Three months of stuff between now and then, a million changes and a hundred unchanges. I’m fifteen to twenty pounds lighter now that school has ended and still decreasing in size, hopefully only until I reach my long-standing middle school weight. With the summer mostly over, I have been to the beach once, on the forth of July. I was sunburned so badly that I was forced to hide my horrid self under many layers for three weeks, through the worst heat of the summer while working in a 200 degree oven of a factory constructing elaborate machines from plastic and seventy six different screws.

My little brother turned into a stranger on us all, becoming an ex-convict and getting a new car after a Chinese gang stole his old one, all seemingly overnight. Now he is simply a rebellious pre-adult with a police record to follow him into old age with a probation officer in tow, scrawny and supposedly straight in his “post”-addiction days despite his constant use of Oxy Contin, and he sits in the driveway in his new Audi (although he has no license until his eighteenth birthday thanks to his illegal activities) and shakes the house with a system containing subwoofers that weigh more than he does. One of his skeezy pseudo-best friend’s mother (and one of my parents’ favorite allies in their famous, sporadic emergences from denial when they try to crack down on the rules at the house, kicking out the junkies and 15 year old sophomore hoes, confiscating what they can find, confronting the boys about their obvious yet conveniently ignored habits, which lasts for a day or two and then things are back to the norm) trades him 300 pills of OC, taken from her current and severely pain-wrought-due-to-an-incredible-car-smash-up husband for some unmentionable quantity of bud, all of which is a huge secret that I only discovered tonight while watching American Pie 2 with Adam’s ex-girlfriend-current-fuck buddy, Sheena since she was so busy puking in a trash can due to some sort of mysterious overdose to realize what words her vocal chords were forming.

In short, I can’t wait to get the hell outta here and back to Ann Arbor and the relatively sane world of four hours of sleep per night and severe hangovers.

In all actuality, apart from the tremendous fiasco with my young sibling, the summer has been pretty average. I have worked two jobs for an average of about sixty hours a week for more than two months after the most stressful of desperate searches for employment I have ever experienced. I finally had to break down and settle for a common factory job, which would not have been bad except for the fact that I don’t speak Spanish. Doomed to work in an isolated bubble, I spent many weeks listening to the gossipy gibberish of large Mexican women wearing their yellow-gold gaudy baubles with such arrogance that one would have surely believed they were discussing politics in the air conditioned comfort of a sunlit yacht cabin. There was one woman who spared enough breath to tell me I was fatter than she, using an incredible number of double negatives, while I simply glanced at the rolls of arm flab hanging over her wrists, did my best to ignore her grammar and insanity, and continued to work. Not content with my lack of agreement, she continued to call me an over-educated spoiled brat, a typical anorexic – despite the earlier coment about our oh-so-similar weights - gringa who didn’t live in the real world because I was handed everything in life and could never accept my deserved place in society (which I assumed she thought should be right there, sitting at the table next to her, scraping black epoxy off of car side mirrors with razor blades). Keep in mind the fact that I had never once divulged any sort of personal information to her or anyone else beyond the fact that I was a college student working there for the summer. I complained to the manager, but nothing was done. She decided to speak English to me for several days in a row, until finally I started correcting her grammar, which made her turn purple with rage. Then I left for a different job that paid twice as much.

I had called the temp agency a million times over the course of my abuse experienced at the hands of one thirty two year old, 160 pound, 5’2” Mexican woman with bad grammar, and finally got the response I had been waiting for – an opening for me at a different place. I went from wishing I knew Spanish to longing to understand Laotian and Cambodian. But at least everyone at the new place attempted to speak English to me.

I leaned how to use power tools! The highlight of my entire summer.

After making floor cleaning machines on line number fourteen, with three of the nicest older asian men I have met, for a month and a week, I left. They made me a card. One bought me a Sprite. I baked cookies for them. Then some other people from the company took me out to dinner at eleven at night after we got off work. I was able to forget I was one of ten women and one of six white people on the entire production floor. I am so happy for having the experience of working there.

