My cat, Lord Ramesses II, has decided that my only reason for
existing is to feed him tuna, give him plenty of attention, and play the
piano when he demands it.  Since I don't mind a life of servitude to a
cat, although this requires periodic cleaning of the litter box, I'm happy
to oblige.


	I'm fairly sure that I didn't actually wake up out of my bed at 3
a.m., and see my Dad playing the baby grand in the living room now.  I had
this weird dream:

	Basically, I woke up, hearing music.  I thought I had left the
stereo on.  So, I got out of bed, and walked to the living room.  When I
got to the living room, I realized that my stereo was still packed in
boxes back in Amber, where it's been for the last two months.  I looked up
to see my Dad playing Fuer Elise on the piano, and that's it.  Nothing

	So, I woke up on the floor in the living room.  Freaking out, I
contacted Melanie.  (When I got there, Sylvie was there.  What was she
doing with my sister at 3 a.m.?  Christ, the girl is a complete pain
24-hrs. a day.  Must be hereditary.)  She calmed me down, and I went home. 
I took a Valium, and now I'm doing this.

	*sigh*  That is the absolute last time I eat roast duck.  That was
what Ursula would have called a 'matzo ball nightmare.' Like a pepperoni
pizza nightmare, with more panache and a rabbi in the corner saying 'Oy,
vey.' A little sleep walking, a little stress.  I KNOW the lithium does
that to me.

	Well, I guess it must be starting to work.

	Rest of the day was pretty platonic.  Saw my shrink, a Dr. Edwards
by name.  I wasn't really ready to see him, and was more hostile than I
wanted to be.  It's just hard to talk about the past with a stranger, and
even harder to talk about Ursula, with her dead and all.

	Freudian shrink: "So... tell me about your parents."
	Me: "My Dad is an occasionally dead psychopathic megalomaniac who
	liked heavy-handed child rearing, and my mom was an alcoholic who
	obsessed about me."
	Freudian shrink: "So... do you think that's your problem?"


	Anywho, to stop thinking about the doctor, I went to Amber for the
funeral proceedings.  It was funny to sit at lunch, ignored, watching
Melanie trying to manipulate Archimedes in public.  I'm not overly sure
who she thinks she's fooling, but if it's Amberites, she'll probably get
away with it.  Heh, let her have a good time.

	Unfortunately, it struck me that I should make her job harder.  I
told Archimedes about her second imprint.  The bonus of this was that I
don't think he really CARED.  Or maybe he just thinks that I was having
delusions, and nothing I say carries any merit.  Who knows?  The point is
that I tried to double-cross my sister, who has been nothing but decent to

	I love to stab my loved ones in the back.  Probably a bad gene.

	I talked to Laughter, as much as anyone can, and wanted to tell
her that we ought to put the cat fights behind us.  That, sexually, I'm
not exactly a threat.  But, Laughter lives on her own plane of existence
sometimes, and it's so hard to communicate.  She DID have me sitting next
to her at the funeral.  Maybe that was her own way of saying that she
wanted to make up.

	I had a talk with Melanie, and felt like a complete jerk for
having to lie to her.  And then I went back to my own little haven.

	The shrink had said something about finding someone new to have
dinner with.  That I need to get out, meet new people.  So, having no
clue, I went to the Gallery that Melanie set up to sponsor my work.  I was
curious to see if it was of any worth, anyhow.  There, I met a man named
Lucius.  A mathematician by trade.  We went to eat (and thus procured the
roast duck that would later be the bane of my existence).  We spoke, and
he invited me to a party of some of his friends the next night.

	And that was pretty much it.  A funeral, a night out, and a

	But this place isn't bad.  It's going to take some settling in,
and realizing that I'm mostly Shadow, so out in Shadow is where I belong. 
I don't belong, nor deserve, to live in Amber anyhow.  I might as well be
happy with what I have.  And, believe it or not, I am.

	I do worry about Melanie.  We're like Dad, the two of us, split
down the middle.  She got the cunning mind, the cold lack of feeling, the
manipulation.  I got the art, the music, the expression.

	I know that by manipulating everyone around her, she protects
herself from pain.  As long as the situation is in her hands, she's in
control, she doesn't have to worry about feeling, or something 'bad'
happening.  That's how she copes, and I understand.  No one else may ever,
but I do.  I'm just worried that she'll go overboard, and she believes
that she'll never get caught.  She'll just keep stabbing people in the
back, getting them to do what she wants them to do.  It's easier to live
with puppets.  They don't touch what's inside.

	A cold, unfeeling bitch?  Hardly.  The problem is that she feels
too much.

	I look at her, and all I want to do is take her in my arms, and
tell her what I want to tell myself: the pain is over.

	The problem is that the pain never really does end.  It would be
such a sweet lie.  And you find yourself among superficial fools who feel
nothing for anyone but themselves, and you feel ALONE.

	Well, there's nothing I can do until I get a handle on myself.  My
time in Amber is over, at least as a member of that ridiculous circus. 
It's not that I CAN'T deal with it anymore, it's that I just don't WANT
to.  It's stupid, and worse, it's dehumanizing.

	I like it here.  I don't want to go back.

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