I didn't really have a lot of friends when I was growing up. It didn't really bother me, simply because I had never had any friends, so I didn't even know that I was missing anything. Looking back at it now, it does bother me. But I can't change the past. Moving on.....

I used to read a lot of books, it is one of the positive side effects of being alone. Although I did read a wide variety of subjects, there was one type of book that I kept coming back to. Those were the books that were told from a girls perspective, girl fiction if you will. Clan of the Cave Bear is the only one who's name I can even remember off hand, (although there is a book about a girl with white hair that sticks very strongly in my mind).

A funny thing would happen when I would read these books about these most wonderous girls, I would fall for them. I would fall madly for some girl who isn't even alive. Maybe it was because I never talked to any real girls back then. Or it could just be that these literary girlfriends were safer emotionally than a real girl could ever be. After all, how can someone break your heart, when they only exist as words on a page?

Soon I went off to high school. I put my books away. I began to meet real girls. I experienced love, pain, and all those hundred different little emotions in between. My taste in books moved from girl fiction to science fiction. "I used to be so silly" I though to myself. More years went by. The waters of time find me working behind the counter of a hotel. This is where the next part of this story begins.

I joined Everything2 as a way to pass the long hours at work. This period of my life has been a rather lonely one. There are not really any women in my life at all right now, (except for my roommate Tammy). So I begin to read the vast work that is E2. I begin to vote tag various people, almost at random. I met people in the chatterbox, I made friends, I made enemies. It is just like real life in a way. The next part is a little bit too much like real life.

I still remember the first time I saw her. "/msg pjd" she said blindly into the chatterbox. She repeated this several times. A few weeks later I am looking for someone to vote tag. I remember that "/msg pjd" in the chatterbox. For some reason it stood out to me. So I picked the lovely little girl who wanted so badly to "/msg pjd". I began reading her nodes. Before long I realized, it was happening again. I was falling madly for some girl who exists only in print. I really fell hard for her before I even truly realized that this would be different than my unrequited adolescent love for fictional characters. Somewhere, across a sea of cables and electrons, there was a real girl. A real live girl behind all of the wonderful things I was reading. Somewhere in the UK there is a lovely girl, perched on top of her bed with her Macintosh. That is the girl that I am falling for right now. A real girl, not some phantom of print.

Is she who I think she is? I hope so. Am I who she thinks I am? I hope so. What does the future hold? I don't know. I don't even really know how to end this node. So I am simply going to end it here.

For Lila

Blarghle. Work has been boring for the past week, mostly because the server upon which I write Perl, mostly for my own edification, has been down. This is just one more example of wacky shit that happens at my job.

Noded Wiskedjak, for which I feel OK. I wish I'd been able to find out more information about him on the Web. The fact that I can't leads me to wonder if that's a rare name for another, more well-known Algonquin spirit. I got the name from Neil Gaiman's American Gods, so it's really a question of where he got it from. Eventually, as I can find information, I'll node more of the characters from the book, but rather than noding them as Neil depicts them, I plan on noding them as they're commonly represented in their native mythologies. I figure we can call it The E2 God Project or something.

Washed my bike today at the car wash. The high-pressure soap spray was very effective at taking the old grease and grime off of my chain and cogs, though I think that next time, I'll try rotating the chain a bit. I then lubricated the chain and cogs with three-in-one, because I can't afford the fancy lubricants like tri-flow.

Hooray! One less write-up before level 4. I'll probably still have to do some kind of major cut-n-paste NFN thing, though.

"One little year? Is that all it's been?

One

little

year?"

--Margaret Tyzack as "Antonia", I, Claudius.

I have been a contributor to E2 for one year today. I feel ...

Uncertain.

I've always loved to write. But in the last year, I've learned what a monumental effort, what a struggle one can suffer when trying to compose one's chaotic thoughts for presentation to others. I'd never experienced the sensation of actually fighting the language til I came here, and started contributing (and refining) writeups here.

Writing is now a job for me; not all the time, but certainly most of the time. No longer do words come flowing out of my pen onto paper, only to be hidden away, seen nevermore. Now ... I have an audience. Now ... every thing I share may be someday seen by someone I might not care to have share. It's difficult. It's challenging. It must be fun, because I continue to do it.

