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Recap Episode Part Two
SSar's Beast
I just spent about twenty minutes overturning the contents of my room to find my passport. It was under a book of railway poetry. Typical. My passport generally lives in a postcard case, which seems especially relevant to me. You go places with your passport and you sent postcards when you do so. Do you not?

My passport - my American passport, I should mention - doesn't have many stamps in it, because we replaced it last time we were in the States. Its expiry date was to occur while we were on the trip. Replacing it was a fraught experience, but it was mailed back to my grandparents in Tennessee in good time for our return flights to New Zealand.

Our family is either extended or not there at all: everyone except my parents and myself lives in America. My parents live in Auckland, where I grew up. I mean, I'm still growing up, but now I do it in Wellington, mostly at Victoria University of Wellington. As I recorded in an earlier LJ entry, this happened largely by chance: I met Caryl and Josh online, and wanted to be in their city; I had always like the sound of Vic Uni's writing programs; I didn't want to study in Auckland, where I'd be living at home and going to classes with all my old friends; and one day, I asked my mother, "What are you thinking?" She said, "Well, actually, Dad and I were thinking that it might be a good idea if you went down to Wellington next year."

Caryl and Josh were the only people I knew. There are only one or two of my close friends here - Layne, for example - whose acquaintance I did NOT make originally because of Josh. Josh gave me the arcade group and some Uni contacts and suddenly everyone just blossomed around me. Sam, Helen, Fezz, Avie, Corey, David... 2004 had some low points, but most of the time I was high on life. Wandering the city with Layne. Sitting with Josh, letting my thoughts drift. Lectures and tutorials. Staying up late, lit by the streetlights over the motorway, sitting in my Unicomm kitchen, talking cross-country to Pip... People, people, people.

My boyfriend, Joel, was part of that glittering chain. He wasn't my boyfriend then. Although it seems like I wasn't anyone's girlfriend officially, that year, I was with Josh for most of it. I'm glad my first relationship (however 1-2-3-complicated) was with him. I learned a lot, I hope, and I'm happy, really happy, that he's still my friend.

No, the first time I met Joel, I recognised him because he'd stopped to talk to Josh, in the arcade, about a movie he (Joel) was making. Meeting occurred in the Hunter building at Uni. Utterly delighted by my Philosophy course, I had decided to drag Layne and Josh along. He scoffed devilishly at Philosophy. I was amused and somewhat overawed. The second time I met Joel, he explained that he planned to take over the world. Wellington was taking shape, for me, as a city of people who said this kind of thing. Psychotic. And welcoming. And admirable.

So Joel was one of the people who was always there for me. One of my favourite people. Someone to wrap in my cloak. For example, there was one time I was finishing an essay on the day it was due, and Joel kept me company for the last few hours when no one else was around, teasing me (paradoxically) into staying focused, running around to aid me in printing my essay despite glitchy obstacle after obstacle, and finally shrugging and walking down the hill with me, without a hint of all that wasted time, when NOTHING would save the corrupted file. Joel got me into the Test the Nation TV show with him, and brought me along to the YFS presentation.

I am aware that this recap is rather focused on Joel, but that's only fair. He's my boyfriend. (He's also possibly a penguin. See Lyle Lovett for details.)

And again, I'll break off this re-cap about now. I need to sleep. Boy, do I need sleep. Pretty colours....

Happy birthday, Tara. In a few hours, that is.