It´s already past midnight, so I guess the 24th, a new day, although still the old one for me. It´s very hot tonight and because the fact that I live right under the roof where the heat lingers and stays all day and night doesn´t make sleeping easier. A friend of mine just called me and we started talking about a book I had lent her and that she read in a day. She said it is one of the books that you read and that change you. I agree. It´s The Friendship by Connie Palmen,a Dutch writer. I absolutely love her books. But The Friendship is the book that touched me most and made me think about myself and my family. It´s strongly influenced by her own biography, as all of her books are. The Friendship is about addiction mainly. Why some people are addicted to drugs such as alcohol and others to food, the internal and the external, which is represented by the relationship of her/ the narrator and her best friend.

My friend tonight pointed out another passage that had got her thinking about how we react to our friends, that we always try to find faults in them, criticize them, gossip behind their backs in order to elevate ourselves, make ourself untouchable. It´s all protection so we are not the ones that can be hurt. I do that too. I think that most of the time I know exactly why I react the way I react, but sometimes I don´t want to know. Because it´s easier. Because I am not ready to know. Because I need more distance to my own actions to see clearly. I don´t know whether you know The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry, but maybe you remember that passage where he meets the Old King that appoints him to be the justice minister, but the little prince tells him that he cannot stay on his planet he has to move on to save his rose, so the King has to let him go and tells him to judge himself, even though that is the hardest. I think I am somehow off my track ( if I ever was one one ).

My flatmate has gone to stay at her boyfriend`s place which is nice. I like to be alone in our flat, especially on nights like this.

Tonight it seems more than ever that time is not linear, actions ( the ones we can´t control and the ones we try to control ) overlapping..”Make me happier, make me forget the future”.

Since I've returned to Cork, ten days ago, my daily routine has been altered. There is little time to node. Now its after two in the morning but I feel I should drop something of mine into the nodegel.

I miss my girlfriend. She is in London, no doubt asleep and dreaming of modern art and squid. I miss the warm feel of her next to me. The anticipation while I wait for her to join me in bed as I hear the tumult of water in the shower cleanse her.

She was, I think, bemused by the unabashed Irishness of my parents. She stuggled to comprehend the rapid-fire dialect of Cork. The modest size of the city left her bored after a few days, though she was impressed by the Cafes and pubs.

She enjoyed using the swimming pool and gym facilities in Jury's Hotel. There was a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. In the bubbling jacuzzi we were joined by two Rubenesque young women. Air filled my loose swimming trunks so that they assumed obscene proportions.

On the final night of her visit, we did a pub crawl of sorts in Ballincollig. We started in the 'Darby', stopped off at 'Central Station' and finished the evening in the 'Oriel'. The rollicking Irish traditional music in the second pub, designed for thigh slapping and whoops of excitement, left my reserved gf rather amused.

I'm hoping that my thesis progresses apace over the next few months. Things have not been going well over the last year or so. Still, I hope to salvage something from the work I have done. To that end, I better sign off here and catch some kip.

FOOD ADVENTURES

I have been bothered by the lack of crunchy noodles at the fast food Chinese places I usually eat at. I really like to have them when I get hot and sour soup. I complained about this to a buddy at work, and he suggested I go to Chinatown and find a grocery store.

I took the T over to the Chinatown stop, and I walked around for about an hour...looked in several grocery stores, and was about to give up when I spotted a place that was small and looked like a convenience store. It turned out to have these good-sized bags for $1.50, so I bought 3 of them. Woo-hoo!

If only dinner had gone as well. I went to a local Cambridge Mexican fast-food place, Boco Grande. Anyhow, this place specializes in large burritos. However, they do have other stuff on their posted menu. I try to ask for the taco plate, and the server/order-taker basically skips me for 2 or 3 people before actually turning in my order. Already, my friends are upstairs eating.

