Saffron is my cat. She is a honey. She is whimsical and notional and energetic. Sometimes she must, must, must be with a person, and then she kneads you and punctures you with her claws and pets you with the back of her head and rolls around and body-butts you and purrs like a small distant thunderstorm. Just try, under these circumstances, to do anything other than pay attention to Saffron. She makes it difficult, sometimes impossible.
Sometimes she must be with a person but all this demonstration is Unnecessary and Unwanted. Then she comes ghosting in and goes to sleep on the chair in your office, or she meatloafs herself at the foot of your bed, usually with her back to you, though she will blink politely if you catch her eye. If you try to pet her she will leave. If you ignore her, she will come back.
I was pondering my Wiscon experience and retrospective regrets and realized that I had been in the second Saffronian mode detailed above. I was glad to be there, and glad to see people and to know that so many had come together for this multifarious weekend. But I wanted to tuck up in the corner, make a meatloaf at the end of the bed, and blink politely. I'm sorry now, of course. Saffron lives here and her people are mostly around. But nobody lives at Wiscon and many of my people are not always around.
I also failed at some bed-meatloafing attempts. I was a little late to oursin 's reading. It was in one of the little Conference rooms along that dark hallway behind the gaming area. I know from experience that that hallway can become quite noisy, and it must have, because the door of the room where people were reading and the door of the room across the hall from it were shut, while the other rooms with panels in them were still open. I envisioned the tiny room and the intimacy of a reading, and funked it. I went instead to a very interesting panel about food, which I stayed for most of, though at one point the discussion of post-apocalyptic strategies got to me and I had to leave. Current post-apocalyptic fiction is very different from what I grew up reading, but I'm still allergic to it. I also kept forgetting that there was a music jam, even though elisem was involved with it, because it was a new thing and apparently couldn't find the doorbell to ring to get my memory to come out.
I was very glad to see everybody I saw, even if you did not see me, or saw only a tail disappearing under the bed. Next year I think arranging more small meetings in advance and remembering that I don't live at Wiscon should be things that I seriously attempt. I should also do a reading. I hope that speaking these intentions outside in a loud voice will help solidify them.
It's too early in the day and in the caffeination process to write properly about the highlight of my programming experience, which was Amal el-Mohtar and C.S.E. Cooney's musical extravaganza. I had had serious not-meatloafing intentions, but I was so overcome by them and the wit, passion, lyricism, and dramatic virtuosity that they lavished upon us that I had to leave and recover myself.
This must suffice for now.