And it is fun. Really. But it's also a lot of hard fucking work.

Is this what it means to be a writer?

Am I a writer?

I don't know. I'm still learning. Maybe I'll be able to answer this question next year. Maybe I'll never answer it.

Maybe it doesn't need to be answered. Maybe the journey is more important than the destination.

What do you think?

"The sun is crumbling-my head turns to dust" The Cure

She stood face to face with me, looking over her pert nose into my flaming green eyes. She reached out and grabbed my hands.

"I didn't mean to do it. It was..like that buzz you get when you meet the right person".

I looked down at her.

"Oh, really?" Do you have to fuck every guy and girl you 'buzz' with?"

Her brow furrowed ominously.

"Don't play holier than thou with me. It's not like you don't have your fun" she dropped my stiff hand.

"With who?"

"Nad, for one."

I pause. "Oh come on, she's like my little sister. You're being jealous."

"About what?! What the fuck are we?" she shouted.

I backed away, pulling a pack of Camels from my pocket. I offered her one out of habit, and she snatched one deftly.

"I thought we agreed what we were a long time ago" I said as I lit my smoke.

Disdaining my offer of a lighter, she pulled out her yellow one and spun the wheel viciously.

I think back to this episode, and it's relevance to my life now. I wonder what could have gone different, and realize it was all part of a bigger web than the one I spin, and the ones I struggle in.

It leaves me lonely, thinking about what-may-have-beens. It's not a wasted effort, I honestly believe that we all learn from such mental meandering..but still I feel empty.

Another loose end, another friend who slaps me in the face with a picture of what I couldn't see at the time..the cycle continues and still I walk on, oblivious as usual until it's far too late. Et tous?

Today was pretty weird. My grandparents came up from Virginia to visit us. We only live hours away from them, but ironically they drive out to Kansas ,Arizona, and New England to visit relatives much more frequently than they drive the the four hours it takes to get to northern Delaware. Oh well.

I finally found the Anime section in Blockbuster again. I swear they're out to get me. By that I mean that every few months the workers of Blockbuster decide to move every genre to a different location in the building. If i am correct the next step will a Communist plot to floridate our water. But aside from passing references to Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb by Mr.Kubrick, this node is more about Dean.

Dean is this incredibly unique free-spirited person, whom I could attmept to decribe with a million clichés, which, ironically, would undermine the image of Dean: one of the most authentic people I know. I was always kind of afraid of him (probably because he picked on me in junior high), but around our sophomore year, we acually became friends. Last year, we were in an acapella group together (for the entire first semester we were the only two basses in the entire group). Dean is smart: he got a 1400 in his SAT I, and he can pick up any instrument and wail on it because of all the music theory he knows. However, he never really applied himself in high school, and he was kicked out at the end of last year. He will spend his senior year at another school. I already miss him.

He can play the guitar better than anyone I know, and he sold me his old Fender Stratocaster (painted psychedelic colors) when he upgraded to a Gibson SG. I never regretted buying that guitar. I have had a great time playing it, and it reminds me of him. He was going to teach me this summer, but he went to Thailand and I went to France, and he's going to Alabama... So I'm hoping I'll find time in my senior year to learn from him.

He introduced me to The Doors, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and many others. He was also the first person to call Jimmy Page "... a sloppy guitarist." At first I was incredulous. It was almost blasphemy. But now, a year later, I tend to agree with him.

I was almost afraid to call him this summer. I can't begin to explain why. I really wanted to see him, and I kept hoping I'd run into him somewhere. I just didn't want to call him. I guess I was afraid he'd be tripping at the time or something. I never wanted to see him more all summer than I did today, when I was looking around in Borders. I run into him alot there. And then: I saw him. I didn't believe it at first, but there he was in cords and his favorite shirt with the burn from when he spilled hashish on it. I saw him the same place I always do: by the jazz section where he told me to buy Bitch's Brew. I still haven't purchased it ($25 is too much for a CD, even a fantastic one). We talked for awhile. He's leaving again tomorrow. But I finally saw Dean. He's going to call me when he gets home from Alabama, and then maybe, finally, he can teach me guitar. But I'll miss having him at school. I'll miss those perfect Tom Waits impressions he does when he gets bored. I'll miss those crazy acid logic thoughts he'll have without realizing it (my favorite being: "Wow, Corey's pants are really tight... I hope her legs don't fall off.") I'll miss him telling me about how much he loves Sartre, and how he had a horrible trip the night before. Somehow, hanging around Dean has actually kept me away from drugs. If I'm ever curious, I ask him, he tells me, and then I know. Now you know, and knowing's half the Battle. G.I. Joe! Most of all, I'll just miss Dean. I hope he enjoys his new school, and I know I'll never see him again after we graduate, but I wish him the best of luck, and I hope he's happy.

