· To my family. That would still be the family I was born into; I haven’t started my own family yet, lacking someone to start one with. Understand that I love them all very much, but I can’t stand to be around them for too long. Maybe a week or two. My mom is an artist, and for a woman, she is very strong (physically). She is also rather irascible, a “quality” she has passed on to me, and extremely stubborn. Throwing me in the mix is like introducing matches to a gas tank: One wrong move, and the roof is on fire. My dad is reasonable and not too demanding, but as a former military interrogator and now a school teacher, he gets to the truth of pretty much anything quickly, and he is a master at inducing guilty feelings, though he does that very rarely. As I described in Swamped, my brother is a troubled person, and in proximity to him his troubles also affect me very intensely. My little sister (not exactly little, she’s almost 180 cm tall), who lives far away, is the only close family member who never affects me negatively. I am diplomatic when I need and want to be, but she has mastered that skill, and when she’s around for a visit, conflicts are quickly resolved.
· I stayed with my best friend for nearly a month, and everything worked out pretty well. I kept his apartment clean, cooked, and fed the cats, which was not quite two hours of work per day. All I needed was the peace and quiet to get going on my book, and he gave me a budget for cat and human food. I met my best friend 7 years ago, on the first day of University, me, an American, him, a Russian, in Germany. We both liked Heavy Metal music, partying and drinking, we dressed in dark clothes. We still like most of the things we did back then, we talk about obscure stuff, watch trash movies, inhale nitrous oxide (N2O), and he is my most constant RPG companion. We went through a lot of rough patches together, too, helped each other out. I have lots of friends, but outside of my family, my best friend is the only person I can always count on, and for whom I would do anything. I also trust I won’t have to kill anyone for him.
· My ex-girlfriend, whom I still love, but I think I’m over her. She left me about two years ago, because I was too chaotic, too unpredictable. Well, I am unpredictable. Not in the way a psychopath is. If you know Firefly, you might say I’m as predictable as Captain Malcolm Reynolds. I’m much nicer, though. I can’t exactly talk about a lot of things that I shared with my ex, as I am a gentleman. Those things are between me, her, and my therapist. I don’t have a therapist, so, that is, if I had one. I’m not one for sporadic affairs, so the next girlfriend I have will likely be the woman I’ll spend the rest of one of our lives with.
Other relationships are less defined. As I’ve said, I have lots of friends, with varying degrees of trust. Some are really good friends, some are… acquaintances. I don’t usually antagonize people, so I don’t have a nemesis. I’ve blacklisted a few people in my life, but that’s about as far as I would go.