Thursday, May 31, 2001

Roadrunner and Water

I feel a rather odd pull toward water in the early summer. Something deep within me, as if my cells can remember what it was like to crawl from the oceans of the pre-evolutionary world onto the unicontinental Pangaea. Part of me is drawn to large bodies of water. Lakes, oceans, that sort of thing. I have the feeling that once it stays nice for more than two or three days in a row I will be spending a lot of time at the beach. Hopefully I can finally put my beach chair to its intended use.

Began the process of returning my defective power supply in the hopes that somehow maybe that's the only problem with the computer. In a week or so I'll know. The worst thing about mail order, despite the fact that it's usually 30% cheaper than retail, is that it takes fucking forever sometimes. I wish someone had told me in the beginning that the computer parts would require a gestation period of over a month to come to mature into a fully functioning system. I have an open mind concerning technology, but this is honestly shaking my faith. I can only stands so much and I can't stands no more.

I got to see a patient at work today. That was interesting. I hardly ever get to do that. It sucked because I had to stay an extra half an hour, but I think it was worth it. It doesn't feel like work if I get to see patients, it feels more like leisure. I like work that feels leisurely. Perhaps that means I'm just lazy.
I'm thoroughly enjoying the roadrunner connection that my father has installed. I love the convenience of not having to tie up the phone line and being able to access the internet at any time, not just after everyone has gone to bed and no one is likely to call. It's almost as convenient as the connection at school, and nearly as fast.

I got paid today, and, as I had predicted, it seemed to find its own way out of my checkbook and into bill return envelopes for a handful of debts. Next month will be better.... yeah... right. I figured out today that I'm making just over $6.50 an hour. Worse yet, after a week, the fucking government has already taken $50 right out of my pocket. Candidates: show me a plan for the privitization of social security and I'll vote for you. Hell I'll lobby for you. The baby boomers have spent all of the money that should have rightfully been invested in our futures. If they, as a generation did not have the foresight to save for our educations and the foundations of our young adulthood, then I say fuck them. I'll keep that extra $30 a week for social security in my paycheck and put it to use doing something to make the future look better for my children.

Ok, ok, so I'm feeling a bit bitter. I just really hate being poor. I take that back. I don't hate being poor, I just hate knowing why I'm poor and that it could have been prevented. I get bitchy around bills time.

Not much chance I'm going to think of anything else interesting this evening. I think I'll go watch some tube and drink a Corona. Maybe break out the guitar. Evening.

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Mr. Swap and the Leaky Cavelier

Things don't change around here much. My copy of Almost Famous arrived today. Infinite Joy. I watched it twice just today. I think I may like it even more than Chasing Amy, which is saying something. I managed to actually lift today. I haven't done it in a few days. I made it through the whole routine. My arms had that puffy burning feeling at the end. I've come to love that feeling. The second part of The Harvard Club was posted today on DyingDays. I've got a comfortable margin that I can post an update a week and still have lots of time before I need to write more in order to keep up. But I think it may end up being another novel project anyway. I don't know why I'm starting another one when I haven't even finished the first one, but oh well. I will someday. The Harvard Club is trying to pull itself from me. The Blue East only likes to come out now and then.
I just ordered copies of The Boxer and The Specialist online through Mr. Swap. At this point, I'm not having much fun in life anymore and just about anything new is cause for celebration.

I've been listening to the theme from Soprano's, K's Choice, Simon and Garfunkel, and Oasis. Is it possible that I may be suffering from some sort of brain damage that denies me the ability to pick one kind of music and stick with it anymore? My taste in music is as random as I could imagine it being. I'm about halfway though the Dark Half. I'm still wondering why I never read it before. It's a great book. I think I'm going to try to tackle Salem's Lot next. I haven't read that yet, either. Then if I get really bored, I'll probably try to reread IT. With any luck I'll have a job by this time next week, though. I dropped off a resume with a political representative that is going to try to help me get the park job. I'm going to talk to the manager at the cell phone place too, and Mary Ellen about the Security job at SLU, AND I gotta call a guy about getting recruited into the border patrol. I had my car fixed today. It needed three new sections of fuel lines. The old ones were rusted away. I imagine I'll get better mileage now that my gas isn't leaking out onto the highway.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Job Hunting

More job hunting today.

I went and spoke again to the supervisor that deals with the park Ranger job I want, and he still didn't have anything to tell me in terms of if I got the job or not. I decided that since I'm a registered Republican, perhaps I could call in the few benefits that such a membership entails. I spoke to my local representative and asked for his help. I'm going to take him my resume tomorrow and see if he can expedite the process. I'm getting really tired of waiting.

