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2002-09-16 - 3:01 p.m.

Danielle wants me to update my site. So I am. But if you want something really interesting to read, go to her About page, scroll down, and click ďta da.Ē

I told Danielle that I really didnít have anything to write about. But thatís not true. I donít have any good stories, but I have lots of facts. Next week, I give notice at my job. Iíve been working here for almost three years; October 16th will be my last day. On October 18th, I fly to Ecuador, where I will study Spanish for a month, in Cuenca. I plan to spend two weeks travelling around after that, hopefully to Peru and Macchu Picchu. I fly back on December 3rd. If my car is still running at that point, I will drive back to Atlanta, and spend the rest of the month on the east coast, visiting family and friends in Athens and Beaufort and Washington, D.C.

And after that? Well, with any luck, Iíll get into the graduate program Iíve applied to. My transcripts and GRE scores have been sent. My recommendation letters have been written. All the paperwork has been filled out. The only thing I havenít done is write my statement of purpose. I mean, the reason I want to go to grad school is because I have no purpose. I donít think thatís really going to fly on my application.

If I donít get into grad school? Well, your guess is as good as mine. Suggestions via the guestbook are always welcome.

* * * * *

Lately, coffee and beer and cigarettes have become an adequate substitute for food. Iíve stopped thinking that itís such a bad thing. John once differentiated between the neurotically depressed (people for whom food is some major control thing) and the skinny-depressed (people for whom food just isnít all that interesting anymore). I think I fall into the latter category.

* * * * *

I didnít think I was as capable of impressing anyone as much as Iíve impressed him, unintentionally, with my endless rattling off of bands and books and movies, in my constant striving to make some sort of pop culture connection. But it happened almost every time we talked on the phone. I mentioned seeing Ben Kweller. He has the CD, and has been listening to it nonstop. Iím on a Haruki Murakami kick, reading everything I can find by him; he loves Murakami, but none of his friends have ever heard of him. I saw Spoon last week at the Continental Club. "You saw Spoon? Really?" And so on, and so on.

It was much the same in person; if anything, he was more impressed. I felt like I was under a microscope, but still passing muster all the same. Donít look so close, I wanted to say. You might not like what you find down there. His sideways glances and wide grin disconcerted me every time. In response, I hunched my shoulders, or crossed my arms, or put my hand on my cheek, digging my chin into my palm (this last one is no longer an unconscious gesture), halfway hiding my close-mouthed smile. After a few beers, my self consciousness faded into an over easy familiarity; when I grabbed his hand at the Sleater Kinney show so we wouldnít lose each other, he didnít let go, and I didnít want him to.

As I get older, or perhaps as I become more jaded, I am more likely to accept things for how they are. With enough time and distance and fondness, I know, the mythologizing will begin, but for now I prefer to linger over the hazy memories: rumpled sheets and creaking beds and angular bodies and night too quickly turning into morning and long slow kisses that lastedÖquite literallyÖfor hours.

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