She walked in right in the middle of a game of Risk my friends and me were playing.

It would have been less embarrassing if she had caught us having wild monkey sex. As it was, she had walked in right after I had taken Iceland (which, for some reason, held extraordinary importance to us all). I was doing my little victory dance, which -- by the way -- was perfectly in time to the music we had blasting in the background.

It is easy to convince yourself that you’re cool when surrounded by others just like you. You can convince yourselves that you’re a clique, that you don’t need them, that you’re the ones excluding them and not the other way around. As soon as the woman whom I have a thing for enters the situation, all my delusions are shot to hell. She’s cooler than me, everyone knows it. My eyes widen in terror, all my friends wince and she says ... “Oh! I love this song!” She slides into the chair next to me, smiling, as I die of happiness.

Sometimes I’m surprised by how little I know about the opposite sex.
There's a limit to how much two people can argue, I think.

There must come a point where all the raised voices, barbs, and sullen expressions cease to have any true emotional effect, and the entire exchange is a charade, an experiment in masks and showmanship.

Sometimes I think that every time we leave something unresolved, every time we let an argument die in the spaces between us, we end up a little closer to that point.

It is not that we argue that upsets me. All people argue. It is the fact that nothing is solved by our arguments; that nothing is understood, or changed.

Given time, we will become porcelain and hollow, with mouths made only for yelling, and ears that only know how to ignore.

This cannot continue.
I went to see the new final fantasy film last night down in my lovely local town. I have heard a lot of different opinions about the film (ie some say its crap, some say its good) and i must admit for the full film i was guled to the screen. The best way i can descibe it is, you could easily forgot your watching a cartoon and think its real life, because thats all the film is really, one big expensive cartoon.

Now im not saying its bad, in my eyes its a really good film, i remember sitting and looking at one of the characters hands (gray's i seem to recall) and out the hand i could see the veins sticking, just as they are sticking out of my hand as well now. I would see Doc Cid sitting there looking thoughtful (in that way that intelligent people do) and it looked so real i couldnt believe it. The only thing i found confusing about this film is there is about as much link to the games (ff9,ff7,ff8) then there is to mars the planet and the mars chocolate bar. But as i say its a really good film, see it at you local cinema NOW!! (well go on im waiting)

Ahhhhh its that time of year again when i have to toddle on down to my school and pick up my exams results again, oh what a wonderful, exciting time it is for, knowing i have to stay on another year becasue the school fucked up my A-level music classes, such a wonderful mistake it was as well, so i will go pick them up, be grateful that i can stay on another yeah and get almight pissed yay!

He writes beautiful words that draw pictures in my mind and pull out the emotions in my heart, meshing them all together I become so overwhelmed that the feelings are forced out through the tears on my cheek. I've known him for years, this wonderful guy who's smile can brighten a room, so full of a love and energy for life I feel I can hardly keep up sometimes.

I awoke a few mornings ago with his warmth against my back. My mouth felt dry and I could tell my body would ache in the coming days. He runs his hands through my hair and I force the thought from my mind, but it comes, anyway. What the hell have I done?

We've been friends for years. Just friends. We go out and we do things, we talk, we laugh, we share, we enjoy the company of one another. But it's always been just friends. It was never anything more. He never showed much interest in me. I never had much interest in him, even despite all the wonderful things about him.

But that night.. that night was so beautiful. And I've always known what a wonderful person he is but it never jumped out at me like it did that night. We said things to each other than came from another place, kissed each other as if we'd been waiting for years. And yet...

