Things have finally worked themselves out.

I got to spend some quality time with Laurel in the first time in forever. I miss us being best friends, but its my fault that it's different. It worked out that we both went away to college yet live 45 minutes away from each other. I met her in San Francisco on Saturday, and when I finally saw her standing in front of Old Navy, I writhed my way through that sidewalk crowd and wrapped her up in my arms. She is beautiful. I like her new haircut, its short and red and cute. We went in the toy stores and pretended that we were little kids again. Then we went to the 52nd floor of a building with a fancy restaurant and ordered 3 dollar sodas and talked about everything. I wish that her boyfriend didnt hate me. It is so easy for us to go back to the way things were, it almost scares me. Its been a dream for so long to have her genuinely back in my life again. I hope this time is for real. I will never hurt her again.

Ethan is my boyfriend now. I didnt think that I would end up liking him all that much but now I definitely do. I miss him, he has been gone all weekend. He is nice to me, and he got me a present. I am going to miss him sooo much when winter break comes in a matter of days and we are separated for five weeks. He has the most beautiful eyes, and he makes me happy.

Jesse and I are back to our weird relationship. I tried to do something to him about a week ago so that he would hate me and I wrote him a hateful email, and he surprisingly replied with friendship. I dont understand him at all. So now we are talking again, in a good way, and he wants to see me when I come home. I am not going to cheat on Ethan with him, I promised myself that I am going to be good and not succumb to Jesse. I need to do this for myself most of all.

Other than that, I have four finals this week and Im avoding studying for all of them. Its going to be hell. Wish me luck, Ill be home soon.

I sit here, listening to "We Didn't Start the Fire". It is nearly midnight outside. Seeds of frost are taking root on the grainy concrete and moonlit grass. The wind is almost silent, breathing softly like a new-born baby cradled in doting mother's arms.

Long Island Sound is a shiny lake of jet-black oil beyond my window, and the lights on the far shore seem like yellow candles' flame. Coincidentally, the brightest lights are only two in number. I'm a Jew, and this is Hanukah's second night. Two sprites of fire dance in the menorah downstairs.

I remember how the Japanese light candles to remember the dead, place them in ceremonial boats, and watch solemnly as they float down the river, beyond the horizon.

I wonder if there will be enough oil to light all those thousands of candles.

It may take a miracle.

whoring for security

A friend wrote to me yesterday and told me I shouldn't be working for a software company, I should be writing. His exact words were:

{Dreamvirus} needs to write wants to write and loves to write yet...he does not write...

I remember when I started working 4 years ago, I had just finished a Masters in American literature and was smoking a lot of weed and juggling 3 or 4 hours a day, and generally had very little idea of purpose or destiny, and felt that this was a good thing. I was feeling slightly insecure about money (you know, being able to eat, pay rent, buy drugs, not necessarily in that order of priority), so when an acquaintance from the university asked if I'd like a job in the billing department of a telecoms company he worked for, I said OK.

I didn't know anything about programming, billing, telecoms, or, well, anything at all to do with money or computers, but I knew I was smart enough to figure it out, and I knew that earning my own money would be interesting, at least for a while. I knew that if I was unhappy, I could just leave. I had never wanted to be rich, or work in an office like my dad, but I decided to treat it like a social experiment on myself:

My experience in my first job was mixed. I learned about databases and telecoms pretty quickly after the first few panicked days (oh my god i can't do this what the fuck am i doing here i'm a writer) and I actually enjoyed the whole problem-solving thing. It reminded me of my days of writing conversation programs in BASIC on a Vic 20. However, the stress of working for a gang of insane idiots eventually got to me, and I handed in my notice after realizing that I had stopped wanting to get up in the mornings.

Subsequent jobs have been pretty rewarding, and I've been learning such languages as Visual Basic and Transact-SQL pretty steadily. Recently I've started developing using C# and VB.NET, which are, well, kind of same-y to be honest, but easy to use.

My problem is one which I'm sure many Everything users will recognize: I am sitting at my desk, with deadlines approaching, surfing, noding and writing.

