If You Try Sometimes, You Get What You Need

Let me catch you up on the last year, or so, of my life. I imagine that I am largely writing only to myself these days, and I'm very much ok with that. If you happen upon this, know that you are welcome, as I have nothing to keep from anyone, and I prefer it that way. Surprise me and ask a question of something I haven't covered. Where shall I start? I think I covered the craziness of cruise season already, and Michael will have to have his own post, so how about after that? I took some time to myself after Michael and I ended, and fall/winter of last year I had been dating someone we'll call EB. He is an almost-famous actor who gave it all up to spend more time with his family. He has a few exes he calls crazy, and never wanted them to know I existed, so that relationship will go down in history as invisible. He preferred it that way. Ultimately he is emotionally unavailable, and said that he thought to end things because I was giving so very much more in the relationship than he was. Well, it's a good excuse, but not one I believe. It had more to do with... a lack of self control. That's the easiest way of putting it. Anyway, he and I were spending a lot of time together, and we had something in common we both loved, but that we'd never done together. Dancing. I had been really into Blues Dancing, and still am, and he said he loved dancing too. We decided to go, and I was really excited to introduce him to this thing I loved. It ended up changing my life. We danced two or three songs together, and the majority of the night he spent on the side, talking with strangers he'd never see again. His boisterous laugh rang out, and whenever our eyes connected, there was no connection in them. How very odd, I thought. So, he doesn't really dance... wait, what? What was all that? Videos of him doing late night street dancing, and all those words! Maybe it was something else? He preferred to entertain strangers than build an existing connection. As I write this, that actually makes a whole lot of sense for what I know of him. Hmm. Anyway, there was someone else there that night. He was tall, had shaggy hair in gorgeous curls, and he danced like he knew a whole lot more about dancing than anyone else in the room. I noticed him, and was very aware of him much of the night. It wasn't a flattering thing. He has a face that could put him as a younger brother to Randon, the seven year guy. Rkugliug's (I rarely honor him with use of his name) face was my ideal, except he had kind of a big nose. This guy had a good nose, and big eyes. I could tell he was definitely younger than me, and the combination of his age and his face, I wanted nothing to do with him. Nothing. Not one dance, not one word. I'd seen that species of snake before, and spent too much time learning the reasons to stay away. I tried to keep my dance card full enough that he couldn't ask me to dance. Towards the end of the night, when I'd let down my guard, he appeared and asked me to dance. I dance with everyone who asks, so I plastered a smile on my face and agreed. He was actually a very very good dancer. It wasn't blues, but he was a clear lead, and so I was an easy follow. We talked a bit and all I got out of it was that he can design and build anything. He asked me if I was dating anyone, and I told him yes, and that he was there in the room. He was so young, and EB is obviously older. My pride wouldn't let me give away my age by telling him who it was. We danced once more, and at the end of the night he hung back to chat with me another moment. When he approached, I asked him if he wouldn't mind taking a photo of the people I came with. He did, and we all left quickly thereafter. In the weeks that followed, EB and I had a great time together. We saw my favorite band, we spent a great evening with his kids and a long night canoodling after they went to bed, all of us went to his work party where I was introduced over and over as his special friend, lol... and then it ended abruptly. It was very strange to me. One Saturday he was treating me like normal, and by the next Saturday he was cancelling plans and not communicating it. After months of being close, and having really great communication, he just stood me up... and uttered an only obligatory "I'm sorry". Nothing further to explain or fix the slight. It was confusing, but I will say, it is a good strategy on his part for making me get over it easily. People don't treat me that way, and I don't hang on to people who do. A couple days later I was only pleased to know what kind of man I'd been seeing. That next Friday I went blues dancing again, and when the well dressed guy with the big smile was there again, I didn't mind when he asked me to dance. When we danced I told him I wasn't seeing anyone, and before the end of the night he asked for my number and told me he'd call me soon. He did. He called me the following night. "Hey, this is Taylor. Are you busy tonight?" Wow! He's on the ball! It was refreshing to hear his spontaneous question, but I wasn't really sure I wanted to slide down the snake hole again. "I was just wondering if you'd like to throw pottery with me tonight?" Hmmm... throw... pottery... sounds like a good stress relief? Definitely unique. "I'm taking a pottery class and I have some pieces I need to work on. I could teach you how to make something." Ok, hold up. He's taking a pottery class and he wants to relive the movie 'Ghost' with me tonight. I've never done that before, and it sounds romantic. It doesn't mean we are going to date, or even go out twice. I want to try that. "Ok, great, don't worry about getting done up, just wear something that you don't care about getting ruined." Deal. I have nothing but paint clothes that I don't mind ruining. I'll just ruin something I don't care thaaat much about. See you in an hour and a half. Poof, I had turned down a road I hadn't seen coming. The date was really great, and I found myself nervous, with butterflies. That was unexpected. The whole date was unexpected, and when I was back home, I was quite unsure how to proceed with how I felt about him. He was unexpectedly very much unlike Rakdjhrkj. I was expecting a night of having to hear a whole bunch of garbage I didn't care about, by a guy who put himself down in an effort to make me think he was humble. I actually got a really down to Earth guy who was sweet, and looked at me like... well like he still looks at me. So, that's the story of the beginning of Taylor and I. I'll fill in more after a while. For now I'll leave it at this... he is so very good to me, so very good for me, and meets me right where I need him to.


What. Is. That!?!

I'm a pretty healthy girl. I have great genetics. I process insulin in such a way that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and I'll never be fat... exact quote from my doctor. Whatever it is that I'm going to die from, it'll have nothing to do with my heart... also directly from my doctor. If I get a cough that last more than a week, I get new abs that last all summer. I am blessed in that the most I have to watch, physically, is my sun exposure. I'm pretty pleased with the lot I've been dealt in that regard. So, keeping that in mind, imagine my surprise when I discovered a hole in my arm!!

This was January 1st, and the end of March 2015... my arm was normal

Late June, of 2015, I went on a canyoneering trip to Moab, Utah. When I returned, I noticed that in the photos, there was a very strange shadow on the back of my upper arm. It was in all the pictures. I looked in the mirror, and I discovered that I really had a hole in my arm!! I felt it, and it was just what it looked like. There was no tissue in that spot! The skin there was a little bit pink right there, and it was as if someone had scooped a little chunk out of my arm! I looked at pictures of my arm the end of May, and there was nothing there. So, whatever it was, I hadn't felt a thing, and it had happened sometime within the last month! I work at a doctor's office, and the thing everyone jumped to, was questioning if I'd gotten a steroid shot in my arm. I know what those marks look like, and it's not quite the same. I also hadn't had a shot in the arm since my flu shot the previous fall, and I always get them in the other arm because I hate having to use a sore arm. That, and if it had been a shot, it was reallllllly given in the wrong spot. A shot in the arm is either given in the center of the deltoid muscle, or in the fat about halfway down the back of the arm. I'd had neither and I wasn't going to put any stock into that theory. Being that I work in a doctor's office, I am able to get several doctor's opinions at once, and nobody really had any theories other than the shot thing.

