I was feeling terribly akward sitting in the car with her. It always bothered me that I was the older one, the man, and was still always reduced to being in her debt via the need for transportation. She always excercised fantastic powers over me, her ability to make me feel inadequate was the only one in which I understood the cause - I had no reason not to drive.

Her slow humanization over the last few months had ravaged my perception of her, and I couldn't stop wondering why I seen traits in her that obviously weren't there. I had created a perfect woman, and slapped someone else's face on her. It's strange days that follow the realization that you forced yourself to fall in love.

It was relieving to see her as she really was, less like the portrait, more like the frame. She wasn't a masterpiece of feminity crafted by God, but rather helped to hold up the one I created.

I couldn't help but laugh, half of it from relief, half of it to ease to tension. She wanted to know why.

"What's so funny?"


We pulled into my driveway, I took a look at her before opening the door and stepping out. She followed, much to my suprise, and walked with me to the door. I fumbled for the keys, not knowing what to make of this. Eventually I managed to push the door open.

I put my stuff away in my bedroom, and she placed herself on my couch. I nonchalantly browsed through my refridgerator, trying to hide the fact that I didn't know what to do with her here.

I gave up, and sat on the recliner. I laughed, this time out of pure tension.

"What is it, why do you keep laughing?"

"I don't know, it's nothing."

"No, no, it's something. What's wrong?"

I supressed a self-indulgent scream that wanted to tell her this very moment was all wrong. Instead, it came out as another laugh. I quickly put it down. She got a frustrated look on her face.

"You can't hide this from me, if you don't tell me I'll find out. What's the matter?"

I smiled, and looked away.

"Nothing's wrong, I'm fine."

She stood up, and moved over to me. I was laying back in the recliner, and she sat down on my stomach, grabbed my wrists, and looked me in the eyes. It tickled me to know that it bothered her that I wouldn't tell her anything. Finally, I had something over her.

"Don't do this to me, please."

"Nothing's wrong, ok? I'm fine."

I smiled again. It was a lie. I wasn't fine. I was heartbroken. I had been forced to see that the one thing that made me feel alive wasn't real. I had realized it was all make believe, all pretend. I didn't like pretending, especially when it felt real.

Of course, I was pretending right then and there, telling her nothing was wrong. The pain felt real.

She sighed, and laid on me, resting her head on my shoulder. She was exercising her ability to make me feel like I couldn't win, and it worked. She knew this kind of physical contact reduced my insides to a thick and gooey sugar substitute.

I sighed with her.

"I love you."

"I love you."

We had made love before, but this would be the first time we did it with our bodies. The love felt real again, and this time in a whole new way. I could stop pretending. I had taken the painting from its frame, and discovered a whole new work underneath. And it was crafted much more vividly than what I had seen before.

These are the things I have been (in no particular order):

Pizza delivery driver
Radio DJ
Bouncer at a strip club
Y2K Compliance Specialist
Computer technician
Senior Web and Graphics Designer for a media promotions company
Freelance web designer
Unit trainer at a fast-food restaurant
Table busser and host
Retail salesman
Door-to-door salesman
Movie theater projectionist
Chief Editor of a magazine
Construction worker/laborer
Book store manager
Convenience store clerk
3D modeller
Sound technician
Transport chief for a syndicated talk show
Movie theater usher/concessionist
Concert concessionist

Tomorrow morning at 9 AM I will be able to add "Butler" and "Personal assistant" at a Bed and Breakfast to that list.

When I wrote down the list of all the things I've done over the years for the woman who interviewed me she read it over and said, "I do believe I've found the right person. You're qualified across six different areas. How's your punctuality?"

"Sporadic," I answered, "but I always get the job done in a timely fashion and when I'm going to be late it's usually for a good reason and I always call ahead. I am also extremely good at taking orders- both literally and figuratively."

She nodded. "Can you cook?"

"I burn water," I answered promptly. It's only true. Well, not completely true. I can cook a few dishes quite well, but I'd really rather not. I'll cook if I have to, but only then. "But I've been told that I can make a mean pot of coffee. And I'm no stranger to various and sundry teas."

