There is a hole in his soul. It is only the 3rd real day of summer vacation, and Will already can't handle the inaction. He feels trapped by the hills surrounding his rural abode. Will hates his house; it has a poisonous influence on his mind. There is something maelvolent in the electric fields that big humming power cable above his room emits. Friends have pointed out a tendency towards narcolepsy in anyone who stays too long in its grip.

The red noise of boredom and paranoia seethe through his brain. Maybe loud music is the cure? Anything cheerful just sounds cheap and irritating. Something angry. HEAD LIKE A HOLE! BLACK AS YOUR SOUL! No. That could only make things worse.

There, of course, is a girl involved. Jamie confuses the fuck out of him. He really has a hard time telling if she cares or not. She just vanished for a week, didn't tell anyone anything. When she returns, the answering machine greets his humble attempts to make contact. fuck this, he thinks, There are other girls. Olivia might still take me on. But it's too late, wishful thinking. There are few things worse than being unloved, but Will is beginning to think having to choose between loves is one of them. Nobody gets out of that intact. No matter which way he turns, little bits of someone's soul will stick under his fingernails. But that was a winter problem, already said and done. Spring brought its own baggage; struggles with school and his malfunctioning nerves. He thought it would be a relief to be able to do nothing again. He was mistaken.

So there he is, with nowhere to run to from his inner demons, trapped in a house he is certain will devour him given half a chance, and without a car. A car is the only hope of salvation for a rural teenager. He, of course, has had his hopes dashed, against a telephone pole at the hands of his sleeping mother. She was uninjured, his freedom was ripped open like a cellophane wrapper around his dreams, leaving it open to spoilage.

The walls close in on him, blank, white, silent.

An opportunity may exist to find she who has been lost, but then I have seen such opportunities appear in front of my eyes in the past and they have proven to be little more than elaborate mirages. Time crosses over the boundaries and fills me with an emotion that I have never been able to define. Sometimes it feels like the potential end of a road that has always been too dark. At other times it seems that it may be anticlimactic. Beyond the simplicity of those two reactions, there is so much more.

Once upon a time a very prophetic man told me that my curse in life was that my muse had taken a human form. She was the only one who could push me to realize the things about myself that no one else could even begin to understand. At times she knew me better than I knew myself and she tore me down with a purpose. She tore me down to show me what I was hiding and what I was afraid of. For her I stopped hiding these things and I stopped being afraid. Without her I may never have found the way. At the same time she knew how to make me feel better about myself without seeming to try, even though I knew it took her a great deal of effort. In the end she determined that she would do me more harm than good and that the love I had for her would destroy me if she stayed. We were never together. We were always apart. That was how it was because it was too dangerous otherwise. We were strong in the ways the other was weak and weak in the ways the other was strong. If Hollywood had written the script we would have gone into some mad "you complete me" ending before the end credits rolled by. Instead, we locked horns and bit back hard enough to fill our mouths with blood while pride did our talking. The ending came abruptly and without any fanfare and she disappeared. That was October of 1995.

It should be noted that I have the job that I have because I tend to prove myself capable of finding anything. If I have enough motivation and reason I can dig up any information, and that became much easier with the expansion of the internet. Being the tracker that I am, from time to time I will search for her, but I refused to begin an exhaustive search of the countryside, I just look in a few new places where I won't upset the balance. Whenever I receive a sign that reminds me that I must look again, I begin the search once more. In the past these searches have given me disconnected telephone numbers, abandoned post office boxes and other information that is no longer current. Then, today, because I have been driven the last few days by a fever to change the tide of my life, I took on a new tactic. Instead of researching her, I researched her parents, whom I am fairly well acquainted with but haven't spoken to in seven years. They retired and moved to South Carolina about five years ago.

A search brought up some curious information leading to a website for her mother's 45th high school class reunion. Her mother had made a notation in the guest book for the reunion that stated she had moved to South Carolina with her husband and that her four children consisted of two married sons and two unmarried daughters, one of which had moved to South Carolina with them soon after they retired. A little more poking around, and Mr. Psycho Stalker Detective had found evidence that the daughter that moved to South Carolina was in fact the Muse. That would put her a little more than four hours away from my present location, and that is a bit insane.

Why the fuck am I writing about this? This could be one of the major pivotal events of my life, depending on whether or not the information pans out (at the very least her mother will likely give me the information I need). To understand the relationship is important, and the fact that I am now married makes it easier and not harder to see each other again. The ridiculous physical attraction and "wanna be my girlfriend?" stuff that undermined us in the past will have a safety valve. The river flows in mysterious ways, and perhaps the time is finally right for us to openly understand each other and embrace without discontent. She'll mock me for taking so long, and I need that. I need to be reminded. Sometimes I defeat myself, and she who was like my ethereal sister would never let me fall on my own lance. She might drive it through me herself, but not enough to wound me, only enough to wake me up. I've been sleeping too long and now I wonder which is more valuable to me, the pain of not seeing her for so long, or the hope of seeing her again.

No one ever really understood our relationship except the two of us and I usually was so clouded in those days that I made myself not understand. There has never been anyone I have ever known who is more important to me, relevant in ways that a best friend, a lover and a wife could never be. Yet, time changes many things and should I find her, there are seven years of changes in what has been the longest separation in the nearly two decades since we met.

The journey of self-discovery goes on forever.
There is no whistle at the end.
There are no prizes you have won.
There is just the next event on the blue highway to forever.

Synchronicity do you believe in it? I don't even know if I spelled it correctly. I'm not sure I believe it in it, more likely I don't. I think I hate it. Coincidences, just way too weird, frequent, yet not.

