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     That public sharing runs counter to my personality won't surprise anyone who's known me. Rather than dwell on the extent to which I typically go to hide - from others' eyes, ears and judgements - I'll instead speak to what in the world could possibly have induced me to break character so radically as to openly associate with the likes of ISWI.

     Our original arrangement was that Mooslie Wiggins was to assume sole authorship of Speed Date with Destiny. I agreed to help out only with those sorts of nuts and bolts tasks that require a body to actually show up...which my friend Mooslie never does.

     My decision to collaborate at all reminds me of a time while attending a bodywork class, when I volunteered to try out a controversial procedure that involved breathing through a mask placed over the nose, a precisely proportioned gas mixture for therapeutic purposes. With absolutely no idea what to expect, I took just one breath and lost all sense of time and space. 

    I finally managed to refocus my attention in the room. Quickly identifying the voice as that of my instructor, I only vaguely recalled a blood-curdling scream that I'd emitted when, upon inhaling the gas I felt an unexpectedly bubbly sensation touch my throat. I only stopped thrashing about when it was pointed out to me that I was doing so...even though the mask had been removed from my face and I was again breathing the pure air I was accustomed to.

     After ascertaining that no, I didn't have any idea what my panic had been about, the instructor asked if I wanted to give it another try. With no hesitation at all, I responded, "I don't see why not."

     In some ways, the idea of having my words, thoughts, and visual creations exposed — let alone being in any way associated with Mooslie and the gang — feels akin to volunteering for the gas treatment. It feels like it might kill me, but I've declared, "I don't see why not."

   For the record, my second breath of the gas mixture was less scary. I was determined to maintain my focus and remain conscious. The third breath was uncomfortable just for a moment...but, the next one...that fourth breath yielded an indescribable and indelible touch of heaven.

     That I've somehow ended up as an honorary "member" of ISWI is something that the actual Creative Works Unit naturally finds amusing. As for me, I'm surprised to realize that ersatz membership as a token human in ISWI is nothing short of endearing.

                                                                                                        — LJ Swanson

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