"Not a problem. I do most of the cooking anyway. That you can make good coffee speaks well of you. How are your combat and driving skills?"

"I've had two tickets for speeding when I was a teenager- cured me of that quick- and a few tickets for driving on expired tags. In the area of combat skills, I've got six years of Tai Chi. I've learned a few tid bits of aikido, kung fu, hap-kido and judo. And I can point out about six areas of risk for the security in this house, after the short tour you gave me." I named them.

She smiled. "Twelve dollars an hour to start. No benefits until we are certain that the working relationship is sound. If we get to that point, we up your pay to fifteen an hour with health and life benefits. Maybe dental."

I nodded. "Understood. I accept."

"Good. Come in tomorrow morning at nine. Here's some documentation on the house's history and its layout. I have a good feeling about this, Jay. You might just be the right man for the job."

I accepted that graciously. "I certainly hope so," and left.

Another life begins tomorrow. I wonder what I'll learn in this one?

Anyway... here's where it gets "movie-ish" (and woefully complicated): I have a crush/strong attraction to my soon-to-be boss' daughter, have for a long time. Even wrote a recent daylog regarding this young woman. And there is a strong possibility that this attraction is not just one-sided (I have only recently learned this). It was this young woman who put me in touch with her mother, which has eventually led up to gainful employment.

Egad. The down-and-out, man-of-the-world, sophisticated and mildly cultured butler of a relatively rich and prosperous woman falls for her daughter. Can one's life get any more cliche than that?

Running Log

Tuesday, Mar. 16 ........ 52 min
Monday, Mar. 15 ........... 0 min
Sunday, Mar. 14 ......... 49 min
Saturday, Mar. 13 ....... 49 min

Tuesday, Mar. 16 Bit of rain, accompanied by a chill. I wore the nylon shell pants and jacket and wore gloves. Talk about your basic sissy.

8 minutes into the run the left calf cramped up painfully. This caused a change in gait, which then resulted in a sharp left knee pain. As with all pains it's usually best to soldier through these things and keep running, and about ten more minutes into the run these pains resolved themselves into mere nuisances.

Now, however, the knee pain is a constant throbbing kind. I popped a chondroitin/glucosamine horse pill in the morning and now another after lunch. Doesn't seem to be doing anything for the pain but it fools me into believing some corrective action has been taken. Let's hope a good night's sleep takes care of this.

I stopped at 33 minutes into the run. Just wanted to walk. I turned off the stopwatch and just walked. It was nice. Then resumed running, and stopped again at 43 minutes. Walked another 2 minutes, then ran all the way home. A bad hour on the bike trail is better than a good hour inside.

I'm almost ready to begin taking poems along and memorizing them along the trail, just to have something to think about. First one is going to be T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

217 lb. I've dropped 2 more pounds since last week.

A good quote by American marathoner and running guru, the late George Sheehan:

We who run marathons are different from those who merely study us.
We are out there experiencing what they are trying to put into words.
We know what they are merely trying to know.
They seek belief, while we already believe.


Well, today the live in ex-girlfriend took her cat, shadow, to her new place. I am suprisingly sad, though it is rather selfish for me to be so. Her cat stayed in my room, rather unwanted by my roommates. So in my room she stayed. my cat recently dissappeared after 16 years of life. He was one of my best friends, and shadow made the transition much easier. I became pretty good friends with her, and I already miss her. Today she leaves.

I spent the past month and a half trying to get my ex-girlfriend to leave, now i think I'll miss her. She was good to me, we just were not for eachother. I find myself feeling a little jealous when she doesn't hang around though I complained about it before, but I realize that I need to move on. I can't fan the flames of those unwanted games anymore. We've all got our problems, I guess. As long as I can recognize and control them before they become a problem, I'm doing alot better!

