I'm getting a little collection of my work in print on the shelves behind me. Of course, I've always had manuscripts laying about in dusty piles. I recently found my first book, written at 13, and complete, thank you very much. It's written on about 80 pages of whisper-soft notebook paper.

One item I didn't have was the copy of Locus with me in it. I rectified that today, ordering the back issue. I don't take Locus. I hunt down interviews and articles online when I can, or I go without. I suppose I should take it, just like I should read the Bible front to back. But I wouldn't end up reading them, unfortunately.

Anyway, it all got me to thinking about how much my study probably holds all the secrets to my soul, if one just took a look around. I've got big speakers, old but still really decent, and a respectable CD collection that betray my love of music. There's drumsticks and signed stuff in there, too, from some of the live shows I've gone to and musicians I've met. I've inadvertently started a collection of religious items: Buddha and crosses and a rosary. My kid just added to it today with the Tibetian prayer flags he made in art class. Very cool. I've got books from friends. My dog is laying under my desk, which is, appropriately enough, an antique library table. There's a ton of photos and some rabbits from my collections. (Ahem, not bunnies, but rabbits. Closer to the jack sort, the better.) My tarot cards are always close at hand, Page of Swords (relating to a problem solved) on top today. If I'm talking to you on the phone, I'm probably shuffling them.

Which then got me to thinking about what Trinidad's quarters look like. He shares a room with his little brother Wolf. So there's mismatched, saggy twin beds, a cold concrete floor with throw rugs that have the pattern worn away. There's a long dresser that they share. Trinidad is neat, but Wolf stuffs the socks and shotgun shells into the same drawers. There's a perpetual basket of clean laundry. There's an old pea-green sofa with rough fabric. They keep a blanket thrown over it. The whole room, in the basement, is candlelit because of the rolling blackouts. There's a high shelf where Trin habitually keeps his rifle out of Wolf's reach, even though Wolf is tall enough to reach the shelf now. There's a row of hooks that serves as a closet. Usually it has the white-crossed long black cloak that Trin has to wear to church, and extra sheaths for his sword and a couple of worn out belts. If Trin is in the room, his armor is piled in the corner.

But what is it that betrays who Trinidad is to the world?

Why, it's nothing, of course. It's the lack of family photos and trinkets and heirlooms. Trinidad threw away his past when he became an archwarden--not because he had to, but because it's so painful.

But his past is about to rear its ugly head and roar.

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