"So what're you doing tonight?"

"Nothing much. I'll probably just sit at home and watch a video or something. No real plans."

"I'll be at your place at seven-thirty. I will be well-dressed and I will have dinner reservations at a very nice restaurant. When I come to pick you up, you will be dressed accordingly and ready to go or I will go alone and miss the fact that you aren't with me. The ball is in your court and it's entirely your choice." Click.

Five minutes later, the cell phone starts to ring. It is our mutual friend, Jessica.

"Howdy, sweetheart. News travels fast, eh?"

"This is a bad idea, Jay. You're pushing too hard. Call her back and tell her you were just joking."

"I absolutely will not do that. And at seven-thirty we'll see just how bad or good an idea this really is. I've got to run, darlin'. Plans to make and things to do. Love as always. I'll talk with you later."

I dress in my best clothes, things they'd never seen me wear before. I am clean-shaven, smell good and look better than I have in years. For three weeks solid, since they last saw me, I have been doing sixty push-ups on a daily basis- thirty in the morning and thirty before bed- and some light jogging after breakfast. I haven't smoked a cigarette in two weeks and the smell of smoke has been expunged from my wardrobe. I do not look "buff", but definitely well-toned. My general appearance is more... presentable.

They both call me a few times throughout the day and I do not answer the calls. I hold firm to my prediction that at seven-thirty we will see precisely how hair-brained this scheme really is. I am nervous as hell that there will be a blow-out and harsh words hurled at me, but I steadfastly believe that this is exactly what the doctor ordered, as it were. Not just for me, but for her, too.

I have made reservations at a local French restaurant, a four-star establishment that will cost me a pretty penny, but I've heard nothing but good things about the place. Life has been good for me lately, the new job, and I can now afford it. Dad has loaned me the use of his car, which is much nicer than my own and much newer, too. I stop at a florist to buy three long-stemmed red roses and a very quaint box of high-quality imported chocolates.

I arrive at their house right on time, get out and swing the roses and candies behind my back. I walk up to the door and rap twice, not forcefully, but loud enough to announce myself. Then I close my eyes.

I hear silence for several long seconds and then I hear the door open. I slowly open my eyes and see her standing before me. She looks utterly beautiful, divinely so. The straight-lined black dress she is wearing fits her perfectly and her make-up is so understated that you'd never know she was wearing any, but her natural beauty definitely looks enhanced and glowing. She is staring at me with her jaw hanging open, shocked that I have cleaned up so nicely for her. Whatever words she might've chosen before my arrival are now gone from her mind.

I casually hold out the trio of roses and then follow them up with a supplication of chocolates. "Leave the chocolates for later," I tell her, "and put two roses in your room. But bring the third rose with you, to smell it every few minutes whenever you start to wonder if this is really happening." I flash a confident smile at her, show off my recently rebuilt teeth with pride.

She quietly takes the gifts and obeys as though she has been hypnotized, stunned beyond the capacity for argument. When she returns she is holding one of the roses and its petals are bunched up under her nose while she sniffs at them in a bewildered state.

"Ready?"

She nods. I hold the door open for her, walk her to the car, open the car door and present the seat to her with a slight flourish.

"Entrez-vous, mademoiselle."

She gets in silently and as she sits down, pauses to look at me as though she is about to ask what I've done with the real me. But she sagely remains mum. She doesn't know what to expect, but so far, just five minutes into the evening, I've been a perfect gentleman.

"You look beautiful," I tell her just before I close the door and deny her the opportunity to respond.

I casually step around to the driver's side of the car and get in without a word. I start up the vehicle and we're off. Out of the corner of my eye, I see that she is looking at me with that same mystefied expression on her face. When I glance past her to see if a car is coming as I am about to turn onto the road, I see that her eyes are twinkling madly with possibly a hundred or so questions.

I simply smile at her and say, "I mean it. Gorgeous. And in case you're wondering, I've had a really, really good month. I feel like a new man. Just roll with it and enjoy the evening."

"Uhm... okay. I think." She wants to poke and prod, but she respects my privacy enough not to. I will tell her in good time what's been going on. Before that, though, I am hungry as a bear and want to eat in the company of this beautiful woman next to me.

