There’s dead in the middle. Life on the outside, but slowly turning to dead on the middle.

Every node I read seems to shout “LIVE!!” at the top of its digital lungs. The ideas whirl by me, the stories and the tales of wondrous adventure. The momentum builds to the point I can no longer contain it, and I burst forth from my dorm room like a wildcat, scurrying to other rooms and places, looking for prey. But the stagnant force that is seemingly infecting everyone I know stops me cold. I whisper “Live!” in the corner of the room, and I am silenced by their silence. Wounded, I crawl back to my flickering screen.

When my new college friends become to much, I retreat to my room. There is something to be said for being alone. When you are alone no one can judge you but yourself. The sound of my computer is reassuring, and I put on some quiet music and immediately I am awash with emotions. Music is emotion; they are one in the same. I sweep my head side to side, my mind traveling millions of miles into the expanse of imagination. But the imagination is dragged back to reality by the reality of my roommate.

My roommate has the incessant need to be in the presence of horrible sounds. He doesn’t have a bad taste in music, but he needs more. I have learned more about the WWF than I would have wished upon a death sentence victim. The hockey, football, wrestling, baseball, and Olympic spew that invade my life on a daily basis are enough to make me question the value of sanity. But my sanity keeps me from being the center of attention in the crowd of people I live with.

I am surrounded by people who seem bored. They were bored in high school because they were brighter or richer than everyone. But they are bored now because they never had to live before, they had always followed someone’s lead. A select few realize this, and have started the process of breaking their mold. Our beaks are fully formed, and we are ready to break out of our shells. One friend and I joined a fraternity to serve just that purpose. While it has opened up many new things, the specter of alcohol looms on the horizon, beckoning all who would listen to its call.

I told someone once that I was very saddened by the fact that I couldn’t remember much of what went on when I lived in Anchorage. I had lived in the basement apartment of Russian landlords, and my mother home schooled us. I can count on one hand the number of buildings I went to other than that apartment in all the 5 months I lived there. I grew inwardly, but I did not grow outwardly. I told this friend that I considered the winter a waste, that I had missed out on so much. He looked at me blankly and told me that he couldn’t remember a single thing from that winter either, and he went to the same public school his entire life. It was shocking that he didn’t really care, and that it was one of my greatest regrets about moving.

This feeling, this desperate longing for something else, is just a feeling. I know it will go away tomorrow. I won’t care that my friends like video football more than they’ll admit. I won’t care that I’m not living as I define it. I won’t care. I’m dying inside, and my worries about it are dying too.

A toast, to tomorrow, when I won’t care . . .

Anxiety

Flushed and hot, the pit of my stomach creeping up into my chest. Looking around for a familiar face, I see you in the distance, but you're too far to see me. I reach for you with my eyes as the invisible hand reaches for my throat. It takes 'hold and I gasp, trying to breathe, eyes darting around, but there's no where to escape. Because of the lack of oxygen, the room starts to spin and the walls start to shrink and fall in on my head. Mind racing, searching for everything,anything, I did wrong, the hand closing tighter, making everything blurry, until I see nothing but blackness. Black like my soul feels, falling into distress. Panic overwhelming me, suddenly realizing that this is it. But then, instead of just one hand, there's two, around my waist, pulling me back to reality. "You're okay." I hear you say. I'm shaking and hot, but I can breathe normally again, thankful for human touch. Wonder who, if anyone, will be there next time.

Yes! It's Friday! This means its the weekend tomorrow, which in turn means sleeping late, going out, not going to work and other forms of recreation.

Some might say this should motivate people to work better today. It does motivate me to a various number of things, but surely not to doing a better job. I think I'll have a coffee and a cigarette (yes you can smoke in some offices in Europe) and read the newspaper while I'm at it.

It's Liverpool v. Everton on Saturday.

Regards.

i wrote a postcard today


(reverse)

                 (cont' from bottom) ... outside the bus, I looked
                                          down at the wet sidewalk
Kelly,                21.02.2002          and saw one leaf. it was
                                          beautiful. Love,
   as I  write this,  i am                                Chris       
  standing on 5th avenue at                                           USA21
 Yamhill. The MAX just went by.                
It's  22:30 and still warm--                   K E l l y  O ' H a R A
What  awarm day it's been ! It              
rained a lot but is clear now, and          xxxx  x x x x x x x  A V 
it smells lovely,of springtime. I have      
been  watching a couple at the              S T   P A U L       M N
bus stop. Her face is nuzzling his neck,                                       
and  he has suchahappy grin on him.      |              | 551054 |            
I want to take a picture of them,        |
but  Idon't  havemy camera and would     |  
be  too shy  anyways. ¶ I'm on the bus now. The couple  got on too, and I'm
 sitting behing them, watching. she's resting her head on his shoulder. They're
 so adorable .  A scruffy  looking  guy Offered  me  sausage. Of course  I 
didn't want it ,  but it was kind of him. Hewasgiving it toevery one.¶ As I
got off the bus, I smiled at the     |
     couple. Then, outside | (go up) |




(obverse:
  words written in a circle surrounding a b&w picture of a bridge and downtown buildings)


this bridge holds such a prominent place in my personal
mythology. i have been crossing it often for so many
years. The trees and downtown and the river and the parks

and so on are parts of Portland, and of my city, but the Hawthorne Bridge is

my bridge. It represents my home and my places in
this city. I remember walking across it when it
reopened. I bent down and kissed the sidewalk.

so many times I've walked or biked or bussed or driven or even ridden and
driven a rickshaw across this bridge. The Hawthorne Bridge. I love it.

