I don't understand her.

I love her as I do because she is unpredictable, because I don't understand her; but I had no idea how she would react to anything. She was the last person I ever wanted to hurt.

Let me try to describe it to you, E2:
We were once together, two balls of insecurities tangled up in each other. We were different in every way we could care to think of, barring that we'd both played SimAnt when we were kids. But somehow it worked. Time spent; my first kiss, someone to love.

I still loved her; and I think that she still loved me. For some reason we were apart, though; we dissolved as serenely and wordlessly as we had come together. That was how I thought of it; we were apart, no matter how much we still felt to be together.

So, seemingly, did she; there was talk of finding other people, that we could never find anyone as great as each other (though I regret to say that for my part, I didn't actually verbalise this feeling, being the emotional retard/emotionally independent person I am). I tried to find someone else; I thought it would be something that would help, but in the long run, I failed more bitterly than I could ever imagine. But even in the short run, there I failed also. On what was more or less a whim, against what, for the lack of another term, constituted my better judgment after 36 hours without sleep, I got involved with a girl at a party; a crush from the summer. With the benefit of hindsight, the situation sounds almost so cliché that I'd forgive you for hurling obscenities at my stupidity now, but the thing about hindsight is that it's only available in the future.

This... casual romantic episode didn't really work out, in the end. I cut my losses, tried to work some way out whereby the person involved could remain a friend, and subsequently pretty much gave up the whole game of trying to find someone new. I didn't relate what had happened to her (the 'her' being the omnipresent She in my life); I don't normally share what goes on in my life or my head with people, and I was kind of embarrassed about the idiotic way I'd handled the entire thing.

Big Mistake.

It crossed my mind that it might piss her off; but I thought that since we weren't attached anymore to each other, the mores of fidelity didn't, well, apply anymore... and maybe that's true, I don't truly know, having very little experience in the entire relationship business.

But when I'm honest with myself it doesn't matter a damn whether the mores apply, or whether I was justified in not telling her about it, or whether I should have done it at all. Whatever I did, anyone did, matters not a fuck. The only thing that matters is that she was hurt, and I did it to her. Christ, I am such an idiot. It took me hours to even realise what I had done to her. And by then I had only hurt her more.

But I hurt her, badly. A friend of hers said that she'd lost that "never-been-hurt innocence", and that she'd never get it back. And it's entirely my fault.

I don't know what good this is doing, to tell E2 about it; telling a world that doesn't care, or know who I am; who I'm not even real for; who'll never say anything in return, even though I tell this to everyone.

Why don't I tell this to someone who cares, someone to whom it might make a difference? Because whenever I talk to her, everything I say is wrong. I'm at the stage when I'm afraid to say anything because it will just make her hate me more. I wish I could tell her that I fucked up, but that I never wanted to hurt her. Or maybe that's worse, wounding out of ignorance rather than out of malice. But she really was the last person I ever wanted to hurt. If she ever reads this, I'm sorry.

I'm going to be a father.

Oh shit.

Amanda, my girlfriend for the past five years told me last week and it's just sinking in. It's due March 30, 2002.

The Longing and the Fishes

I thought I saw you this summer

when I was visiting an aquarium

I saw your tall, beautiful back

and your slightly awkward arms

I watched as you stared

at the tank of beautiful fishes

I watched the reflection of your eyes

on the smooth glass

Your dark eyes were glancing at the fishes

tons and tons of beautiful fishes

They made you smile,

And the reflection of your smile made me smile as well

Oh how I wanted to feel your arms around me

and for you to look into my soul

There were so many things I wanted to say

and so many confessions to admit

But it wasn't you

it wasn't you at all

He was a double for me,

but I was nothing for him

He looked at me once

and then his eyes went back to the fishes

There is a girl who I have been friends with for a number of years. She has been the one I always went to for help in romantic endeavors. I would always be there to change her mind when she decided that men are evil. We are good friends, able to talk about anything. Both of us graduated and went off to college. Fortunately, I go to Carnegie Mellon University, and she attends the nearby University of Pittsburgh.

Over the summer we didn't see each other much, and as they say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." I found myself wishing that our relationship could be different. She has a boyfriend, a steady one for the past year and a half. I realized that things between us won't change.

College started, and her boyfriend went to Florida. She was having a rough time with the separation, so I once again gave my support. Our class schedules didn't allow for meeting very long. We decided to meet a little before noon. I had finished my classes, but she still had a couple more in the early afternoon. We got together and talked. I noticed her looking at her watch just before her classes were to start. Then a funny thing happened.