Meanwhile, these corn tortillas take quite a while to heat up. I am getting excited. After servering three more people who were behind me, he puts my tacos together. I notice that he doesn't put any cheese (called for in the menu). I mention this, and this is a big mistake. They get another worker to go to the back and search for the cheese. This goes on for another 3-4 minutes (we're at about 7-8 minutes waiting. Average serving time is 45 seconds to 1 minute. I wait for a minute and say, hey, don't worry about it. The cashier gets kinda excited and says, "No, we'll get it" to which I reply (in a little louder tone) "I'd like it right now, just give me the food, it's ready". The cashier didn't move, and I said (agitated by now, and its showing), "come on, its been twenty minutes already" (Okay, it has NOT been 20 minutes, but I was cranky and hungry.) The cashier still resists and I say, JUST FORGET IT I don't know what the HELL I meant by this, but the cashier took this as a sign for me to leave. I say "Hey, I want my food, I paid for it". The cashier just points at the door and tells me "LEAVE".

I guess I could have stayed and tried to "stand up for my rights", but I figured since I had raised my voice, I had better leave, lest she call the cops. I darted upstairs where my surprised friends (surprised because I STILL didn't have my food) were and told them, "Okay, they couldn't handle my order so I'm leaving". Then I took off.

On the way out, I stooped to a new low and said "This place sucks!" and the cashier got her parting words in "Don't come back"...

Needless to say, I was angry because of the way I was treated and the fact that I lost my dinner. So I tried to reach the BBB of Cambridge, but there wasn't any. However, the Chamber of Commerce told me of a "Cambridge Consumer Council". The nice man on the other end of the phone listened to my complaint and offered to help me get my money back. I said no thanks, I just needed to vent.

Silly, eh?

Alarm clock went off at 10, I woke up at 2. I needed to be at Wal-mart at 11 to fix their computers, looks like I missed out on what could have been a good job.

So I head into my second part-time job to discover that the comptuers are down. No noding at work today. So I play minesweeper for hours, it being the only intellectual game on the computer that will interest me for more then three seconds.

A couple of students come in for tutoring, which is what I'm supposed to do at this job. I explain logs and conic sections to a few. Also hammer out a few trigonometry problems.

I come home, my school has sent me a bill for 0.00 dollors, and I'm wondering why they wasted the paper or the postage. I call up a guy who answered an add about me and my guitar playing. He wants to sit around and have an acoustic session Wednesday. We'll see what becomes of that. He's supposed to call back, but he doesn't.

So I come online, and this girl I've been fucking is also online. She wants to go out this weekend.

This girl thanks me after sex, and has even gone to the point of telling me I'm great at sex. This has happened with the last three girls I've screwed and it bothers me every time. I can't be that great. I'm not even giving these girls my full attention most of the time. And the girls I've been screwing, are not virgins. Haven't they had a decent screw at some point? Yet I know I'm not teriable enough for them to be saying this out of pity. I guess I should feel good that I'm great at sex, but I already know I'm good and them saying thank you just makes me feel like a cheap whore.

Anyway, this girl wants to go out this weekend, and I'm really thinking about becoming 'busy' for some reason or another. I have nothing against the girl, it's just I think I can do better. Maybe I can find a girl I can thank after sex.

The last few nodes I've been writing have actually gotten positive votes, and I guess I'm getting the hang of noding.

Adventures with Carbon Monoxide
or the lack thereof...

Went into work as usual this evening, ready for another day of delivering piping hot grease in a cardboard box. Monday nights are always rather slow, and tonight was no exception, we were taking maybe eight delivery orders an hour, to be divided between seven drivers. It was a horrible waste of the company's labor money, but the manager that was present didn't have the authority to cut people loose for the night.

All of the cleaning chores were finished in thirty minutes or so, leaving all of us hippies, burnouts, stoners, ravers, and sundry other delivery driver riffraff to our own devices. There was the usual random conversation and bitching about the management, a few people made food for themselves, others read the paper. I mostly paced around the store aimlessly, trying to find some piece of it that I hadn't explored in excruciating detail during one of the other thousand times I've been bored at work.