We arrive at the restaurant without incident or meaningful conversation. The extent of our interpersonal exchange during the whole trip there are occasional glances at one another and small, embarrassed smiles, but nothing of substance is really said. She makes a few half-hearted attempts at conversation, but I always say the same thing: "Later." Calmly and assuringly. We will talk later. Right now, it's time for dinner.

We are seated quickly, even though we are early. The table isn't the best in the house, but that is fine with me. As we take our seats, the waiter approaches. His accent is heavily French. Before I am completely seated, I look squarely at him.

"Deux vins, sil-vous plait. Toute suite." I produce a folded ten-dollar bill and hand it to him. "Et, garcon, merci."

The waiter looks at the folded bill and nods. "Merci, monsieur."

I finish seating myself. "De rien," I respond. "Il n'ya pas de quois." The waiter leaves quickly to fetch us two glasses of wine and some bread.

Linda looks at me like I am an alien. "Since when do you speak French?" she asks me.

"Since high-school. Two years of it."

"And when, exactly, did you graduate from high-school?"

"Class of ninety-two."

"So you've known how to speak French for twelve years?"

"Well, if you include my first year, it's thirteen years, but yeah."

"I had no idea....."

"Well... now you do. The question is: do you want to know more?"

"About...?"

"Me. And are you willing to let me learn more about you?"

She is silent for many long moments before she answers. The waiter reappears and presents the cork to me while Linda contemplatively sniffs at her rose some more. I accept the cork and sniff it idly. The bouquet is rich and full and the odor of alcohol is barely evident. I give him a nod and he pours two glasses halfway for us.

When we are alone again, she asks, "Why?"

I arch my eyebrows. "Why? Because you're an incredible woman. You're lovely, smart, kind, generous, strong, independent, sexy and alone. And that, my dear, is a terrible combination. Such a woman should never be alone if she doesn't want to be. And you haven't wanted to be alone for months now. Frankly, Linda, I'm tired of hearing you bitch about it. So. This is me, telling you, that you don't have to be alone anymore if you don't want to be." I hold up my glass of wine. "Tomorrow is an unwritten chapter. Tonight is the pen. Here's to writing well."



*sigh*

It's nice to dream, isn't it?

Not a good day.

1: I promised my manager too much.
At work, we just had layoffs and a big reorganization. Now I'm on a new team, working on something special. That part is good, because if I'm lucky I may get to take business trips to Japan. What's bad is that I have to transition all my old work. I came up with an outline for a very comprehensive document that my manager and I could use to transition the work. Now I've got to deliver that big, stinking document. I am just way too stressed out on such a rush job that I don't even officially have to care about anymore. I could have just been irresponsible and had no care in the world for whoever would inherit my old tasks, but no, I had to shoot my mouth and give a good sales pitch for this document I proposed. Lame.

2: A book cover I could do without
Why oh why did Hunter S. Thompson have to go and stick a picture of his bare ass on the back of Kingdom Of Fear? I am glued to my laptop writing a document for work all weekend long. Kate suggested we get out of our apartment and go to a cafe. I'd work on my document, and she'd read my copy of Kingdom Of Fear to pass the time. But the whole time, I was cringing as she'd lift the book up and show off Hunter's ass to the rest of the cafe. I'm too modest to like such things. But that book is too precious, so it's not like I could remove the cover. Kate gave me silly looks every time I tried to grab the book and turn the book cover inside out, and never let me fix the problem.

3: Weekends aren't for working
Another sunny weekend in beautiful San Diego, California wasted away as I toil on work. Not even enough time to get in a game of golf, or anything. I'm so pissed off about it that now I can't sleep!

There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about. --Oscar Wilde.

It was not by design but by accident that one of the biggest wars I have ever seen (on-line) kicked off.

A small and under-rated Goth-blog posted a small but interesting rant. The ranter used such words as mammiferous and patricidal in the same sentence and slagged of not only a little known and offensive band but also the fans of said immature kids. The entire sentence was in fact:
The mammiferous obsession of many an adolescent is temporally bypassed by the plebeian patricide inclinations of the teen fans.
Not perfect English but definitely showy.

The ranter was well pleased with his comic creation and showed his friends (myself included) and one friend showed a girl who he fancied. This girl was a fan of said little band. (you can see where this is leading).

The girl posted a message on the fan forum packed chock full of angry Cool goth kiddies wearing all black and the result was an over night success - six jammed pages of rant in their forum spilled into war when the users found their swear-word filled flames deleted from the blogs comments section.