My girls and I went out this morning, as our beloved Jessica who works at the GAP gave us all thirty percent off coupons good for one day. I bought two pairs of these new style jeans there, called Long and Lean. I was surprised to find that a size four hung from my bottom as if I was missing something. I bought them anyway; baggy is better than skanky, as I always say. I also found four shirts, and got the whole pile of clothes for a mere seventy-three bucks. Then we went to Perkins for lunch, surrounded by old people, and received balloons from an employee for being so relatively young. I tied mine to a spoon, which I accidentally brought home with me. Meanwhile, my loving mother took my brother to the Banana Republic and Abercrombie, spending almost six hundred dollars on clothes for his senior pictures. I chose to ignore that.

Now I am in the process of packing my dad’s huge dark purple Jeep Grand Cherokee with a plethora of odds and ends to take to my new apartment tomorrow. Not sure when I can move in exactly, but my future roommate says anytime is fine. Stay tuned.

I find it sort of amusing that I continue to make day logs despite the fact that I feel as though I'm at a point in my life where my days could not get any less eventful. But I imagine days filled with nothing often lend to nights filled with thought.

My last remaining friend in Boston for the summer left this morning for Virginia and will not come back until we both return again to school in the fall. I am now officially completely alone for the next week, while I wait for time to pass and my life to begin again. Theoretically, I should not be waiting, but studying abstract mathematical applications and doing research on G.K. Chesterton. However, I find it easier to vegetate through most of the day and dream through most of the night while helplessly awake. Despite the newfound absence of all of my summer companions, I have made a new acquaintance. His name is Sweet Pea. Sweet pea is the cockroach that has kindly decided to keep my company, most often on my desk browsing through my music and literature collections. A friend suggested I name him so as to feel more comfortable with his presence. For the sake of my own sanity, I pretend Sweet Pea is the only other resident of this two bedroom apartment and that he is not, as my very helpful friend put it, one of millions of Sweet Peas living in the walls. This task is made simpler by the fact that I have never seen Sweet Pea with his buddies and have yet to put on an off-screen production of Joe's Apartment. However, I must admit I often like to fantasize about him hunting and gathering to feed his children and ever-pregnant wife.

Although I have yet to outright aid in the procreation of the Pea family, I cannot bring myself to kill my dear, frequently visiting friend. This is not because I am afraid of the tiny creature, or because I enjoy the sincerity with which I can hum "La Cookaracha" (forgive my spelling,I took French) every time he makes an appearance, but despite the 1400 dollars a month I pay to live here, I don't feel as though I have more of a right to exist in this apartment than he does.

I tend to ask myself if this is because I was raised as a Hindu and cannot shake the idea that he is perhaps the reincarnate of some poor soul that did wrong in his life. But after considering this notion I often wonder if that is the case, then is it my duty to end this miserable existence of his so that he may proceed onto the next? Is it that I am at heart a Jain? Do I have an inherent need to practice ahimsa? I have to admit, being aware of the presence of Sweet Pea in my apartment, and hoping never to find his little body crushed underneath my shoes, I often feel the urge to "sweep before I walk".

As a student of biology, I can never get over the intricate complexity of Sweet Pea's body. I'm always amazed at how the powdered iced tea I neglected to wipe off the counter could have indirectly made that creature's frame, and heart, and brain, and the little creepy feelers that come out of his head that he points at me while emphasizing the blank look in his eyes that keeps me unsettled.

Is it that I've grown an affection for the little hoodlum that very rudely tries to steal my juice multiple times a day?

Am I that lonely that I will not kill something so incapable of conversing, because I will take whatever companionship I can get?

Do I secretly appreciate the fact that my dear Sweet Pea has taken a tour of my underwear drawer because I long to have that sort of intimacy with other creatures in my life?

Am I being extremely inconsiderate to the people who will move into my apartment in a week and a half by not calling someone to come in and inflict mass genocide upon the Pea family?

