Tomorrow, I set off with Floooosh on the Grand Expedition to the Very Ends of Vheshrame. Well, two hours up the river at least.
Today, I decided to pay closing-the-term visits to several friends. Not that I'll be away for more than a week, which might get cut to eight days if I want to get back in time for the First Day celebrations in Vheshrame.
Thery and Yarwain
Thery and Yarwain were evidently busy with a personal private project. I was glad that their bed was not up against my bedroom wall anymore. I was not so glad that I had flown up to knock on their window, but that is my fault and not theirs. They were sufficiently busy so that they did not notice me, I think, and I fled quickly.
From Seeks-Square-Crabs Strenata I extracted a light apology, a medium-weight kiss, and a small but leaden-heavy poem of her recent composition, starting with "From whence the graveyard's sickening stroke arrives / Beware its sickening source in noble lives." and not improving one bit from there. She seemed exceedingly pleased with it. I worked as hard as ever I did during the term, and found this and that to say well of it. Strenata was not assigning formal grades, but the informal one seemed to be, "Pleasantly Stated."
We made tentative plans to enjoy each others' company on First Day. She was hardly distressed by the thought of a Sythyry-less week -- unfortunate but true -- though I should think that any Orren is well used to the concept of having a friend zip away to a riverside village for a lazy week.
She herself is not going away -- not hardly! -- and not being idle either. She has engaged with a dancing troupe for a pair of First Day performances. She is working afternoons in a scarfseller's shop for a bit of extra money during the term. She will read The Cheeses of Oorah Thrassen. She will sell bound contraceptive spells. She will practice her swordplay!
I don't imagine anyone else could fit in that sort of schedule, not even someone Zi Ri sized.
I daresay she'll even do half of that.
Tillissa and Oostmarine had forbidden Spirshash to ever speak with me again, so I was somewhat nervous going to see him. I should not have been nervous; after all, I had recently blinked, and thereby missed a good deal.
When I got there, Oostmarine was in the middle of moving out. He had divorced Tillissa. All discord concerning me was ancient -- obsolete -- more distant than the Cyarr Wars -- last week's news!
Spirshash was so distressed that he was in three places at once, and his tail curled into a spiral. [just a figure of speech. -bb] I got little specific information, and much fretting.
- The Howling Heads: Tillissa painted some very hideous howling Rassimel heads in the living room. She agreed long since to paint over them, which, last week, she did -- and then she painted some more in the bedroom. The new ones display more mastery of the technique, which makes them all the more hideous.
- The Mocking Songs: Orren street urchins have been singing mocking songs at Oostmarine (and Spirshash, and Tillissa, and Oonspath, and they would sing them at me except that I have been flying at rooflevel because I don't like to be mocking-sung-at.) According to Oostmarine, this is entirely Tillissa's fault. According to Oostmarine, she should therefore coddle him! Not to simply insist that he buck up!
- The Spoiled Eels:At dinner last night was Tillissa's turn to cook. Spirshash bought some blackscale eels early in the day -- butchered and gutted and scaled blackscale eels, ready for their broiling or some such. Tillissa was under the impression that they were live eels. Spirshash does not understand this mistake, for live eels do not come wrapped in leaves. In any event, Tillissa went to look for them in the live-tank, and decided that Oostmarine had eaten them all, and gave him his severe talking-to about the matter. The truth was discovered -- and the other truth that Tillissa had neglected to treat the eels properly. (It is midwinter. Treating them properly can be as simple as setting them outside the window.) They were a bit off, after sitting all day by the fire. Tillissa made Oostmarine try to spont Fresh Meat on them. Never force someone to improvise a spell when you have just upset them considerably by an unjust severe talking-to! The spell simply ungutted the eels (regutted them? They got their entrails back, in any case), which was no improvement at all. He refused to try again, and sulked into the bedroom under the howling heads. Tillissa grabbed Spirshash and went out to dinner without him. When they got back, he divorced her on the spot.
(There is more, but I don't know what it is.)
So, Spirshash is in a dreadful state. He is still married to both Oostmarine and Tillissa; now he must choose what to do about that. He could stay married to both, but that would surely leave each of them angry with him for refusing his support to their side. He could stay with one, or stay with the other; in either case he definitively loses a dear one. He could divorce them both, which I think he should do, for they haven't been very good for him these last months, and Orren above all people should be expert at changing personal relationships.
And I don't think he should divorce them both because I want him, for I don't. I would rather have him get his heart all peaceful before I so much as sit on his shoulder.
Real-Eel has not had any great troubles with eels of late. She introduced me to her new boyfriend, who is an Orren man of moderate station and considerable height named Vingi. Vingi is from Yistreia, but I didn't hear which city -- somewhere close to the trunk in any case. We drank shrimp consomme and chatted about every social thing and were variously pleasant for two-thirds of an hour, and then I excused myself. I was worried about Spirshash.
Back at the home of the former Orren trio, Tillissa had locked herself in the bedroom, under the howling Rassimels, and was howling with them. Since she is not painted, she was making a good deal of noise. Spirshash was doing his very best to comfort her through the door, though it seemed an impossible task, and a thankless and worthless one to me.
Unfortunately, that meant that I could not speak with him at any length before I head off to Flooosh's tomorrow.
Dustweed, Tethezai, Havune
Back at home, we made a simple careful dinner (steamed chub beetles with sweet-and-spicy sauce, noodles, leftover takeout nut stew, baked turnips with butter). Dubaille tried to invite himself, but Tethezai glanced at him and sent him fleeing with his fur on fire, or as good as that for social purposes at least. We discussed what Spirshash should do at length.
Tethezai of course said it was Spirshash' own fault for marrying within his species. Dustweed blushed her antennae into spirals. Havune merely asked Tethezai how she thought that the mortal prime species should maintain themselves, if everyone was to be as entirely transaffectionate as she says. She admitted that this is a detail that remains to be worked out, but that the answer surely involves refrigeration. After such an answer, no further discussion was possible.
I do not understand artistic folk. Strenata, Tillissa, and Tethezai all in one day is rather a lot.
And after dinner Spirshash did come by briefly. He had calmed Tillissa down to a great degree, but she had gone to bed early, exhausted from her crying. He went to check on Oostmarine, but Oostmarine had last been seen buying and drinking rosemary vodka with a local Orren not noted for great chastity. So he stopped by our apartment, and chatted with Havune and me, and we reassured him considerably. And I conscripted Havune to keep an eye on him while I am away.
What is Spirshash's best choice in this situation?
What is Spirshash's worst choice in this situation?