I am privileged to love her without having ever met her.

Here is today, beginning at eight o'clock pm, Eastern Standard Time:

There is a bike ride into town because The Last Temptation of Christ is nearly overdue and I'm just too antsy telling everybody the big news but not hearing anything concrete at all. Before I leap on my bike, I light a cigar I've been saving for today and ride.

Cigars on bicycles are self-ashing. Nobody in town says a thing, but I'm not stopping to listen because every second I'm away from a phone is just far too long.

The phone rings as soon as I walk in the door, but when I pick it up it is a dead line. I crank up the music (Charles Mingus, Sigur Ros, Smog, Dirty Three, Galaxie 500 singing their sleeper hit Fourth of July) and finish the cigar out on the deck, washing it down with a beer, pretending to read The Rum Diary but really paying more attention to the sunset's reflection in my view to the west.

When it is too dark and cold out to be relaxing, I head back inside, waiting for the call that finally finally, after the whole week that I've been waiting, comes.

Gwendolyn Anne Roberts
born 5:36pm, Pacific Standard Time, July 6th, 2001
seven pounds, nine ounces, twenty inches long and as healthy as one could hope

There are fireworks going off in the nearby town of Hadley as my mom and I beam at each other across miles and miles of telephone wire.

I dare you to challenge this perfect smile. She says Gweny, my little monkey, is active, with the family mass of red hair (even though it is curly, which must be my brother-in-law's contribution).

I could contemplate the vast intricacies of the universe, the balance of life and death, but right now there is only life in my heart. There is only hope. This is my day, this is my niece, and her joy is yours.

This is a story about my first kiss ever, and how it has broken my heart.

It started a year ago, when I met a colleague from high school in a party at my university. We glanced each other and were a bit startled for we recognized each other but didn't know where from. It instantly hit me: she was a friend of a friend of mine in high school, which I never spoke to, since at that time I was much more shier than I am now (even more so to women).

Well, to cut a bit of the story, she stayed the night in my place (she had gone to that party from another city with a friend, and the place they had arranged to stay wasn't very nice, so I helpfully opened my door) with her friend, but me and her where left alone for that night, where we talked our brains out. It was amazing, we liked each other instantaneously. And I fell in love with her.

The next day, she departed, and we wouldn't see each other for another year. Why? For many reasons, first of all, I was still rather shy with people (I've changed a lot recently) and never had the nerve to call her (she'd left her number).

We eventually met again (she called me) and I went to the beach with her and friends, but it wasn't the same thing, I always felt intimidated by them and couldn't talk to her like I did last time.

To cut the story shorter, she eventually invited me again to the beach, but this time without anyone else, and plus, she asked me if I didn't mind she did "topless".I said "fine”, but my guts were twirling from emotion, was she doing it on purpose? To seduce me?

The next day, she took me to the beach in her bike, and the day passed fine. She was topless, but I was cool with that, and we chatted away for a long time, making small breaks to refresh ourselves in the water.

Anyhow, I don't know what it was, the talk, her figure, my admiration for her, her beautiful figure, I really had passion in my heart (not sexual one, the real one). And, in the middle of the talk I couldn't stop myself asking her if I could kiss her. She was silent, then asked "what?". I was silent.

She was surprised with what I said, replied, "Where did that come from...?" and "But you're very frank, that's rare...". We then proceeded to change the topic… Eventually we decided to leave the beach, and then, I had a flash of all those moments when I hadn't done anything and wished I had, and I certainly wasn't going to let this one become one of them. I approached her face, until I lost my nerve, and rolled to the other side. She was surprised again "you are very shy, aren't you?”. Yes, I thought, and I usually do a good job hiding it.

However shy I was, I wasn't recriminating myself for what I had tried, I was still confident, something which surprised me a lot. As I joked about "men having to do all the work", I hear from her sweet lips "well, I'm also shy in that department" and "well, It's not my fault if I've been conditioned to be a typical passive women". Now, THAT surprised me, she had always seemed so confident to me, and so self-assured, that it was really heartening to know she was in the same position.

I collected all my strengths, and, supported by my elbows, moved toward her, and kissed her lips. Just a quick kiss, but it shattered a lot of cobwebs in my soul. It was an act that really shook me.

