Yesterday was... strange. After I finished writing the post about Morningstar, I got an email from an address I didn't recognize. Considering that one of my emails is public on my profile, I didn't think anything of it. Maybe a message from one of the Ladies or something. I opened it, and my jaw dropped. I damn near shut the computer and went to sleep, it freaked me out badly enough. Apparently, one of my followers told KK Collins about the Morningstar post. She had read it (and apparently a few of the others), and recognized her being mentioned. Among some of the more colorful phrases written, there was a simple demand. To meet her somewhere public, unarmed. The details and her description were there, but no explanation as to why the hell she was even interested.
I slept badly that night. I had heard horror stories about KK, and what I did know for sure was the fact that she was scary. As hell. I hadn't gone and read her blog, which I dearly started to regret by the time the meeting rolled around. What happened while I was there, well... let me put it this way. Looking back, I realized I fucked up a lot of shit in that 'interview', or whatever you want to call it. I was so damn worried about meeting this woman outside of the internet I acted like a complete bitch to try and make up for it.
You can imagine how well that went. I made my way to the restaurant she had picked out for me, and walked in thinking I'd have to wait for a while. I'm normally early to these kinds of things, but to my surprise she was already seated at the table. She was glaring at the door with a cold expression, like I had spoiled her day by showing up. I walked over and sat down across from her, setting my pen and paper on the table. What follows is the conversation from that point on.
Me: "I'm going to go ahead and assume you are KK. The email you sent was rather... descriptive."
KK stared at me, eyes half-closed and not quite threatening. Her voice was flat, and quiet. "Yeah, well...I wanted to be sure you knew what to look for."
Me: "you are hard to miss. So, why all the conditions? Why meet me to begin with? I could have told you anything you wanted to know through the email. This is a bit unnecessary."
KK: "Yeah, well, I needed some sunlight." She was clearly being sarcastic, since it was raining outside.
Me: "Okay, first off, you are the one that asked us to come here. You can cut the bullshit now. If I wanted to hurt you, it would have already happened. I don’t care about that stupid shit."
KK was irritated, still staring at me like I'd stabbed her cat. She hadn't blinked in over a minute. "Keep talking to me like that and I'll put you in the hospital. If you think I can't, you are even stupider than your blog makes you seem. If you MUST know, I wanted to talk to you because I wanted for ONCE to talk to someone who hasn't seen Him yet."
Me: "Oh wonderful. Insult me. Thats a great way for me to get to know you."
KK: (snarky) "It really is, since I do it to everyone."
Me: "Okay, for someone thats been hurt as badly as you, you are just a tad bit aggressive. Would you like to explain why you are talking to a complete stranger that way, or should I start assuming things?"
KK: "What, you think EVERYONE who's been abused turns into a shrinking violet?"
Me: "No. I personally think it makes them stronger, or breaks them until they're no better than Hollows. But that's an opinion. I came here out of good faith. Not for you to test me or act like I'm the boogeyman."
KK: "If I thought you were the boogeyman I'd be trying to kill you. And I'm not testing you. "Testing" people is worthless. You never know if someone will betray you until they DO. So why do not you quit assuming you KNOW me and how I think?"
Me: "You know what? That's a great idea. YOU tell me who you are, and how you think."
KK nodded slightly, her expression not changing. "Fine. Ask a question. What do you want to know?"
Me: "At the end, if I'm wrong, I'll apologize. Why did they hurt you so badly? Morningstar... he mainly just gloated. And acted like a psycho. Can you tell me the real reason? Please?"
KK: "What, the reason they hurt me? It might've had something to do with the fact that I'd barged in with a gun and with full intent to kill them all."
Me: "Okay, what made you go after them? How did you even get involved with the Slenderman and his Proxies to begin with?"
KK: "I got sucked into this world by sheer bad fucking luck. Followed the wrong guy into the woods. That's all it was. As for why I went after them...they'd taken my sister. They were TORTURING her." Something oddly despairing was in her tone, though it's still flat on the surface. "I had to rescue her. I was always her protector.It was my job."
Me: (dumbfounded) "That's why? What were you even doing following the guy?"
KK: "He looked like a child molester, and he was walking through a playground. I wanted to see what the fuck he was up to."
Me: "Why didn't you just call the police? Or, even better, get other people to go with you?"