I also dropped off an application at the cellular phone kiosk at the mall today. The overweight Fort debutante that was working there gave me a once-over as if I might be her next meal and told me that her manager would be in on Thursday to speak to. I told her I'd be back. If I have any luck with the park job, I certainly won't be back. I don't know if it's unseemly to turn my nose up at a retail minimum-wage job, but after four years at St. Lawrence... It's tough not to be disgusted with the shitty little town that I have the decided misfortune to live in.

Monday, May 28, 2001

Memorial Day 2001

I had the hope that the last Memorial Day I went through would lead me to a life that was somehow better than the one I'm living. If it is possible, I am significantly less happy, less secure, less loving, and less hopeful than the miserable day last year. All the things that I hoped would be better by this time in my life are not. I'm still swimming in a sea of uncertainty, but this time there's no land in sight to head for. No matter how far I swim or how hard, I have no way of knowing if what I'm doing is right.

They say that it's only when we've lost everything, are we truly free to do anything. In that sense, I suppose I'm the free-est man alive right now. Everything I had that last year that made any difference to me is gone. Everything I had that offered some kind of security, some kind of sympathy and comfort. It's all gone. I had accomplished so much by this time last year, even though I had to wait another year to bring it all together. I was on track.

Now, the worst things that could have happened to my life have happened.

A fiancee that I loved more than anything, loved so much that I prayed nothing bad would ever happen to her, has left me. Worse than dying in some tragic way or worse than cheating on me so that I would leave her, she just left me. For no better reason than she had just gotten sick of me. When was the last time a person you loved decided that they were sick of you?

My job, my career, my direction in life that would secure a future for myself and my children, is gone too. Again, not because I'm not capable or because I did something to not deserve the job, but simply because I chose not to do it. I decided, in the dark hours of early February, that I would give up trying to make everyone else safe and happy and try for the first time to just make myself happy. Of course, now no one's happy, but how could I have forseen that?

And now I live at home, alone, and with no job. The one situation that I worked so hard to avoid. The one combination that I would have done anything to avoid. It's now here, and real, and very much on my head. I thought college was supposed to be the hard part. The delicate part of my life where one wrong move or one torn condom, or one bad decision might spell disaster. I thought for sure that it couldn't get any worse, any more tense, or any more heartbreaking than that. Couldn't it?

Evidently it did. If there's one thing this last horrific year has taught me, it's that no matter how badly things may seem, they can always be worse. More often than not, they DO get worse. I'm still waiting to hit bottom. Waiting for that moment when up is the only direction that I can go. I hope I hit it soon, because I feel pretty fucking low right now.

I saw "Pearl Harbor" tonight. It was fucking lame.

Sunday, May 27, 2001

I couldn't imagine a place I'd like to be less. At least in prison, I might find someone who understood how I feel. Here, there's nothing. No friends, no place to meet new friends, no money to go to places where I might meet new friends. The single saving grace of living here is that I don't have a job to go to, and that is even a curse because it just means more hours of the day in which to be present in the belly of hell. Living at home. With my parents. In northern New York.

Put a .45 to my head and paint the wall with my brains.

What the fuck am I doing here? What could I do to get out of here? When will this misery end? These are questions that have no apparent answer. Every comfort, every little thing I loved about my life at school, is gone. In its place I have only a world of pain and work ahead of me. I have lost my beloved, I have lost any sense of where my career might go, I have lost my friends, who were better prepared for this than I was. Even the little things. I never get pizza anymore. I have to shower in a 2x2 foot stall that has a top which is approximately eye level with me. I've gotten to the point where, between getting grimy and sweaty from working out and my unbridled hatred for the low pressure lukewarm stream that is my parents' plumbing, that showering has become a "when I absolutely need it" affair instead of every morning.

Living here takes all of the joy out of my life. The part that's even worse is that I see no end in sight. If I don't get into the academy this August, there's no way I'm going to have enough money to go to Florida to find another job this term. I'll have to postpone my goals for another six months, during which I'll have to find ANOTHER shitty job because the shitty job I'll get this summer (IF I get one) will be over by then. Either way, it spells being stuck in this shithole for, at best, months.

Frankly, this makes me want to cry.

Is this what I spent four years in college for? To give me a hint of a better life and then have it taken permanently away? Why the fuck did I bother? Why do I bother trying now? If I don't get the appointment to the academy, I can kiss even the possibility of happiness goodbye for at least another half a year.

I'm considering joining the armed forces if I don't get into the academy. How bad could it be? Certainly better than this. At least that's a sort of life. This is no life at all.

Friday, May 25, 2001

Limbo part 2

I got a nice little email from a reader today who noticed my DyingDays archive. It's nice enough to hear from people who write for DyingDays itself, but it's nice in a different way when random people happen to find the page and can appreciate it. I don't know if speak for the rest of the DyingDays crew, but it makes me feel like maybe I'm not just talking to myself, and maybe others outside of our sardonic little club truly understand what it is to be our age in this shitty in-between time of history.