After a while, I noticed an unmarked light switch on the wall. Hmm ... doesn't go to the store lights, or the bathroom, or the closet, and the oven's on a separate circuit ... where does it go? I set out to solve the mystery the easiest way possible. Click! Nothing happens. Odd, wonder what that means? Click! Click! Click!Click!Click! Even less happens. Sensing that my approach is doomed to failure, I ask the manager what this switch does, giving it an extra couple of clicks for emphasis.

"Oh," he says, "that's the exhaust fan for the oven. Having it on helps us not die of carbon monoxide poisoning." Aha! A new factoid for my internal database of useless restaurant trivia. What's more, a similar switch is probably present in any restaurant with an industrial oven, leading to a potential way an evil person could unleash anarchy on an unsuspecting eatery. I resolve to myself to mention the switch in an e2 writeup at some later date. Not too much later a delivery is up for me to take (my second one of the day after having been at work two hours, woohoo!), so I grab it and head out the door.

When I get back, the restaurant is filled with a troublingly foul reek, somewhere between melting plastic and burning hair. All of the employees are sitting in front of the building, and we have stopped taking orders of any kind. Oops, I think. Like a good little delinquent, I don't mention my earlier investigation of the switch, and it seems to have slipped the manager's mind in the evacuation chaos. He doesn't seem to be worried that the smell might just indicate the presence of CO, and carries on shutting down the computers and turning off the oven. Outside, we're making jokes about how few brain cells he's going to have left, and deciding who will go in and drag him out if he stays silent too long.

Before the GM arrives, a plumbing/heating/electrical repair man (PROUD TO BE UNION, as his bumper sticker says) arrives, and climbs up onto the roof to see what's up. It turns out the air intake fan burnt out, and the exhaust is still working fine. Damn. Back to work. Or at least it would have been if the GM hadn't shown up right then, and let half of us off since the dinnertime rush was over. Thus, I'm out of that shithole two hours early so I can come back and node the adventure. Score!

I was talking to a person I know, who happens to work in the police drug-labs. I was discussing how much I like to code, and how I keep staying up until sun rise. After this, I started listing the varios drawbacks of doing this: the diminishing returns, eyes unfocusing, the way your skin wants to crawl and feel sticky all at once. After about a minute of this, she interrupted me and told me that I was describing some of the symptoms of drug addicts coming down from their high.

To say the least, that got me worried. I don't like drugs, I don't like the way they change me. But I hate to think that despite how much I've tried to avoid then and their effects, I've done worse things to myself. So today I'm going to try and go to sleep at 2200. I wonder what that would feel like.

NY makes my head itch
Perhaps I can squeak this one by the usual people who downvote me :) Regardless, I had an interesting weekend.

Spent 8 hours of it stuck in NY-CT traffic, which either moves at 5 MPH, or 80 MPH. One thing sticks in my mind..I'm coming south on 95, and there is some new lane contruction. I'm looking at the left hand lane, which looks vaguely like another traveling lane, but is actually the left side breakdown lane. Think to myself "I could fit Lilith in there and ditch this traffic (which was moving at a sluggish 65 mph) Glance down at the radio, and look back up as a BMW blows by me at about 70 mph in said lane, and cuts me off as again said lane is narrowing down to nothing (it actually was a breakdown lane, not an unmarked passing lane) I jacked the brakes and swore at the jerk. My instant reaction was to speed up and get on his bumper, but instead I merely flashed my lights and flicked him off. Road rage is no joke, if I hadn't been attacked by the guy I plowed into in florida two years ago, I might have tapped this guys bumper without thinking. Moral of the story: Yes some people are stupid drivers, usually coincides with the relative value of their car. But that doesn't give you the right to be as stupid as they are.