It was these pictures, and others on this trip, where I first noticed a weird shadow on my arm

I decided I'd have it checked with ultrasound. That was kind of interesting, and very informative. Apparently, in that spot, I had no fat between the muscle and skin. I just lost the fat. There was plenty covering the rest of me, but absolutely zero fat in that spot. So, what was it? How did it happen? Will it get bigger? Will I get more of them? Google is a handy tool when nobody has any clues. At first, I didn't find much, but then I looked up Lipodystrophy, and Lipoatrophy. They both mean basically the same thing, and it was the closest thing I could find to what was on my arm. It is an extremely rare disorder with no known cause, and only a few cases are reported in medical literature. Basically, it's a  degenerative condition of adipose(fat) tissue, and it can be congenital, or acquired, and can be total, partial, or localized. When it's congenital it usually happens in early childhood, and is all over, or just one half of the body. It presents with other symptoms like accelerated growth, quick aging of bones, large appetite, enlarged liver, muscle atrophy, excessive hairiness, high blood pressure, and other extreme things like that. Well, that obviously wasn't me... for lots of reasons. In acquired lipodystrophy, it spreads usually all over the body in different areas depending on type, often happens in childhood and adolescence, 'lesions' may grow in size, is sometimes caused by insulin shots, can be associated with HIV, or may be because of liver problems or autoimmune disorders. One article talked about it being present as part of a connective tissue disorder associated with lipoatrophic panniculitis, that is frequently in adults aged 20-60 years. That's a pretty wide net to cast. Another idea was that it presents with lupus erythematosis most commonly. So of course I had to look up the likelihood of me having liver disease, or lupus. You know how when you look up your symptoms online, you can be very easily convinced that you are at least the beginning stages of what will eventually lead to certain death? That was me. I had to forget about the whole thing for a month or so, and just chill. I'm not going to die because I'm missing fat in a spot on my arm. Sheesh... interwebs.

When I finally started looking at it again, I felt better about it. It hadn't changed at all in size or feel, and I was growing more comfortable with this thing that "adds character". Not that it expounds on my character at all, but whatever. So, I talked with yet another doctor in November of 2015, and she wanted to do some bloodwork. She is someone I love, adore, and respect very much. She has been a great friend, protector, and advocate. Her main concern with this hole in my arm was the thought that it might spread, and if one were to appear on my face, I might never get married! Hahaha, I kind of had to chuckle at that. If a man wants me for my face, I certainly don't want him! She has the best intentions though, so I did lots and lots of bloodwork to find out exactly the what and why. It didn't tell us much. All of it... not much at all. Well, just that my liver is fine, I don't have lupus, and I'm not going to die. But nothing conclusive about its cause and whatnot.

There was one article I happened across that said only one short line that was very relevant, and the only line I've found, to date, that definitely applies to me. It said that there has been at least one case where there was a single lesion of the upper arm. It didn't expound on it any further. I had a single lesion of the upper arm... and there was nothing else about it. Great. Thanks. I found another article that spoke of a study done on 11 patients and 5 of them had a single lesion of the upper arm. Awesome. More. Almost everything I found linked it to some kind of shot. I hadn't had any, so there was basically still no conclusive information. So, what did I do? I got on with life, figuring that it's a weird hole I'll probably have the rest of my life. I was kind of getting used to the "I wish I had fat just disappear for no reason" comments.

On the cruise in January 2016... definitely still deep, and quite pronounced

In January 2016, I went on a cruise. I took lots of pictures, and really didn't think about the hole much at all. There are a Lot of pictures of it. It's deep. It's obvious. It's weird. It is what it is. I had let it go. Then, towards the end of February, I was at Huntington Beach, in California, on a cool, windy day. The water there is quite cold all year round, but we got in anyway. When I got out, I laid on my towel in the sun to dry and soak up the rays. Don't worry, the UV index was only at a 2. After a bit, I sat up and chatted a bit. At one point, I rubbed my arms because it was getting later, and a bit colder. When I rubbed the back of my arm I felt the hole. What I actually felt was a Lot less of the hole!!! I had my girlfriend take a picture of it later, after I looked at it! It was spontaneously filling in!! It is almost gone!!! Now I did gain 4 lbs, so maybe they evenly disbursed over my body and it'll come back when I start eating salads more. Either way, it's fine, and I'll update this in a few months and say if anything new is happening. It's pretty awesome though!! It's even a bit more filled in now than it was at the beach 2 weeks ago!!

This was a few days ago, the end of February 2016... it's almost completely gone!!!
Here are a couple of the articles I did a bit of research from, for those who are interested:



Comic Con? I'm not that Geeky... or maybe I am

Let me start this post by saying that in the summer of 2015, I was very content to be doing my own thing, enjoying being single and without dates, reading, working on some paintings, hosting family from out of town for much of it, and spending time with friends. Something very inconspicuous was about to change things in a big way, and really, start my life going in a whole different direction. I'd met someone the previous Halloween, at a party, and we connected on Facebook. One day in May, I saw that he had commented on a post by Salt Lake City Comic Con. It was an open audition/photo shoot to be on the promotional materials for the coming Comic Con in September. I submitted a few photos of myself in different superhero costumes I'd made for Halloween. A week or so later, I got an email requesting that I attend, and that I wear my Marvel Universe's Phoenix (Jean Grey) costume. I had nothing else going on the day of the shoot, so I went down and shot a few photos with a group of thirty or so others. It was supposed to be primarily for the billboard downtown. Some of the cosplayers were really legit. They had painstakingly crafted their costumes to perfection. I felt a little out of my league next to some of them in particular, but they welcomed me as one of their own. It was interesting the way we were shot. Instead of doing individual shots, and compiling them, we did group shots. So basically, if one of the 7 of us in the shot was blinking, or looked off, that picture was out. Some time later, a picture was taken of the completed billboard, and circulated between us. The billboard looked incredible, but alas, the picture they choose wasn't one I had been in.
Anyway, back to the shoot. We had a great time, and it was very interesting to see this community I had no idea existed. Quite a few of them regularly meet together to go visit kids in the hospital, and other various charity events. Some of them seemed like they hang out often, knew each other well, and some seemed to be bffs. Others seemed just as lost and alone as I was in this cosplay world. I enjoyed all of them, and became friends with a few of them on both sides of the "pro" line.

 Several weeks later, I got an email from the photographer. He said that I was selected to be on the promo material, and sent me the photo they were going to use. I was ecstatic! I had taken three single shots, and they liked one of them enough to use it!! They said they didn't know at the time just what they were going to use it for, just that they would. They also gave me two Gold Passes, that were good for all three days at the Con, for free! Well, I wanted to see what they were going to do with me, so of course I was going! The night before it opened, they asked me if I'd attend the opening press conference, so I went down a bit early, and did that. What fun it was to be a part of it! There were cameras everywhere, and quite a good number of the celebrities attended as well. I rubbed elbows with the other cosplayers, and enjoyed the experience, before going into the Con. 

Oh, I must say too, I met a man who is known as Spock Vegas (follow him on Facebook, he's rad) who became my Comic Con fiance the second day. Actually, it was kind of funny. We met at the press conference. We had been on stage during the main filming, and then we dispersed while the celebrities were giving their interviews. I vaguely remember some press asking me a question here or there about my costume, or what I was most looking forward to, but it was mostly photos. Anyway, So when Iwas coming off the stage, I was talking to someone, and I noticed Spock staring at me. Not in a weird or creepy way, more in an expectant way, like, won't I hurry and come over. When I did, the first words out of his mouth were, "Will you marry me?" Haha, "Of course!!" I said, without hesitation. And viola! It was settled!! :) It was going to be a marriage of universes, haha.

