This is my last weekend all to myself. Looks as though I'll be gainfully employed soon.

Seems that the past year of my life wasn't entirely wasted - between E2, IRC, and many, many hours frittered away playing a diabolically addictive MMORPG, I've upped my typing wpm from about 20 to almost 60. This is good news, as I have no other discernable marketable skills.

So I got hired - sort of. I still have one final interview at a doctor's office. I went in today for a few hours to get a feel for the place, and it seems just busy enough to keep me from goofing off on the internet and just slow enough to facilitate my re-entry into Real Life ®.

So it is incumbent upon me to spend the next forty-eight hours ministering to the Gods of Mindless Entertainment by raptly absorbing several PPV movies that I missed in their theatrical runs.

This afternoon I watched Sin City, the Robert Rodriguez splatterfest based on the comics by Frank Miller. I don't think I blinked much. And damn, I really missed the party.

This is a film that was created for midnight showings in Dolby Surroundsound, meant for popcorn with extra butter, custom-designed for a date with that awesome Comic Book-Obsessed Geeky Ex-Boyfriend With Whom You Were Really Better Off As Friends But For Whom You Still Have The Occasional Hots. It's cinema that sounds as nasty-cool as it looks, with lots of bone-crunching fights and throaty hookers and whiskey-voiced antiheroes choking on their own blood and teeth. It's as slick and empty and ultraviolent as a psychopath's wet dream.

It's a film that should ideally be followed by a boilermaker chaser at That Dive Bar You Used To Go To Back In The Day Because The Bartender Was Way Sexy. It's pulpy and graphic and gross and sexy and gritty and above all a film meant to be shared with people who, like you, have a bit of a twist in their wiring.

So it wasn't really a good film to watch on PPV alone on a Friday afternoon. But it was fun anyway - a guilty kind of fun, mind you, like getting drunk all by yourself on cheap vodka and self-pity in a dim bedroom while reading letters from your ex.

Not that I'd know that feeling or anything.

I'm sure that, considering the preponderance of Geeky Guys And Girls On E2 With Whom I'd Secretly Enjoy A Brief Yet Meaningful Tryst, Sin City has been lovingly dissected here on our virtual pages. Hopefully by Walter, our reigning king of film. I didn't check, but I trust in our collective geek consciousness that the film has received its due here on our little intarweb outpost.

The sad truth is that I married my Comic Book-Obsessed Geeky Ex-Boyfriend With Whom I Was Really Better Off As Friends But For Whom I Still Have The Occasional Hots. And the sadder truth is that I can't call him up and ask him to go to a film, because when we exploded we fell back to earth with a giant sickening thud from which there can be no recovery at all, ever. And I miss my friend.

Back when we were having lots of contented illicit sex in his grungy old apartment, he had an entire bedroom wall covered with comic books he'd lovingly encased in plastic comic book condoms. He had an armchair artist's eye for color and detail, and a number of the meticulously arranged covers on that wall were from Frank Miller's Sin City cycle. They were stark and arresting and irresistible, like razor blades and dirty girls who wear too much black eyeliner.

I asked him about the stories (tell me a story, Sam, please would you tell me a story?), and I vividly remember a snowy night in a chilly room on top of a tatty afghan. I wasn't cold because I was in his arms. He laughed a languid gravelly antiheroic postcoital laugh. He lit a cigarette and murmured smoky pulp fiction storylines into my ear until I was sleepy and drunk on good sex and dangerous stories, drifting on a bloodwarm tide of illusion and afterglow. The snow outside was falling softly, softly falling, and my soul swooned slowly as I heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of our last end, upon all the living and the dead.

And I fell asleep in that precise state of blissful indolence that descends only after gorging on hours of sex with your best friend, a state that's banked to a delicious slow burn by an unshakeable, untested faith in pulp fiction fairytales, the ones where the dame finally lands the hardboiled guy and they live Slightly Sordidly Ever After.

So this movie was bittersweet, but mostly bitter, and not very sweet at all. Some of it tasted remarkably like tears.

Maybe The Ring 2 will be more fun. And less fraught.

I think I need a job from my vacation.

Well, I'll be damned. I finally checked, and Walter, my man, you did not let me down.

I once interviewed Cletus the Foetus for a university newspaper. When I asked him about his philosophy and his local notoriety as a card-carrying Satanist, he chose to describe his approach as "contrarian".

This was about 4-5 years ago. I was a much quieter person back in the day.

But something is changing in the past few months, and I feel myself growing closer to being what Cletus has described: contrarian.

Meaning (and this is my interpretation, not necessarily what he intended):

I enjoy debating now. Sometimes, I like debating the other side of someone's argument just because I like to have fun with the other person and get a challenge going! But I also like to ask questions and get the clearest idea of what they believe. I can't settle with surface anymore.

I am also developing a much more reduced tolerance for the bullshit of others, and I am learning how to not get inundated in it to the point where I lose myself in there.