Had an intresting weekend in CT, saw my friend Christy, she was in from California. She almost beat me whebn she saw Lilith, I had to explain every dent and mangled body part (I bought the car off her in June 99 when she moved out there) Christy tried to convince me to move out to Cali. Some day, perhaps, but if Florida people bugged me with their apathy, I think Californians would drive me insane with their shallowness. Am I too judgemental? Probally, but it works for me. We puffed and saw Final Fantasy and Jurassic Park 3 back to back. Final Fantasy is absolutely awesome, I thought it was a marvel of animation. J3 I wouldn't make EDB sit through.

Talked to Isobel in Florida..she says she's slowly planning on moving in with The Dark Jester over the next few months. I apologized for my mistakes I made down there, with her and other friends. Kind of a moot point, but I dwell on my demons, or better put, they dwell in me. Maybe I should stop feeding them and they'll go away.

Jen was just about the saddest girl in the world. She put on a happy face most of the time. So most people did not really see her sadness. I myself did not see it at first. But later I realized how deep her sadness really went.

Jen was 21 when we met, she was the kind of girl who would be so pretty if she would just do something with her hair, (the perm she sported wasn't exactly flattering to her). She talked about her past a lot. Mostly how she used to be in Beauty Pagents and how she was the #1 baton twirler at her college before she dropped out. I could tell right off that she had some minor self esteem issues, (but a lot of girls do, so that didn't turn me off to her).

We met at a small social gathering at her house. I kind of randomly decided to flirt with her. The reception I got seemed lukewarm at best. It wasn't until later that I realized she had taken a liking to me. The friends that I had rode with decided to leave. They asked if I was coming. Jen piped up with, "Don't worry I'll give him a ride home". I figured out a long time ago that when a girl offers you a ride home without you asking it usually means she wants to come home with you.

So Jen came home with me. My first sign of trouble with her was when we started kissing. She stopped me after a second and told me that she had a "thing" about tongues. Basically I shouldn't use my tongue, she said she might use hers, but she gets weirded out when guys use theirs. I was thinking "OK this is odd". So we made out in her weird way. We eventually moved to my bed. We didn't have sex that night, (she said she wanted to get to know me better, and I was fine with that).

We spent the next week together. I got to know her better. That is when I realized that Jen had some serious issues. Mostly sexual, but her self esteem problems where much worse than I thought at first. She eventually told me about the baby she had when she was 13 years old. She seemed so relieved when I was OK with it. We had sex for the first time that night. But Jen wanted to wear a blindfold, she said it was easier that way. (I really should have questioned our relationship at this point). She did take the blindfold off about halfway through. When she did I saw a look that I had never seen before. It was this look of total trust combined with a little fear. Frankly it freaked me out. So much so that I had to stop our sexual act right then and there. Later that night after she thought I was asleep I heard her say, "I Love You", to me.

Over the next month more and more issues arose, I learned of another baby she gave birth to when she was 19. She slept with two of her ex-boyfriends during this time, (I was understanding, and I forgave her). We had sex 4 more times. But it was never normal, something was always weird about it. I began to think she might have been abused as a child, (but she denied that).

I saw Jen as this sad little princess, I wanted so desparately to make her happy. I thought perhaps in giving her happiness I could find a little happiness of my own. But nothing I could do worked. She was like an onion. Everyday another layer of her problems would be peeled back, and I would discover a yet another layer of problems beneath them. There seemed to be no end to it all. Whenever she wasn't playing the sad little girl, she would be playing the dominating, impossible to please bitch. With Jen it seemed that there were only two options, dominate or be dominated. She did not seem to understand anything else. But I do not dominate women, that is just not the kind of person I am.

Eventually Jen cheated on me again, with Will, (who had supposedly been gay up until that point). I just gave up after that. Will quickly moved into her house, (that she shared with her parents), and began beating the crap out of her on a regular basis. But there was nothing I could do at that point.

