Rendered Fat Content


She was not born royalty.
Her father, former enemy combatant
turned immigrant,
her mother a wonk,
she, an only child.

Nor were her early years predictive.
Other than a keen eye
and a native enthusiasm,
little suggested her royal fate;
ascension neither birthright nor choice.
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You inspire me but that’s only your birthright and my responsibility.

We become our stories. Once we disappear, after we’ve gone, when we’ve left behind all the sacred possibilities every breath brings, we become our stories. Speak mindfully of nothing else. The facts don’t matter; the most terrible turmoil merely grist for this mill. We will each become the stories we tell.

They become the stories they heard. Not all of anyone, no, but some of who each of us become, while more than the simple sum of any explanation, certainly involves these parts which started by accumulating stories until subsumed into them, blended into the ones others owned themselves.
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“Have you found your tribe yet?”

“Well, no, but I expect to shortly.” Or so I reported. I had belonged to a tribe of sorts in the last place, but I expected it would and really should take some time to attract a new one in the new place. I knew I was lying, and not simply because my lips were moving, but also because of the nature of my friend’s question. Her question presumed that one finds their tribe. I might have caught this subtlety, but it slipped past me.

Who knows where one’s tribe comes from? Reflecting on my experience, I might more easily conclude that my tribes have more found me than I ever found them. No tribe hangs around anticipating getting found and, again, in my experience, the whole concept of ‘lost tribe’ seems terribly Old Testament. Tribes don’t need finding, seem to resist being stalked, and never appear in a convenient pack.
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Before The Muse left town, she asked me to see if I could finally get the Colorado license plates. We’d arrived in Colorado in late May, and it being early October already, we were tucking in rather closely to the deadline requiring new license plates within thirty days after establishing residency. Gratefully, the law defining residency seemed ambiguous enough to drive a large truck through.

On the one hand, it meant having a job here, which The Muse had from day one. On the other hand, it meant having a permanent residence, which The Deluxe Executive Towne Home, our temporary digs while searching for a permanent place, clearly failed to satisfy. On yet another hand, even once we found a permanent place, a vehicle license could only be issued if I had a Colorado driver’s license, which requires a whole other raft of evidence and proof, like utility bills addressed to me at the new permanent address, and utility bills usually arrive after living in a place for a while, like a month. By the time I received my Colorado license in the mail, we were already nearly six weeks in the new place.

The Muse had found the car title and proof of insurance, but the Colorado DMV site insisted that I’d also need a Vehicle Information Number Verification form, but it provided no information about where I might secure said form or who should do the verifying. The car also needed an emissions inspection, which the website suggested could be secured at either a state-run facility or from one of a select group of mechanics. I found what I thought was the location of the state facility for my new county and went in search of it. It was very well hidden.
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Lost Then Found

A very few excruciatingly long weeks ago, my friend Jamie changed his address. I’m uncertain about this part, but I suspect he changed it permanently. Some insisted that we’d thereby lost him, but I question that assertion. If he is, indeed, now lost to us, we might also now be lost to him, but I contend that Jamie is right this moment no more lost than we are. Of course, this statement doesn’t really say all that much, for I have been feeling quite exceptionally lost these last weeks. Maybe you have been feeling lost, too. This morning, I intend to get to the bottom of just where Jamie is now so I can ditch this disconcerting lost feeling I’ve been dragging around like outsized carry-on luggage.

When Jamie was still “with us,” he was perhaps most noticeable to me by his absence. We didn’t find or create many opportunities to meet face-to-face, yet we managed to feel as though we were in decent touch anyway. We Skyped sometimes, phoned others, exchanged emails, sometimes directly, perhaps more often as CC:s, as part of some shared group business. The last few months, I maintained a stream of correspondence I did not intend him to respond to, but even that seemed to sustain the clear felt sense of intimate proximity between us—none of that reinforced with actual proximity, mind you.

Then, when he “left,” I felt a sense of loss every bit as real as that former sense of intimacy had been.
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