 The whole time we were at the Con, we referred to each other as fiance, darling, my love, or something like that. The second day, I saw him just after we all succeeded in being a part of the Guinness Book of Worlds attempt at having the most super heroes in the same place. He found me again, and in that most joyous moment... he proposed marriage! Hahaha! It was awesome. I was totally cracking up! He got down on one knee and asked for my hand with all the logic and lack of emotion I could only expect from my favorite Vulcan! He had brought a golden ring, and we didn't realize until later that he'd put it on the wrong hand. I don't suppose it matters that much in the scheme of things. It was so funny, because the people watching had no idea what was going on, and I think some of them thought it was a real proposal!

    There were so many costumes, some much better than others, some obviously thrown together, some just t-shirts of characters. It was so much fun to take pictures, and be the one being requested for a picture. Now, you may think it strange that I didn't wear the Phoenix costume on the first day, being that was the one they wanted me for. A friend of mine had given me a ticket to have pictures taken with Chris Evans, aka Captain America, and I wanted to be in my Black Widow costume for that, and a few other Avengers actors' photo ops, so I wore that the first and third day. Also, the heels for the Black Widow cosplay are sooooo much more comfortable than the ones for the Phoenix. The Phoenix ones are sewn into the costume, and the Black Widow ones could be taken off any time I needed them to be! Oh, to those of you reading this who saw the movies and see that I'm not wearing what Scarlett Johansson wore, mine is from the comic book, and from back in the day. I actually made the bodysuit to be a V for Vendetta costume, but with a change of accessories, it works  great for both. Also, if any readers are interested in how I made them, let me know, and I'll tell you. They were quite simple!

Another fun thing was the picture on this motorcycle. At that moment, I'd just seen a gorgeous bike, with Captain America stuff all over it. I didn't really think any more of it. Being that he and I are friends (at least our characters are) I wanted a picture sitting on it. When I went over to see about it, the guy said I could stand next to it, but I couldn't touch it. I told him I'd be realllllllly careful and I wouldn't put any discernible weight or pressure on it, and after I told him how much I weigh, he said I could sit on it, as long as I didn't move the wheel. Well, of course I wouldn't! What fun! A moment later, I was on the bike and we were both taking pictures! Then later I found out why it was so important to treat it like glass. This bike was the one Captain America rode in the Winter Soldier movie! Haha! That made more sense! Plus they were going to be doing a big presentation with it and Chris Evans later, so it had to stay perfect!

Now, you may be wondering what all they did with my photo. It was such a delightful surprise! When you arrive, you get a few treats and necessities in a goodie bag. One of them is a program of sponsors, events, booths, and activities... and that's the first thing I saw I was on. The front features the main celebrities, Chris Evans, Haley Atwell, and Sebastian Stan, aka Captain America, his girl, and the Winter Soldier. On the back was... Me!!!! Haha, they had put me in an advertisement for the after parties that were happening every night at the Sky Lounge (a club just down the street). I knew I was on Sky Lounge's website, but to get to be on the back cover of the program!?! That's Awesome!!!! Then, I found out I was on the tickets to get in to the after parties too! Basically, I was all over the after party... which suits me perfectly because I looooove to dance! And of course I went and danced my heart out all three nights! Another fun thing about that was that a few people asked me for autographs. I kinda had to laugh, because I'm not the slightest bit famous in any way, but sure I'll sign it! :)

A funny photo-op moment happened with Sean Patrick Astin, Samwise, from the Lord of the Rings, of course. The photo-ops are pretty quick and when I walked up to Sean, he asked me who my character was. To save my life, I had no idea! How do I not know my character?! I looked at his sweet smile, waiting for me to answer, and I paused, and then laughed as I said, "Oh my gosh, I actually have no idea right now!" He laughed and kept looking at me expectantly, waiting to take the picture until I'd figured it out. I looked down at my outfit... "Ummmmm, ohhhh! I'm the Phoenix... from X Men!!" We laughed and took the picture. Then he said, "I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that." Hahaha, such the nicest guy. He was really active in all the Con's activities, and was my favorite because of that, and our little personal moment. It would have been easy for him to brush it off, but he acknowledged me, and then waited for me to stop fangirling and answer.

We did lots of photo-ops, and I don't even have all of them in digital form yet. I have a great photo of Chris Evans with myself and some of my closest friends, but it's still just a hard copy. Oh, and Chris Evans was slimming down for a role at the time, that's why he looks a bit slim here :) Super dreamy regardless. The celebs were super nice, and it was fun to see them out and about too.

 This pair of cosplays is my creation. Some of you will remember that I made them for Halloween a few years ago. At the time, it was before the movie, Winter Soldier, had come out so nobody really knew who Peter was. Winter Soldier and Black Widow were a couple in the comics, so of course, with as sentimental as Peter is, he wanted to go as a couple's costume. By the time this picture was taken, at Comic Con, we'd been broken up for almost a year, but are still good friends, so we met up and took a few fun pictures :)
This next, and last, picture comes with a story...

The last day, I was standing in line waiting for photos with someone, and I saw Barf!! From Spaceballs!!! I had just had a dream about him a little while earlier in the year, and so I had to get a picture! For your reading pleasure, if you're not tired of reading, here is what happened in the dream. Feel free to let me know what kind of insights you gain into my psyche. 
In my dream, I was in a slot canyon, going along and marveling at the beauty of the colors and textures in the sandstone. I heard a strange noise, and knew I needed to get out of there. I was thinking flash flood, so I looked up and saw it would be really hard, if at all possible to climb out.I looked next to me, and a friendly black lab had come up to me. His owner followed shortly behind, saying something was coming and we needed to run! A second man, who was totally freaking out, followed just after the first. We all ran around a bend, and saw there was a shelf like protrusion we could hide under. The first man said we should hide there because what was coming wasn't water, it was a monster! He said we would be safe there because it could only sense movement. He and I got as far back under the ledge as we could. The second man refused, saying we needed a better place, and ran a few steps further before realizing it was too late, and came back. He quickly laid down and pressed tightly against the wall. He was unsheltered, and would be in full view when the monster came around the bend... but it was too late to do anything else! We heard the heavy trudging and shuffling coming closer to us, and the first man and I froze, perfectly still. Then we saw, growing on the wall in front of us, the shadow of a ferocious monster! It looked like a dragon against the red rock of the canyon. A huge, black shadow with fang, spikes, and long talons. The dog was barking and wagging his tail, trying to lure him further down the narrow slot, without stopping. The second man couldn't handle it. The dog ran by him, and as the monster came around the corner, the second man got up, and ran, screaming! As the monster ambled after him, I saw it. It didn't match it's shadow at all! It was Barf, from Spaceballs!!! He went on through the canyon, with his tail flopping behind him, and I woke up.