Well, no, I didn't get to be her boyfriend, because immediately afterwards we acted as nothing had happened (well, she did actually, because I was very tender to her all the way back on her bike (nothing vulgar!! just caressing her elbows, etc)). When we departed, I tried to set another date, but she kept changing topics, and none was set.

I was really confused, but happy, I knew then that I could be attractive to women!!

However, as I began to analyse the events better, I realized that she hadn't done anything to show the same kind of affection for me, i.e., she let herself be kissed, but didn't kiss back, never touched me, etc.

I passed two days thinking of her, remembering how one of her nipples had shown up her shirt, as we rode on the bike, and being glad at the time for not feeling any sexual arousal, only love.

Then I called her, and the first thing she said, even before we chatted anything, was that she was out of means of transport (for some complicated reasons, not worth giving here).... the message was obvious... I chatted a bit, then said "well, in that case you won't be able to go the cinema with me, uh?", and her answer confirmed what I had thought, that her feelings towards me weren't the same.

The same night, as I analysed, and re-analysed (perhaps I analyse to much? Something to be analysed in the future :p ) all that happened, I realized that I had, in my passion, forgotten about what she might have been feeling at the time, maybe she had been embarrassed, and in my blindness, I had thought only about my pleasure. Only her friendship had made her tolerate this.

I decided then to send an sms to her. The message was short "I'm sorry for what happened at the beach. It was a selfish impulse of mine which you had to put up with. Friends as before? kiss" Of course, the "impulse" I had felt was more than just an impulse, it was a culmination of silent devotion, but I didn't want to disturb her. Her answer was, as always, direct "That's ok, I'm used to dealing with male hormones. Nice studying.".

And that's it. I haven't seen her since, it's been only a week since all this events unfolded. I've decided to pass some time before seeing her again. Firstly, to show her I only want to be friends (since I cannot be her lover), and two, too see if I get her of my head.... Only time will tell.

Its the weekend, and there is this possibility that I won't have to work until Monday. But it is a small one, considering I've been paged twice tonight already. Big Brother does its job, all too well.

Meanwhile, at least I made it out of the office and back to my bachelor pad. Once again I'm reminded of one advantage to not spending very much time at home: the mess accumulation is slow once the place is clean. Since my mom visited a few (couple? several? Time has blurred) weeks ago, my place is in a mostly clean state. No, my mom didn't clean my place. I cleaned it before she came to visit.

Tonight, another weird TV commerical. Its about this guy talking about how his wife used to wear sexy panties, and now she wears cotton panties, and how he is comforted by this fact. I was thinking, "Okay, underwear commercial, maybe a cotton commercial.". Nope. It was a Diet Coke commercial. Go figure.

Mmmmmmm the beauty of becoming divergent(id est drunk in the Divergent Inc. circle.

After going to sleep at 5am this morning, I spent the day(well, what was left of it at 3pm) laying around the house doing positively nothing. It was exquisite! I watched a very fucked up movie called "The Grifters", and learned what Frammis Insurance is. Then I made myself a grilled, marinated veggie pita with feta cheese and hummus. YUM!

As the evening progressed, I went to my friend, Julia R.'s house for a party. After becoming throughly divergent, I danced and sang to RENT with a very interesting homosexual male and Casey. I will soon be seeing much more of them, because the homosexual, Travis, plays Perchik, and Casey is an Asst. Stage Manager in Fiddler On the Roof at a local college, and I myself will be a humble stage crew member. Fun!

Oddly enough, Julia(whose bed room is in the basement), has a large pole in the middle of her room. With "Out Tonight" playing and alcohol in my system, it was inevitable that pole dancing would integrate itself into the party atmosphere. And integrate it did. I was told I was, by far, the most entertaining drunk at the party...ego points for me!

The alarm clock beep beep beep's it's way into my brain like a white-hot awl around noon. Even half-asleep I have enough sense to know that I'll just hit that big plastic snooze button a zillion times before I wake up. So I shut the little fucker off and make some more Z's, oblivious to any secular concerns. I wake up at 2:50 and work starts at four. It takes me an hour to get there. No problem. I have about 25 minutes (slacker math) to relax, eat an eggo with no syrup and wonder my roommate insists on never buying syrup for his eggos. (I've given up on buying groceries. They always rot from being attention starved.) I collect my stuff, filling my pockets with as many pens as a I can find laying around on the floor and run out the door. (no rhyme intended)

Unlike the TV commercials my roommate fails to persue me shouting, Leggo my eggo! (Sounds like an ancient language. "Give me back my fucking food, you son of a bitch!" in Latin, maybe.)