He's 4'8" tall (or short), and I'm 5'6". I'm not one of those people who gives much thought to such things. I've had dates and boyfriends with men of all shapes and sizes and it's always been so much more about what's on the inside. Or so I thought. Why then am I hesitant about him? I thought to myself, you know, if he wasn't so much shorter than me, would I even question it? And my answer came easily. No.

Is it so wrong to want to be able to walk down the street, arm in arm, and lean over and kiss someone? To lay in bed with legs tangled together with laughter and hugs? I feel so ashamed for the way I feel. I feel like screaming at myself for being so stupid. Would I really pass up such a wonderful person simply because of height?
Today was special in a lot of different ways.

1. It was my country India's Independence Day.
2. It was a near one's Birthday.
3. I got one of my website's portal up and running today.
4. I came back to E2 today. And I intend to stay a longer this time. :-)

Thank you, E2.

Daylogging kind of scares me - I usually just babble in my LiveJournal - but I wanted to record my excitement over something that came about as a result of noding.

While working on my Kerri Strug writeup, I wondered what kind of vault she had performed to win the gold. I found her e-mail address in Stanford's online directory and wrote a message, but then completed the writeup before hearing back. Today she actually wrote back!

Meredith,

My Vault was a 1 1/2 twisting roundoff entry vault. You were right!

I hope you are enjoying your tim ein DC and wish the best of luck...

Kerri Strug

I'm quite giddy over getting a response. I've written to famous people for years and only sometimes heard back, usually with a form letter. But she really did write to me, and even if it was short I'm still delighted. I'm so glad I decided to do that writeup.

OK, today it has to be short. I just finished mowing in 100+ degree and I'm not getting any younger.

The Kitten
The kitten seems to have had a full recovery, however still on antibiotics. She is all over the place attacking everything in sight, including bare feet and curtains.

Near Death Experience
I was almost a goner today. I'm going down the Dallas freeway, almost to downtown with this 18 wheeler on my left side going the same speed. This car enters from the right, has their own lane and doing around 45, 15 mph less than me. As I come up on them they decide their getting over, never looked or signaled, just started into my lane. I immediately moved quickly towards the truck to my left as I possible could without hitting it and was counting rivets on the trailer outside my window. I blew my horn and they slowly started moving back over missing me by less than a half inch. This all happened in just under 2 seconds. If you must drive, be aware that there's an idiot out there with the same privileges that you have on the road.

Films, music and more
I got another film last night mainly for incidentals. I've been reading the script and feel it's a going to be a great experience. Other than that I wont go any further.

Cheers
PiB

Walking out the door to work this morning, I met one of the stray cats in my neighborhood. It was walking past the foot of my stoop and, glanced in my direction and stopped as our eyes met. I crouched down on the second step of my stoop and reachead out to it. Slowly, as if in some exhausted 6:30AM trance (this is a cat we're talking about here), it walked up to my extended hand to rub up against it like all cats do. Thrusting it's neck forward and turning it's head to the side it began to rub up against me in a familiar feline manner. It stopped half way and just looked at me for a few seconds. It was just staring at me, I was staring at it. An emaciated shambling persian looking cat, with a patchy orange-ish coat like the color an old lady would dye her hair, just kinda staring at me confused and google eyed. It moved on, most likley spooked by the fact that I didn't have any food, or smelled like any food it could eat.

This is a day streaked with luck, and painted with fun.

I went out at noon to buy a ticket for a bus trip to Washington, DC for the first segment of the Revenge of Nature Trail to Hell (in 3-D): A Very Appalachian E2 Gathering... OF DOOM! - a Greyhound bus round trip from NYC to Washington costs $84.

In the afternoon, I was shopping for MREs, and I've just received a phone call... It's from the Brooklyn College Excelsior, and I was passed a message from the editor-in-chief that I was offered a job by jazz singer Paul Bernhardt. I called Mr. Bernhardt, and he told me I can work with him on mailing press releases, sending off ads to newspapers, and sorting the mess of e-mail address entries for the electronic mailing list. I told him I'd rather call back when I get back to a good land line that is home.

I've got bad news. The bad news is the prices of MREs are mistyped - they're $5.99 instead of $6.99. - the owner of Kaufman's Army Surplus.