Fun huh :)
So, coming to the end, I'll tie everything in. I said at the beginning that this was the catalyst for a lot of change in my life. Like I said, I had been really content. I was very much enjoying getting back to some things in my life that were just mine. No dates to answer the same questions over and over. No going to do activities I felt obligated to do. I had three paintings going at once, and I'd alternate between them as the creativity compelled me to one or another. I was in pure bliss when my nephew came for a week and a half. My sister visited, and I needed nothing but to go to the Imagine Dragons concert with her and some of my other favorite people. Life was good... and quiet... and comfortable. I had forgotten how much I thrive in social settings. Social settings where I have a place. Social settings where we are all equals, and all expected to be our authentic selves, no matter what that means, We were all supposed to be geeking out about fictional characters and events in those characters' lives. Our authentic selves were pretending to be our characters for the children, and staying in character when we came upon our nemesis. We geeked out when we saw the people in the movies. We were expected to buy trinkets and souvenirs that we would put on our shelves, hang on our walls, and wear with pride. It was at this event that I rediscovered the joy I find in being authentically geeky. It was at this event that I rediscovered that I really enjoy talking to strangers... to strange people. I enjoy the creativity that is all around, and oozing out of everything and everyone in that building. I rediscovered that I need people. I rediscovered that I am a true extrovert, who thrives on crowds of people thronging together for the same purpose. I rediscovered that I love all of it. It was then that I put the paintings away. I chose a new hobby. I got back to the parts of me that I had forgotten were there. I rediscovered how much I really like me, and how much I really love me. Two weeks later, I was thrust into a current I couldn't get out of if I thought I'd have wanted to. I'm going to ride it far out to sea. What I've discovered since, makes this... just the beginning


Ode to the Single Life

Nov. 2015
Life is interesting isn't it? When I was young, I had a very clear picture of what my life was going to look like. I was going to be married at 16, because that's what Ariel did. She was my Disney Princess. I was going to never have need of a job, because I was going to be a mother. If I were to have a job, I'd be a second grade school teacher, because mine was so amazing. I was sort of sure you could actually live in a castle in the clouds, and if for some reason my prince didn't want that, I'd be living in a home that I designed entirely. My dad used to be a contractor, so I grew up thinking only very poor people lived in homes that weren't custom built. I imagined that I'd have somewhere between 4-6 kids, and that I'd be spending my time with them at museums and theatre productions of all kinds, like my mom did with us. I hadn't thought of a time when that wouldn't be what my life consisted of.

Imagine my surprise now that I'm 34 and none of that has happened. Imagine that, now I don't really want any of that! I mean, I'd like to be a mother, but not of so many. I'd like a husband, but it suits me just fine to be as picky as I am, and be single until I find a guy that wants the kind of life I want. Other than that, I'm So relieved my life didn't turn out the way I'd hoped. I don't want any of the rest.

These days I look back, and my hopes and dreams for my life have evolved into something my nine year old self wouldn't have ever conceived of, and I'm so Excited about the opportunities I have available to me. That being said, there are so many, that the problem now is that the world is so big, so full of magical and wonderful adventures, that it's hard to say which direction I'll go! At the moment, I'm seriously debating between moving to Tennessee, France, or an island off the coast of Panama with a group of like minded travelers. Either that, or stay here and date the same guys I've been dating forever, doing the same job I've been doing for 15 years... for a little longer. The life I've been doing is so tiresome to me, so secure, so predictable. I'm not cut out for that.

I used to be on the singles scene in Arizona. I love dancing, and there was plenty of dancing to do. Since I've been in Utah, I've stayed as far from the 'scene' as possible, though I'm always surprised when I go to parties, at how many people I know. Osmosis, I suppose. I prefer to spend my time with the misfits, not the Ken and Barbie's of the world. That does present a problem though because I enjoy dating the Kens. I've learned though that, so often, a beautiful face hides a rotted heart, so it isn't the necessity it once was. That being said, I know some Absolutely golden-hearted men right now who are incredibly beautiful. So maybe. We'll see. I'm not super concerned with men right now anyway. I'm ok being single, and what's more, I'd be ok if I were single forever... being that life is quite easy and delightful without them. To the men reading this, no offense, but it is what it is, and you're welcome to see if you can change my mind. Just don't be clingy, don't be bossy, don't be dramatic. If you have depression it's not going to work out. By and large, if you're from Utah, I'm sorry, but the way you communicate is not like I do, and it causes problems. I've tried. Multiple times. In the nicest way possible, it's a no-go. Unless you were raised elsewhere and transplanted here... that is viable. If you're into sports, that's pretty much only fine if you're also into the theatre (thank you PBJ for showing me guys like you exist).

Like I said though, dating is a super low priority for me right now. As opposed to the fabricated life I once wanted, I no longer want to put down roots. Like ever. I want my family to live in different countries across the globe, and I've got a job that allows me to do that. I want a life that is far from average and normal, and if I get done with life and look back on my white picket fence and comfy retirement, I'll honestly consider my life a failure. I could never settle for that. I'm ok with a few years in one place, and a few years in another, but these days, people don't need to live and die in the same town they were born and raised in. Most guys think girls want stability. Sure, in love, in support, in protection and companionship. This girl wants instability. I want to experience all there is to life... and I can't do that from a picket-fenced yard.

Yes, I am not meant to be tamed, and I will joyfully run free, until I find someone just as wild to run alongside me


A Story of a Prince

Back Story on this post: 
In July of 2009, I was chatting on the computer with Randon McKee, the guy I had been dating for over 5 years, at that point. Things were really great between us. We were best friends, and long distance dating, so we spent a lot of time talking either on the phone, or over the computer. It's amazing we actually ever got anything done. :) He asked me that day, as he often did, to tell him a story. This time, instead of telling him something that had happened that day (which was what he meant when he asked that), I made up this story as I wrote it, then and there, on Instant Messenger. It was kind of a story about him, in the way that someone might tell a bedtime story to a boy as though he were the hero prince in it. Instead of using his name though, I substituted some of my favorite names for our hero and his friends, and then surprised him at the end by making the prince's true identity the name we had agreed would be our first son's name, Tryston. As you read, I'm sure you'll be able to catch the raw typing it out without having a clue where it was going... it's kind of a mess. Hahaha! It's not done yet, and now I might never finish it... so enjoy it as it is! And if you would, if you know me, don't take my names... (most aren't in this story, but if you think you might be about to name another child a name you didn't come up with... and are wondering where it came from, feel free to ask.) 
P. S. I'm going through it now with the intent to self-publish it when it gets to be something worth publishing, so there are changes in the details, and elaboration to the story line, but it'll stay basically all the same... and I'm making the prince quite unlike Randon now. 

Aurelia's Prince
     by Chelyse Henderson

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a princess who was good and kind, and loved everyone around her. Her dainty charm and goodness were known throughout the land and everyone who knew her loved and admired her. Her name was Aurelia.
She was beautiful to see, and had a melodious laugh that rang out, full of merriment and gaiety. Princess Aurelia was quite unlike princesses in other stories you may have read. Instead of doing nothing but frolicking in the gardens, she found satisfaction in searching for the poor and down-trodden around her. She endeavored to lift their spirits with her considerations and diligence, 
by laboring on their behalf, and in giving them whatever she could for their hearts to again fly. Far and wide, everyone knew of her. Accounts of her delightful disposition and joyous heart spread across the land, like the seeds of a dandelion floating on a wish. Now, don't get me wrong, she loved the palace gardens, but she preferred to be out among the people of her kingdom, doing what she could to make everyone's lives easier. 