KK: "I do not trust the fucking police. And there was nobody else around. I was in Redmond to see a friend."
Me: "That does make sense, unfortunately. They normally do not show up until things are too fucked up for them to fix. So what happened next? You went into the woods after a suspicious guy, and... you saw Slendy?"
KK: "Sort of. First all the tree leaves went black, then the guy yelled at me to get the fuck out of the forest. Then I ran into fucking Redlight. What a prick. He nearly took my eye out."
I listened quietly to her story, rather worried by the mention of Redlight. "The Path of Black Leaves? And who is Redlight? I keep hearing about him, but all I know is he is, was, whatever a proxy."
KK: "I do not know much more about him than that. He was a psycho with some weird powers. And yeah, I guess that was the Path of Black Leaves."
Me: "How long were you in there? Did you get sick, or did you run before it could happen? (A lightbulb goes off in my head as I realize something) you are the one telling the story. I'll shut up for a while, and let you tell it."
KK: "No, the questions are good. I'm having trouble thinking straight lately. It's better if I can tell it one piece at a time. I was only in the Path for a minute or two at most. I didn't even run into Redlight until I was out of the forest. I saw the Suit watching from afar, but didn't interact with him."
Me: "So he didn't mess with you? He left you alone?"
KK: "At the time, yeah."
Me: "So, what you are saying is that wasn't your only encounter with him."
Me: "You saw the Slenderman in the distance, but he didnt mess with you. What happened? Did Redlight keep chasing you?"
KK: "No. The guy distracted Redlight and I took off. I'm pretty fast when I'm able to walk. The Suit didn't follow me."
Me: "So what brought you in contact with the Proxies? That one encounter couldn't have been all of it. Especially the kind of hatred you had for them."
KK: "Of course it wasn't. The very next day a Proxy attacked me on my roof. I threw him off. How does someone walk away from an eight-story fall?"
Me: "Well, we know the answer now. Why the hell were you on the roof?"
KK: (annoyed) "I have a rooftop garden. I grow tomatoes."
Me: "Most sane people do not tinker around on their roof willingly. They're generally afraid of falling off."
KK rolled her eyes so hard I could see the whites. Freaky lady. "I live in an apartment building. The roof is flat. And who said I was sane, anyway?"
Me: "Not I, said the fly. Anyway. He attacked you, you threw him off.... what next?When did you start doing your research, anyway?"
KK: "I started doing my research after that Proxy showed up. The Suit was following me around pretty regularly at that point, so I wanted to know more about him."
Me: "You act as though you weren't scared."
KK: "I wasn't at the time. I thought it was awesome. I was being followed by otherworldly beings of eldritch horror. It was fun."
Me: "That you had contact with psychopaths and stalkers with fucked up abilities?!"
KK: "Yeah. I'm a weird person, alright?"
Me: "The encounter of nearly being blinded, and nearly being thrown off the roof yourself didn't put you off your game at all?"
KK: "Nope. I've had worse. I've DONE worse."
Me: "Of course you have. It fuckin' figures, these days." I begin to look around nervously.
KK acts almost amused. "Well, look at Little Miss Cynical. You have no fucking IDEA how much someone can live through, dear."
Me: "What the hell do you expect? I am just a regular girl. The best thing I have towards self defense is knowing how to shoot a gun. Which, of fuckin' course, doesn't work worth a damn if they've had contact with Slendy. I mean, the people I speak to on a regular basis have either killed someone, or know magic or some shit. I do not. You can understand why the hell I would be worried. Just coming here was probably a mistake."
KK: "I do not know magic. I just know how to cause lots of pain. And how to run away."
Me: "No, you apparently have some kind of unhealthily high pain threshold. And, I suspect, a good deal of experience in causing that pain. I have a feeling it wasn't all against proxies, either."
KK: "I basically do not feel anything less than being stabbed in a vital organ. And yeah, I have lots of experience, the vast majority of it before any of this happened."
Me: "you are doing wonders for my paranoia, dear. Keep going. I "love" it." I spit this sentence out about as sarasticly as I can. KK was just plain fucking creepy. Death threats just made it worse.
KK: (deadpan) "I live to serve. I can think of seventeen different ways to kill you in the next ten seconds. All of them with my bare hands."
Me: "You know what? Fuck this. I'll go back to writing from behind a computer screen, and you go back to doing whatever the fuck it is you do when you aren't going after proxies."