It might have ended there but for the implementation of the challenge. A self important DJ challenged the Goth Blog to a Blog-duel! So the Goth Blog complete with it's users powerful command of long words proceeded to make the DJ look a little silly.

Somehow another Blog writer got involved and wrote a few posts on the both as judge and referee. At the same time an angry band member swore he'd get vengeance if only someone could find the Goth's email address. The Goth obliged the ranter with said hotmail address.

A very funny post followed when the ranter couldn't use the email address due to not understanding the underscore character "_".

Then another (band member this time) started a blog just to slag-off and denounce the single post and it's author.

In the end there were some four or five blogs, a forum and goodness knows who else commenting publicly on a single post in an unheard of blog.

The poor under-educated ranters started to pale in the face of words such as puerile, esculence and coquetting. I must admit that even I had reached for the dictionary by this stage.

The last new news I heard was that slash Goth had an article submitted on the subject. This debate has spread across the world and back like a virus on speed.

Re-reading the whole thing now I am stuck by the variation of Regional information available to non-Goths on the topic of Goths. There seemed to me to be a typically teen-age Atychiphobia (fear of failing) in the angry response from the band and the fans or perhaps more accurately Allodoxaphobia (fear of opinions).

The goths have also posted a copy of the flame to end all flames which the bands fans did not get.

In a weak moment I found myself thinking that this truly was a vindication of the authority of fathers to beat total numb-nut teens until respect is learned.

But the sociology aside for a moment - there is an interesting side effect to all this and I wonder if the Goths knew this from the start. All these blogs commenting and posting links has of course resulted in a jump in the google rank and blogshare.com value of this tiny on-line personal journal. It has raised in my mind new questions as to the nature of fame, self promotion and the power of the individual to shake things up.

Interestingly today: I also found that one of the bands fans hate started a hate Blog dedicated to the goths and thier defenders. It seems it is just starting to heat up.
The article that sparked it all: http://artofpain.blogspot.com/2004/05/and-now-nu-death-metler-skata-goth-it.html

Happy Birthday to me. I'm 26 today.

My mother has been in town visiting all week, which has been a nice change of pace. I don't get out of the house very much anymore, so anything that pushes me out the door is a good thing. We took the architecture boat tour here, and I ended up knowing a lot more about the buildings downtown than I thought I did. I suppose I have gathered a bit of knowledge about this place than I thought I had.

Being around my mother brings forward many issues that I don't think very much about anymore. My mother has a passive aggressive way of describing my childhood, which I have ignored for years. How I had such a miserable childhood because I was the middle child. How she never paid me any attention. I don't fight with her about it because she wouldn't be able to see things from my point of view. I will not bring up her 20-year nervous breakdown. I do not tear down her limited, sheltered perspective of the world. These things, while not quite water under the bridge, are beyond discussion. I spent too many years getting to the point where I could talk to her again to throw it all away in one misguided conversation.

Besides these few months of tension, things have been good. It is interesting to see my mother traveling without my father, as they are usually inseparable for one reason or another. We have taken her out for food that my father simply would not abide, and taken her places where my father would have been completely bored. Today has been very low key so far, because I have run out of things that I want to do. Tomorrow, I'll take her out to Oak Park and take in some Wright homes.

I've had better years, all things considered: surgeries, getting fired, all that crap. I'm very much looking forward to the next one, as things are looking up. This time next year should see things squared away for the move back home. There's a lot to look forward to.

By last report in these pages, I was a grouchy old man in a drunken moment of clarity. In the appendage to said writeup, I asked my fellow everythingians to pray for me to get a lesson in love, and you all must have done your part, cause I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my loveless existance! It started out as someone just shaking my little snow globe of life up a little, and ended with it shattered on the floor.

I recently attended a 3 day music festival called Bonnaroo, though it was really about 5.5 days worth. We left Columbus Wednesday evening for an all night drive to a 5 a.m. rendezvous with our group from all over the country in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Manchester, Tennessee. If you ever have a caravan of people driving somewhere, I highly sugggest you all have walkie-talkies. It is the most entertaining thing for a driver to have. We were making up code names and every time we would get done talking, we'd say "ernie" instead of over.