Across the sea, in a kingdom Aurelia had only ever heard of, there was a prince who was gallant, adventurous, brave, and chivalrous. He was everything a prince should be. He had been taught from a young age what it is to be good and wise. He was skilled at everything he ever tried to do. He could win every joust, and out think the smartest men in the kingdom. He was handsome, but didn't take it into much account, himself. He was growing up to be the kind of prince every king would hope his son to be, and his father was very proud of him. The king spent as much time as he could with the prince, and they enjoyed each other's company immensely. They would often go on adventures together in the far corners of the kingdom, deep into the woods, or just practice archery together in the fields near the castle. They regularly took their meals together, and would have conversations about the state of the kingdom and what could be improved upon, until late into the night. They were the best of friends, and each other's greatest support. 

As time passed, the king began to feel that his son should find himself a worthy bride. The king had heard of Aurelia, and thought she might just be perfect for his son. He bade his son to find her, and see if he could love her. When the prince had heard the stories of Princess Aurelia, he determined that yes, he would like to see if what they said about her was true. If the description people gave of her was true, he wanted to present himself as a worthy suitor to her father, and win her heart. He knew he could win her love just by being himself, but if her father didn't know of his kingdom, he might not consent to the marriage. To convince Aurelia's father that he would be able to give her the world, the prince gathered a lavish caravan of camels, horses, and elephants laden with a myriad of immeasurable treasures to present.
He brought many fine silks, shiny satin, wispy chiffon, soft cashmere, and treasures and trinkets from all over the land. He brought a fluffy, long-eared puppy with a golden collar for Aurelia, servants to show her father the vastness of his command, and the wonderful foods that were only grown in his kingdom. He brought some of everything he could think of that might help him to woo the princess whose heart he wanted for his own. When everything had been placed precisely in it's place, the caravan was magnificent to behold. The prince bid farewell to his loving father, and started off on the long journey to win the heart of Aurelia.

The prince brought with him his most trusted friend, Itzel. They had grown up together, and had played together since boyhood. Itzel was the son of the king's personal advisor, and it was well known that Itzel would fill that role for the prince, when the time came. Not only was Itzel joining the expedition to advise the prince and provide some companionship, but he was also trained in fighting and was skilled in it, should they find themselves in trouble along the way. 

While on their journey, they didn't travel much along the main roads because in that land, the roads winded lazily along, getting travelers to their destinations by the beautiful sights that could be seen along the way. It would have taken much longer that way, so the company forged a straight line toward the coast, and their waiting ship. The caravan made good time during the day, and at night, they would set up camp  wherever they found themselves. The prince loved adventure, and loved to have fun, so everyone who was a part of the caravan enjoyed the travels immensely. At night they would pitch their tents around a big fire and they would sing and dance, and tell stories until the fire got low and it was time to sleep. There were a few children in the caravan, and they always looked forward to hearing the stories the prince told of the fun he had when he was their age. Usually they would go to bed long before the adults, and they were never upset to go to bed because of the wonderful stories they got to hear every night. Once the children were put to bed, the animals were fed, chores were finished, and the best route was chosen for the next day. 

One day, the caravan was traveling over a mountain pass, and they noticed as they went along, that the clouds above them were getting low, dark, and heavy with rain. Before night fell the clouds burst open and the party was completely overcome by a torrential rainstorm that made a mud bog of the trail they were on. They could hardly get through it, and the mud was up to the children's knees! The animals struggled to pull their treasures as the mud collected on their feet and made heavy shoes that were difficult to walk in. The servants set up camp as best they could, but the poles just sunk in the mud, and the wind constantly threatened to blow the tents over. As the sky got dark with the clouds and night, there was no way to build a fire, so everyone who could, went into the tents to wait out the storm. The rain kept coming down, and then the lightning started. It was so close, and so loud that it shook the ground and lit up the camp as though it were a flash of day. The terrible noise, and frightening sight set the animals into a panic, and chaos reigned among them. The horses' wide eyes and shrieks of terror further frightened the camels and elephants, who began to run wildly through the camp crushing everything they stepped on, knocking over the already loose tents, and destroying much of the supplies and gifts. The elephant's hysterics scattered some of the horse and camels whose tethers had come out of the mud, and some of the servants were badly injured when trying to reign them in. Those servants had to be carried back to the kingdom straightaway to get their legs or arms set after being broken in the turmoil. After three days the rains settled, and the prince was able to determine the damage. They had lost a considerable amount of supplies, but there was still plenty to bring along in their journey. 

They party continued on with their journey in good spirits, considering all they had been through. They traveled to the nearest village, and the prince employed every able member of the town and his company to clean and restore the beauty of what was left of the caravan. It was much smaller now, but still looked quite impressive, with gold and treasures still dripping from everything. Once everything had been cleaned to sparkling, it looked perfect. The grateful prince paid the people of the town with some of the treasure he had brought, they graciously accepted it, and bid the caravan farewell. The prince's caravan continued on in the back roads, and across fields and forest, as they had been doing. By now, many people knew of the prince's travels, and there were times that townspeople would go to see the great caravan and wave as the traveler's went by. The good townspeople weren't the only ones who knew of the richly laden caravan traveling far from the main roads, and far from protection. A band of robbers had been following them too, and was steadily growing, as tales of the riches they were carrying spread among the wicked men nearby. Every day a few more robbers would join the group that was planning to strike when they were sure they could succeed. The caravan continued on, crossing every land and clime you could imagine. After some time, they found themselves in a dry, desolate land where water was scarce, and shelter was even harder to find. They were getting weary of the journey, and though they knew they were almost to the sea, it was still taxing. The nights weren't as fun, and the stories had all been told several times. The sand and rock was uncomfortable, there was nowhere for the children to run and play, and the travels during the day were just hot and miserable. This is where they camped, and this is where the robbers knew they could be victorious. Late at night, the robbers fell upon the camp as the worn out travelers slept. The robbers were so numerous by then, and the prince's camp had been so taken by surprise, that they were quickly robbed of much of their treasure and fine animals.
The prince, Itzel, and all of the servants woke up to do what they could in protecting themselves and their belongings. They fought hard, but being ambushed, were not adequately prepared to defend the caravan. The robbers had studied the camp, and where the most valuable things were kept. They went to those places first, and made off with everything they could carry. The caravan party was successful in chasing down some of the robbers who had taken so much they could not move quickly. They found some of the animals by the yells from the robbers trying to make them hurry along, and were able to bring some back. Though there was success on the part of the prince and his traveling companions, some of the servants were badly injured in the fighting, and those afraid of the battle fled into the dark night never to return again. The prince fought bravely, and drove many of the robbers away. Even so, the robbers were so numerous that they were eventually able to overpower the camp, and they tied up everyone to who did not escape into the night. The prince was dressed just like all the other members of the caravan, and so the robbers tied him up with the rest, not knowing it was he who could be held for ransom for many more riches than the caravan held. When morning came, a small white-haired boy who had been hiding in his blankets was the only person in camp who had not been tied up. He struggled to untie his father, a servant, who then untied everyone else. Of those who were left, most were all right, with only bruises and small scrapes, and those who were more injured were taken to town to have their wounds looked after. Once the people were taken care of, and the animals were found to be okay, they set to work repairing what had been sullied, or broken. They gathered up treasure the robbers had dropped, and put everything as right as they could. The found that the robbers had taken much of the treasure, and some of the animals, but there was too much of both for them to have taken it all. They were happy to find that they could fit everything they gathered onto the backs of the remaining animals, everything except for one chest of sweet almonds and dates, which they regretfully left behind.