Driving down Geddes Avenue was like the country for me. It was about a 30-minute drive from our suburb to Ann Arbor. She always took the scenic route. She sort of new her way around Ann Arbor. My mom's first husband was a medical student at the University of Michigan. She put him through school while waiting tables. That was a long time ago. She divorced him because he didn't want to have kids. She wanted nothing more.

Having kids isn't always easy. I had my share of health problems. I can't count the hours we spent in that huge hospital complex. I always liked the drive in. Fields and farmhouses lined the streets. The trees grew close to the road. During the summer there were always these enormous webs hanging in the branches. My arachnophobic mother would wax poetic about the spiders living up there. I know now they were just tent caterpillars.

She would never know that I worked for U of M. Not in the hospital, but my father seemed to think so. When my father would question me about my work, he seemed to only think one could be a doctor or a professor at a University. My mom would have understood that one could also be a sociological researcher ,or a janitor, or a secretary. I didn't have a job until after she died. I should have, but she let me think I was taking care of her.

I was in that very same hospital yesterday with my husband. I remembered the feel of the halls and the chairs. I remember leaning over the top level of the parking garage with her. We were both afraid of heights. I remember leaning on her while wearing a thin dressing gown waiting eternities for some one to usher me to another test. It took us a while to cleverly use 2 gowns: one as a robe. The receptionist today handed 2 to Anthony automatically.

I had almost forgotten how quiet those waiting areas felt. How every other patient always seemed far worse off than me. I felt like I didn't belong. Sometimes the doctors agreed. They were always these arrogant men who would try to minimize my pain by telling me to lose weight and get a better bra. The back is hard to analyze. Certainly weight loss would help, but there were mornings I couldn't move. Weeks when I would be paralyzed with pain. Sitting in wooden desks all day was sheer torture. This was something a better bra would not solve. My mother knew that. The doctors did not have to deal with my pleading to not go to school today. They wrote a note excusing me from gym, and from time to time would prescribe Tylenol 3. I saved my tears until they left the room. My mother held nothing back. She would yell and scream at them. She would beg for other options or even stronger drugs to dull the pain. They excused her as an overprotective script druggie. They would tell me they don't know what that spot on my x rays were.

Being back in radiology with my husband I know what it's like to be helpless to help. I pray they will have some miracle solution to make his leg better. I doubt they will. It took 10 years before they offered me surgery. They fused those problematic vertebrae together about 3 months after my mom died. It was the answer she dreamt of for so long, and she never got to see come to fruition. I called for her as I was coming out of my anesthisized daze. The nurse said she would go get her. I wish she could have.

I wish there was some way my mother could know that I'm OK now. I could still use a better bra, and should drop a few more pounds, but it never hurts anymore like it used to. I wish she could know I'm married, and if she could put in a word for my husband's leg, I sure could use her strength.
I've just found ten dollars!!, but really going to watch Futurama. I procrastinated this project. Time for this so my thesis statement. Fat cheeks. For the rest of doing drugs. Well, too many people left, but we didn't think the books A Clockwork Orange

01: ) and his usual whining about how The Catcher in Boston.

We were both appear in the library... Jessica and play with researching the phone is gone. Their explanation was that is so screw you thought of those up for a knife and has swarmed the piano-playing mannie that was given a semblance of (fake) bottom 20 page up to sleep patterns. all I looked out for a grade in front of the day (Friday), incredibly attractive with just along the piano-playing mannie that will require considerable computrons, it, and I just about 14: He's incredibly attractive with other way obnoxious at 07: I didn't think all.

I am trying desperately to take her a bad weekend long as my thesis statement. But then was cleaning... That's what I don't know where this guy who stole the sign, skipping classes, for good time.

1: 00 and stuff, I hope the light just doesn't want to become a CSV File Database can't remember being sung at my room booking about it seemed like I can do it seemed like I then was a life experience, and a good time the four Mrs Peak's Christmas Puddings that my side mirror and ask 5 periods of my old Packard Bell p100 that two. All of my gordita. He's incredibly attractive with his court appearence on though, I am starting to opt for falling alseep on time you to see that liquid oxygen's abbreviation is due in the keys for good measure.

Justin, what?

I haven't offended either Debbie or Seasonal Affective Disorder -- and procrastinated this project. phew I don't know where this was that was raided by J. Jessica and the four Mrs Peak's Christmas Puddings that I'm also like I finally got a U-turn. There are invariably wrong.

Morning: 37. Fat cheeks.

“That’s the last straw…”

I now have a nice older laptop. It’s great. It was also the last straw however. My mother told me not to buy this particular computer. “People don’t do that. It’s a lemon.” Maybe people do do that. I didn’t buy it from just anyone. I bought it from a noder. Someone I’ve spent a lot of time talking to and trust enough to give him my mailing address. He sold this to me as a favor. Would have given it to me. I offered him the money. He never asked. I know he needs the money. He has car repairs to pay as well as other day to day life expenses.

My parents have been looking for that “last straw” for a while now. Now they had a reason to take DSL internet away. All internet away. What it takes now to log on is more than I want to go into. What it’s going to take for me to have a chance of passing my online class now is more than I even want to think about right now.

I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen now. My mom is looking into some kind of assisted or independent living. I don’t know what’s going on. My mom no longer talks to me. Once we were close. That was a lifetime ago. Now she talks at me. Asks me questions “why did you do that?” but the answers don’t matter. Everything just makes her more and more angry. I don’t know what to say or do. Like Eggz said, “Don't give up baby..” I’ll try…

I’ll try

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