Wrote a few letters today. Got a haircut. Organized my stack of painful little photographs into two folders. One labeled "High School" the other, "College." Many of the ones that would have gone into the "College" folder are in digital format only. Maybe someday when I am affluent enough to warrant a laser printer and photographic paper, I'll print them up and put them in the folder too. Until then, I'll have to deal.

These are lean times. I went to the mall and could barely afford to buy a haircut and five dollars worth of gas. Gas is a $1.71 for a gallon of regular unleaded. What a fucking joke. As if everything else wasn't way out of my price range.
Hehe. My PRICE range. That's laughable in itself. My price range at the moment is exactly.... (checking electronic balance online)... $78.21. That's all. And even though I applied at the Cingular Cellular kiosk in the mall, I'm still jobless and no closer to making any money. I can remember leaner times, but not many. I suppose I should start organizing things to sell in case I have to pay for another month's bills. I have just barely enough to cover next month's. If I don't get some cash for graduation presents tomorrow at my party, the next month will be a lean time indeed.

I added running to my workout regime yesterday, and my body promptly responded by vomiting up my dinner. Running with the cotton mouth that I inevitably get from too much exertion is only slightly more pleasant than doing so with the sour taste of bile on my tongue. I had forgotten what a bitch running was. It's been a long time since I did any in earnest. I managed to jog a mile, though. Not bad for a first day. Not good, either, but not bad. It's a start.

Monday, May 21, 2001

St. Lawrence Graduation

I graduated St. Lawrence University yesterday. It was an experience. A friend of mine told me a little factoid about how graduation speeches are the most forgotten speeches that you'll ever hear. It seemed intuitive enough, considering that most graduation speakers suck, but it made even more sense when he told me why.
No one sleeps the night before graduation.

I don't remember the night before my high school graduation. It seems at one point I must have slept, but I could be wrong. I certainly didn't sleep this time. My date for the senior dinner dance conveniently decided not to show up. Normally, this would prove to be an incredible downer, but rather than dwell on in, myself and a friend of mine went on an all-night hellraising road trip into Canada. A smashing time was had by all. When we got back, neither of us were tired, so we stayed up and hung out with the other members of my hallway who, by then, were severely drunk. At 6:00 AM, we went out for the traditional game of graduation morning street hockey in J-lot. I did well, I was among the more sober members of the crazy cadre. Gee was so drunk that I didn't know if he was going to make it to the ceremony. He's a tough guy, though, he pulled the trigger and got it out of his system. I've only had to make myself vomit once, and it was particularly unpleasant.

When I left campus, I was basically the only person still there. I took one last nap on my lounge couch before leaving, and when I woke up, everyone else was gone. I considered buying one last farewell pizza-roll, and probably would have if I had had a five-spot on me, but I didn't, so I refrained. I managed to get everything home in my own car, with the exception of the fouton cushion, which I believe is still in the trunk of my mother's car.

It was good to sleep in a real bed again, even if the shower was less than satisfactory. I took a trip out to see if the Ranger job was still open and the guy told me he wouldn't know until after Memorial day. Considering that was this coming weekend, I figured I can wait and cool my heels a while. My party is this weekend and with any luck I'll get a little spending money to tide me over for the coming months.

I haven't had a computer to update this page in a few days, hence the annoying interruption of new updates. Still, I'm pleased that the site draws at least a few viewers now and again. I downloaded and printed a picture of the 2001 Jaguar S-series. It's a truly beautiful car. 280HP, V8. What a ride. If I get a decent job, something like that might be in my grasp. We'll see. For now, it's a motivational tool. I'm going to exercise every day until I can perform every task that the trooper tests require. I have applications sitting in my room for four other police departments that I think I'll send as well. I am also intrigued by the prospect of perhaps getting a parole officer job. Their money isn't as good, and the job isn't as interesting, but if I get stuck for some reason, it might be a handy backup option.

The food is so much better at home. All I've eaten all day is a ham sandwich and crackers for lunch and a chicken breast and mashed potatoes for dinner. No hotdogs, no wings, no pizza, no shitty food that tantalizes but doesn't satisfy. I didn't feel hungry all day. If this continues long enough, I'm sure weight loss is going to result. That can only have good implications for my trooper training, given that there will be less to run around and push when I do pushups.