We are good friends, but nothing all that special. I expected her to get up and leave to go to class. Instead she stayed. We didn't even talk about her boyfriend. As things progressed I got the feeling that her classes and her boyfriend didn't matter. I got the feeling like she wanted to spend all her time with me. She didn't care about anything else, but to sit and talk with me.

The mother of all obnoxious kids came in my bookstore today. I wasn't aware that children did this sort of thing outside of bad movies. Here's the scene: Granddad wants to order a book and he is standing at my counter giving his information and listening to how much it will cost and whatnot. Granddaughter runs up with piece of shit toy that claims to help kids become spies.

"Granddad, will you buy this for me?"

"Not today, honey."

"Will you look at how much it is and if you have that much will you buy it for me?"

"No. No, honey, I'm not buying it for you today."

(Note that he stays entirely calm.)

"Here. Here, look at the price tag. See?"

"I see it."

"Will you buy it for me?"

"No. Not today, maybe another day."

"But look. It says it's only four ninety-five."

"Honey, it doesn't say that."

"Then it's one less?"

(Both Granddad and I look confused, but Granddaughter seems to think she has made sense.)

"No, honey, it's not. You see this?"

"Yeah. The price. Will you buy it? It's only four dollars."

"No, look. It says it's fourteen ninety-five."

"PLEAAAAAAAASSSEEEEE buy it for me! PLEAAAAAASSSEEE?????"

"No, honey, I said not today."

Granddaughter goes away and Granddad gives me some more information. In about half a minute Granddaughter is back.

"So will you buy it for me?"

"No. Maybe some other day."

"But you always say that! PLEAAAASSSSEEE???"

I want to smack her now. Granddad is as unruffled as when she started bugging him.

"I said no. Another time. Maybe."

"Tomorrow?"

"No, not tomorrow."

"Please? Tomorrow?"

"I said not tomorrow."

"GRANDDAD. I AM ASKING YOU NICELY NOW PLEASE."

Note that this is said in a tone of voice she could have only gotten from a mother thinking she is being reasonable.

"I'm not buying it for you. It's fourteen ninety-five. You don't need that anyway."

"BUT PLEAAAASSEEE???????"

"No."

"Will you buy it? Please? Granddad, buy it for me!"

"No."

And then he's finished up the ordering process and given me all the necessary information. He thanks me and says he has to go take care of this.

I really hope she never gets it. One only has to listen to the way she wheedles to realize that it probably works sometimes on other adults. Incidentally, this girl was just shy of teenagerhood. Way too old to be a cute brat (and I never liked cute brats much anyway, as my little sister was one). Ugh. Did I mention I'm never having kids? Or grandkids?

We got a new manager today, again. It was the first time I'd met him but the other people who already have had a couple of days to get to know him say he's rather stupid and just not very aware of what's going on. They also say he goes to juvenile halls and preaches the gospel to the poor lost souls. Sounds like I've found my future husband. NOT. Oh, and they're dicking me around about my raise. Again. It was what, two months ago they said I'd get it? Grr and double grr.

Oh yeah, and I cleaned my kids' department and then two hours later one family had singlehandedly made it a disaster area again. Ho-hum. What makes people think our store is their playroom in which to be slobs is beyond me.

My diet's going well, according to my cheap-ass bathroom scale I'm down to 106 pounds. Here's today's menu:

Breakfast:
1 granola bar: 120 calories

Lunch:
1 apple: 80 calories
1 crescent cake: 65 calories
Half a bagel: 130 calories
1 cup skim milk: 90 calories

Snack:
1½ cup salad: 15 calories
Dressing:
2 tablespoons lite Miracle Whip: 70 calories
1 tablespoon Heinz Ketchup: 40 calories

Dinner:
1 scrambled egg: 100 calories
¾ cup broccoli: 35 calories
¼ cup dried apricots: 100 calories
2 pickle slices: 20 calories
1 Morningstar Farms fake chicken patty: 150 calories

That makes a total of (drum roll please) 995 calories! That leaves me 5 calories to play with, which basically means I can drink a shitload of Pepsi One and that's about it.

Wine:
You get better service at a swanky, upscale bar downtown when you actually know the young woman who owns the place.

Women:
An old classmate of one of my best friends invited me to a party tomorrow night. My friend kept asking her if she could go too, but she kept saying "no." Meanwhile she kept telling me it'd be cool and I should make sure I stop on by. When you combine that with the fact that I'm suddenly finding the girl very attractive and we both keep getting into these long, personal conversations and end up tuning out our other friends, it makes sense to start considering this girl a decent romantic prospect. Flirting is so very cool, I think.

Song:
Social D sounds pretty much the same live as they do on their CDs. Still not bad, though. And Cake sounds kinda worse, I thought, live.

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