I went back home, unloaded the rations and called Mr. Bernhardt again to discuss the details of work. Okay.. sounds pretty good... I'll probably keep working in the Library Café for the rest of the week... Sure. I was invited to see Paul's show in Arci's Place tonight, and I had to buy film anyways - off to the city I go!

I bought two rolls of Ilford HP5 Plus film for my camera, a copy of Dork Tower and Mary Cleere Haran's Gershwin album The Memory of All That. I also had a plate of herring in the good ol' Café Edison before I went further.

I've never seen the silence that is Arci's Place during a show (Sam Harris was doing his show to an audience of big-name reporters and stars in the Cabaret scene. I waited for an hour or two before Paul and his friends introduced themselves to me.

Mr. Bernhardt's show is great, featuring a three-piece ensemble in front of the afterglow that is the tables decorated with standing used wine glasses and the nonesuch. If I knew more about the songs beforehand, I would love the show even more.

During the show, I noticed a red-headed woman sitting right across me... she looked mightily familiar - and I asked Paul who she is. *It's Mary Cleere Haran!* I introduced myself to Mary, asking if she recalled a conversation we had in the Café Carlyle in March. I told her I bought one of her older albums and a copy of Dork Tower and was freaking surprised to see THE Mary Cleere Haran! Mary told me about her son reading comic books, so I told her to check out Dork Tower. Mary wanted me to send over a copy of my review of her show, and (as of this typing) have already done the deed.

The waitress Danielle, always seeing me as a cool, calm guy ordering a light appetizer before a show, has never seen be broken down into a guy who's shaking and communicating only with the word "Dude!" And Mary left, with the words "I gotta go now, cutie pie." She called me Cutie Pie...

I had lunch with my ex-girlfriend, Radha, today. We hadn't spoken more than a few words to each other in over 2 years. I called her to have this lunch because I could still feel within something lingering on, lingering since our break-up more than 3 years ago. My first awareness of this unresolved karma came from my dreams, where I and Radha would appear together and I would try to mend any tension between us. (e.g. see Dream Log: November 19, 2000 - Dream Log: March 3, 2001 - Dream Log: April 19, 2001) So in actuality, these dreams served as sort of a template for my decision to meet with her. I intended to confront the issue in a straightforward, honest manner. Surprisingly, the meeting unfolded pretty much according to plan.

I picked her up at her house and we drove into downtown Santa Cruz. My attitude was borrowed from the dream template: calm, honest, confident, aware. As a measure of this attitude (according to my personal metaphysics) synchronicity flowed smoothly as I caught only green and yellow traffic lights and found a parking spot immediately during lunch hour congestion. We ate outside at a Sri Lankan restaurant and caught up with each other on our current lives, our mutual friends, our families. We spoke about the recent death of the mother of our friend, Emily. Radha is a very emotional person and her eyes became teary as we talked. We spoke about my interest in spirituality, a subject which Radha has particular contempt for, having grown up on a Hindu ashram in Northern California through a difficult childhood. We talked a lot about her upcoming trip to London where she'll live and work for about six months.

Eventually, I told her outright about my dreams and about a feeling of unresolved emotion. Just like in my dream, I expressed how much I truly cared for her when we were together, how much I loved her. I wanted her to know that our relationship was a wonderful gift: a crash course in gender psychology, love and relationships. Though the experience was at times painful and miserable because of the constant arguing, constant conflict and gallons of tears, it was the best lesson I could have possibly imagined. The tears returned to Radha's eyes as I spoke these words with a sincerity that actually surprised myself. Radha's response to all this was to affirm that she knew this was true and agreed with me totally--she didn't need to hear it from me, but she recognized my need to say it to her.

The conversation moved on from there and I asked about her mother in Santa Rosa. She said, "Did you come here with a list of topics that would make me cry?" She confessed that her relationship with her mom was not good because she didn't get along at all with her step-father. She said she tries to avoid Santa Rosa as much as possible. My heart went out to her as I leaned in closer from across the table--this had been an issue two years ago when we were still hanging out and it seemed to have gotten only worse.

We drove away from downtown and went back to my house for a little while. We smoked some pot and talked a lot more. I noticed how easily we had slipped back into being comfortable in each other's presence. We spoke openly about ourselves and I was at last able to appreciate Radha as a really beautiful person, whereas before my vision was tainted by the bad experiences of our shared past. I felt truly wonderful to have all that karma lift its weight from my mind.