I regard Jen as my one true failure as a man. I could not save this girl from herself. I just couldn't make her happy. I am quite sure that she is unhappy to this day. I just wish that I could have helped her see the beautiful person that I knew she had inside of her.


Roxy Music Concert Review

This is my first day log. I'm slightly worried about getting crushed with the downvotes, but what the hell, live dangerously, right? Anyway, last night I attended the Roxy Music concert at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. I would say that I am a big fan of the band, but not a fanatic. I have most of their albums stored in my MusicMatch library, but I'm most familiar with their album Siren. I know must of their other stuff, but I don't recognize them by song title and cannot sing along. I'm not a big fan of their 1980's material (e.g. Avalon). So you can take this review with a grain of salt if you know Brian Ferry better than your sister.

Here's the set list, as reported on some fan web site: Re-make / Re-model, Street Life, Ladytron, While My Heart is Still Beating, Out of the Blue, A Song for Europe, My Only Love, In Every Dreamhome A Heartache, Oh Yeah, Both Ends Burning, Tara, Mother Of Pearl, Avalon, Dance Away, Jealous Guy, Editions of You. Encores: Love is the Drug, Do the Strand, For Your Pleasure.

The Theater at MSG is a great venue. It probably seats about 2,000-3,000 people, and there's really not a bad seat in the house. The sound was awesome and clear, and, best of all, not toooooo loud.

They opened with a bang. They're touring with a 10-person band. In addition to Brian (vocals and keys), guitarists Phil Manzanera and Chris Spedding, drummer Paul Thompson, and Saxophonist Andy Mackay, they're playing with a bassist, a violinist, a percussionist, a backup singer, and an extra keyboard player. I couldn't even find Brian Ferry on stage during the first song due to all of the people.

They really took off during the third song, Ladytron. Phil's guitar solo was magnificent -- the whole audience went nuts. I had no idea he was that talented.

The rest of the first two-thirds of the concert was a bit spotty. I thought that most of the older material rocked, but the newer stuff seemed a bit out of place -- sort of like hearing smooth jazz interspersed between Smashing Pumpkins rockers.

Both Ends Burning was quite fun. The best song of the show, though, was Mother of Pearl. They played it very emotionally, and the audience seemed to dig it immensely. Next came Avalon, and there was a bit of a surprise when Yannick Etienne walked on stage.

Jealous Guy was very poignant -- I thought about George Harrison and I heard some other people around me talking about him as well (even though it's a John Lennon song.

The encores were maybe a bit perfunctory. You got the feeling that Brian has sung Love is the Drug a few too many times to be really into it. All in all, though, it was a terrific show. The band was tight, the sound was good, and the audience left satisfied. They played for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

If, by chance, you are going to the show tonight, you should show up around 9:00, since the opening act totally sucked. Roxy Music began at 9:15.

We're driving after dark, under overcast skies, only able to see in a short, narrow cone lit by the car's headlights. Occasionally, and without warning, the frigid glow of soft drink vending machines stabs through; arctic beasts stationed beside unseen service centres and tire vendors and lonely nurseries. The buildings' lights have been darkened, allowing the forest's seeping shadows to reclaim humanity's poxy brick and timber boxes from the roadside landscape. Yet our icy dispensers of candied water are immune to this ebony onslaught, their cold beams franticly reaching us across the void, clawing at us; a soundless, despairing scream bridging the fluid channel of this asphalt chasm. Yet we, unfeeling, shrug off their desperate, haunted gesture as we hurtle by in our sound-dampened, climate-controlled Magic Wagon. On we rush, through the depths of the back country, dodging raccoons and fireflies and 4x4 high beams, leaving our carbonated past to face the darkness on its own.