Where's the problem, you say? Well, if it goes on like this I'll be fired - and I'd be the first to admit that I should be fired. More importantly - if I wasn't noding, I'd still be writing. I am totally distracted by the urge to write. I don't give a shit about my deadlines, or getting fired, or getting ahead, or learning more, or even the basic satisfaction of writing a piece of code that works. It's all gone - I don't know why, or where it went, but it's gone, and once again I've stopped wanting to get up in the mornings. Whatever personal growth I needed to go through in the working world, I've gone through, and now, once again, all I want to do is write.

I would quit tomorrow, except that so many things go along with that - in order to start writing, I would need to accept a far lower income level, or maybe even no income at all for a while, which would mean I wouldn't be able to pay the rent on my apartment. So, from being the grinning stoner who took a job for the hell of it, I've become the tired-eyed young man who stays in his job because it gives him security.

What the fuck am I doing?

Today I am finaly substitute teaching, first time so far. Its interesting as the school year approachs the Christmas break, or is it now called the Holiday Break to be politically correct, less and less teachers are out sick or out on vacation. After all it would be imposing a set of beliefs on someone by calling it Christmas.

I was thinking the other day that it is wierd that we in America still celebrate Christmas. I mean we have changed almost everything around the Christmas time to holiday, as in Happy Holidays. Hardly ever do you see Christmas sales, you see Holiday Specials instead. But I guess if we didn't celebrate Christmas it would shut down the economy because half of the stores need the holiday to recover from the lack of spending each year.

On another thought, today was the three-month aniversary of September 11, 2001. Though it seems wierd to call it aniversary, shouldn't it be memorial? Acording to the news around the world, countries will be observing a minute of silence. Something that we followed in school today.

- Pronto!
Is that her? It doesn't really sound like her...

- Ciao bambina

- Ciao...
Yes, it is her. But she sounds strange, she must have been crying

- How are you?

- Well, not very good as you probably realised from my SMSs. I am sad today. I don't know why.
Yes, she has definitely been crying.

- It's so difficult not to be able to see you.

- Yes, we must be strong...must be warriors.

- It's impossible...

- Oh, is that why you called me? To tell me you're giving up? I was right to be sad today then.

- No, it's not. It's just so incredibly difficult.
Why am I on the verge of tears? It's not like this is a break-up.

- I told you already in London. But you were so sure you wanted to go.

- I know. I am not regretting I went. I needed to go. And now...I love you, but three years is such a long time.

- Don't be stupid in your Swedish way. Don't say three years. We'll see each other many times before then.

- You are right of course. I'm just being stupid today.

- Sometimes I think you are too young. You have never suffered like I have. We are so lucky. Finding sex is so easy, but finding angels are incredibly difficult.

- I know we're lucky. And I will be a warrior. I will not loose you. But when I'm down I sometimes feel that I can't go on having a girlfriend a 1000 km away.

- You have to be strong, like me. A warrior.

- I will try. Buona notte amore mio.

- Buona notte angelo mio.




Is this how it's going to be for months to come? Me waiting for her calls, waiting to see her, unable to make spontaneous plans because of her husband's mood?

That'll make me realhappy. Although I like the space, need it, it's the forced distance I don't like. It's the lack of privacy I hate. When we get together it is mostly in public, we hardly ever get together alone and just get to touch each other, make love. It feels forbidden. Making out in a car - you can't get too far like that, trust me - I thought those days were long gone.

I'm feeling so much, so many complicated feelings, it's good we don't see each other a whole lot, but the way it's going, I want to see her more and more. I miss her more and more. I want her to be my girlfriend. I want her to be mine. There are many good things about the restraints we are under - it must be slowing the relationship down - which is good, because she isn't getting dependent on me for too much stuff. And I hate feeling chained down or caged or boxed. And I don't. But it feels like dating in 1955; lots of group activities! Lots of unrequited longing looks. Lots of touching in public places, because we can't touch privately.

And I like having lots of space and time to explore other friendships, which I really need right now, having outgrown so many (or immatured to the point of not being able to be around those grown ups, take your pick). I'm back in counseling, which is helpful. So I think it will work out okay, one way or the other.

