The sky this morning is that light diffused grey your car's windows might have when you've just gotten in and not been able to defrost them to clear up the haze of the previous night. It is December and yet I've been keeping all the windows open to let in the cool air. This is the first time I've even kicked on the heat in several days.

Bryan is now living with me until he finds a job and gets his own place. For the time being, I really like having him around. It's nice to have someone in the apartment with me, someone to talk to and watch their comings and goings. It makes me miss having a roommate, but I'm sure when he's moved on I will slide back into my solo living with little struggle. There have been times that I'm online or writing and he'll be watching a movie (which he didn't get to do because he and Suzy didn't have a TV/VCR) or typing on his laptop, and it's just nice. I am happy to be able to help someone else out at a time I can barely help myself. Takes my mind off my own wants. Plus, it helps me cope with not being able to see Ted, who I think about every day.

The last few weeks have been actually quite pleasant. I have gotten to meet two local noders, Lia and strange fruit, after many failed attempts. Lia is a 30 year old dread-locked guy who works as the sole computer fix-it-all guy for a bead company (as in Mardi Gras beads). We went to Schiro's and had catfish almondine. He is very easy to talk to and to listen to. Like me, he's been here for about 6 years, living in the same kind of neighborhood as me and having had some similar experiences and run ins. This Friday, I met strange fruit at the Trolley Stop Cafe and talked with her for a while. She is very cool, and I hope to see her again, college classes willing. I don't know why it is, but I always feel an impetus to meet noders who live in town. It is, perhaps, the warped way I tell myself that I am still able to get out there and meet new people, that I am not just penning myself in and shutting out all of the world.

I don't know why this is, but I can never seen to drink all of any one cup of coffee. It always gets cold too fast, and instead of pouring it out, I just fill the cup halfway with hot coffee, but after that it never tastes the way I want. Perhaps it's because I'm writing or talking when I'm usually having coffee and it distracts me.

Yesterday, I got to work my random weekend job doing books for the Quilt Shop guy. Good thing too, because I spent my last dollar for lunch. Last night, Bryan and I were drinking and watching movies that he owned. He watched French Kiss and we both finished Rocky Horror Picture Show where I had left of with it the day before. Bryan was just getting into Turk 182 when we found out that Ken's roommate was having a party to celebrate the near end of her final exams at Tulane. I was drunk in the #e and Ken was on as well and invited us over. I was not going to go at first, being that I'd had almost finished my 6 pack of Dixie (which is more than enough to do me in) and was content to stay in for the night. Since I was nearly out of cigarettes, I asked Ken to pick me up a pack on his way to pick us up (since I could not, obviously, drive). Just as Bryan predicted, Ken would not give me the smokes until I got in the car to go to the party. It was a nice affair. All college kids. We hung out on the porch so we could smoke and made conversation with some of the porch folk, watching people file in with their contributions of cheap beer and shoeboxes with Jello shots. Ken had contributed The Replacements and Uncle Tupelo to the music mix. After a few more beers, I found myself at Ken's computer, which had #e still running. I checked my email and got a really sweet one from Ted, so I msgd him on E2 and talked with him in the #e for a while before he had to crash. I got Ken to take me and Bryan home and they took off for the Quarter, leaving Ken's car here. When I woke this morning, Bryan had not returned home and Ken's car was gone. They likely stayed out drinking and then went to breakfast. That is the traditional thing to do here because you can do it. 24 hour bars and 24 hour breakfast joints. New Orleans provides so many means to meet all kinds of people that you sometimes wonder how you end up with the gang you do at the end of it all.

Also last night, I read Carson's last daylog about him going off for a year tour. I am not sure if this is what he wanted, and despite all the drama, it made me think about him the way I did when he was in Egypt for a month. Back then, all I did was worry and miss him, but now it is more a concern for his general well-being. I can only imagine what's going through his mind right now. I mean, he still has to come get all his furniture from his old apartment here, and all these seeming loose ends to tie up in a rather rushed manner before he goes. I do wish him well and hope he makes it through this safely. He had always been quite a good friend.

These are the last days until Ted comes here to visit, and while I do have things I need to do, it is not enough to occupy my time, as I cannot talk to him as regularly because he is gearing up for finals. It is the feeling of reinforcing how much you like someone with communication, but at the same time it's only teasing you more, because you can't act on it in an impulsive way. You just have to wait. Still it is good to have something to look forward to, something you know will be just as pleasant and enjoyable as your thoughts of it make it out to be, since it has always been like that with Ted. It is a different type of ache, and ache you know will soon burst forth and press a few new stars into the sky.