There are times when I am reminded just how out of place I feel. When Jake has plans to go out with friends, if it's a summer night like it has been and one of us has to stay at home with the sleeping kids, I just stay home. I elect to, usually, because he needs time away and I signed on for things like this and blah blah. The only reasons I might be bitter is either because while he's out I'm home, stuck with movies we've already seen, the internet, or the phone OR because if I were in his shoes and wanted to go out, I wouldn't have anyone to call. I don't really have any friends.

And some of this is my fault, because I still, at 29, don't know how to make friends. True, most of Jake's friends around here are from work, and he is more easy to call people his friends that I wouldn't, pals and buddies and the like. And if you've ever heard things like this, it may grind your last nerve to have your boyfriend kindly suggest people you could call, people who he knows really like you, really do, but who don't know that I like them back. I feel like some 8 year old misfit, and the desire is the same, to just, I don't know, punch him in the mouth and go sulk somewhere, because no one really does understand, and I really am just some freak who doesn't know how to deal with people, can't let people in, can't trust people. Etc.

This is an eternal conflict for me. I want the people calling me to do things, to want to include me, to think I'm as cool as he is, but yet I am such a snob and so picky about who I call my friends that I virtually have none in this area. I miss my friends in New Orleans. I miss oenone, even though we never lived in the same zip code and got to hang out in person only 3 times.

At times, I miss my lonliness, because it was mine and I didn't have anyone around reminding me how alone I felt. But we all know why that couldn't last.

This feeling doesn't happen often, but it does happen and it seems to keep happening. I can't seem to get a grip on and accept whatever it is I am. It's like I don't want pity, but judging from what I think I want, that seems to be what I'm advertising for. Jake poses so many challenges to me, to my heart, to my sense of identity, to my role in our relationship and my own individual life. It's times like these, these feelings, where I want to just chuck the whole relationship, only because it reminds me of just how awkward I feel around other people.

I know that this sentiment isn't really how I feel, and that, overall, I'm happier than I've ever been. But I still feel like I'm missing something. I'm missing a female friend that gets me, that gets along with me and accepts me so much that I can be silly when I want. I miss being silly. I met this one girl, Deb, who is really cool and thinks a lot like I do, but is so busy with all her other out-of-town friends and work at the local arts center, that she never returned my calls and after a while I felt like a stalker, so I hung it up. We go to the same gym, and I've stood right next to her in the bathroom mirror and, 6 months after not talking to her or hearing from her, I am pretty sure she has forgotten who I am.

I went to this poetry open mic thing a few times with a lady I know from Jake's work (all the people I seem to meet I meet through Jake, which makes me wonder), and I wish I could throw some of my energy their way, but their style of poetry just isn't what I feel is poetry for myself. It's more the Beatnik-snapping-your-fingers-instead-clapping kind of way (literally, they do this), and so I feel that by trying to read something, I would be lying. I'd be putting on a mask to feel more comfortable.

I don't know why, but I'd like to think meeting people might get easier when I start teaching, that teaching might at least put me in a place with people who might have something in common with the way I think. Will they be just as empty-headed, but oh-so-friendly-and-nice, like everyone else?

I just don't get it. Where do you meet cynical, smart, interesting people in the world? What am I doing wrong?