An hour of riding through the baby corn and I'm at the Riverview, fifteen minutes late. This doesn't seem to bother anyone since we don't really get any tables in the smoking section until about five, so I wouldn't have anything to do, anyway. I bullshit with the other servers for a while and then finally I've got a table, and another and then Friday night sets in and I'm a blur between the kitchen and the patrons with my kung-fu waiting style.

As business quiets down, every other server gets to leave except me. I get the honor of closing that night, which basically means that I don't get any tables, but I stick around just in case someone comes in and I do a lot of extra work for 3.90 per hr.

I sit in the bar and watch it fill up as the dining room empties. It's karaoke night! But, unfortunately, the girl who usually does karaoke is not there. She's taken a day off, apparently. Since she usually goads the people into singing early on by doing it herself,(she's an excellent singer) the manager, who's running the show tonight, has a problem, since he can't sing. (At least, I assume not. It's a hypothesis I'd care not to follow up on.) So he figures I'm getting paid for doing nothing and makes me pick out a song, then another and another, and soon, I've become a professional. That's right, I thought I was a waiter, but now I'm being paid to sing, not by a cheesy record executive with oily hair, quick hands, and evil in his heart, but by the manager of a bar who wants to keep his patrons interested.

"What do you do for a living?"

"I get paid 3.90 an hour to sing Beatles songs with very bad instrumental reproductions. It ain't hard. I don't gotta remember them words none. They got a screen with 'em words on it and I can read sum."

Come closing time, I collect my free beer, sit around for about an hour watching other people sing and ride off into the moonlit night.

I'm not going to write anything flashy, I’m not in the mood...

I just woke up 10 minutes ago, at 4:20pm, which sucks because insomnia tonight and I have work tomorrow. I went to sleep around 6:00am but I usually have my cell phone somewhere near me and then someone calls and wakes me up.

Last night was really cool…. It started out with me deciding I was going out to some club to see some show even if it was the kind of music my friends don’t like (I am not telling you so you wont be biased against me while reading this)

So I go onto IRC looking for this friend of mine who said he might be going (since I don’t have his phone number) and he isn’t there… instead I convince this other girl I know to come with me… so we get to Jaffa and drive around a bit trying to find the place… because I off course refuse to ask for directions. Eventually we do ask, and nobody knows, except for this one cab driver who gave me maybe the worst directions I have ever been given:

Drive straight ahead, not left, and not right, and then right, not left, then straight, after going right, then right again, never left, only right, twice, after driving straight.

Interruption: My friends just called me (Ok so I found my cell phone by now) They are all at the beach. Damn I hate when they are all doing something together and I’m not there, I fell left out… like the kid that gets picked last for sports… I mean he does get on some team but they either don’t pass him the ball, tell him to stay on defense, or make him play Right Field.

Anyways, so we got to the club and this girl I was with really hated the music, she said it was alright but she hated it, I could tell, so we decided to go somewhere else and drove around, first place I wanted was closed, they built some dumb cafe instead of the cool little pub it used to be. Then we went looking for some place else…

We ended up going to some American tourist blues bar/pub called “Mike’s Place” which was nice, I ordered an A.M.F. and she ordered a Margarita, after that we went to Pizza Meter… most of the night was spend aimlessly driving around, which probably drove her crazy.

But I was a great night, I really enjoyed it, and I left my cell phone under a bunch of clothes so I couldn’t hear it ringing……

I won’t tell you about how I went looking for it, ‘cause you already know I found it.

But I did and I walked to the car which is parked far away because it was the only place I could figure it was, and it wasn’t so I came back home, and it wasn’t here either

And you must be sick of reading all this babble with no point…. But it DOES have a point… the point is:

Those unplanned nights spent doing a lot of things and getting back home in the morning really rock!

