Thalia has been living alone so long that she's almost forgotten that Good Cheer is almost always found in the company of others. She still has the gift, even if it takes a few drinks to prime the well of positive feelings. She fears her good cheer will proove nothing but false comfort. She worries she will look ridiculous to the youthful initiates at the bar. These things have brought a bitter tinge of self-mockery to her toasts, a rueful regret to her laughter. She dreads being pitied, so she spends increasing amounts of time on her own, thinking perhaps she should apply to become a Muse. No one expects the Muse of History, or Tragic Poetry to be the life of the party.

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Stayed out obnoxiously late both Friday and Saturday nights.

Marla's birthday.

Some kind of vodka made from fermented figs. Forbidden fruit. I know everyone goes for pomegranates; but for me figs speak to carnal desire.

The Three Graces were reunited for the first time in over six months. Aglaia's roots are showing, and Euphrosyne has lost so much weight she is starting to resemble a Fury, while Thalia's increasingly eccentric sense of humor has become almost incomprehensible to the others.

Cut down a tree, I'm feeling very bad ass and bacon-y about this feat.

Work party which was as dreadful as feared, but not in the way expected. As usual, the lesbian and I were the only single people; everyone else talked obsessively about international adoption. I love children, but I am starting to think that some people have them merely because they have nothing interesting to say about themselves. But the cookies were good, and I think I made a good impression on someone's wife.

The ghosts of Xmas past are haunting me, in particularly 1991, the first Xmas after my parents divorced. I had no idea what to expect that year. I think I'm feeling a similar confusion this year.


P.S. Crawled around under the trailer to make sure that none of the pipes had burst. Things were dry, but I discovered strange spoor to suggest what was living under there prior to my fixing the hole was not a cat. It was also not a raccoon. (Which have tracks that look like tiny handprints.) Something wild with non-retractable claws, and omnivorous poops that are larger than a cat, but smaller than a dog. I wonder if my friend the fox is again making his presence known?

P.P.S. Squaresville has a restaurant where you can eat alligator.
The Three Graces are experiencing a meltdown, and all that seems to be left is me, Thalia, the grace of good cheer. Aglaia has lost her splendor, and is now drowning her sorrows in a basement bar. Euphrosyne lost her sense of humor several months ago when she was dumped by a chump who preferred to kneel to the false god of work.

It hasn't been much fun around them, but I've persisted in being cheerful, despite my own doubts about the long term possibilities of love and happiness in this life. Good Cheer, in my book, as well as the key to survival, is taking the good times when you can get them, and weathering the bad ones in good humor when they come. Creating reasons to celebrate even when fortune doesn't seem inclined to be generous. I'm a short term pessimist, bad times, and bad things are inevitable, but in the long term I'm an optimist, things are always bound to get better (even if they get worse, first.)

Sadly, neither Aglaia nor Euphrosyne can muster any optimism when things aren't going well. Both of them seem convinced that they are destined never to find love, that they will slowly wither, fade, and die alone. So much for immortality!

Now Aglaia tells me she can no longer spend time in the company of Euphrosyne. "She's so depressing," Aglaia complains. "My satin is losing its sheen, my velvet is getting threadbare, I can't take it anymore. Her gloom is tarnishing my splendor."

Meanwhile, Euphrosyne can't understand why Aglaia is avoiding her. "I don't understand why she keeps declining my invitations," she moans. "Just because she's moulting is no reason to stay away from my pity parties."

What can I do? As the Grace of Good Cheer I lie. I tell Aglaia that there is sure to be a splendid new coat beneath the old one: peacock feathers to replace her crows wings. I tell her that of course Euphrosyne doesn't notice her sudden change in both appearance and behavior, she's too wrapped up in trying to repair her rusty sense of humor. And to Euphrosyne, I laugh at all her ironic statements as though they were jokes filled with helium, instead of nails in her lonely coffin.

But what is Good Cheer, without Mirth or Splendor? Does she become frowsy with cheap drinks, and cheaper sex? Does she become vulgar with her forced gaiety, or gluttonous with gorging? Who is Good Cheer without the other two graces? Does she find new friends, or does she dine alone?



June 2015

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