Green Hornet: "Black Mama, you still pickin up the rear? ernie."
Black Mama: "You know that's just the way I like it! ernie"

We proceeded together as a group into the festival. Where you park is where you camp. I'm not sure if you realize how impossible of a job it is for 9 cars to end up parking next to eachother and setting up camp together in a crowd of 92,000 people. There are so many merges and seperations and checkpoints that were opposing our mission, it seemed impossible. Thanks to the radios, we were able to block our way through. One of our trucks would pull out and act like it stalled out and everyone else would go while he couldn't start is truck again. SNEAKY!

To sum up the festival, it was 4 days of freedom from the monotony of life. It was 4 days of drug-induced chaos and harmony all under one big sky, and everyone was selling something. There were 23 of us in our camp, probably one of the biggest groups to collectivly show up. I knew about 6 or 7 of them, so this was gonna be interesting. I liked everyone for the most part, though there was one who shimmered in almost any light. She was the kind of person you just wanted to know more about, and I went on a mission to know as much about her as possible. It turned out that we were both most excited about the same performer, so that set things in motion quite well.

Sunday was the day to outshine all other days. It started out as any other of the three days since this crazy festival began... more than a little disoriented from lack of sleep and still drunk and stoned from the night before (thought days didn't really have much seperation with the lack of sleep), and ended up being the best day of my life. The funny thing is that I can't even tell you why. Ok, yes I can... it was her.

If timing is everything, then Sunday was everything. I've never seen such a day so seemingly scripted to be perfect in all my 9130 days on this planet. We shared so much with eachother... and it all came so naturally! I've never met someone whom I could so freely communicate with. A barage of connections... crescendos and decrescendos... we fed off eachother brilliantly! My heart sang as loudly and freely as it had ever had with her that night. She asked me if I had ever seen the state.... my all-time favorite sketch comedy show. I ask people that... and they always say no! We ended up sleeping together in her 2 day old hammock tied up between 2 trucks marking the front of our camp site. We were both naked, yet wrapped up in our own blankets. She was so wonderful that there was no way I could cheapin the day by making any sort of sexual advances. I was revelling in the warmth and company of such an amazing female that I neglected to sleep nearly at all, which was ok by me. Truely the best day of my life.

Sumetros
All it took was a day we conquered for me to see...
all it took was your extatic grin
coupled with the amazing way you made that swing spin
as lightning erupted in the sky behind each child-like thrus of your legs and body,
calling to me, symmetry.

I wish I could tell you more...

The next morning was pack up and go time. The magic of that amazing evening (and the mushrooms) had somewhat faded. You see, after bonnaroo, she was moving to Idaho to be with someone she had known for a few years. They were going to take their relationship to the next level. So our experience became that of the unspoken, though there was no doubting the amazement of what had happened, at least in my mind. I didn't want to let this one just slip back into the void of unknown, so I just made a promise to myself to be a friend.

She was going to columbus to pack up her things and meet up with her boyfriend and then it was off to Idaho. She ended up not meeting up with him and I squeezed another day together out of the whole scenario. She showed me alot of her artwork that she had done over the years. SHE IS GREAT! I was so impressed, though I could tell that she wasn't the biggest fan of her own work. I ended up staying the night there next to her in her bed. Again, nothing sexual. Not that I'm not attracted to her. She's equally as beautiful as she is intellegent and creative. But beauty doesn't make me feel the way I feel about her. It's something all together different. The next day had several interesting happenings, but for the most part, we hung out till her boyfriend showed up. Then I left, staying long enough to introduce myself. It was home to massillon.

After I got home, I stopped off at the local Wal-mart to drop off several rolls of film. While I was waiting in the parking lot, I decided to take the left-over mushrooms. GREAT IDEA! I had a little left from the festival, not too much to do any real damage, just shift my perspective a little. It ended quite nicely, although I was no longer with her anymore.

Back to work was the worst thing ever. I could no longer lie to myself about how bad my job really was, but back to work I went. I got home from work that night to one of the weirdest emotions I've felt to this day. I had about 9 messages on my answering machine and a note sticking out of my shoe right next to the door on the table from my mom:

Nick, the girl that you met at the concert has come up missing.
You were the last one seen with her.
Call your brother at work, a detective wants to talk with you.