At least I think so. Wow, I wrote an awful lot of nothing to say that. Sorry

I have finally figured out how to budget my money. It has taken years of pain, tears, and hiding under the bedcovers, but I've done it... my day planner book is the key. I put down every bill, and every anticipated bill, for at least two months or so in advance, as well as anticipated paycheck amounts (conservatively estimated for sanity's sake). Then I go through and add and subtract by date through a pay period. I pay the bills now, at the beginning of the pay period. I know before I get my paycheck how much extra money I will have.

This week and next week, I have $15. I won't have any real money to spend on things like a brake job for my car, oil change, groceries, etc. until the beginning of August.

I don't have a birthday present for my mother. I don't know how to afford one. When I drove to North Carolina for my sister's birthday, I was still somewhat comfortable from my tax refund (wanna coast the edge of the poverty line with me, baby?) and was able to get her a nice present. I feel rotten about not having one for Mom. This weekend I won't be driving home, I seem to have been struck by some 24-hour long designer cold, and I don't want to make a 4.5 hour drive on any drugs.

Next week, the bf will be driving to South Carolina to see his parents and get something fixed on his new car, so I might hitch a ride then and go to see Mom... that would give me a week's grace to find some money somewhere (under the couch cushions?) to buy Mom a present.

Perhaps I'll find the Artful Dodger and learn about picking pockets.

On Monday, after my session, I discovered a small explosion of blue jay feathers in the parking lot. I couldn't find the bird itself (until I drove off, and then saw that a small jay had been run over... quite far from the feathers, actually), but the feathers were very pretty, long and sharp with slate blue and charcoal stripes. I gathered about six of them, and put them in the passenger seat of my car.

Later on Monday, I picked up A (the exbf... I'm not being deliberately cryptic) from work, and before he got into the car, I stopped him with, "Wait, I have to get some feathers out of the seat." He was glad to see me.

He is usually glad to see me. I don't think he wants to be glad to see me. I think he would rather like to be able to glower aloofly at me and express his displeasure every time I invade his life again, but he can only do that if we don't see each other in person. I try to see him in person as often as possible, because I honestly can't bear allowing him to hate me. Perhaps I should just bite the bullet. If he wants to hate me, why shouldn't he be allowed to? I'm not his mother.

I'm not his mother.

If I were his mother, I'd probably expect a birthday present. {sigh}

If I somehow manage to overcome my typical inertia today, and spend some time cleaning, I will feel much better. I always feel better when I spend some time cleaning. Maybe I'll recheck my budgeting figures, too. That's always nice.

Saturday morning/afternoon. Spent the evening at a bar called Sinners and Saints. Groovy place, long and narrow, deep crimson walls, black couches and nice bar. One pool table at the end of the room. Ran said table for a few games, for drinks. Black Haus and Newcastle, and my stomach is still ripped. Randy drove home, and I passed out on the floor in the living room. Last thing I remember is him placing two hot dogs by me to eat as I slid into unconciousness..then waking up later and crawling into my room, and falling asleep to the blue light I left on so I wouldn't puke. That's a trick I learned awhile ago..it's so easy to pass out staring at a non-white light. God I love drinking. Yusa (roommates girlfriend) is flying in from Dublin tonite, we've been cleaning. I like this new apartment, huge with bare walls; I managed to secure some of my smaller antique pieces of furniture, they look nice in here. At least someone will appreciate them.
Finially heard from Baltimore. I should be able to retrieve my paints (my life, my blood) and paintings soon. I miss them.

Still haven't found work. This sucks.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where life just kind of grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you and then swings you around for a while, just to see what happens? I have, and here's what I've learned:

1. It may take all kinds, but not all kinds like each other. While sitting in Washington Square Park, a man behind us, who had been playing the flute (poorly) to some classical recording that he was listening to on his Walkman, finally got fed up with the large crowd of people that had gathered to watch a group of gymnasts (or something like that) perform a few hundred feet away. So he called some cops over, and he accused the group of having an amplifier, which apparently is illegal in the Park. And the cops went over, and checked things out, and since nothing illegal was going on, they walked away. The man gave them a dirty look and moved a few feet further away. Rather than, say, going home and playing poorly in the privacy and comfort of his own home and using a stereo instead of a Walkman.

2. People are strange. People who watch strange people are even stranger. On the way out of the park, we heard some guy ranting, and ranting, and ranting. About Eminem, no less. And there were these two guys who were standing there, listening to him, and laughing their asses off. And the other guy was just going on about how "Slim Penis Shady" was taking it up the ass from Catholic priests or something. Something about how "Eminem" spelled backwards was "Men In Me". When we heard that, we started laughing our asses off.