Despite the fact that cockroaches aren't known to carry disease, is it hygenic to live so symbiotically with a species that lives off my garbage?

Perhaps these are not generally life's most profoundly unanswered questions, but taking into account my own minimal Sweet Pea-esque existence in relation to so many other things in the universe, tonight I give them my time and consideration.

Last Monday (at about 1 in the morning) I loaded up the car and set out on a trip.

I didn't really want to, but I had no choice. The flatmates had asked me to get the hell out, and since their names are the ones on the lease (first mistake) I didn't really have much choice in the matter.

I made it all the way to Oregon, and aside from needing to get another oil change for the aforementioned car, my belongings and my sanity seem to have survived the trip intact.

I arrived safely here three days and 2271 miles later, and immediately wondered how long it'd be before I could check my email again.

Well, the answer to that one is "a few minutes ago".

Losing touch with my email was worse than having to cut down on cigarettes by 75%. Sheesh.

A million years of time could pass us by as we sleep because we only perceive the morning we expect will come. We aren't paying attention to the details that do not immediately concern us.

Many thanks are due to the good people of E2. The translation of "community" finds further definition each time we look at it from another angle. Some time ago I reached out to some of the fine writers and thinkers here for input on my evolving and constantly changing novel. There were those who responded and who pointed out that which I could not see without their assistance. To them I owe a continuing debt of gratitude. There are those who have provided and continue to provide critical analysis. There are those who shout out to me that they love what I am putting on these blank sheets of paper. What I constantly remind them of, just in order to remind myself, is that it is very difficult to see outward when you are taking an inward journey over the past 18 years of your life.

Spurred on by some of the comments and criticism that were lobbed in my general direction, I have sought out those who have experienced death and near-death experiences and well as those who have been close to a suicide or have attempted suicide themselves. The openness of the people who responded to that call has overwhelmed me. These are things that are not easy to speak of and so many of you spoke so eloquently of your experiences. Especially those of you who spoke of denial. I lived for many months in complete denial of my own death, fearing that people would think me quite insane and laugh at me. I lived for over two years in partial denial, sharing details only with certain trusted persons. It was not until three years later, when I moved to Orlando, that I became open about my experiences. Change is important and change nurtures us on the road ahead. Many of you are going through important life changes, even as I type these words, and I wish you fair skies and pleasant sailing on your journey to your next destination on the big canvas we call the world.

All I can say is that with the help of many people, most of them from E2, I have completed the rough first draft of the first part of the story... the years leading up to my suicide in 1994... ten years of time compressed into nine chapters, but crafted with your help to sound less compressed and more woven from the fabric of one life as it touched upon the lives of others. Thank you again. May your beauty never atrophy.

More input is always welcome
/msg me or see my homenode
if you think you might want to talk about it.

It's been two months since I last wrote here which was the Saturday June 8, 2002 day log. I had an incredible day that day. How I wish I could go back to that day. I guess that is selfish thinking and longing...

Well in the last week I've come to conclusions on my life with Anne. How I loved her, still do to a point. What she meant to me and how she said that she did like me but doesn't know anymore. But I have to get over her. She is a sophomore and I'm a senior and that will be hard for dating.

I asked her out on June 27 and she said yes. I was so happy. It had been nearly two years since I was in a relationship and it felt good to be getting back into "society". Well we went out, had fun, and thought everything was fine. How wrong I was.

I get home and I have an email telling me she isn't ready to pursue anything and how unready she is. Of course I email back, etc. We end up still friends but it wasn't the same as before. She's always so tense and unable to talk to me. We've had two long talks at night on the phone about things and things have gotten better in the terms of being able to talk to her. That I'm grateful about.

I have to move on. I don't think I'm going to get into anything with any woman anytime soon. I'm not that handsome so it's hard for me to find dates. I'm planning on doing well in school this year and move on to college and I hope things get better there. High school sucks, it really does. Not just because of the relationships that are attempted but the immaturity that is faced. I hate the women in my Senior class. They just don't appeal to me. Oh well. Moving on.