Forever lit by glowing dashboards and halogen projection bulbs, fluorescent tubes and incandescent filaments, flashlights and moonlight, we've forgotten how it is to be surrounded, enveloped, cradled by darkness. Even in the false darkness that lives in musty cellars and invades during summer brownouts, we become nervous, tentative, like deer caught in the open by a black hole hurtling along an empty highway. But even that darkness is illusory, a cheap suburban knock off purchased at Wal-Mart or Zellers. To the darkness-starved suburbanite, these brushes with the semi-dark seem pretty intense, but they're woefully incomplete. There's light seeping through at the edges, polluting, contaminating the darkness the way light leaking through the warped seams of an old camera obliterates its captured scenes just moments after their births. This same, plague-carrying light quickly seeps into our suburban impersonations of darkness; a determined army passing under doorways, through blinds, beamed out of wristwatches and televisions and a thousand LCD-stricken devices to subjugate the darkness. And as we blink, our pupils hungrily stretching in anticipation of the spectral feast to follow, the darkness vanishes, replaced by the murky, non-threatening gloom that was really all that was there to begin with.

The twentieth century has removed darkness from our lives, sequestering it in the same land of imagined, commodified, transient things that we also reserve for God, true love and any animal that hasn't yet been noticed, catalogued, and photographed for National Geographic. Darkness the way Canon sees it. In our world of light switches and street light glow, we have become darkness-impoverished, like Ethiopian famine victims slowly baking under a cruel, malicious sun. Our nights have been rendered so deficient by this onslaught of ten-million-candlepower plagues and Indiglo locusts that they have ceased to provide a necessary nourishment to our starving souls.

Just as we feel compelled to flee to the beach or the country to escape the bad light of fluorescent-bathed offices and smog-choked daylight, we have an equal, unanswered need to find temporary freedom from the bad darkness of halogenated streetscapes and rooms palely lit by VCR displays and coffeemaker power lights and the eternal brightness of the urban night. Yet we ignore or misunderstand this prerequisite of real life, arming ourselves with candles and flashlights and vehicle headlights when it comes time for one of our rare and reluctant brushes with real darkness. Every time we cut through nature's darkness with one of our many implements of luminous projection, we destroy an essential part of our lives, a portion of the human experience that can never be truly replaced, simulated, synthesized or vaccinated against. Each time we do this, brushing the darkness aside like a harried stranger on a busy downtown street, we forfeit one more chance to meld with this darkness, to curl up and reside, however momentarily, within the cupped hands of the universe's other world. These chances we waste are not about being unable to see, for true darkness has its own proprietary luminescence. As you slowly submerge into its warm folds, you feel and see the first tinglings of a new world opening up to receive you, a seething, phosphorescent sea of darkness that glows black. Immersed in the swirling vacuum of light's absence, all the constraining safety nets and support structures in which we leave our brains to atrophy suddenly fall away, leaving you within the warm cradle of an astral womb. Floating here, you return to that prenascent time when life really was perfect, when your naked, cherubic body was unpoisoned and your mind was full of room to grow; body and mind both as yet untouched by the chemical and informational overload of the modern world. In this soft, blissful, blanketing darkness, there's no fear of unseen dangers, just the calm contentment of a soul returning to the place in which it was first aware of its own existence. Floating, however fleetingly, within this unblemished, peaceful freedom, your mind, your very existence, is rejuvenated. A million scattered, broken impressions become defragmented, everything suddenly becomes clearer, cleaner, more stimulating and intense. You emerge, reborn, into light, the grime left by decades of stress and sickness flushed from your system.

After swimming in darkness, you see things in a higher definition - details, life's texture, leap out to you in ways that they usually don't. You entertain possibilities that were previously unfathomable and experience lucidity that is as wonderful as it is startling. The lit world of our daily lives becomes broader, more diverse, and, best of all, more faceable. Without periodic plunges into the dark, life becomes washed out, blurred, more predictable and mechanical and tiresome. We need this darkness; without it we slowly go blind to the light, to even the brightest points in our lives, or at least see them reduced to a dim glow.

