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2001-10-11 - 9:44 a.m.

This is stolen from an email I sent a friend, almost a year ago. I wish I'd saved more emails I'd written to him; I always liked the way they turned out. I'll be in Atlanta for a wedding this weekend; I'm sure tales of emotional distress will follow.


Dear Bryan,

I thought that I would write you an email today, because you are maybe back in Austin, although not for long. Perhaps you are running around town, doing your last-minute things and saying your last-minute goodbyes. And some of your things are in boxes and some are strewn around and maybe the things that you need will actually make it into your car. And maybe you don't even have Internet access right now. Maybe I should print this out and fold it into a paper airplane and shoot it off in the right direction and cross my fingers.

It's strange, the people that we gather around us. Do I gather people around me that I like, or do I gather them around me because I like myself better when I'm around certain people? I think you make me a better writer, Bryan, or you at least inspire me to write. This boy Sal makes me feel witty and sympathetic. And Gary makes me feel like I'm being watched over. And Anne makes me feel smart, and perceptive. And I wonder about my tendency to have crushes, and confusing friendship with lust, and while I have very many friends that I do not lust after, the friends that I like the most are the ones that I have crushes on.

Maybe this is because my first real boyfriend was also my best friend, and so I confuse love and friendship too easily.

It was a crazy weekend. Too long a story to tell, really. And I don't always look good. But I have done nothing that I am ashamed of.

It rained. A lot. And I hurt my knee and skipped my run. And I saw movies. And I saw Jim Jarmusch. And some short films. And I sat next to a boy in a dark movie theater, and wondered if it was by accident that his knee was bumping mine.

And then I drank. Only three beers, but I am a lightweight now. The rest of the night is a blur - ordering drinks in between confessions, strange fumblings, and hasty goodbyes. The long ride home alone, when I probably shouldn't have been driving. A clicking sound from my engine - wait, turn down the radio - do I smell smoke? A closed road due to high water, pulling the car onto the side of the road, definitely smoke coming from the engine. Quick, quick, turn off the car. 2:30 am. No one around. Walk the mile to the house I'm housesitting at, through the dark, fording the stream, that only came up to my ankles. Hearing noises in the bushes, sure a deer was going to charge me, seeking revenge.

The next day, same old song. Call AAA, wait. And wait. Have the car towed to my friendly mechanic Frank.

The car was ready the next day. It was the exhaust system - $300. Sometimes my car can sense things - I'm sure she knew I had paid off my credit card on Saturday.


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