KK: "Getting myself drunk and wondering why the hell I seem to be a magnet for all the universe's shit. That's what I do when I'm not fighting." She says this quietly, seeming almost vulnerable.
Me: "That seems to be a running theme with Runners. Though... I'd say you are a Fighter. Damn it. Look, why dont you drop the tough girl act for a while?"
KK: (flat) "It's not an act. It's all that's LEFT of me. You'll pardon me if I hang on to it." I wonder at the fact that she said this. She speaks as though she was once the opposite. I do the stupid thing, and keep pressing her. I'm such an idiot.
Me: "It'll be a lot easier to ask the questions if I'm not afraid of you."
KK: "I'M afraid of me sometimes. Why should you be any different?"
I start to panic at this point. She sincerely seemed to me like she were going to hurt me.
Me: "Because I do not have contact with this shit. I write because I want to help people. Not because I feel like putting myself through stupid shit like this with someone that doesn't even want to be here."
KK: "That's what I'm saying. You SHOULD be afraid of me. I'm not a good person. I'm not some romantic hero. I am a broken woman who's willing to do anything necessary to survive. If I didn't want to be here, I wouldn't have suggested a meeting. The only reason I didn't invite you over to my place was because I do not like people knowing where I live."
Me: "Can you at least stop hinting at the ways you can kill me? Please? I do not know about all of this shit. I have cold, written words to tell me about all of it. I'm not like you, and I do not want to be. I do not want to be afraid all of the time."
KK: "Sorry. And it's good that you do not want to be like me. I do not want people idolizing me."
Me: "If you are sorry, then prove it and stop doing it intentionally. Good faith, remember?"
KK: (expression and voice both flat, unreadable) "Ask your next question."
I sigh and look down at my notes. I'm nowhere near used to dealing with someone like KK. "Tell me where it escalated. Where it went from sightings of the Tall Man and playing with stalker proxies to... what came later."
KK: "You know that saying, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing"? I fell prey to that. See, I found out that Slender Man doesn't like electricity. I have a friend who used to work at a lightning lab in town. I sort of bribed him into letting us use it for an "experiment", us being me and Derek. We lured Slender Man in, flipped the switch, and hit him with about 4 million amps of pure electric glory. It pissed him off."
Me: "Well, I've heard the Rake doesn't like bright lights. Doesnt mean I'm going to start rigging flood lights to shine in his face."
KK: "Lemme rephrase. The Suit is HURT by electricity. He avoids it like I avoid sea salt and human affection."
Me: "Im sorry, Ive gotta say this. That's not only stupid and suicidal, but it's also heaps of arrogant."
KK: "No shit."
Me: "You thought because you had a little bit of electricity you could bring down a Fear? The granddaddy of them all by one little upstart Fighter? Are you fucking kidding me?"
KK: (irritated) "You made your fucking point, one that I already KNEW, thank you very much. Move on."
Me: "Fine, fine. You act like "I'm" the sensitive one.."
KK: "Never said I wasn't touchy."
Me: "Okay. So you pissed off the Slenderman with... Derek, you said?"
KK: "Yeah. My husband."
Me: "Your husband? Why isn't he here today?"
KK: "I didn't tell him where I was going. Besides, he works."
Me: "You ran off on your own, to have a meeting with a stranger you had never met. And you didn't tell him. What happens if he comes back early? What the hell do you think he's going to think with you gone, in your condition?"
KK: "He's USED to me leaving for things without telling him. Besides, I left a note. I'm not a TOTAL idiot."
Me: ".....what if I was a Proxy?"
KK: "Then I'd kill you. And do not get mad at me. YOU asked the question."
Me: "Seriously, what if all of this was a trap? You think a note is going to change you being DEAD?"
KK: "You think I wouldn't KNOW it was a trap the moment I saw you?"
Me: "I'm not touching that sentence with a ten foot pole. I do not feel like having my neck snapped."
KK: "Good idea."
Me: "Look, you pissed him off with your husband. What came next? Did you start Running? When did you realize you were in over your head?"
KK: "My sister, Christine, went missing. She lived with us. And no, I didn't go running. I do not run. As far as I knew, she'd just moved back to New York. So I started calling her friends, but none of them had ever seen it."
Me: "Why would she leave without telling you?"
