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2001-10-29 - 2:08 p.m.

I havenít been writing lately; Iím sorry. No ideas come into my head, so I donít even bother to try typing. But I forget that once I start, the words come from nowhere, and if I write long enough, eventually I have something that I donít mind posting. Or maybe Iím just saving up my words. John has convinced me to do NaNoWriMo, in which you write a novel in a month. Iím also training for the Motorola Marathon. Somehow, these two goals seem at odds with each other. I can only imagine that writing 50,000 words in one month will entail a lot of late nights at Spider House, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes and huddling over the glow of a laptop computer. Training for a marathon isÖwell, exactly the opposite. Going to bed early. Eating healthily. Not drinking. Not smoking. Short runs four times a week. Long runs on Saturdays. Falling asleep on Saturday afternoons in front of the radio. Voracious hunger. Sore muscles.

So weíll see how the month goes.

Gary has a lesbian girlfriend. Sheís 22 years old. I met her for the first time on Tuesday, at the Strokes show at Stubbís. I knew I was going to meet her eventually, and I was dreading it. I wanted to get it over with; I didnít want to run into them unexpectedly. I wanted to be surrounded by my friends, in a situation under my control. The Strokes show was packed (incidentally, paying $15 to hear 11 songs, the same 11 songs on their one cd, no matter how technically proficient or hipster beautiful you are on stage, is highway robbery), but I spotted them five minutes after arriving. Gary grinned sheepishly at me. I waltzed right over, and was charming and cool and composed. I chatted. I asked questions. We talked about the bands. The lesbian girlfriend and I made fun of Gary. Gary talked too much. And then I went back to my friends. It was all relatively painless. I wasnít attracted to her, as I was worried I might be. In fact, I didnít even form much of an opinion about her, except that her eyes were too big and round for the angles in her face. I donít envy either of them. Sheís very young. And Gary is very difficult.

I later complained to Jennifer that it would be easier to be friends with Gary if he werenít such an asshole around me. Jennifer said, have you ever thought that Gary has always been an asshole, and you just didnít notice it until now?

I went to a Halloween party on Saturday night. I dressed all in black, and wore cat ears. I told everyone I was a Black Panther. Some people got the joke. Others didnít. Grant dressed up as a beauty contest winner; the banner across his chest read ďMiss Guided Missile.Ē Gary and his lesbian girlfriend were there. I didnít talk to them; at times it felt like we were circling each other, avoiding eye contact, wondering who was going to dive in for the kill. Neither of us did. I talked to Rob and John a lot. Danced to stay warm. Went home alone.

Rob and I carved pumpkins on Sunday afternoon, after kickball. We wanted to do something fun, after the stress of the previous evening. The pumpkins were two for $5 at HEB, and piled high in huge boxes. Rob is a meticulous pumpkin carver, carefully scraping all the pulp from the inside, each knife stroke making a perfect curve in the rind. My pumpkin is more matter of fact, and has a crooked smile. We listened to The Clash and Ben Folds Five. We sang along, and traded pumpkin stories. When we were finished, I said we should be proud of ourselves for creating something. Or destroying something, Rob said.

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