The New TND Round Table Discussion

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It was a classic TND. I arrived, and it was a bit too quiet. All the evenings start that way. There is a fear that no one will come. But the people do come, week after week, and so I really needn't worry as I climb the stairs and hear only a few scattered voices. Fixer created an absolutely incredible meal. Corned beef and cabbage, for the carnivores, and a yummy potato cheese soup. The soup was delicious though it was composed of the most vile ingredients; frozen hash browned potatoes and velveeta cheese.
I wandered, attempted to mingle. My friends from Spacebar seemed to fill every room, which is an amazing and wonderful thing. I started chatting by accident, out of boredom at work, and found a world of great people that happen to have bodies in addition to voices.
One of my favorite activities is to look for hair and body alterations. A few weeks ago, people seemed possessed to shave their heads. That is, as you may imagine, pretty easy to spot. This week and last, there were many colorful do's. Pink and blue and white. New piercings may not be so obvious, but you can count on the piercee to run up, holding up or pulling down some article of their clothing to show it off. This week everyone seemed to have stabilized, for the time being.
Caleb handed me a flyer about TND, and I suddenly felt like I was on a full scale map of my life, with a little red dot on me that said "you are here."
By 10:00pm, the house was packed. Literally hot. Crawling with people. I attended a baptism last weekend, and the priest explained the anointing with oil as something to help the baby slip out of the grip of sin. I felt I needed a good dipping in oil to avoid all the sin available for the taking in the kitchen. Bodies were pressed against bodies. Boys I had slept with, and boys I wanted to sleep with. Chocolate. Whiskey. Beer. Dangerous conversations. Thankfully I ended up with the whiskey and dangerous conversations. Something I could still tell mom about without lying. Meeting too many people, too many names to forget. I never manage to finish a conversation without being literally swept away by the tide of people. I left, as always, with that strange full/empty feeling. Quiet, smiling, warm, driving out into the night.

Merin McDonnell

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