The van sputters off, bathed in the porchlight of the rickety cottage. I climb from its inert frame, my shoes scratching across the gravel surface of the driveway, the world choking in the toxic, tailing-pond stew of the outdoor light. Spinning away from the van, the cottage, civilization's foothold in the north country, I race into the forest, dodging trees and brush barely lit by the far-off cottage that the switch-flicking members of our party have now fully illuminated. I run until my throat burns, until my skin is covered in sweat and my breath comes fast and hot. I run until the cottage light no longer invades this arboreal realm and the darkness pours through the trees to reach me. When everything has disappeared, I draw to a stop. There I stand, slowly becoming buoyant, held by the darkness in a loving, welcoming embrace. All residual stress and bad impressions are drained away, leaving me renewed, full of curiosity and tolerance and hope. And when I return, strolling unhurriedly back out of the trees, your eyes seem to sparkle in a way I'd never been able to see them sparkle before.

A few days ago I wrote about the company reorganizing, myself getting a new boss, and other things like that.

Today, I was just minding my own business when one of our very attractive employees walked by with a new hairstyle, new outfit, etc. Apart from the momentary notice, I didn't think much of it. She's a very attractive woman, single, so perhaps she's just dressing up for the day.

A little while later, another lady walks by, dressed to the t's, and then another. I don't typically notice men, so perhaps I just missed that. It wouldn't matter much, since the managerial types tend to dress in suits and such, and as a man you can't dress that much nicer than a suit without getting into very formal wear.

This probably means something. Whatever it means, us underling developers aren't going to hear about it for a while, either. Time to put the ear to the vine.

I had to call the cops yesterday and today.

Yesterday my son's paranoid schizophrenic mom would not leave my house, kept trying to get in. She had been there for the past week almost every day for several hours. They got her to leave, but she was back again today. She is staying off my porch, but when she comes back on, they told me they could arrest her for trespassing. I am afraid of her, she may have torched a women's shelter at one point in time, the evidence pointed to her, but not enough proof, so the case was dropped.

She's punched her own sister in the face, her brother, none of her siblings want anything further to do with her. She used to stalk my grandmother when my son lived with her (before I adopted him for my own). She is probably capable of a lot of things, and I don't want to be on the receiving end of anything with her.

Today I took my dog out for a walk - a neighbor had a mutt out with no leash or collar and she came over, sniffed my Rottweiler and immediately jumped on her and began beating her up. She was bigger, tougher, and my dog could not get out from under her. I kicked her over and over, the neighbor called her but didn't come anywhere near the fight. Finally, the dog gave up and ran back into her house. My lovely neighbor informed me that it wasn't her dog, so she wasn't responsible. She repeated this mantra over and over while I memorized the house number. My dog was bleeding and terrified, I was afraid for her and just in a state. Another neighbor came out and urged me to call the police, he had seen the whole thing. So I did - after taking her to the emergency vet.

In waiting the two hours for the police, although I was very tired, I took advantage of the time and cleaned up the clutter, put my living and dining rooms back in order. Ever since my daughter E. moved back in, and my son J. is here for the summer, it looks as though 75 people live in my house.

A Weekend Sound Track node
Sunday 3pm

<- Warm sunlight and a short nap | The Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul ->

Last night, we came in way too late and went to sleep with the curtains open. You were lost immediately. I stayed awake a little while and watched the first light of dawn seep through, before falling asleep too.

In your apartment, the sun shines right into the bedroom in the afternoon. It’s glaring now, cold and white against a crisp January sky. Everything looks bleached in this light. Except you of course. You seem to be the only colour in the room. Your hair glistens bright in the sunlight. Your eyes are smudged with the kohl you were too drunk to take off last night. Your mouth still has some of that silver lipstick I try really hard to pretend to like.

I trace a line down the brown skin of your arm with my finger and allow it to linger on your hands a little while. Your hands are so small and delicate, like a child’s. Your expression is child-like too, innocent and vulnerable. You’ve told me stories about yourself that made me cry, stories of black abject horror. You’re older than me and you’ve got more scars. But right now, you seem like a little girl again. You seem happy.

