JOdel at JOdel at
Fri May 19 13:59:13 EDT 2000

In a message dated 5/19/00 6:13:15 AM, hallieod at writes:

<< just as his musical talent is his, and that was
clearly working against him.  >>

An but was it Tom's musical talent he was calling upon, or his musical 
SKILLS? Laurel was responsible for his musical training, and consequently had 
a claim on the final results. His finished skills were not soley his own.

I think Mary Ann has gotten hold of the right end of ther stick here.

Perhaps what is going on here is that the more there was of Tom to get a grip 
on, the less of a chance he had. The deciding mechanisims of the contest/duel 
may have been tied to the two contestent's subjective evaluations of their 
own reality. Ergo, the stronger "presence" will be the one who pays tiend. 
Morton Leroy had not been renewed for 18 years and was gravely diminished.  
In addition to depriving Leroy of access to Laruel, Polly's rejection jerked 
the ground out from under Tom. This literally undermines all of the strengths 
that he had been mustering to defend himself with. Polly could see that just 
about everything that Tom could call to himself had been contaminated by 
Laurel's handling. Even her own insight on the situation was a byproduct of 
her association and involvement with Laurel's realm (although I am still not 
convinced that Polly was consiously aware of that yet. She only saw that Tom 
was going at things from the wrong direction.) When Polly threw her 
repuditation in his face -- and meant it -- the emotional shock blasted Tom 
into nothingness. In effect, to the deciding mechanisms of the "contest" he 
was no longer there, grabbed Leroy, and took him, before Tom could begin to 

(Where Polly went a little wrong was in forgetting that the tiend was now 
paid, and Laruel is now finished with Tom and herself. It no longer matters 
to Laurel what they chose to do. But they are now in the position of having 
to invent themselves, and figure out just who they are when they can no 
longer draw upon Laurel's "gifts". For they have both depended heavily on 
those gifts, awkward as they were. They have spent most of their lives braced 
against a threat that no longer exists and unless they can deal with the 
change in their circumstances they will probably end up sabotaging themselves 
at every turn. Because the world just doesn't work the way they have been 
forced to deal with. And they cannot really know yet just how far the 
differences extend.)

As to Sebastian's trying to use Polly. Sebastian was close enough to Laurel 
to know he was at risk. Since he had seen how Polly's association with Tom 
had sent Leroy into such a tizzy, Sebastian decided to appropriate this piece 
of protection for himself. Leroy realized that if Sebastian managed to 
monopolize her then Tom couldn't get near her and thought that Sebastian was 
being very clever. Laurel, on the other hand, was furious.
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