They continued only a few more days and came to the edge of the desert. They saw before them a lush, green valley, and just beyond they saw the deep blue sea, with tiny fishing boats dotting the inlet. At the dock they saw the grand ship they would be taking across the sea, and landing on Princess Aurelia's shore. Seeing the next, and last, leg of their journey, they were overjoyed, and their strength and vigor came back to them, knowing they would soon be starting a brand new adventure. 
They got to the ship and loaded it with the treasures that had survived the journey. The ship was huge, and stunning to behold! It was made of a light wood, that shone like gold when the sun hit it. It was massive, and looked like an entire village could be right on the deck, with apartments for the crew, sailors and plenty of room for supplies. The mast was taller than any they'd ever seen, and perched at the top, the lookout could see far out to sea from the crow's nest, as well as out into the desert the caravan had come from. It was because of this, that when the prince arrived, everything was almost ready to go. They only needed to secure the treasures and animals below deck. There were plenty of provisions already on the boat, and they all felt very happy and comfortable knowing they would be there in a short time, after a delightful, smooth voyage. They finished the very last of the preparations, and eagerly set sail into the setting sun. Just after they left port, the sails were let out, the and they billowed heartily, filling with air, and mirroring the exuberance the passengers aboard felt. The sailors, and all aboard, were in wonderful spirits, and those who had come along on the caravan happily strolled along the deck watching the sailors at work, and enjoying the beautiful sea. That night they were all lulled into a deep sleep by the waves that rocked the boat, as gently as a mother rocks her child. 

The next day the crew marveled at the perfect day that greeted them, a beautiful blue sky and light fluffy clouds was all that could be seen. The breeze took them briskly along, and they were sure to reach land the following day. The sailors sang their sailor songs about the marvels of the sea. They told of the wonderful things they'd seen; great whales cresting and slapping their tails, making waves that seemed to go on for miles. They spoke of great storms they'd been in, and off when pirates had tried to take over the ship, and failed. They told of mermaids and monsters under the sea, times when the sky seemed to be filled with clouds made of gold, and daring leaps to rescue someone tossed off the ship in a storm. Everyone was enthralled by these stories, and gladly listened to each of them. They passed the day this way, everyone enjoying each moment more than the last. The sunset that night was glorious, and the sky was full of big billowy clouds that turned from white, to purple, then pink, and faded with hues that made it seem the very sky itself had been set on fire. Merriment took over the ship that evening as everyone sang, danced, and laughed together. Without much warning, the beautiful breeze gave way to a strong wind, and the billowy clouds sunk with darkness and began to shoot lightning. The waves got bigger and bigger, and before they knew it, they were in the middle of a terrible storm. All hands were called to the deck, and every sailor knew his duty. They had been sailing for years, and knew exactly what to do in these kinds of situations. The sails were drawn in quickly, and the anchor was dropped. Many of the sailors tied a rope around themselves, and then to the railing on the side of the ship, in case a wave washed them overboard, they could rescue themselves. The waves were fifty feet high, and the enormous ship was tossed among them like a tiny paper boat in the rapids of a brook.
The deck was repeatedly flooded, and every able body was emptying the water by the bucket! The seasoned sailors kept the ship safe as the storm raged on all around. The lookout bellowed from the crow's nest, though nobody could hear him for the raging of the storm. The ship rocked so violently now that those who were not tied in to the ship had to hold on for dear life, and the water was impossible to keep at bay. Waves crashed onto the deck and washed away anyone not strong enough to withstand their blows. Lightning struck all around, and thunder rumbled through the entire ship. The stalwart sailors battled on, and if the storm had stopped then, they would have easily been able to tell the tale of this night on future voyages. Alas, a ferocious bolt of lightning struck the main mast, splitting it in two. In the nick of time the lookout leapt from the crow's nest into the sea, and was seen swimming toward the ship. It was to no avail. Within moments the mighty ship was split in two, each side sinking fast with the weight of all its cargo. It all happened so fast, that only two of the smaller boats were able to be heaved into the waves, and those who had been thrown overboard swam quickly to them until everyone who could fit, was inside. The storm didn't let up after the ship sank, and the oars may as well have been toothpicks for the good they were to the survivors of the shipwreck. It wasn't long before the two tiny boats got separated, and by the time the winds and waves settled, one of them had capsized and was sunk to the bottom of the ocean with all twenty-eight of its unfortunate passengers. The other tiny boat miraculously made it through the storm, but it had only one oar, and it was hopelessly lost. The prince was not among the passengers of this little boat. It was mostly sailors, and a few of the servants who had accompanied the prince on his journey earlier. The sailors and servants who remained alive were utterly heartbroken at their loss, and terrified at their future. There they were, lost at sea with no food, no water, and no prince. They were doomed to the hands of fate, and to the wind to blow them wherever it willed. 

Only hours later, and not so far away, Princess Aurelia frolicked along the beach enjoying the sunrise, and the salty sea breeze. She had heard the storm outside the castle the night before, and she knew that after the storm, there were always new sea treasures washed up onto the beach. She loved to look for the big seashells, and watch as the sandpipers and stilts scampered along the seashore looking for their breakfast of clams. All that was left of the night's storm was wonderful to her. There were sand dollars, bright coral, and shells of all different colors. She loved the way the waves were just a little bit taller than usual, and the way the gulls dipped and soared with a little more gusto than on usual days. 
Aurelia happily sang as she leisurely traipsed along the shore. Her heart seemed about to burst with joy as she greeted the day, and all it's lovely colors, jubilant as the seagulls delivered their good mornings. She had earlier awakened from a lovely dream that had her in the best of moods. 