KK: "She was freaked out by me, since I'd been talking about the Suit. Derek didn't even believe He existed until he saw Him at the lightning lab. Anyway, I went to New York to look for her. I DROVE to New York."
I look at her expectantly. There's no way in hell I'd let her leave it at that.
KK sighs to herself. "Turned out she'd been kidnapped. By Andromeda, who you may or may not have heard of."
Me: "Barely. I know.. of her. Mainly because of bouncing around blogs. Why did Andromeda kidnap her? What the hell was the point?"
KK: "To punish me. For daring to attack Slender Man directly."
Me: "What the fuck? Why would she even care?"
KK rolls her eyes again. "She was TOLD to do it by Slender Man himself. Oh, and the psycho thinks she's my mother. My mother's been dead for years."
Me: "do not people come back all the time when in contact with the Slenderman?"
KK: "Yeah, but there's also the problem of her not looking anything LIKE my mother. I'm the spitting image of my mom. Well.....I USED to be, anyway. Andromeda looks nothing like me. And she's British."
Me: "Wonderful. They come in all flavors, do not they?" I try to mutter this under my breath, but something tells me it came out loud than I'd hoped. "So, what, she's another Proxy? How many of them are there?"
KK: "No idea. And I think she's a Revenant. I watched her tear my sister's limbs off bare-handed. Normal people can't do that. So yeah. Long story short, I tried to play action hero and got smacked down. My rescue plan failed, Christine was tortured and murdered in front of me, and I was beaten, tortured, and left to die."
Me: "You seem to be the type to go for revenge."
KK: "Why bother? I got my ass handed to me. And honestly, I can't afford to criss-cross the country, hunting that bitch down."
Me: "Financially or emotionally?"
KK: "Financially. Besides, it doesn't really...." She trails off, staring over my shoulder at the entrance to the restaurant, her eyes glazing over.
I turn and look around, trying to find whatever has her scared. "What? What's wrong? KK! What is it?"
KK mutters under her breath, "Nothing...just thought I saw someone dead and gone..."
I'm shaking at this point, rather worried for the both of us. "Are they there now? Who did you think you saw?"
KK: "Christine. She was watching me. (muttered, still staring out the window) I need vodka. It makes the hallucinations go away. All the eyes, all the darkness, the dead that are on my soul....it makes them all go away."
Me: "Would you like to cut this short? I... I do not think Christine is here, KK."
KK: "I know she's not. I see her, but she's not there. Funny how the brain can contradict itself that way."
Me: "I think your "hallucinations" go a bit farther than the run of the mill shadows on the wall."
KK: "Maybe. But it doesn't matter. They'll come for me someday, I'll bet. They'll wipe out what little of me is left and make me pay."
Me: "What, you expect it to happen? do not you think they've done enough?"
KK: "No. They haven't. It doesn't matter what I do, the eyes are always watching me. Always judging me. I'm so blind, because my eyes are among the watchers. All I can see is myself, and watching nothing but yourself makes you blind to everything else."
Me: "I'd say look outside of your world before you lose what's left of your life to them. But, I do not know what the fuck I'm talking about."
KK: "No.....no, you do not. I need alcohol." She pulls a bottle of vodka out of her purse, downing half the bottle at once. When she finishes she corks it again, and looks back at me, her eyes slowly un-clouding. "There."
Me: "Is that what it takes for you to stay sane these days?"
KK: "Pretty much. A Stoli a day keeps the crazy away."
Me: "Is there anything else you aren't telling me? Or anything you particularly want to tell me?"
KK: "Like what? And I never SAID I was sane. You just assumed I was."
Me: "Coherent, then. I do not know what's in your head. I'm still kind of hoping you won't kill me for some random slight against your character."
KK sighed, and began to mutter to herself. "Why does everyone assume I'm THAT hair-trigger?" She begins to speak directly to me. "I'm not going to just randomly kill you. I'm not THAT kind of insane. Look, I do not know what you WANT to know about me. My childhood history? My hopes and fears and dreams? My favorite color and sex position? There's not a lot to me that doesn't involve pain and horrible memories. I'm not a good person, or a nice one, or someone you'd want anyone to know you were friends with."