Now, I say this is a new thing, but mostly in the outward manifestation. I have always been a skeptic, a questioner, a debater. I made for a poor sunday school pupil, for example! I annoyed teachers with my questions. I still cannot align myself too much with any creed or religion.

But school and adolescence made me retain that inwardly. I started just going along with the opinions and suggestions of others, whether I really believed in what I was doing or not. Lots of kids go through that. There are always the wonderful, brave, composed ones who get through without ever compromising, but most kids choose being liked over being themselves.

Not anymore.

And I think this is what is meant, in part, with the concept of "growing up".

I'm just slightly freaked out right now.

Because it's nice to have something stupid to read at work, I subscribe to the Craigslist rants & raves list. For the last few days some guy has been posting the same thing over and over again, some stupid rant about how twentiesomethings are idiots, etc, in list form. One of these said "If you have nothing cogent to say that has not already been said, shut up". It was annoying me that whoever this was kept spamming the list with the same thing over and over (and when I thought it was so stupid to start with). So I replied, pointing out this particular rule of theirs, and mentioning that "Perhaps you should consider taking your own advice."

An hour or so later, I'm sitting around and two emails pop into my mailbox. Two emails from two different anonymous remailers. I deleted them (which was stupid), but the contents were roughly:

"I hate to be the one to break it to you but it's bad news. We both have AIDS."

"You fucked up bad this time, asshole...."

Several things make this seem like bad news. First, they like taking things personally. Secondly, they know my name and I don't have any fucking clue who they are. The worst part, I think, is that they knew to use an anonymous remailer. Which probably means they've done this before, and more likely than not, that repeat posting of somewhat inflammatory content was a lure to get people to reply, giving this guy (I would assume it's a guy... I have met very few women with serious anger issues) a target to take whatever fucked up issues he's got out on. Though I got to say, the "We have got AIDS" thing is just weird.

This is probably nothing. He is probably out there now subscribing me to lots of spam lists or something stupid like that (I'm sure Spamassassin will handle the load fine). But, even still. I looked around carefully and made sure my new address doesn't show up anywhere (online resume, whois records, etc). I mean, fuck. What if this guy starts stalking me, or trying to cause me problems, or some nutty shit like that. But, yeah, it's probably nothing.

Making the matters worse, right before receiving those emails I had constructed a bong. I had never done this before - I'm sure most people first do this in high school, assuming they ever do it at all. It's about as cheap as you can get... a Bic pen I stole from work today (I prefer nice pens that unfortunately don't double as bong ingredients), a Nestea bottle, some foil to bridge between the Bic and my pipe, and some orange gum I chewed up to seal the bottle. It worked great, I was really pleased given how half-assed the overall construction was. And it's kind of fun to make random shit like that, just junk basically, but it's something you made. For some reason, probably because it got me extremely high in one hit, I feel a great sense of affection and pride for this bong right now.

Anyway... so yeah. Miserable weather, really high, and suddenly and unexpectedly threatened. That's my Friday night so far. I feel a little embarrassed to write this, but I think my feelings right now can best be expressed as: I want a hug.

I was at the local supermarket today to shop for the weekend. Bags of groceries, a couple of Kozel beer, snacks... things we, my SO and I, think we need to make it a good weekend.

Right behind us in the check-out queue stood a small girl, about eight or nine years old. She had picked out one Ritter Sport chocolate bar. I had noticed her earlier when I was waiting to pay for my stuff. A little girl with big eyes and hair, slightly tousled. She held on to her chocolate; tightly as not to lose it, but careful not to melt it.

I remember being that age, unlikely as it may seem. I remember Saturdays when it was "candy day", and we - my brother and I - were allowed to eat candy. We would go to the store, and while our mother collected the groceries, we picked out candy.

We weren't allowed to eat it until after dinner. Then we'd sit in front of the TV, and watch cartoons or some show for kids. I always sorted my candy, taking care to touch every single piece (to keep my brother from nicking it). I always kept the best for last, and I always tried to make it last. Never succeeded, though. It was always gone too soon, and I knew I'd have to wait another whole week to get more. Unless... unless we went to visit our grandparents. My grandfather kept some kind of peppermints in a drawer, and when we visited we'd get two each.

The small girl in the check-out line was about to pay for her chocolate. I was standing quite close, and heard the cashier say the dreadful words: 'Is that all the money you've got?'

The girl nodded slowly. The chocolate was in the cashier's hand, the insufficient amount of money was just lying there. The look on the little girl's face was... well. She was 2 Danish crowns short. (That's 0,3 US dollars or 0,18 British pounds!)

So I gave the cashier 2 kr. The little girl flashed me a shy smile and hurried off with her chocolate. And even if doing good deeds can give you - me, at any rate - a really good feeling, this deed in particular mostly made me remember. Good memories. Of when my mother was coherent and my father was alive. Of when life was simple and candy was the hilghlight of the week... Sunshine, somehow, and safety.

Thank you, little girl.

I wrote Fishskin Disease.

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