November 2nd, 2003



This morning I went to IHOP and they seated me at a table next to a family: hubby, wife, and little girl. I spoke a few words to the waitress and was about to settle in with my book when the guy said, "Excuse me...didn't you used to live in State College--Penn State?" It was this guy Brian, a cook at the diner where I used to work. I recognized him right off, once I'd been prompted. Even knew his name. That's rare luck for me, but some of the diner crew made an indelible impression.

He was just in town on business. We chatted for about five minutes. I asked if he kept in touch with anyone and he said not really. "Not even Dave?" I asked. "Oh, Dave, sure--I still talk to him once in a while." And then he went: "Wait, you do mean Dave--" "Dave E-----," I filled in. Dave E. had been my huge diner crush and he and Brian had been friends. "Oh no, not him. Sorry." "Dave B----?" I asked. "Oh god, no!" A laugh. "We worked with a lot of Daves," I noted. He agreed. I never did find out which Dave it was, though.

Brian's "in film" now, and his wife is "in theater." Brain was very tidily dressed and impeccably trimmed in every detail, with a sweater vest and tie, like a Christian folk singer. I remember him as a stoner, putting on weight when I saw him last, a guy who looked as if he might go quickly to seed. But I'm the one who went to seed as it turned out. He became an artsy yuppie. I was embarrassed. I hadn't planned on meeting anyone at the IHOP on a Sunday morning. I was dressed down and my hair was a mess. Basically I looked like shit. "I can't believe you recognized me," I said. "I must look so different." "No," he said. "You look exactly the same."

Yahhh'kay. Great. One could take that a couple of different ways. I of course feel quite assured now that I looked like utter crap ten years ago, and look no better now. I know I feel that way a lot of the time. Ten years doesn't always change much, except that maybe you get closer to the self you've always been.

I came home, popped in a Buffy DVD and watched everything from "Bad Girls" to "Graduation Day." Mostly without sound though, as a background light-show while I wrote. I managed the first healthy spurt of noirish writing I've done in a long time, knock on wood.

BtVS Misc: It's funny how some pairings are canon and you don't even think about them. Giles and Joyce slept together, but there's not a huge body of G/J fiction out there. It was what it was, and they moved on. And Angel/Faith--from the context of the episode where they trick Faith into thinking he's gone evil, it seems as if they did the deed. But I rarely see mention of that as a possible emotional bond. (ETA: Kita corrects me in comments w/reference to Angel & Faith, noting that doing the naughty in fact came to naught.)

Jonathan went to the prom with a really hot girl. Huh. I watched Larry die, Harmony get bitten. Percy turns up in S4, so he's one of the few living survivors other than Jonathan that we can name, isn't he? That we see more of, I mean, and other than the main cast.

Who were all those apparent grown-ups who came to help fight at the high school, the ones who stood behind Angel and Wes, and I think Giles, like a flanking army? Huh. Also, if you consider the chronology, why was the sun still eclipsed when the rescue parties got there? Because it was about, what, three o'clock in the afternoon when the Mayor got there? But it doesn't seem likely that the sun came back out in the interim and that six hours passed while everyone sat around, and that Wes was only put on an ambulance when the sun went down for real. I guess that's just TV time.

I was watching for Wes--that was my plan anyway. I'd wanted to get a sense of his characterization back in the day. Unfortunately much was lost on me with the sound turned off. I was surprised by the whole Bad Faith arc. I'd forgotten that he tried to kidnap her for the council, and her whole escape attempt, etc. It'd been a while since I watched. Must watch it again sometime when I'm paying attention.

Surprised myself by crying at the prom. Again. Was struck that Angel biting Buffy was one of the most amazing moments on the show, in its entire seven years. Liked it when he showed up at the prom too, sweet, but for the first time imagined Spike in a tux and wept for what might have been. The second half of season three was fucking amazing. It just kept ratcheting up higher and higher, tighter and tighter. And it had some of the most intense villain face-offs that they ever pulled off, because the Mayor's incredible charisma made it all so personal. The scene in the cafeteria when they do the exchange of Willow for the box of Gav'whatever and he tells Angel and Buffy why they'll never work out. The scene when the Mayor comes to the library and Giles stabs him with the sword. His confrontation with Angel in the hospital after he tries to kill Buffy. His graduation day speech, even--it's pure beauty that they let him deliver so much of it.

On the sweet note again there's the bit when Buffy says to Willow, "I kind of love you." Silly: The utterly ridiculous kiss between Wes & Cordy. And hey--Wes, Cordy, and Angel were all in the library for that one scene. I think that was a one-off, unless I'm mistaken. Funny though. (I suppose you can count the prom, but it's not quite the same.)

Oz sweeping over the urn to silently moot the argument about whether they should exchange the box for Willow....

Must finish laundry, eat chocolate, type a few more lines, sleep, go to work tomorrow. Yeah.