anyway (the same way Shanna and the Vulcan wound up together half the time right before that merge), and at just the right moment, Darkside asked what would happen if everyone came out together.
All of us did so. For the first time in over 5 years, the Collective was a single identity. 'Ni (Joan-prime) was gone. Mona was gone. Azure was gone. Shanna was gone. In their place was a whole, composed of all those separate parts and the smaller fragments that didn't really fit any one whole personality. None of the information was lost, none of the memories were lost, but there was a separation. That was fragmented. This was whole. "I feel weird," I said, and there was no echo of other voices behind the main body voice and the single thought-stream driving it.
(It didn't last. Within 6 months, fragmentation had started, due to stress and uneven situations needing different skill sets. But it was very interesting while it lasted.) I had wondered if Shanna would come back. She didn't. Azz was there; Azz was the new main set, mostly what had been old Joan-prime, with some Shanna and some Vulcan. Dagger was a rather lot of who had been the Vulcan and the Warrior, that what had wound up inside Shanna. Naomi was very purely nearly Mona, but child and unable to speak rather than body-age and mute. And Marah -- Marah the bitter, Marah the wounded, Marah the brave. And the cycle of growth and merge and development and fragmentation along the lines of a newly-found weakness has continued. Today, the Collective is -- almost -- whole. But there are still the little moments that remind us -- no. New names, new faces, new weaknesses, new sets of responses under a single hat. We are always and ever evolving.
Shanna was rarely out at all, and almost never around Mama, and Mama took most of the photos of me in that time period. We'd agreed that she would be out for our driver's license photo, but in the rush of the moment there wasn't enough time to get her out before the photo happened. There's only one actual photo where she was actually there, looking the camera straight on with her cocky lopsided smile. I don't have the scanner up and running yet, but ...