No, wait, I take that back. The first thing I noticed about her, now that I look back on it, was that she is filled with joy. She radiates happiness in a way that's very appealing and shiny; she's a bright spark of joy in human form. The second thing I noticed about her is that she spins poi.
And fire, too, though I didn't get a chance to witness that.
I didn't bring my poi with me to Europe, which in hindsight was rather silly. She brought several pair, though, so we spun together at the castle, which was fun. She's rather better at it than I am, truth be told. In fact, she's rather better at it than most of the spinners I know.
And she struck me as being a deeply, profoundly happy person, which gets me every time.
Her name is L. Well, her name isn't L, but that's what I'll call her here. She arrived at the castle after the rest of us did, and left before we did, which was really a damn shame.
Now, had someone told me on the first day we met that she would by the following day be doing obscene things to me with a strap-on, I probably would have said something like "I find that highly unlikely." I don't, as a general rule, often find myself in bed with someone I've only just met, even in Medieval castles with lots of kinky folks who are all part of the same poly netwo--well, maybe I shouldn't say that, since I appear to be batting a thousand on that one. Every time I've been in a Medieval castle with lots of kinky folks who are all part of the same poly network, I have found myself having kinky adventures with a person I've only just met. Perhaps some recalibration of my internal model of self is necessary. Hmm. I will ponder this more.
In all seriousness, though, I feel tremendously thankful for the opportunities I had during the trip to France, and privileged to have met the people I did.
And I'm not just talking about the slinky hex. Don't get me wrong, I'm an enthusiastic fan of slinky hex in all its many forms, and it was a lot of fun, no doubt about it. But a lot of the things that have stuck with me from the trip were less about that then they were about getting the opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. seinneann_ceoil, L, and I spent a good deal of time on several occasions talking about privilege in all its forms, for instance, and applying those ideas to a place where they aren't often applied, polyamorous relationships. (I have a very long post brewing about polyamory and privilege that I'm working on with seinneann_ceoil and zaiah, which I'll likely be writing soon; I have just under a thousand words of notes on the subject, and it's turning out to be fairly difficult to write.)
And did I mention joy?
There's something about happiness that really does it for me. She is a very happy person, at least in my experience of her, and that's incredibly shiny. I really, really dig happiness. Combine it with smart and introspective and confident and expressive, and...yeah. It's...yeah. I mean, seriously, do you see those socks? Those are very happy socks.
One of the nice things about joy is that it's a bit like ebola: extremely infectious and hard to defend against. I am very happy that she made the trip just a bit more joyful.