Erica, if you pick this up today and read it, the entry I referred to yesterday is the next older one, not this one. I've been doing a lot of writing lately, and it's probably a lot to take in all at once.

Well, color me stunned. I wrote my writeup for April 8, 2004, expressed myself honestly and openly, and left things wide open for the world to see, flaws and all. I expected silence, or insults, or even the dreaded "get over it, you selfish asshole" response.

Earlier today I checked in to do some reading on E2, and noticed my message inbox flooded with messages. Nineteen in total, from people who seemed genuinely concerned about me. It gave me a spark of hope to hear such kindness from relative strangers whose only common bond is this vaporous nebula of content and thought that is Everything2.

I feel a little better today. Part of me says I shouldn't, since it's going to get worse before it gets better. I still feel this tremendous weight on my shoulders and I still feel like I'm collapsing from it.

While wallowing in my own miserable self-pity yesterday, I made a horrible mistake that affected my performance on the job. My employer talked about it with me, and has seemingly gotten over it and forgiven the choice I made and its resulting consequences. I still feel bad, though, as my selfish choice to try to get some sleep meant the phone calls that came through woke her up instead. She, too, has problems sleeping these days, and I hate contributing to them. Yesterday, I did. I will make sure I pay for that.

As I sit here, downstairs in her apartment on the futon that bruises me every night I sleep on it, I look around and notice a lot of cute things. My cat Maggie is curled up inside my comforter which had just come out of the dryer a few hours ago. I didn't even get to sleep in it yet and she's already got her fur all over it. Still adorable as hell though. One of Erica's cats is perched up on the cat toy calmly staring out into the back yard, hoping for something to entertain her. Erica's jacket and a bunch of shoes are on the floor over by her chair, reminding me just how beautiful and adorable her small frame are. She could probably fit both her feet into one of my shoes.

I still don't think I'm really feeling that much right now. As I described yesterday, it's cold and vacant in here right now, and it bugs me. I stand outside at night, when it's freezing cold, but I don't shiver or get chills. It feels like I do on the inside. I'm almost to the point where I'm willing to inflict pain on myself to see if I can still feel anything. Then again, I do get something pretty severe inside myself when I hear she's going off with her chosen partner for a weekend (next weekend).

Weird thing is she told him she had to be home by Sunday evening so she could do something special with me for my birthday.

... and that, my friends, is when my soul came back to life ...

She wants him. She's spending more and more time with him. She is putting him back in her life. Meanwhile I'm moping about, living with her so she sees almost every moment of it when she's awake, and having trouble even putting myself back together, much less living a decent life. I talk to her constantly about feelings I'm sure she wishes I didn't feel and wishes I wouldn't share with her. I'm clingy, needy, and lonely, and right now she's all I've got. That burden must be immense.

Yet with all that going on, she still tells the guy she's with now, who incidentally hates my guts and has told her several times he's sick of hearing about me, and that he wants me out of her life, that she has to be home in time to celebrate my birthday.

Now that is love. A person who didn't care about me, who didn't love me, who didn't feel something for me, would not do that. She's putting strain that isn't strictly needed on a fragile, delicate relationship that's still trying to get off the ground, just so she can spend time with someone she cares about on a day she thinks is special for him.

I'm just floored. I'm grateful that this universe has seen fit to put someone as special as her in my life. It gives me a ray of hope, which is enough to pull me through some of this for now. It's gotten me thinking "hey, maybe the universe has some more special things in store for you." It's still immensely painful to keep going, but slowly, very slowly, things are happening to me to dissuade my opinion that I'm done now.

This is still hard shit. Even with everyone's kind words and thoughts, I have real trouble finding hope and motivation to keep going on through all this. I still hurt. There's a gaping hole inside that's bleeding profusely, and I'm afraid that part of me is leaking out through it. I'm afraid the damage may be too much this time for me to heal properly, and I'm afraid of the scar it might leave once it's closed up and gone.

But maybe I can hold on until my birthday this year now. I've never really celebrated my birthday before in any special way... maybe she has something special in mind for me.

My shift starts in a few minutes, so it's time to wrap up for now. I don't know right now how I feel about trying to keep going. There's a lot pushing me to just give up. There's something, now, pulling me to hold on. I don't know which will win, honestly. I loathe not knowing what's going to happen to me, even in the next few days. There's still lots of real-life stuff outside this seemingly failed romance (it still pisses me off that he wrote it was "doomed to failure" ... thanks for planting that seed in her head, dude, thanks a lot) going on that really scares me. This contract thing might be running out of steam in the next few days, for instance. If that gets cancelled, I'll have been wasting time I could have been using to build something else that might make me some damned money -- something I desperately need fairly quickly.

The sleep problems persist. It is now almost 8:00am PST, and I've been awake since 4:00pm yesterday. I will likely be up all day today without the benefit of a nap or other form of rest. Uh-oh.

... did I just write "dude" up there? ...