Excuse me, my panties are in a bit of a twist right now.
(Note: I don't wear panties... it's a turn of the phrase only.)

This chick has done it to me again, dammit. I'm the boyfriend with all the benefits of being a boyfriend but none of the hassles and hang-ups. I'm resourceful, helpful, understanding, patient, willing to listen and supportive. I make her laugh and allow her the freedom to be her without having any expectations. I ask her questions about her life and take an active interest in who she is.

She knows that I'm attracted to her. She knows that I am twisting inside because the nature of our relationship can not go any further. I know that she is not particularly attracted to me, though she freely admits that I'm a hell of a guy.

We flirt a lot, hang out quite a bit and talk about "things"- no topic or subject is taboo with us. We also share a common interest in doing crosswords- we actually set "crossword dates" with each other, which are often very fun and without pressure.

She was seeing a guy who turned out to be deeply invovled with another woman- his pre-existing girlfriend of two years. She (my friend) quickly realized that she was becoming The Other Woman and was having none of that. The problem was that the guy in question was very charming, very attractive, a very good kisser (so she says... and I'm inclined to believe her and her blushes) and very much her own age... but also very conflicted. She broke it off with him, which I commended her for and feel was the wisest move for all involved (not speaking selfishly here). Unfortunately, he can't seem to "take a hint"- he called her today and tried his best to be charming and solicitous over the phone without being... obvious (which only came off as being obvious, the bonehead).

She called me tonight, around 5 PM, to set a crossword date for later this evening at Cafe Coco- and neglected to tell me about His phone call. I wasn't feeling particularly good today, seasonal changes doing weird things to my biorhythms I guess, but I accepted and told her I'd be there at 7:30 sharp.

I have been holed up in my cabin for about two weeks now, since I've gotten 'net access and cable TV in here. Honestly, the only reason I spent so much time at the cafe over the last three years was only so that I could feed my 'net addiction (I use that term loosely, by the way). I don't like being in crowded areas if I don't have to be. I will do so for specific reasons and to serve my own ends, but at the end of the day I'd rather just stay home if I can.

So I get to the cafe and she's there talking with a friend of hers about some friends-in-common. I don't know who these people are, the ones she's talking about, so I remain silent and wait patiently until it's crossword-time. This takes about fifteen minutes.

We adjourn to the back deck and begin to work on a crossword, solve it in about five minutes. I am ready to start on another one.

"Mark called today," she told me, putting her pen down.

Crosswords, I realized, were a ploy. She brought me out there so that she could bitch and moan to me about some guy she gave the boot to four days ago. I begin to feel sick to my stomach, partly from my pre-existing condition of not-feeling-well and partly from a sudden, unvoiceable, nameless anger. I do not yet realize that I am angry, even though I am. All I know is that I am feeling increasingly nauseated and I do not particularly want to be there anymore. Which bothers me even more, because I know that I do want to be in her company. I am suddenly rife with confusion and internal conflict which I cannot process. My uneasiness grows exponentially as she goes on to talk about how she snubbed him over the phone.

She used my attraction to her and my interest in crosswords to gain an audience, so that she could gripe about some guy she isn't even dating and is, by her own admission, not at all pleased with. Imagine how special I felt right about then.

She notices that I look uncomfortable, so I tell her a half-truth, that I hadn't been feeling well all day long. She suggests that we go back to her place to continue on the crosswords in a quieter environment. I agree, thinking that this is a good solution. If my queasiness does not abate, I am closer to home at her place than I am at the cafe, anyway.

Twenty minutes later, we are back at her place, alone, and she then avails herself at cleaning up her room and folding her laundry while I sit at her doorway and watch. She then begins a discussion about the first guy she fell in love with, a very nice-sounding chap in Peru who she broke away from last year. She is preoccupied with the fact that she is not hearing from him as frequently as she used to and this troubles her. This lack of communication from her ex-boyfriend is exacerbating her loneliness.

While I stand there and listen, caring and attentive, she has the unmitigated gall to confess loneliness?

I am once again annoyed at this blatant misdirection. One of her roommates calls to ask if her work boots can be brought back to the cafe, so that her feet won't end up sore (this roomie works as a busser at Cafe Coco, it just so happens). I volunteer to take the shoes to the roomie and, while I'm at it, to pick up my friend's driver's license (which was inconveniently and accidentally left there). I make this magnanimous gesture only so that I may get away from this friend, to deprive her of the opportunity to talk with me about yet another guy who is not me.

I leave and take the boots to her roommate. By the time I return, she is asleep and her other roommate is there to open the door for me. I listen to her roommate talk about her current love interest, offer up some advice from the male perspective, and then air my own grievances about my friend, her roomie who is now asleep in her bed after I have gone and run this errand for her. I am not loud or vitriolic about my complaint, just frank and honest, but it was definitely legitimate and was received with sympathy. Then I go home.

Women take note: men, even if they are your friends and may say otherwise, DO NOT like hearing you bitch about other men who are not them. This is probably true for all males, regardless of their sexual orientation. Please, please, please do not do this to us. It fucking sucks.

Went to a lawyer for the first time in my 42 years today. Paid her $100 to tell me that my soon-to-be-ex and I qualify for "Summary Dissolution of Marriage" and that we don't need to pay lawyers any (more) money.

Met with soon-to-be-ex at escrow company to sign away my interest in the house so she can sell it (she bought it before our marriage) with the stipulation that the escrow company issues me a check directly when the sale is finalized. That's the extent of our financial entanglement.

But that's not why I'm logging.

I just put together a fast computer - haven't had a new one since 1998 - and one of the things I've been doing is using grip to rip and encode my CDs to oggs, since I have a capacious hard drive now. I came across a CD I bought through Columbia House some years ago that wasn't what it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be "The Baroque Trumpet", with Simon Wallace and the Royal Promenade Chamber Orchestra playing selections from Bach, Telemann, Neruda and others. It is clearly not that - nary a trumpet has a solo at any point. The CD is printed with the same info as in the CD case, which is all what it was supposed to be.

I've always wondered just what it is, exactly. It is a 4-part symphonic piece, kind of dark and brooding. Not something I pull out to listen to often, but I do listen to it from time to time.

As I looked at the CD just a bit ago, I realized that through grip's CDDB look-up function, I might finally find out what it is that I have! Of course there was a moment where I pondered whether I really wanted to eliminate the mystery or to keep it going, but that soon passed.

Into the drive the CD went and moments later, mystery solved.

The disk is "Symphony No.1 -Titan-" by Gustav Mahler.

It makes sense, given my reactions to other Mahler works I've heard, though I would never have pulled his name from the air and said this work might be him. I'm just a dabbler in Classical Music. Still, one of those really cool little benefits of the Information Age that I like stumbling across now and then.

(The above kept me from logging much about my personal upheaval and the subtly nuanced varieties of anger I'm discovering.)

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