This morning I awoke . . .

. . . in the luxurious, perfumed bed
of a famous Milanese courtesan.

No, no, no! Don't get the wrong idea!

I didn't have sex with her!

What do you take me for?

*looks at the floor, hurt*

*looks up with big puppy eyes*


She wasn't even in the bed!

No, there were three other women
and two other men in the bed with me!

*waving hands*

Wait, wait! Don't get the wrong idea
about that either!

Hold on!

Hold on!

Lemme explain!

Starting Over

Dear You!


So much has happened in the last 24 hrs


And I only have a few minutes
before we have to take this laptop
over to the mansion where Regine's staying

So, it took us 3 hours . . .

. . . just to get through

the 'metal detectors' at the North Gate
where the Visconti Guards
searched us for concealed weapons

(we deposited our swords & lances
into their armory)

Then it's just so bizarre . . .

. . . to be in a city again!

In little villages
people are pretty much in awe of us

Here it's

"Yeah, yeah, right . . .
Blah Company --- whatever!

Nice dirty 'uniforms'!

Now get your horse
out of my frickin' way!

Master Networker

So we split off
from the main group
and Skip starts working his charm
on the underground network

of servants and bodyguards

and so . . .

Yesterday afternoon found us . . .

walking up

these stairs
(so beautiful to see, after 11 months
of tents, mud huts and twig shacks)

to Louder's apartment

Meet Louder

Spelled L A U R A
Pronounced "louder"

. . . and yes, she's a courtesan, but . . .

--- it's not like you think ---

there's no sexual tension at all because
we aren't anywhere near being able to afford
her professional prices.

She has a regular Noble Sugar Daddy
He's occupied with the Visconti Wedding

The main thing about her
is that shes really smart and well-read

and every night that she's off work
(which is most nights)

Her apartment

--- which is SFB
(So Fucking Beautiful)
tapestry, glass windows, rugs,
chairs . . . she owns 12 books!!!!!!! ---

becomes a drop-in slumber party
for all the cool misfits
in town!

Imagine . . .

. . . a beautiful square Renaissance room
with all the colors fresh!!!
and blazing like noon with beeswax candles!!!

full of about 10 of her friends
(courtesans, actors, musicians, tutors,
renegade monks, defrocked nuns,
travellers, translators, troubadours)

and about 5 of us
21st century miscellaneous knuckleheads

hanging out

feeling just like a cool artist's birthday party
from our era
I mean exactly like it!

I haven't felt so comfortable with natives
the whole time I've been here!

Louder and her gang are so . . . well . . .

They know there's something really weird about us
They can't put their fingers on it
but it doesn't freak them out.

Shoe Rebels

There was a lot of shoe talk

The men Louder's gang
are really into shoes

the longer the toes the better

Long toes are supposed to be
only for the nobiltiy only
so these guys, technically, could get arrested
for their shoes

Streetwalkers wear stilts

to keep their dresses clean

Skip got pretty good at the stilts
which cracked everybody up

Doing Lines

So . . . during dinner

(cooked for the whole building
by geniuses in the basement)

Louder and her nun friends
lay on her bed
and poured precious white powder
onto an iron mirror

separated it into little piles with a dagger
and held it up

so we could put it in our stew

Salt! I haven't had added salt
in almost a year

Ojeezuzgod it tasted so good!

Lucky, Lucky Me!

I got to hear what is probably 1st-class lute playing
(it's incredibly soft and muted sounding
but all the guy does is practice
so the skill level is sky high
it sounds like Indian sitar music)

And they told long stories
in this really formal way
and I really couldn't tell a lot of times
if they were true stories or not

It was simply TFC
(Too Fucking Cool)

and the reason
it turns into a (non sexual) slumber party
is that the streets aren't safe after dark

Louder fell asleep on the trunk at the foot of her bed

OK, Everyone Else Who's
Reading This
Besides You . . .


Have a nice day.


Now . . .

I just have to blurt this out

I miss you
I like you

I really want to spend time with you

I want to know how you feel
(in all senses)

It's spring and it's beautiful

and being around normal people
has brought me back to life

and now

*buries face in blue kimono*

*screams in comic frustration*

I can't wait the couple of weeks

until I can seehearsmelltouchteaste you