She dreamt that a prince would come to her by sea and that he would be good and handsome and she wanted to be there to see the ship come in.... if it could be true that it would happen. She didn't care if it did or not because it was just too lovely a dream to disregard, so she let her imagination run away with it and take her to the most wonderful places as she leisurely strolled along. This prince, her prince, came in a huge, golden ship, and she could hear the trumpets as the ship approached. Her prince was at the helm dressed in a red cape with his riding boots on-site watching the show for her. When he saw her he exclaimed for joy and got on his black steed as the ramp was quickly lowered for him. He rode to her and swept her up as he came to her, needing no introduction because his heart knew hers and she knew his. All of a sudden her daydream was shattered as she saw a man in tattered clothes lying on the beach some distance away. She ran to him, he looked like he was dead, he didn't move. She nudged him gently hoping for response. Luck was on her side as the man moved slightly and groaned. Well, now that she knew he was alive and breathing she could take a moment to assess him. He was tall, with dark hair that glistened even as it matted in the sand. He had a beautiful face with full lips, and dark feathery eyelashes. Yes, he was very handsome. She hummed a little tune to give him something to focus on as she surveyed him quickly for any major damage. He stirred a bit and opened his eyes. He groaned again and covered his eyes with his arm. She smiled to herself and tenderly asked him if he was hurt. He was surprised by the sweet, gentle voice next to him. He peered out through squinty eyes at her he saw that she was very lovely; she had big blue eyes and long tendrils of deep auburn hair that fluttered softly in the morning breeze. He tried to quickly sit and compose himself, but could not. He was sore all over, and his head was throbbing. She looked at him with such a sweet gaze that he was immediately disarmed to the propriety that he'd always had. She helped him to stand... being of only little use to him in it except for giving him the strength to muster all of his. They walked back slowly along the seaside until an old man in a buggy came to them. She told him what had happened and that she wanted to have her physicians see him, and could she please beg a ride back to the palace. The old man knew who she was and was very pleased with the meekness and humility in her request. He made the shipwrecked man a nice bed in his straw and carried them both back to the palace. As the little buggy came through the palace gates it was surrounded by eager servants who fetched a carrying bed for the seaman and gently laid him on it. The princess told of what had happened and the man was carried off to one of the many spare rooms in the palace to await the arrival of the physician. As the servants made his stay as comfortable as they could with thick fur blankets and candles to shed a warm light around the room, the princess went to pretty herself up a bit and as she did she pondered on her dream, and the abrupt end of her daydream. Her mind wandered over the events of the morning and she wondered who this handsome stranger could be. After putting some ribbons in her hair and pinching her cheeks, she went into the room where the stranger lay resting. As she came in he smiled at her and thanked her for her hospitality and generosity. She smiled warmly back at him and sat next to him on the edge of the bed as she clasped his hand in hers and told him that he could stay as long as he desired. She asked him how he came to be on the beach that morning. He thought for a moment and replied that he did not know. She asked him if he was sailing in the tumultuous storm the night before and he said he must have been but wasn't sure. She asked him what his name was... he said that he could not think of it just then, but his head was throbbing something terribly. Just then the physician came in. The princess related to him the circumstances of her finding him, his apparent injuries and that he had no memory of who he was. The physician thanked her and asked her to wait outside the room so that he could do a thorough examination of the patient in case there were any more injuries. After some time, the physician came out of the room. She asked him if he was ok.
He replied, telling her that he had sustained no lasting injuries, just some bumps and bruises and that with all but one exception he would be completely healed in about a week. The princess inquired as to what might take longer to heal. The physician hesitated, and then told her that he had sustained a blow to the head which knocked his memory right out of him and that it would take it some time to find him again.

It depended on where he was when the blow occurred, and how far away he was from that point
The princess was saddened a bit, for she wanted to know who he was and how he came to be washed up on her shore. The physician told her that if he was not so far away when it happened, and factoring in his move from the beach to the palace, it would take maybe a few weeks, but if it was further it could take months... if his memory did not give up on the search altogether. Well, the princess decided that they would go walking along the beach every morning as soon as he felt better just in case his memory tarried there awhile in its search. In the next few days she was by his side constantly. She wanted to be very involved with him and make sure that he was doing well. It was as the doctor said, only about a week before he was able to be up and about, doing everything he normally could do. Aurelia had decided after speaking to the physician that she couldn't just call him Seaman, so she decided to give him a name. She would call him Danion. She and Danion spent every morning strolling along the seaside. He asked her all about herself and she told him all about when she was a little child, the games she would play, the books she read high up in the trees, the animals she saw as she frolicked on the mountainside meadow. He asked her about her dreams and her thoughts.

She told him of the things she loved and her passions and her desires. She asked him what he thought of this place, and what he wanted to do if he decided to stay. He told her that he loved this place, but that he hadn't noticed much of it at all outside of the wonderful girl who stood before him. She smiled and blushed, not sure what it was that she felt inside, just pleased that he was so obviously smitten with her. She was smitten with him as well. Neither quite knew what to do with it, but they saw that they were falling greatly into like with each other. As the days passed that like became joy at seeing the other, and that joy turned to friendship, then deep friendship, then to love.
At this point months had passed and still he did not know who he was or what had happened to him but he didn't mind because the entirety of his life as he knew it, he was with her. All this time passed, and Dannion he decided to ask Aurelia's father if he could marry her. He went to King Benedick and told him of his love for her and of her love for him. The king became irate saying that his daughter would not marry a man who had no history, no blood, no pedigree, and no name even!!!! He told Dannion that because of his insolence and ingratitude for letting him stay in his palace, eat at his table, use his things as though they were his own. How dare he presume that those kindnesses were somehow likened to lenity in taking his daughter's hand! King Benedick called for the guards and told them Dannion was to be escorted out of the palace and off the grounds immediately! He was never to set foot near the palace again, and if he was sighted, he was to be immediately put to death! Danion pleaded with him to give him just a moment to say goodbye to Aurelia, but the king refused.
Dannion was roughly taken from the room, out the palace gates, and hurled on the ground with a gruff reminder to never show his face there again. 
All at once Danion went from being a regular guest at the king's table to a penniless beggar who was not allowed near the palace, and certainly not near the princess he loved. 

The king ordered Aurelia not to leave the palace unescorted by guards, under any circumstances. Her father had never treated her with such restriction, and coldness. With her love gone from her, and no way to fill her days with any kind of joy, she confined herself to her room in her misery only occasionally going out to the garden to feign some sort of happiness in life. 
It was a facade everyone saw through. 
She was but an empty shell of the joyful girl she had always been. Her father saw this, but had more to think of than her broken heart, so nothing changed. Danion found a corner just outside the church where beggars could get food. He found that people going in and out were more generous there. 