Since we were both going up to UC Santa Cruz for work, we decided to ride the bus together. Just before getting on, I snapped two photos of her standing beneath a tree. Behind her was a sign with UCSC's motto carved into it: "Fiat Lux" ("Let there be light"). As we neared her stop, I planned to give her a big goodbye hug and apologize for making her cry. However, the logistics of the crowded bus prevented me from doing more than waving goodbye as she walked away. As the vehicle pulled away from the curb, I laughed out loud, realizing that I'd just made some new karma in that last moment: I still owe her a hug and an apology. Obviously, I am meant to see her again.

August 15, 2001, or 'How was your trip to San Francisco, TallRoo?' -- Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Another foggy day in San Francisco. By the end of it I will have spent an hour misleading an art gallery. First though, I decide to head to Alcatraz. I feel that the weather should perfectly suit the mood of the setting. I am excited about visiting the Rock. The concierge at the Hilton dashes my hopes though. "Sir, they are fully booked until Friday". Damn. Other than the potential of seeing the seals again, I see no reason to go back to the wharf today, so I am pleased that I checked the Alcatraz situation before going to pier 41.

What to do instead? I decide to check out the art galleries. My wife is a artist, and she has taught me well in the ways of the art critic.

At the first gallery I get a frosty reception. This does not bother me particularly, as I am there only to browse. Buying original art works is not something I am likely to be able to afford for many years. The Picasso and Rembrant etchings before me are more than just a little out of my league. When the staff of the second gallery ignore me in exactly the same way as the first I become a little worried about it. My paranoia grows and I believe that they are quietly mocking me by pretending I don't exist. I narrow it down to my age (22) and my appearance (trousers and shirt are not scruffy but not obviously screaming "art collector" either). When I enter the third gallery and a very friendly Californian guy greets me happily my spirits soar. Perhaps I am capable of pulling this off after all. So, by accident rather than by plan, I gradually begin to slide into a simple but total deception of this smiling man.

It begins with an icebreaker. He greets me with more effervescence than I'm used to, even in California, the most bubbly of states. I, after returning his salutation and assuring him that I'm doing very well today thank you, inform him that Californian galleries seem more friendly than those of Paris or London. This has two obvious effects.

  1. It demonstrates that I am English and not a local. Furthermore, if he is one of the seven Americans in the world capable of differentiating between a London accent and a Liverpudlian, that I am from the south of England with an accent which we would call home counties. This is not a deception. I don't need to put on a posh accent. For some reason I speak like a toff all the time. Sometimes I am aware of it but rarely do I try to disguise it.
  2. It implies that I am familiar with European art galleries. Not, perhaps, a total lie but I get the feeling that the total lies are not far down the track.
His attention sufficiently captured, he asks what I think of the rather striking Andreas Nottebohm painting I was admiring as he greeted me. I tell him I am not familiar with the artist but I am fascinated by the technique. Is it acrylic paint applied directly to aluminium? David (for such is the Californian's name) seems pleased I spotted that and wants to show me more of the Nottebohm works they have. I am genuinely keen to see more. This artist is new to me, and I really love the three pieces I've seen so far. We merrily chat about the style and the kind of lighting required to bring out the textures ground into the aluminium sheets which give the paintings their unique (as far as I'm aware) look. By this point we have gone up some stairs (past some Picasso etchings and, I note with joy, Salvador Dalí paintings) to a larger collection of Nottebohm paintings. They vary in size and shape (some are huge concave dishes) but all would make great book covers. They seem to depict the unseen depths of space. Some are strewn with intricately drilled and detailed markings - like an alien map or instruction manual. These pieces could, the viewer could easily imagine, be artefacts. Beautiful objet trouvé rather than man-made art. Others look more like intense space-scapes. Light plays across them revealing new aspects with every move of the head. The textures in the underlying aluminium are as important as the mind-bending shapes and colours the paint which covers it.

I realise that I am gushing a bit about these paintings but I want to emphasize that I am not pulling this guys chain. I have a very real admiration and respect for this work. It appeals to the sci-fi reader in me.