3. No matter how smart you are, someone's always dumber. And 9 times out of 10, you get dicked because of it. I got in an accident on Monday. Totally not my fault. I'm stopped, about a car length outside the intersection, and the guy cuts his left turn way too short and dents the driver's side quarter panel and the hood and destroys the blinker lights and the bumper. So we called the cops, and filed a police report. And the cop comes, and asks for my license, registration, and proof of insurance. Unfortunately, Geico never sent a new policy, so I don't have an insurance card. So, the perfectly driveable, if dented, car gets towed because I don't have current proof of insurance. The policy's paid. I just don't have a card. And the insurance company had to fax the information over to the tow place so we could get the car back the next day, because even though the accident happened at 3 in the afternoon, I couldn't pick up the car because the tow place closed at 5 and I couldn't get in touch with my boyfriend until after that point.

4. Fireworks are not cool on a cloudy night. We should have been able to see them from where we were. We could hear them. But it was so cloudy and humid, we couldn't see anything. So instead of watching them live, outside, we watched them on TV. How lame.

Maybe, just maybe, next week will be better. I think I deserve it.

I made a final decision to decided to stop dating G. She's a very kind soul, a very genuine person; but I don't want to become emotionally entangled with her, we're much too different, and I know she wants something I can't give right now. I also realize more and more how different culturally we are. We just have so little in common. And it's a lot of work to make that kind of thing work. I can't do it - no, I refuse to do it. I've done it before, and slowly but gradually I end up acquiescing to their desires on how to spend time, giving in to their needs (always more important than my own). And the hell with that. So I told her tonight. G. is now an official member of the Dumped by drummergrrl fan club!

So instead of becoming diagonally parked in your parallel universe, I'm opting out, getting out while I can. My emotional stability feels like one of a 15 year old anyway. Well, no, not really, I don't know what that means. I'm just saying that, trying to frame my shifts in positioning and explain myself to myself, understand how I've flip-flopped back and forth with the question of dating her or not.

The reality is, I never wanted to get involved with her - and having sex just created a lot of emotions that I wasn't ready to deal with or wanted to have - with her. She thinks I'm just too scared and can't handle falling in love with a woman; the truth is, I don't want to love her for the reasons described above. I think I've gotten over the initial shock of being bisexual; I know I have some more work to do, but I'm not doing it with her.

I feel really shitty about it, very guilty for leading her down the path; although I've been scrupulously honest from the very start of this whole thing - I've told her everything there is to know about my emotionally labile state of mind. Sigh It's very hard knowing you have just hurt some one through your own instability and inability to do a better job of relating than you have. I have a great sense of relief; a small feeling of loss.

This was possibly one of the coolest nights of my life

My friends Kyle, Meredith and myself went to the beach to hang out and see one of the best bands most people will never get to enjoy, Jump, Little Children. I was soooo excited because this was the last night of they're Underdog Tour and I knew I wouldn't be seeing the band again for a long time. And, I was bringing two slight fans to see a show I knew they would love and would consequently plunge them into the world of Jump-dom.

We got to the hotel, unpacked and went swimming, usual beach activity. Then around 4:30 we got ready and went down to Ziggy's by the Sea. We were off to an awesome start, for as soon as we drove by we saw Matthew Bivins, one of the dynamic frontmen, standing outside the venue. Then, driving back by to find a place to park, we were able to flag down the band's cellist and one of their guitarists, Ward Williams. We asked if he knew were we could park, but he didn't really know so he just smiled goofy and looked cute.

We ended up getting there much earlier than we needed to, but it was worth it because we were able to run into several members of J,LC as well as of the opening band, Will Hoge (the leader singer of which vaguely recognized us and said hey). We also met some fellow fans and talked to them, but the whole time we really just wanted to get into the club.

At one point during our wait, the band's bassist, Jonathan Gray (or Jonny), was walking back from laying out on the beach. When he reached the corner, he looked around and saw we had already started lining up, and he was suddenly very embarrassed and asked his friends why they hadn't told him we were there. We felt bad, and looked away when he walked by so he wouldn't feel self-conscious, but later his embarrassment proved a little odd.