In my recent encounter with myself, seeing as my ex-girlfriend is finally not filling up every second of my life besides sleep and work, I have taken up a few new challenegs. I figure i should fill up as many hours a week as i can with productivity. I have taken it upon myself to help out a friend who truely needs it. Thruought his 27 years on this planet, he has never been made to do much of anything. He dropped out of school after 3 years of being held back in 9th grade for absenteeism, he's never held a job for more than a few months, and he hasn't had a job in about 3 or 4 years. His mom buys him the necessities of life. You know, cigarettes, pepsi, food, milk (he mentioned milk himself while we were discussing how he doesn't have to get anything done himself. I thought it a bit weird, but hey, everyone has their needs.), and his brother buys him the other necessity in life, marijuana. So he doesn't have to work for shit. After fighting about how he needs to know how to take care of himself off and on for about 10 years now, I decided to dedicate my time to helping him get his drivers license. He seems to be neutral about the whole thing. He knows he needs help getting started in life because he doesn't really know how, and he's pretty lazy. If i hold his hand and walk him through this, I'm hoping that he'll keep walking when i let go.... i hope.

My roommate, who also has been without a job the past 6 months and occupies most of his time playing star wars galaxy, is becoming quite the lump himself. He turned down a job 40 minutes away making $7.00/hour cause "I can work at McDonalds for $7.00/hour" he says. So I bet him $100.00 that he couldn't find a job in 5 days making $7.00/hr. (he has a little money from tax returns still, so he was good for the $100). Wouldn't you know, he found a damn job as a telemarketer making $7.10/hr. It was probably the best hundred dollars I ever spent I suppose, but now I'm broke. At least I am feeling good about what I am spending my time doing, now. That's more than I could say a year ago.

The word of the day is copacetic, but, I wish it had a different, less happy, meaning. It snowed again, this time is shocked even me. I really though spring had sprung, but I guess not. Freak blizzards come all year round, March had it coming. To make the best out of the dreary snow, two classmates of mine and I decided to go sledding after dark.

We took trays from the cafeteria and walked to the hill that has signs that say "No Sled Riding". We broke the rules. I heard that a few months ago security would have chased you off the hill, but since everyone is sick of the snow I don’t think they expected anyone to infiltrate their network of defense (aka. the signs). We had a blast. I volunteered to roll down the hill to pack the snow in, and by the time I got to the bottom I had the spins. I stood up and couldn’t for the life of me walk a straight line. Seriously, after I rode down the hill the first time and walked back up I saw my footprints in the snow and it was a series of nice half moons.

College life so far has rock. As of this posting the only other antic I have participated in was running across the Quad barefoot in a foot and a half of snow. I'll have to daylog that later.

Larry and Jean Elliott were good people.

They had spent the past 25 years of their life doing missionary work in Honduras, mostly providing clean water sources for local villages. They were humanitarian workers first, and good Baptists second. They were always cordial and polite, and you couldn't meet a nicer pair of grandparents in the world.

When I first heard that the Elliotts had been killed in Iraq, I was somewhat shocked, but only slightly so. The telltale violence that continues to ebb and flow in the security-ravaged country has been well-documented, and they were really just "onesies and twosies", to use an American military term for isolated target killings of foreigners. But what upset me was that they were there trying to help, doing the things I would never have the bravery or fortitude to go about doing. They were going to set up another one of Larry's by now routine water purification systems when they were ambushed and killed by gunmen.

The Elliotts' daughter Gina is my optometrist; her husband Chu is my dad's business partner. (They also left behind three adorable grandchildren.) I had only met the Elliotts once, at a small function for the office, and they immediately showed more interest in me than was really necessary. They seemed so charming and down to earth - a lot of missionaries have this almost self-delusory ego of righteousness about them - and I was very surprised to hear about their adventures in Honduras, where they had endured two hurricanes and numerous earthquakes to provide water to over 100 villages and cities in the area.

And now they're just one more statistic in the ever-growing quagmire of Iraq. I hope that maybe they didn't die in vain, that this will only energize more people to go and help the people in Iraq who need it most, but somehow I doubt it. Somehow I think this unconscionable violence will continue on into the ages, long after me and mine. But I'm really only writing this unplanned eulogy to remind you all that the Elliotts really were on a single mission: to help others. Sometimes it's all you can do.

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