"The only thing I am is a survivor. A predatory animal. I'm not claiming that's a good thing, but it's what my life has made me. I'm almost incapable of real warmth or emotion. I'm borderline insane. I killed my own father. Granted I had a good reason to do that. But you see my point? I'm not like the other bloggers who act like they're these nice, normal people. I'm not them. I'm something else entirely."
I've been looking down for most of her relevation. I do not know what to do or say, and everything feels awkward. I know I'm going to fuck up, and I do it anyway. "I do not expect you to be a wonderful, sunshiney kind of person. Life isn't all love, hope, and rainbows."
KK: "Good. I'm glad you understand that, at least."
I finally look up. "But you need to understand something. You do not need to treat me like some kind of interloper, or like you have to constantly look over your shoulder with me."
KK: "YOU need to understand that I'm like that with EVERYONE. I have no ability to trust."
Me: "I'm not one of those sunshiney bloggers. I might act like it most of the time, but I'm not. And I'd like it if you didnt treat me like I was."
KK: "I'm not. But I do not trust anyone. You can't earn my trust because I do not have any trust to be earned."
Me: "I do not care about trust right now. I care about respect. I do expect you to give me that. I have no problem walking out and never seeing you again. I will sleep just fine tonight. But I do not want that. So what's it going to be?"
KK: "NOW who's trying to act like a hardass?" She seems amused, though not smiling. I get the strange feeling that her new "smile" makes it rather difficult for her to truly smile.
Me: "You aren't the only screwed up person in the world, KK. You just have the outside to show for it."
KK: "I know there are more screwed-up people. I know there are people who are more screwed up. But you know what? I've never met one. Other than my father. I suppose I could say this is all his fault."
Me: "Good thing he's dead. This isn't a goddamn pissing contest, KK. Did you WANT to tell me about your father, or do you have a point to prove?"
KK: "(irritated) Tell you what. I'll tell you about my father if you get off your fucking high horse. You want me to talk to you, you have to stop acting like I'm being an unreasonable bitch."
Me: "I'll do that when you stop acting like I'm out to get you or some other shit. you are the one that started with the "I'm a scary bitch" high horse. I just responded."
KK: "And when I tried to drop it, you kept right on going. Goodbye." She starts pushing herself toward the door, clearly angry and really offended for the first time in the interview.
Me: "Look, wait, please. Please stop. I didn't mean it, okay?"
KK spins the wheelchair around, angry as fuck, every word being bitten out. "BullSHIT you didn't mean it. You meant every word of it. you are STILL assuming that I'm like everyone else, that I'm pretending to be a hardass for whatever reason and that if you just act HARDER I'll break down and turn into some weepy little girl you can sympathize with. It's not going to happen. This is what I am. I used to be more. I used to BE a nice person, at least on some level. I'm not anymore. Now, bitterness and venom and survival instinct are all I have. If you can't understand that, then fuck you."
Me: "I do not think that. I do not want you to be some weepy little girl. You can be someone else, just like a Proxy can change. I'm sorry if I pushed you so hard. I really am. I do not want to act like a hardass, or get into an argument, or make you storm off. I just want you to for once calm down. I haven't even seen the Slenderman. If there's anyone you could even slightly relax around for that reason, it would be me."
KK: "Yeah, I know. That's why I THOUGHT this would be a nice conversation. Instead you've been nothing but haughty and judgmental. I'm TRYING to be nice. you are getting more niceness out of me than anyone but Derek has seen in a long time. But instead of seeing that and accepting it, you keep trying to take more and more."
I sigh, trying to figure out what the fuck I can do to fix the clusterfuck that was the situation. "Can we just start over personally? Please? I sure as fuck didn't mean to upset you."
KK looks like she's about to bite my head off, but rolls back to the table anyway. "Fine. Let's start over."
Me: "Look, is there a way for me to make it up to you? I'm Dia, I'm a writer, and oh yeah, I fucked up."
KK: "I'm KK, I'm a writer, and I'm fucked up. As for how you can make it up to me....that's not something you'd want to do, I'll bet."
Me: "Depends on what it is."
KK: "Are you a lesbian? Or bi?"
Me: "Actually, yes. Is this relevant?"
KK: "Not really, since I know you won't do it, no matter what I say. We can move on now."
Me: "-sigh- you are doing it on purpose now."
KK: "No, actually, I'm not."
Me: "Did you want to talk about your father, honestly?"