He stayed there and went greatly unnoticed because he didn't want anyone to see the sadness in his eyes, and those who did see it wept for him. He begged there for weeks and weeks until one day he happened to be there when the king came and when he saw him he placed guards to keep him away because the princess was not to find him Then he begged from the beggars, who gave to him only because they felt so for the terrible lot life had so carelessly tossed him. Months went by and as time passed he became more and more unrecognizable to behold. His hair grew long on his face and his clothes became tattered and torn. One night he had a dream that changed his course. He dreamt that he was in his father's house, and it was a palace! He dreamt that he was telling his father of a journey he was going on that would change his life, a journey for love. He set off on this journey with mountains of provisions and servants and hope in his heart. He awoke with that hope still in his heart. He sat under a shrub bush pondering the meaning of that dream and he thought that it must mean that he was to forget the squalor in which he now found himself, and he must find the woman he loved, the princess. He went straight to the beach. He walked up and down every day spending all his time in search of her. She was never there. He persisted day after day after day, but she never came. One day, a ship came into the harbor there. Danion had found that he could get enough money for food if he helped ships unload their vessels so he went over to see what he could do. As he was speaking with the man in charge of unloading, he saw a man he recognized and called out to him. “Asher! Friend! It has been so long since I have seen you!” The man turned to him with a perplexed look on his face and called back to him "Who are you? What is your name? How do you know me?" he asked. Danion was taken aback. He didn't know who he was, what his name was, or how he knew this man, but he recognized him and remembered his name! Of that he was sure! He ran to him and said, "Is not your name Asher?" Asher looked confused for a moment and said, “My name is indeed Asher" Danion was overjoyed! Finally, a piece! He knew this man, now this man must figure out who he is! Danion told him that he was washed ashore just there many months ago and that he did not remember who he was, but had been taken in by the princess and had fallen in love with her and then had been living as a beggar after displeasing the king! Asher thought for a moment, and said, "So, they call you Danion? You were washed up on shore here with no recollection of who you are? How long ago? Danion thought for a moment and said that it had been nine months earlier. Asher squinted at him a moment and then opened his eyes wide and said "I have been here nine months as well! Were you on a ship that was destroyed on its way to bring the prince to claim his bride? Danion did not know, but it was possible, he was certainly lying on the sand when he was found. Asher took him to his home and on the way, told him what had happened to him.
He related to Danion the story of the journey they had taken with the prince. He spoke as he fixed some pottage for them to eat. He spoke of a terrible storm and of robbers and of the waves and lightning that ripped open the very belly of the huge ship. He said that many were lost at sea that day and that his small boat alone held the only survivors. He told of the next morning when the waves stopped pounding and they were left to see nothing around them and no hope of rescue. They were on that tiny boat for days. They were hungry and tired and hopeless. On the fourth day they were drifting where the wind took them as they had no way to move with the one oar they had. The boat was alone in the sea, until, all of a sudden it wasn't! There was another boat out off in the distance! They yelled and yelled until the boat crew heard them and came to rescue them. This boat was a fairly small fishing vessel and when they were rescued they were so grateful that they told the fisherman that they would work for a year and give him all their wages to show their gratitude for saving their lives. The fisherman took them to land and employed many with him as fishers. Asher and two of the others became sailors on the big ships that were always coming and going. They made more money that way, but it was still three more months until they had paid of their debt of gratitude. When he had finished his story he asked Danion if he wouldn't like to get cleaned up. He looked very weather worn and ragged. Danion gratefully accepted, went, and bathed and cut his hair the way it was when he had first been found, hoping that Asher would recognize him.
When he was dressed and ready he came back out to the room where Asher was. Asher turned and saw him, gasped, and knelt to the floor in a bow. Your Majesty, it is you, you are alive! Danion bowed slightly, as he was unaware that he was trained to do and asked Asher what he meant by that. Asher stayed bowed and told him that he was indeed, without a question the prince who had been lost at sea that fateful night. Danion asked him to rise and speak to him, to please explain this to him. Asher did and related that the prince had been lost in all the chaos of the night and in the morning it was found that he was not among the survivors of the only boat left. Danion still doubted if it could be true. Asher asked him to please wait here and he ran down the street bringing back with him two men who had also been survivors. He brought back with him Itzel and Simon. Both bowed low when they saw him, and confirmed that, yes, it is he, the lost prince they had journeyed with those long months, so many months ago. Danion rejoiced, for his world had completely changed in an instant! He was found, he knew who he was, and he was a prince. He longed to see his father and to go home, though he knew he would be back to claim the love that now had to be accepted. He told this to Asher, and as he said it Itzel exclaimed that it was yet impossible for him to travel home because of the very humble means that were afforded to them. Simon suggested that they could speak with the fisherman who had been receiving the money from each of the saved men and if they explained the situation he would surely provide means whereby they could return the prince to his father. The next morning the four men went to see the fisherman. They related to him the tale and begged for his mercy in releasing back to them some of the money they had paid him. The old fisherman was elated to find that another man had been found and that it was yet a prince! He immediately agreed to fund the trip and went to fetch them money they would need. As they counted it out they found that there would be just enough money for one man to make the journey back to Danion's kingdom.
Danion was elated until Itzel told him that under no circumstances would he be making that trip alone. As a prince, the rest of them would be tortured and hanged at best if they allowed him to make the long and dangerous journey alone. Itzel was a strong and able man, and he volunteered to make the journey. He only asked that Danion write a letter to the king telling what he knew and explaining the situation. Danion agreed, realizing that he did not even know what his kingdom was called, much less where to find it. He spent the next several days in preparation for Itzel's travels and in that time he asked them to tell him all about who he is and what his life had been like and all that they knew of him. They did, and he discovered who he was, what kind of man he was, the things he liked, somewhat of his childhood, and his real name. He was overjoyed to hear his real name… Tryston. Well, now that Tryston knew so much about himself he felt he had to tell his love the princess. One night he went to the palace disguised as a peasant with some vegetables to sell. There were many vendors that would regularly sell their fruits, vegetables, and meats to the palace wait staff, for there were many mouths to feed there so he knew he would not be noticed. As he pretended to aimlessly wander the grounds, he was in fact searching for sight of his love. He came day after day until finally one day he saw her.
She was alone and walking sullenly toward the garden. He tried to be casual as he quickly rushed to her side. He asked her if she would like to have some free mint leaves and she replied that she didn't and kept walking. "Then," he said "would you like to meet Danion in the same place you saw him first?" She looked at him and her mouth dropped “Oh, my Danion, I have missed you and loved you so!" and she went to throw her arms around him. He drew back quickly and said "They cannot find me here... Come to me tomorrow in the morning"
She smiled and eyes twinkled as she said she would be there with the sun rise. The rest of the day, everyone marveled to each other that the spring had come back into her step and the smile could not be contained by her lips. The next morning Tryston was there before the sun arose. She came quickly and quietly to the place. They were finally together, finally alone, away from the disapproving gaze of her father and from all the bustling of the world. They held each other tightly for a long time before either of them felt it right to speak. When the silence could be broken the prince said, "My dearest love, I know who I am and I am yours" The princess looked at him as tears gathered in her eyes and she said to him "Danion, my Danion, I cannot be yours, for my father... "Your father cannot stop us now or ever again. I am yours and I know my name" She gasped and hugged him as she said, "your memory has found you?" No, he replied, but I found some men who know me.
He then related to her the events that had transpired since they had been taken from each other. He told her all that he had been told about himself, and told her that Itzel was going to tell his father the king so that he could go home to them. He told her that once it was verified by his father, he would come back for her. She listened with wide-eyed wonder to all that he said, and they rejoiced in the hope of all their dreams coming true. Soon though, the beach was full of people and it was time for her to go back. But she was leaving the beach a different woman than she had come. She was in love with Tryston, a prince, a man of whom her father would approve, a man she knew loved her more than anything, and whom she loved the same. She would rejoice the rest of her life for the events of that morning. Tryston had explained to her that he must be verified by his father before he could come for her, so in the meantime he waited, taking Itzel's place in the fisherman's crew and living modestly but happily.

Months and months passed until one day a grand ship, bigger than any of the normal ships came to the shore. The town had all heard of it by the time it made it to shore and many people were waiting to see who it might be that had come in such grandeur to call on them. The king was there with his queen and daughter. Only one man knew who it was. It was the King this man knew as Father. He was on the beach waiting as the thing-that-let's-you-off'-the-boat was lowered and blended in with the sailors tying it to the shore. As the servants came off the boat he saw Itzel, and went to him. Itzel said that the king had been so worried and so distraught for the loss of his only son that he had been inconsolable and had nearly died. Tryston could wait no longer after hearing those words. He ran to the ship and as he did his father appeared. He cried out to him, "My Father, my King!" and ran to him wrapping him up in a hug that only a son could give to his father. The king hugged him tightly and as he released him and gazed upon his son's face Tryston's memory came flooding back to him and not a day was lost from him. They spent a few moments before realizing that they were not alone in the world and then realized that the entire kingdom was there to watch this joyous reunion. The princess' father came to greet