As I said two months ago, but in a different matter/tone...

Goodnight Anne. -- It's been fun, exciting, and I love you still. You'll never know exactly how much you have changed me. I don't think I could tell you either. I hope you know how much I'm going to miss you. I'll remember you always...

What a weekend:

I have no cable TV or DSL, so I'm left with only sixty books I've already read, and Neverwinter Nights. I can't go much more than a week without The West Wing and Inside The Actor's Studio.

I wrecked my Honda. My beloved car. My ride. I went straight through a turn lane that only very recently became a turn lane, and plowed into a guy. I put a dent in his Explorer, and totally fucked up the right front side of my Civic. Thankfully my local friendly Progressive agent was right in front of us when I tagged the guy, and he got us squared away right off. The cops and the guy I hit kept apologizing to me for the accident. I thought that was funny, because it was totally my fault. The guy I was on my way to meet felt bad because if I hadn't been meeting him, I wouldn't have gone out yesterday. But, whatever.

On the plus side, I got a lot of much needed sleep, and I feel great even though I was in a pretty shitty accident. So, I think I'll just keep on truckin'.

no escape

weill in japan: day 40

I have survived five and a half weeks in Japan: survived the initial anxiety with my host family, survived an early round of colds without falling ill myself, and survived some food whose contents I'd rather not know. Now comes the fun part: our class's second midterm.

Unlike our first midterm, this test covers only one chapter's worth of material despite taking up the same amount of time. Instead of the monotonous "interview" portion of the first test, which consisted exclusively of reciting memorized portions of the textbook, our exam features two parts largely unrelated to the text that we've studied for the last two weeks. The essay portion will ask us to look back and reflect on our experience at ICU, and will serve as a major transfer station for the Bitter Bus. The interview portion has been replaced with a "short speech" section, where we can talk for two to three minutes on a topic of our choice. I'm choosing the gaijin treatment, speaking about my mostly positive experience as a foreigner in a nation which only two generations ago was bitter enemies with America.

The big problem with this midterm is the short time we've had to prepare. We were only told about the exam on Thursday, four days before it was to take place. The bulk of my studying was done today, and I don't think I'm ready at all for it. I expect one or two people out of our class of 13 to skip the test entirely, having lost interest in the course as a whole. For me, the course credit from ICU is virtually worthless, but I'd still like to take a decent grade away from the summer.

Today was a very long day, to compensate for my short day yesterday. I more or less collapsed yesterday night around 10:00 PM after a filling meal with an extra-large beer. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I woke up at 6:00 AM this morning and actually got to work. I spent my first several hours taking care of non-exam business: typing an essay to hand in tomorrow, and revising a few club web pages in preparation for freshman orientation on campus. Nearly all freshmen will arrive on campus next week, but I want to make sure that everything's ready well in advance. Taking these projects is even harder when I'm 7000 miles and 13 time zones away -- and people tend to check their e-mail less frequently during the summer. I felt guilty about using about 45 minutes of at-home Internet time today, since even local calls in Japan are charged by the minute at rates higher than American long-distance. My host family insists that it's not a problem, but I try to keep my sessions as short as possible. Maybe I should type out all my e-mails off-line and just paste them in while on-line at home. After a day filled with homework and studying, I plan to get in bed to get my eight hours of sleep. Ten days ago, I was able to buy a donut and coffee before my first test, and that test went pretty well. I don't know how many donuts it will take to make up for my pathetic studying for this test, but I'll try one and hope for the best tomorrow.

This summer has blown by incredibly fast. I can't believe that week 6 is beginning, and a week from now I'll be home in New York. There's still so much to do both here and back home, and barely enough hours to do it all. As long as I keep reminding myself, I'll get it done.

This Sunday was the first in at least three weeks that I spent completely homebound, working on homework and test preparation. Tomorrow will be better, as I finally meet a friend of a friend's father near the Tokyo Dome for coffee. She wants to go to Starbucks. Groovy.

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