Now for the flipside. Spillage? Duh. Not allowed. Smoking of any sort inside the automobile. Buy a vowel, Timothy! Not allowed. Insubordination? Rule One of this experiment, Gabriel's game, Gabriel's plume. No subterfuge allowed. Swift and unrestrained punishment would be meted out to transgressors who dared steal my harp. Ursurping authority? Well, that's just a restatement of the previous thou shalt not and pretty much sums up the control mechanisms by which we each must survive this night, so by my own calculations, I had mapped out a simple common sense strategy of fun and freedom, not one of sterility and oppression, and logistics were pushed to zero tolerance. Of course I, Gabriel would master the tunes. No usurping of powers allowed. While the idea that I would push the envelope of decency off the cliffs of Dover with shank hopes of creating a frisky sex scene may startle critics with an ax to grind, but one can't diminish the axiom that in a closed environment of money grubbers, he who sweats the gold controls the rules, and thus rules the controls AND the grub, and since Sue was footing a $500 tab, I didn't see where anybody else had much of a visceral say, particularly since Jennifer and I had already discussed the parameters of consent, and she certainly had not shed a glimmer of submissiveness now simmering beneath her cloak of many surprises away from the stronghold of Gabriel's intentions, so the point was quickly becoming a moot point, still a thorn in my side, but manageable, and you can bet I was aware of it at every flicker of the candle's dimming light.
We had made the peace. Tim was in. Jennifer too. Even though I had uninvited Steve already, Tim was still hoping to bring him back into the fold. In my own mind, wrong as it can be, albeit rarely, 2 to 5% of the time as a carefully constructed set of campaign statistics might show, Tim is such a sucker for friendship and comaraderie, especially after ending this long dry spell in the sack, I felt he simply wanted to share his enthusiam by parading his quarry before as many friends as he could muster, not realizing that any of them could intercept his own intentions and make them their own. Although I was equally certain that Steve would have lost most of his enthusiasm for Jennifer as a possible conquest after knowing Tim had taken her down, he certainly could have prevented Tim from ever making it back into the goodies on my watch because of the added complexity of the situation. Steve as usual was playing it by ear, according to Tim, even after I had written him out of the script. This was December 31st, the final day of 1996. Jennifer had arrived on the 28th. Yet on Friday the 27th, the day BEFORE Jennifer's bounding leap into the fevers, after still having heard not a peep on the Della front four days overdue, I wrote the following to Steve:
From: Gabriel Thy
Subject: One Flu Out (WHEN IN ROAM...)
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 12:50:56 +01
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, BLUMSTEIN_ROBERT.at.P-CRC@hq.navsea.navy.mil, email@example.com
Read your incredulous note in the wee hours this morning after a full day of Bracken's breath yesterday, finishing up his Debord photoscanning. Ninety-nine pictures of Frenchy fried brains in all...today we work on converting his text to Mac format, and probably some PageMaker work will do us until after the New Year.
I will be busy with work, guests, and doctor's appointments until after the new year so I guess I'll see you down the road in 1997. Had enough of this say anything, do nothing camp for one year, if not a lifetime. In other words, try these on for size SAST. Stay Away Steve Taylor. Sick And Steve Tired. And between the two of us, you won't be missing anything you haven't already mastered.
You want me to toss the ball around with you in the coming months before Howrey hits the diamond in the rough? Well, I will honor that commitment even as you struggle with pecking order on your side of the moral equation. Meanwhile I am still GT. Yesterday I invited Bracken to join us at the cage. Len's quite the sportsman himself, although I am led to believe his game of choice is hoops. But now you hint that you may not even break spring training wind as you may spin off to web wonderland in the taunting twists of fate we both can appreciate for its razzle and its dazzle, but only one of us will be worn to a frazzle chasing the dreams of the other. And I think we know who that person is. Good luck, and get well, Steve, of winter aches and gains, and this enfilading brain seizure gripping your soul, a hellava ride, but one always threatening to spin outa control...
Sometimes friendship is only a foul investment in the trickle down nonsense of time's ruthless monopoly. Sometimes it is GOD.
I drugged up last night with a handful of decongestion pills and a swallowful of green death as I too felt the oncoming freight train of disease approacheth. This morning I am groggy but clear minded on the issues. Read this note twice, read it five times if you must, but read it clearly. Gabriel is marking SAST up for insubordination, NOT FOR SPILLING BEER TWICE, NOT FOR ALL THE FAIR ARGUMENTS YOU PLACE UPON MY NECK, HEY, NOT FOR ANYTHING YOU HAVE OVERTLY ACHIEVED, BUT, BUT, BUT, FOR WHAT YOU HAVE COVERTLY IGNORED IN THIS SHORT AFTERMATH OF THE PLANNING STAGES OF THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER THING...
Sorry we won't have the opportunity to meet Della, but then, DID WE EVER?