So lo and behold I was driving to a friend's place, and who did I have to stop the car for so they can cross the street and go for their jog? Yes, it's bike girl. Strange I am rarely ever in that area and the times that I do go I see her. It makes me angry. She dropped class so I thought I would never see her again. Well I wasn't even sure if she dropped the course, I just didn't see her in class for a while, and then she didn't show up for the midterm so I decided that she probably did. I was mad because I wanted to drop the course too because of the late time that I could spend doing something else. Bleh!

My friend says it's synchronicity we're meant to be together, and I ask why to another friend and she screams, you're in love that's why. Haha.

I take the destructive approach and thought that I should rather have hit her with the car so I really wouldn't have to see her again. Or just to hit her before she hits me with her bike like the other times before where it almost happened.

Rawr! I have no idea what's going on.... It's just way to weird and it disturbs me.

On the freeway overpass are two shirtless boys. Crewcuts and untied sneakers and skinny arms with ribs that show. They are waving to the cars passing below in between drinks from their tall sport bottles (extra long white straws).

Once in a while a truck goes by and they jump up and down and give the big "bent elbow pump up and down thing" with one arm. Hoping for a big horn blast from the eighteen wheeler.

I haven't heard a response yet. I am stuck on the side of the road with a spastic radiator. Waiting on a tow truck. I envy them- they are in no hurry. Life at that age is hour to hour, day to day at worst. Their next big worry is which house they will go to for lunch and whether they can find any unopened bags of chips.

I had this friend in high school. Her father molested her and it pretty much ruined her. She functions in society, but she comes across as very self-centered and it tends to force her out of social situations and away from friends. I've been trying to convince her for years to get help, because she'll never be happy until she does.

I called her last night, and she told me her brother took a knife and cut himself from his elbow to his wrist. She's scared out of her mind, and I finally convinced her to see a doctor. I told her she should do it with her little brother, that way it'll be easier for both of them. She finally agreed.

I'm glad she's finally going to face this head-on, but I'm a little mad it took so long to happen. I wish she hadn't waited until her brother mutilated himself. But I suppose at this point I should just be glad she's going to fix it.

The whole time we talked last night, I was hopped up on vicodin because of my wisdom teeth. I still feel a little weird.

Well, I had a job interview today at a print shop; it's the first interview I've landed since I got laid off three and a half months ago.

The ad in the paper reads: TYPESETTER/ MAC OPERATOR FT and/or PT. Exp in PageMaker & Photoshop. Exc typing skills a must, min of 60 WPM w/ accuracy. Gd Benefits.

I've been using Macs for twelve years, and PageMaker just as long. I started using Photoshop back in 1994. And since I have absolutely, intractably horrendous handwriting (I think the family recessive gene for dyslexia mutated into dysgraphia) I've learned to type pretty well. 45 words per minute if I'm flustered, 65 if I'm on a roll.

So, I said to myself, "Self! Call them! You need a job!"

So I phoned the shop yesterday. And the secretary took my name and number set me up for an interview today. I asked the woman whether the job was part time or full time and what the hours, pay, and start date would be. She didn't know. She gave me their address; the shop is a 48-mile round trip from my apartment.

"Self," I said. "That's way out in the boonies. You sure you wanna drive that far every day?"

"We need a job," I replied. "And no one's so much as sent us a rejection letter in the past three months."

"But you don't really know anything about this job," I persisted. "You're a night person, and you want part-time. What if they only want full-time? What if the pay's bad and the schedule inflexible?"

"Tell you what," I said. "I'll call later in the afternoon to check on the details of the job. Surely someone will be able to tell me something."

So I phoned them back late that afternoon. A different secretary answered my call. I asked her my burning questions. She had no answers. "I'm afraid I'm a fount of lack of information," she apologized.

So, early this afternoon I drank a cup of coffee, put on a nice dress, printed out directions to the shop (bless you, MapQuest) and fresh copies of my resume, gathered samples of the publications I'd laid out and designed, and headed off in my little Toyota.

I got to the print shop on time and went on inside. The secretary gave me a clipboard with a pen and application and took me back to a cramped, grungy break room to fill it out.

The application was double-sided, and included 1-inch-square boxes in which I was instructed to "describe in detail past work experiences and qualifications."

I've mentioned my horrible handwriting, yes? Handwriting that would make a pharmacist weep? So my details mainly consisted of "please refer to attached resume."

That completed, I took my application and resume back the main reception area, and the secretary took my clipboard back to the production area. She told me to wait for the production coordinator.

There were no chairs. An elderly basset hound/cocker spaniel mix named Molly padded out from a back office and sat up to beg for a treat. The secretary pointed me to a jar of treats on the counter. After I fed and scratched Molly, I gazed at the fish (oscars, I think) in a large tank, then looked at some nicely-done pen sketches of local churches that adorned the walls.

Finally, someone came out from production and took me back to the cramped, croweded Mac room to take a 20-minute typing and layout test in Pagemaker. I was given a Catholic church bulletin and was instructed to replicate it as best as possible in the time allowed. I think I did okay on the test, but not great; I spent too much time futzing with the tab settings.

When the test time expired, the production coordinator told me to print it out ... then asked me if I'd seen my application. I told her the secretary had taken it from me.

She hunted unsuccessfully through a couple of nearby paper piles, then said, "I'll just put your printout on Cathy's desk. She was supposed to talk with you after your test, but she had to leave. You'll have to call her tomorrow."

I blinked. I'd come all the way out here for an interview ... and my interviewer bailed on me?

"Can you tell me anything about the job?" I asked. "Hours, pay, schedule, start date, that kind of thing?"

"I really don't know," she replied. "Cathy knows. She'll be back tomorrow."

She escorted me out, and I went on my way.

So, in summary, after three phone calls and driving close to fifty miles for a job interview ... I've been told nothing of substance about this job. I don't even know if they're still looking for part-time people or not.


At least I got to play with the dog.

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