KK: "Want" isn't the right word. I'm kind of compelled to when people ask. Like maybe sharing it around will make it a little less horrible for me."
Me: "Then go for it. If it helps you, we can talk about it. Technically, we can talk about whatever you want."
KK: "Okay. My father was a preacher. Yes, that makes me a preacher's daughter. I'm actually the middle child of three. All girls. Dad was a fine, upstanding member of the community in public. In private, he was a sadist and a pedophile. He was doing various sexual things to us ever since I could remember, and I can remember back to when I was 4 years old."
I begin to fidget and try not to cry. I fail rather terribly. "When.. when did it stop? When did you finally break free?"
KK: "When I was 16. I finally had enough money for a bus ticket. I had family out here in Portland, so I bought a one-way ticket. No luggage, not even a change of clothes. Oh, and did I mention my father would inflict pain on all three of his daugghters just for the fun of it? And that my little sister is dead, buried in our backyard in North Dakota?"
Me: "No. No, you didn't mention that."
KK: "Yeah. Christine was the oldest, but she....well, she broke when we were still kids. She stopped fighting it. I never stopped. Something in me wouldn't allow me to. Probably the same thing that keeps me going now."
I had a hard time wording what I was about to say. "What was it? Do you know? Or was it just a part of you that wouldn't let go, despite the pain?"
KK: "What, that thing that wouldn't let me stop fighting? (shrugs) I guess I'm just a little more animal than a human has a right to be. Or else I'm just stubborn. The more someone tries to break me down, the harder I fight back. I just.....I guess Stephen King put it best. In the novel "The Stand", Larry Underwood's mother says there's somethig in him that's like biting on tinfoil. I have that same quality. I just do not stop."
Me: "That's a wonderful trait."
KK: "I guess.... Sometimes I wish I COULD give up. It'd make life a lot easier and simpler."
Me: "What about Derek?"
KK rolls her eyes at this. "Not THAT kind of "give up". I'm an atheist. I do not want to die. I just mean I wish I could pull up stakes and walk away from all this. Move to sunny California or something."
Me: "Why can't you?"
KK: "I just....I can't leave until it's over. I can't run away. Running away is cowardice. Running away is giving up, being weak, leaving yourself open to attack. I do not run. I do not run I do not run I do not run....." She repeats this under her breath to herself, like a mantra.
Me: "KK! It's okay. It's okay now, even if it's just for right now."
KK quickly shakes her head, trying to clear the cobwebs from her head. "Yeah. Right. Sorry. That happens sometimes. Brain damage. My brain gets stuck on one thought, like a skipping record. Other times I'll forget what I was saying, or doing. My memory's starting to go out too. And my motor control kind of sucks anymore."
Me: "Isn't there a name for that? I do not remember anymore..."
KK shrugs her shoulders here, with a bored expression on her face. "I dunno."
Me: "I used to research things like that because of the company I kept."
KK: "Hmm. Sounds interesting. I just know it's from taking one too many hits to the head."
Me: "That's... really, really bad. I'm surprised you didn't wind up a vegetable. No offense meant, but... people do not normally survive what you went through."
KK: "I know. I'm ludicrously hard to kill. Want to hear the short list of things I've survived that should've killed me, ESPECIALLY when you add up their effects?"
KK: "Shot twice in the chest and once in the neck, stabbed seven times in various important organs. Drank straight-up bleach. Seventeen suicide attempts by various means. Two rounds of double pneumonia (drug resistant). A three-story fall, during which I bounced off a fire escape and scraped my face against a brick wall while falling at roughly 30 MPH. Four times being hit by cars going at high speeds. Oh, and nearly having my face blown off by a malfunctioning firework. Though that one probably wouldn't have been lethal, just disabling. Like I said, that's the short list."
Me: "I expected a lot more, to be honest. I'm kind of happy the list is that short."
KK: "Yeah. Those are the things that I KNOW should've killed me. There are probably a few hundred other incidents that COULD have killed me."
Me: "A few hundred? Just what kind of life did you lead before the Proxies show up?"
KK: "A shitty one. My family out here didn't want anything to do with me, so I lived on the street. Actually, I just met Derek a few months before all of this started, and that was the first real bright spot in my life."
Me: "How did you meet him? What happened?"
KK: "I think he already told that story on my blog, actually. Basically, he heard my noisy breakup with an ex and came down to see if I was okay. Things went from there."