We were finally let in and waited the usual hour to an hour and a half for the show to start. Finally, Will Hoge took the stage and put on a rawkin' show. This band has such a wonderful fan-interaction during and after their shows, and Kyle completely fell for them. They sang they're usual set of songs, as well as a cover of "Hanky-Panky", which was awesome and Mer loved. We had a lot of fun catching their eyes and flirting (especially with Will and Tres Sasser). For some of the set, Jump's lead-singer, Jay Clifford and the drummer, Evan Bivins, sat at the back of the stage a watched, all the time looking beautiful. During the song "Rock and Roll Star", Jonny came out dressed in a red union suit and beer bottle in hand. He sat down on a stool and continued drinking until about half-way through the song, when he stood up and we guess mooned the drummer. Then, he commenced to stripping out of the union suit, which revealed the words "Heart Break Hotel" (another Will Hoge song) and an arrow leading, er, down south. As we all watched through our fingers, he stripped to nothing, except a fortunate red Speedo. But at the end of the song, when he ran offstage, he came back long enough to through the Speedo at Will and revealed a white, naked arse. Will promptly put the Speedo on his head.

Soon, the Will Hoge set was over and we waited for Jump to set up. Matt was definitely in top form, dancing all over the stage and making the naive first timers swoon (they didn't know what all would come). And they brought out water guns. We were intrigued.

The set started off as usual, with "All Those Days Are Gone" followed by their new single (request it at your favorite radio station!!)"Vertigo". But when they started playing "Underground Elite", something craaaazy happened. We saw the four members of Will Hoge standing in the back of the stage laughing ferociously as they sent out a midget stripper, dressed in a green thong, a yellow life jacket and carrying a big green rake. She commenced to take off the life jacket to show two condoms covering her nipples. GROSS. She started dancing all over each guy, the only one not pushing her away being Matt. Poor Evan was trapped behind the drum set with no where to go, and that was amusing. When the song was finally over and the midget (we later learned her name was Kimmie) thankfully left the stage, Jay went to the michrophone and said "Well, I guess this would be a good time to announce that my parents are here tonight. Mom, Dad, I love you, a-a-and I hope you still love me." It was classic.

The show continued without much incident until Jump decided to cover the Will Hoge song, "Rock and Roll Star". The only problem was, they didn't really know the words. Jonny knew the first two lines, but then that fell through. Then Ward took a stab, but he confused two different verses and even added some of his own (Come 'ere and I'll give you a dollar, er, and another! and another!). In between their stabs at the words, Matt would randomly grab the michrophone and scream into it as sometimes Will does (though it was a definitely exaggeration).

Again, we were lulled into thinking we were safe, until the forgotten water guns were brought out. Mostly, the armed people to the left of the stage were targeted, but soon our whole first row got hit. The crazy girl beside me tried to yank Matt's out of his hand, until he gave her an annoyed look.

They ended the show with "My Guitar", then played "Someone's in the Kitchen" as an encore, the audience's choice over "Ordinary Girl". But then, the show was over, and we were sad.

Mer grabbed Matt's setlist for me, which I got everyone but Jay to sign (he was busy with his parents). I also got Will Hoge poster completely autographed (it turned out that Tres remembered Mer and I from a previous show). We had to wait a long time for Matt because after the show he ran to the bathroom and stayed there for at least ten minutes. Then, when he came out, he ran to the next bathroom around the corner and we still couldn't get him. I peaked around the corner to see if he was out yet, but he was still washing his hands. However, Will thought I was trying to see them inside, so he gave this evil look and slowly shut the door. Afterwards, he came over and said "You can go in there if you want..." but I politely declined:)

Matt finally came out, and we got his signature, and I gave him a kiss, to which he replied "ooooh, thanks for coming," and I thanked him as well. After that we left because we were beat and I had to drive home the next morning. We later found out that after the show Ward and Jonny went skinny-dipping with some fans while Matt and Will danced with others, so we were a little sad. We also found out that the reason Kimmie was wearing a life jacket and carrying a rake was because Will had stolen it from a boat a few months before and the two bands had been presenting them to each other in more and more creative ways as a joke.

Whew, that was a lot. Congratulations if you made it this far. This was definitely one of the most enjoyable nights in my life.



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