My heart hit the fucking floor. I NEVER GOT TO TELL HER HOW TRUELY AMAZING SHE WAS... HOW RIGHT SHE MADE ME FEEL! I knew that the probability of her being dead wasn't likely. She seemed like a girl who could take care of herself. Then several things started popping into my head. Maybe the jealous boyfriend killed her. Maybe she couldn't leave without seeing me again and tried to come and find me. None really likely, but I allowed my mind to entertain them for a short time none the less.

So I called my brother, who thought I might be missing with her, calmed him down a bit and got the detective's phone number and talked to him for about 20 minutes. I laid it all out for him, too. I told him that if it was just between he and I, I'd spill the beans. He got way more information that he could have possibly wanted/imagined. I told him everything... from the best day of my life to being broken apart by her dissappearance. He didn't really seem to think I killed her or anything so I felt a little better, but the most amazing woman I had ever met was still missing.

I got her phone number through much difficulty, and called her cell phone to leave a message telling her to call me if she got the message. She eventually did, and she was fine. Her mom just freaked out about nothing. It was so good to hear her voice... she was alive! We talked for a few minutes and then she had to go. The added drama just made me want to tell her how important she was to me, but given her current situation and my past for ill-timing, I decided that I would just let the chips fall where they may. Everything will work out just as it needs to. I just didn't know how hard it would be to harbor these emotions and not get wrapped up in them. It's a struggle that I'm willing to endure just to be part of her life... to know her.

I ended up getting let go from my job about 5 business days later. I hated that place any fucking way. They just got me the hell out of there. After about 4 days of contemplation on what the fuck to do with my life, I decided that it was time to leave my flypaper town known as massillon for bigger and better things. My brother's roommate was moving out, and a job opportunity opened up at the taxi company he works for, so I took off. It was probably the most spontanious thing I have ever done. Now here I sit in Columbus, Ohio. I feel like I just jumped into my brother's life and now I'm riding his wave. I don't have a bed and have been sleeping on the hard wood floor for the past 2 weeks. It sucked when I didn't have any blankets to sleep on, but I do now and the kennel sores have since healed. Since I recently moved, I don't have many friends here. Today is my birthday, and no one is making a big deal about it. That sucks a little, but I'll be ok. I have to go to work now. I had no idea what I would be in for working for a taxi company. There are some crazy fuckers here. I'm way too personal a person for this city!

So that about brings you all up to speed for the moment. I've been trying to daylog these events for about a month now, but my computer is mauled and I've been busy as hell. I wish I could get more in depth about things, but I can't use this computer too much longer. Maybe when I get my computer fixed I'll get a little more in depth. I'd like to thank all those who prayed for me to get a lesson in love. No pain no gain! I feel great though... in the most odd of ways.

She's Taryn, my world apart...
and it's tearin' my world apart

How many times have you witnessed or heard a bird hitting a window? How many times in your life? Think about this one.

Got an answer?

Now, how many times have you see it happen twice in two days (one each day) at the same window?

Anybody?

Well, that's what has happened at my house. Yesterday while putting groceries away I just so happened to be looking at the dirty kitchen window and WHAM! a dark-colored bird smacked into it. I assumed it flew off and went back to what I was doing. But I looked outside my deck doors later and saw it lying there on the deck, on its back, twitching. We put gloves on, went out, checked it out, and put a dish of water out for it. It eventually lifted its head up. Eventually it began to move. It was still there this morning, but when I got home from work today it was not. It either flew off or got eaten.

But then, not more than five minutes after I was home WHAM! another bird smacked into the same window. This one flew off, though.

What are the odds of that, I ask you?? What are the odds??? Is it a sign of death as the superstition goes?

Well, whatever it is, it's kind of freaky. If there are any birds reading this, please, steer clear of my kitchen window. It's the small one in the back of my house above my deck. You'll be doing yourself a favor.

There's this piece of classical music that I've heard a few times whose title or composer elude me. I assume it's a classical work, for a fairly shaky reason (see below), and not a "showtune" or Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

I believe it to be a work intended for the piano as I heard it being played on one of those kiosks at a Fry's store (in the classical music section). I've also heard it performed by a chamber orchestra as incidental music in an episode of The Simpsons; it was repeated several times throughout the episode, and it was played during some sad bits.

It's a slow, sad tune.

I have this Classical Masterpieces of the Millenium boxed set (given as a gift) with twenty fucking CDs full of music by twenty classical composers. Not one of them has the tune I'm trying to dig up.

Grrr.

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