Me: "Ahhh. That isn't as insane as the rest of your life, at least what you've told me. I'm glad you have him."
KK: "Yeah. He's a good influence, I guess."
Me: "What do the two of you plan to do now?"
KK's eyebrow shoots up, and she gives me a strange look. "Do I look like a girl with a plan? I'm like a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it."
Me: "What about the mailman?"
KK: "There isn't one. We pick our mail up at the post office."
Me: "Damn it. That would have been a wonderful mental image to carry around."
KK chuckles here, just a little. "Maybe. How old are you, Dia?"
Me: "Twenty years old."
Me: "What is it?"
KK: "Just thinking about how much difference 6 years can make."
I begin to laugh. "You are right. But... just think of the difference one year can make. Then apply that to about a third of my life."
KK's tone changes, sound as serious as I imagine possible. "I won't get to find out. One way or another, Dia, I'm going to be dead before my 27th birthday."
Me: "When is your birthday?"
KK: "June 10th.
Me: "What do you mean by one way or another?"
KK: "I mean either I'll have died of AIDS or some infection or general body dysfunction, or Slender Man or one of his minions will have killed me, or I'll have killed myself because the hallucinations are just too much."
Me: "No regrets?"
KK: "A SHITLOAD of regrets. Pretty much NOTHING but regrets. But thats life. And when I'm dead, I won't remember them."
Me: "That's a hell of a way to live."
KK: "It's all I've got."
Me: "Well, I guess that is it, unless you have anything else you want to say...."
KK: (head shake) "Not really."
Me: "Soo... what now?"
KK: "Now, I guess I go home and you go home. Unless you want to come back to my place and have sex all day." Again, maybe serious, maybe joking. I really do not know how to read this chick worth a damn.
Me: "I do not think your husband would appreciate that."
KK: "Why not? We both slept with Christine. We have an open marriage, and we're both really good about it."
I begin to blink rapidly, halfway believing I had heard incorrectly. "Your sister?"
KK: "Yeah. My sister."
Me: "Okay. Give me a second for that to sink in."
KK sits back, silent. I suppose she was trying to give me my space, but that's just a guess.
I take a moment here, trying to breathe and count to ten. I wasn't sure how she'd react to what I was about to say. "How about we save that for the second date?" I grin to myself and start laughing, halfway expecting her to make fun of me for what I had just said.
KK: (flat) "Are you saying there'll be a first?"
I shrug, still laughing at the absurdity of our conversation. "I'll count this as the first. Talking about death and destruction does wonders for the libido."
KK: "If you say so."
Me: "Tell ya what, next time, I'll even bring flowers." I begin to gather my notes here, somewhat confused as to everything that just happened.
KK: "I do not like flowers. Bring a book. If you are going to bring anything, that is."
Me: "I have King, Koontz, and Narnia, among others. Peace offering, then?"
KK: "That works. Do you have Different Seasons?"
Me: "I have Everything's Eventual. There's quite a few stories in there you should read."
I finish gathering my notes and stand up. "Til next time?"
KK: "Yup. Til next time." She heads for the door, and begins to wheel herself away down the sidewalk, apparently not caring about the rain.
I mumble to myself, "No one knows how to say goodbye anymore..."
I walked away after that, clutching my papers to my chest like they were my lifeline. In a way, they were. My perspective of the Fighters and the victims had changed enormously in the little bit of time I spent there with her. The notes that I wrote down (when we weren't arguing over rather ridiculous things) are what I used to make this post. I can't tell you what I was expecting, I can't tell you even what kind of restaurant we were in. I vaguely remember there weren't that many people, and that the waiter seemed to stay away from our table as if he were just as afraid as I was. Maybe she told him to stay away, to keep the distractions at a minimum. I frankly do not know, or give a damn.
All I can really tell you that's truly important, now that everything is said and done... is that I'm no less afraid. And that now, meeting her, I know I walked myself into a very fucked up situation. KK.. I wish she hadn't been hurt the way she had been. I wish I hadn't been such a snooty bitch. And really, I just wish I'd trusted her a little more. I.. do not really know if interviewing her was the right thing to do. I'm glad I did though, for one reason. I got to see a 'friendly face' in all this... and I got a reality check I do not think I would have gotten otherwise. The kind that you get when it's too late to fix it.