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2001-07-25 - 3:01 p.m.

It was harder to come home than I thought it would be. I was reallyÖ.content out in California. Sleeping ten hours a night, bringing back bagels for breakfast, walking around the city all day long, reading or playing cards at night, being quietly domesticÖI never once got bored, or frustrated, or frantic. Sometimes I got tired, or weary, or nervous about my navigation skills. But I think I could have done it for a lot longer than 12 days. Maybe part of me never wanted to come back.

Itís hot here. I mean, really hot, the kind of heat that sends you inside, and keeps you there for hours and hours. You peer out the windows from your air conditioned safety, because you can see the heat, hovering over the ground, ready to assault you should you try to go outside.

There wasnít heat like this in California.

There wasnít work either. From my first morning back, I could tell that nothing had changed. There was some work to do, but not a lot, and I did it, but grudgingly. Iím so unmotivated here, which is a shame, as I think I really could be learning a lot. Um, about banking. Did I mention the banking bit? See, Iím an editor. Usually, I like to stop there, because being an editor sounds fun and exciting and glamorous. But, um, Iím an editor at a financial publishing company. Oh wait, you want to know more? We publish books. For bankers. Really boring dry books for bankers. Our big seller? Internet Banking Strategies for Community Banks. Um, really. No, I donít write them. I edit them. No, I really donít know that much about the subject matter. Yes, itís hard to edit books about banks when you donít know anything about banks. So, yes, Iím really more of a glorified proofreader. A glorified proofreader whose boss doesnít really check over her work, who slacks off all day, every day, and who gets paid way more money than she should. So you see my dilemma. The credit cardís paid off, and Iím working on the student loans. Iím experiencing a financial freedom heretofore unheard of: I can go out to eat without feeling guilty about it. I can pay full price for a movie, and not think twice. I can go to California for almost two weeks, gleefully putting everything on my credit card, knowing I can pay the balance in full when the bill comes in. I like living like this. I was tired of struggling, all of the time.

But itís getting harder. I donít like being this unmotivated. I donít like myself this way, slacking off every day, not even caring if anyone notices anymore. I wonder how long I can do this. I tell myself a year. I think I should stay here a year.

So, Iím back in Austin. And how do I know Iím really back? Yesterday, at Wheatsville, I ran into two people I wanted to see, and successfully avoided running into one person I did not want to see (thanks to a full two minutes spent in front of the prepackaged tofu section, carefully surveying every single kind, until the aforementioned party left the produce section behind me). Later, at home, as I was getting ready to leave the house to go to Barton Springs, there was a knock on the door.

ďIs Suzanne here?Ē he asked.

ďYes, Iíll go get her.Ē

ďHi, Sara.Ē

ďUmmm, weíve met, havenít weÖ.Ē It was more of a statement, rather than a question. I knew weíd met. Didnít I?

He didnít say anything else, but walked right in, and off to Suzanneís room. I went and hid in my room, and racked my brain. Who was this guy? Wait. Of course. Dave. Or David. Something like that. Professor of German at UT. We had brunch at Motherís, and then later played racquetball. I donít remember what happened after that; either I didnít email him back, or he didnít email me back. I have a tendency to block out the things I donít want to remember, so it was probably the former. I didnít have very much fun on those dates; I was nervous and anxious, and felt awfully young (and he was better at racquetball than me). Iíd only been in Austin a few months, and was working as an administrative assistant for an educational publishing company. I didnít know how long I was going to stay in Austin, or how Iíd come to be there in the first place (not too different from now, actually), while he had a career that he seemed passionate about. It was just easier not to call him, then to tell him that his very presence made me feel inadequate. Weíd met in an odd way, as well. My roommate Kasee had placed a personal ad in the Chronicle, and he had left a message. Kasee, for reasons I will never fathom, had an aversion to any guy who called that seemed the least little bit intellectual. When he told her he had his Ph.D., she went on and on about how much he had in common with her roommate (that would be me). So she gave him my email address, we exchanged a few emails, went on a few dates, I stopped returning his emails (I assume, as I honestly donít remember), and I thought Iíd never see him again.

But this is Austin. Sometimes the people you really donít want to see again show up on your front doorstep.

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