I move for the first time since I’ve woken up. I lift my head a little and gently place a kiss on your left cheek. You begin to move. Your eyes still closed, you roll onto your back, placing your wrist on your forehead. “Baby,” you say softly, “I think I drank too much last night.”

“Does your head hurt?”

You nod slowly, eyes still shut.

“Do you want a cup of tea?”

You nod with a bit more enthusiasm. I think I even see a little smile breaking out at the corner of your mouth.

“Do you want anything else?”

Suddenly you roll over and, with your eyes closed, hug me with bone-crushing strength. “Yoooooooooouuuuu.” You press your mouth to mine for a second and then open your eyes for the first time that morning, just a slit, staring out at me with that tired smile of yours. You sigh heavily.

I was so drunk last night. I’m ashamed.”

You’re not. I know you. “Well, makes a change from you having to look after me.”

“That’s right. You drunken bastard.”

I smile and kiss you again, soft but lingering. You stare and me and whisper, “I love you.” I don’t say anything. You already know.

“I’m stinky,” you say. “I’m going for a shower.” I watch you totter off to the bathroom, your hair a wild mane. You give the bathroom door a defiant kick behind you, and I hear the water start up. Water makes you feel better than anything else in the world. You’ll emerge in a few minutes and sit in bed, your hair all wet, your skin clammy and cold, drinking tea. Then we’ll slide back down the bed and lie there for ages. Until we get hungry – around six. Mmm, Simpsons and pizza, a day of vegetation.

Oh, my love, you encounter a narcotic apathy in me. Why should I care about the outside world when I could be with you, feeling your skin against mine, looking into your eyes as you speak in your soft honeyed drawl? Nothing could be worth a moment away from you.

I pull on some clothes so I won’t scare your flatmates, and head out to the kitchen. I put the kettle on. As it boils, I stand at the sink and stare out at the Garden. It’s almost 4pm now, but there’s still dew on the grass. In fact, it’s icy dew. It must be freezing out there. I’m glad to be inside.

I am glad to be inside. I look at the archway leading into the apartment complex. I walked you there every night for two months, and every night you said you loved me, but it wouldn’t be right to bring me past the arch. Then one night you said, it’s right. And I’ve barely left here since. When I was growing up, I read books and watched movies in which pure, uncompromising love exist. Two people drop the pointless human barriers between themselves. I thought it was a myth. I thought I was some sort of monster before you, who could never feel anything except loathing and selfishness.

You changed that. You’ve made me a cliché; all the colours of the world seem brighter, life seems less consequential. I am utterly unable to stop smiling. I am in love and nothing will ever be the same again. Even if I never see you again, even if you tear my heart out from my chest and make me bitter and angry and hateful, it will not be able to change one essential thing which is that I know that love is real because I have seen it with my own eyes. And it’s more than I had ever dreamed it could be.

I make two cups of tea, and hurry back to bed, so that I can be waiting for you when you get out of the shower.


Full Playlist:

  1. Rachel's - Egon & Gertie (3:04)
  2. Badly Drawn Boy - The Shining (5:01)
  3. Mark Eitzel - When My Plane Finally Goes Down (4:16)
  4. Jeff Buckley - Morning Theft (3:39)
  5. Gene - Olympian
  6. Elvis Costello - Forgive Her Anything (3:11)
  7. The Sundays - Skin & Bones (4:16)
  8. Nick Cave - Are You The One That I've Been Waiting For? (4:06)
  9. Suede - The Wild Ones (4:50)
  10. Placebo - Dark Globe (2:13)
  11. Tom Waits - Martha (4:28)
  12. Tindersticks - Travelling Light (4:43)
  13. Verve - On Your Own (3:33)
  14. Belle & Sebastian - We Rule The School (3:27)
  15. Billie Holiday - All Of Me (3:03)

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