Now the crunch point. So far I could walk out the shop without having said an untrue word. The fulcrum is a question which David who has been subtly probing about where I am staying (the Hilton) and what work I do (computer geek) comes out with the biggie. "So, what do you collect?".

I am pleasantly surprised. His incorrect assumption that I own art pleases me greatly. I also presents me with a dilemma. If I were totally honest I would laugh lightly and say "I wish" or something similarly self-deprecating. I am here to browse, thanks for showing me this stuff and do feel free to get back to your paying customers. Something in me doesn't want to be so honest though. He has spent quite a while with me already, and I don't want to let him down. Plus, my ego was dented earlier by being ignored and David has just enlarged it quite enormously. I'm also interested to see how far I can take this. Do I lie and name some obscure painter, or even make one up? This is risky. I may be expected to know what the works that I own are called, their style, where I purchased them and so on. I am not a bad liar but this is too complex for me to get into. The happy medium is to admit that I currently have no collection but also imply that I might be here to investigate the beginning of one.

This minor hurdle out of the way, David moves on to the next stage. Prices. This gallery (I won't name it for David's sake) is not so coarse as to display prices next to the art. Now that he believes I am for real (something my self-confidence is still floating over) he guides me through the prices of the works. He does not even, as I was more-than-half expect him to, concentrate on the cheaper works. Instead he concentrates on the ones I admired the most and goes from there. Essentially, though, I can spend from 2-3 thousand dollars, for a 4 x 3 inch work, to 50 or 60 thousand for the larger pieces. In order to maintain some sanity I indicate that the more affordable paintings are very interesting to me. I don't say 'affordable' though I say 'accessible', thinking it's a more respectful word when handling money. Looking back on it, 'accessibile' to an art dealer probably equates to 'understandable', but I'm sure he knew what I meant.

At this point he suggests that I might want to come to a Nottebohm exhibition in one month. We have passed the point of no return now. My brain too well fluffed to do anything other than say "I would love to! I don't see why I shouldn't come back for that". A total lie. The reason I won't be there is because I am really here on business and couldn't really afford the flight let along the paintings I'm pretending to be weighing up. David doesn't know this though, so I am taken to a small back room. A dozen or so of the smaller pieces are brought out from storage. David wears white cotton gloves. The small pieces are known by the artist as 'Universes' and I go through a frankly unbelievable process of selecting the ones I particularly like. I even, internally laughing at how far this has gone, pick out 3 that look good together as a triptych.

This goes on for perhaps half an hour. I have wasted an hour of David's time now. Gentle guilt rests on my stomach. Before I can leave though I am shown catalogues. We exchange email addresses and I dutifully take a small Nottebohm brochure and agree that arriving 2 or 3 days before the show to get an early look at the new pieces will be wise. David also offers to email me some jpegs of other Nottebohm paintings which might be there. (I am really looking forward to this). He also takes my home address, which I give so that he can send an official invitation to the show. In return I agree to email him once I know when I will be arriving and where I will be staying in San Francisco. The one thing I demur on is my home phone number. Emails and letters I can cope with. Real-time communication would embarrass the hell out of me though.

In the evening I have chinese with some new friends at a great restaurant called the House of Manking. This we washed down with drinks at a variety of bars. I go to bed with a slightly guilty conscience. Poor David. He was so nice as well. A plan emerges in my head. I fly back to blighty tomorrow. There I will wait for the invitation and the promised jpegs, before telling him some more lies via email. Perhaps I inform him that I have bought a Picasso from across the street, or even better, a European gallery, instead.

There was a birthday party last night, not many people were left standing straight. The guys had a sex talk fest. I don’t know how I feel about how he was kissing so many guys, feeling sick, dancing funny. I felt sick watching him. How do I know that the next time he gets like that and I’m not there that he won’t smoke his head off or kiss people. He hasn’t spoken to me all day. His behaviour, like, for sure, like, I know, I doubt, like, I know we’re gonna break up one day, I just know it, but I’d rather be in denial or just dream or hope that may be, he’ll grow up and change and not get that trashed, or at least not think of such behaviour as good or something to be proud of. I don’t know, I’m tired, I’ve only had 2hrs sleep, I don’t know what to do.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.