I'm still furious with M. for being such a meddling, intrusive jerk. E-mail after e-mail telling me all about my romance addiction (and I thought I hid those romance novels so well) and how fucked up I am and how I don't even know it and when am I going back into counseling on and on and on. Meanwhile, he has about 2 or 3 real friends, maybe, that's being generous, and has been unable to lose any real weight and is still stuck in a bad place emotionally. Love how I get advice from some one who is so bad off. Just love it. Telling me I'm his best friend when we are ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend!!! I am so not his best friend! I can't even talk to him, haven't been able to for the better part of a year, because he just can't understand anything I say.

I hope he gets his shit together or we will just end up with a relationship like I have with Laurie. A broken soul is hard to love.

We are so stupid. Last night, we managed to get outselved locked inside a state park. This proves to me we are sick in the head because of geocaching.

Closes at sunset? Nah, that means they really close at about 9, 9:30pm. Or so we thought. We arived at the park at about 6pm, just AFTER sunset. Oh no big deal, we'll be in and out. Out of the car we go to snoop around in the bushes. A cop drives by. Says something, or so we think. Doesn't really bother us much. More snooping around. 8pm, we decide to leave. Guess what? We CAN'T! Gates are locked and closed. "PARK CLOSED" is what the big red sign on the gate says. Oh shit. We push on the gate, mess with the locks. No luck. Our only option (legal): Call the police. After talking to a machine for about 10 minutes, I finally get someone. "Hi, we're locked in John Prince park." I hear laughter. Lots of laughter. "Ok, we'll send someone to let you out!" Some more giggling. Don't we feel stupid.

Over an hour later, the cop arives, looking not so very happy. As we thank him 40 times over, he just nodds, and we drive off. Next time, when they say, "Closes at Sunset" we'll know they really mean it.


He's dead...or maybe sick..or maybe he moved on. Maybe he never existed. In any case he's gone.

There's a beach I've gone to for about 10 years. I mainly go when no-one else is there. I go to walk, to think, to sing, to be alone. About 4 years ago I began smelling woodsmoke on a certain stretch of the beach, especially early in the morning in the winter. This section of the beach is isolated and about 1 mile from any houses, so there really wasn't a logical explanation for the smoke. It was never much, just a whiff.... a slight softness in the air, and I never could see the source. I decided that a hermit lived in the thick brush above the beach and I began looking for signs of his existence. I never saw anything. But I felt his presence. At first I would have a feeling of being watched. I never felt danger or threatened and after awhile I learned to accept that feeling as part of the beauty of that isolated stretch of beach. I thought occasionally of leaving gifts, but decided that if he ever wanted to break his seclusion it would be up to him. I never told anyone about him, afraid that they'd either try to convince me not to go there, or someone would try to find him. I still don't know if he even existed.

Now he's gone. No more smoke. No more feeling of being watched. No more sharing that wonderful stretch of beach with someone else who loves it like I do. I wonder if he knows how I felt about him? I miss him.

These days my life reminds me of Gran Turismo 3. The same cyclical rhythyms of trying to complete a level over and over again with the perfect line, the same opportunity to make slight adjustments every time, the same image of an ideal path shining before me. Damn, this game is hard. I suppose it could be worse. I mean, at least it's not Pac-Man.


If only living were as easy as playing a videogame.

Banana Man

I went to Banana Republic today to buy a shirt to go with the jacket that I bought the day before from the same store to attend a formal party and I was standing with one of the salespeople looking at my various options when this largish sort of man, perhaps 5'7" and 230 pounds, puts on uncomfortably the very coat I purchased yesterday and says, "do you make this coat so that it will fit a real man instead of a creampuff?"

Now, I am not a small man by any means. I am 6' 3" and 175 pounds. His comment struck a funny note with me.

I turned to him and said, "actually, I really like that jacket and I bought one yesturday." He turned kind of red, mumbled something that sounded vaguely like a justification or an aplogy, and he not long after left the store. I turned to the salesperson and said, "I guess I'm a creampuff, then," and I bought the shirt.

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