Friday, May 18, 2001

Kermit the Gorf

Do you remember the old-school Sesame Street television series? I’m not talking about the shitty new one with Elmo and all the little fairy muppets. I’m talking about the REALLY old school Sesame Street where the old guy shit the bed of cancer and they had to explain to Big Bird how his friend really wasn’t ever coming back. I’m talking about the Sesame Street where Big Bird was suffering from dyslexia and had to constantly try to re-spell the word “frog” in a special t-shirt for the aforementioned green muppet. Kermit the GORF, Kermit the FORG, Kermit the GROF. I’m talking about the Sesame Street that had a memorable cast of characters who weren’t worried about things like political correctness or race. There was a big bald black guy that wore brown turtleneck sweaters and mutton-chop sideburns as if he was Shaft, and spoke in ebonics whenever applicable and nobody saw a problem with it. There was an Eastern European character that was an obvious middle-finger to our Baltic cousins called the Count. There was a little funny blue guy that I always liked the best named Grover who was constantly fucking things up because he was greedy or shortsighted, or simply not smart enough to make his plans work. There was a huge blue beast called Cookie Monster that represented the ID in all of us, eating whatever he could eat, a slave to his appetites, not caring if he lost half the cookie each time he ate one because he was eating them so voraciously. There were an endless cast of murmuring little creatures who said things like “Yup yup yup yup yup”, and had no other purpose than to be background characters in the life story of this little group. The Yup Yups were the other world, characters, but not characters. When they poked their lives into the lives of the main cast, they were important, at all other times, forgotten. And then there were the little kids. Tons of them. No one ever remembered what the little kids looked like or what their names were because it just wasn’t important. They were the constant inquisitors of the main cast, the badgering children who existed simply to keep a real-life eye on the main cast and to keep them out of trouble. The adults were the sages. The Big People were the ones to go to when you didn’t know what to do or when you didn’t understand something, and they were the ones that would inevitably step in to correct a problem that had become bigger than the experience or skill of the main cast. There was the enthusiastic. and sometimes inexplicably wise, balladeer. Kermit was the average guy, the eyes that saw everything. Kermit was the narrator, the hero, and in many ways one of the most interesting characters of 1980’s storytelling. Kermit also constantly faced new challenges and bad luck, but Kermit, unlike the other muppets, acted like maybe HE could someday be an adult, one of the wise sages. Kermit was just a muppet, sure, but sometimes, Kermit could solve problems in a roundabout, ploddingly logical, way. Kermit was in intellectual. Sure, maybe there were some things he didn’t quite understand yet. Things that only age and experience could bring, but Kermit was the one that tried to understand, tried to do good, and occasionally succeeded. Big Bird was the child that every child is. Big Bird not only didn’t understand what was going on half of the time, but he was constantly being hoodwinked by the other characters and put up as the patsy when another character did wrong. Big Bird had a very interesting imaginary friend called Snufalupagus that only he could see. None of the other characters believed him that Snufalupagus was real. The thing was, though, Snufalupagus WAS real. Or at least he was real to Big Bird. So even though Big Bird was just a child, there was something special about being a child that the others had lost. There was something that Big Bird could see made some kind of magical and inexplicable sense. And even though some people could understand it if Big Bird wanted to make shit up, Big Bird knew his friend was real. The old Sesame Street, for all its gaudy and commercialist 80’s hoo-haa, was a quality show for children to watch. It took kids places and exposed them to things that were perhaps not so nice about life. And it showed them that if you try, you too can be an adult and wise and then someday it will be your turn to help the other confused people that were too young to know about life on their own. I think the children of today would benefit from reruns of Sesame Street.

These in-between moments of alone (revisited)

The yellow sheets have returned to the doors in my hall. Even my door has one. My roommate left yesterday. Three other people remain. We sleep all day and stay up all night doing nothing. Biding our time, drinking expensive alcohol, using up everything that can be used up so as not to have to take it with us. There are no lovers here anymore, only friends and new acquaintances. All the lovers have gone home to wait out the summer. Again, these moments between the frenzy that is graduation become like great droplets of time that ooze past as slowly and ponderously as possible. I've wasted hours today already, just sitting around reading and organizing my computer for the trip home and trying to remember all of the things I will need to do and adjustments I need to make in order to have a smooth transition to the next part of my life. Given that I will probably not have a fixed address over the next few months, I shouldn't get too comfortable at home either. I skipped the senior festivities again today. These people are not my friends. What few of my friends remain are huddled in our lounge playing pitch and drinking homemade wine that Jeramy's dad brought. I will probably visit next year, stay with my younger friends and tell them stories about my police academy, but it will not be the same, just as it wasn't the same for the alumni that came back and visited this year. I have only the next two days to feel completely at home, even though it's rather like trying to sleep the night before moving out of your own room. Everything is packed and ready to go, and the only reason you left anything unpacked was to try to get the sleep that you know won't come. The buildings are like arms of a campus that doesn't want me to go, the University is empty, but it still vibrates with the life that I and thousands like me have breathed into it over the last four years. Sunday I will leave it behind forever, and make room for the next group of unsuspecting frosh. Soon this place will be home to someone else, and not to me. But for now, my friends are gone. The home that I knew in them has largely departed, and senior week becomes an exercise in patience and reflection. It's hard to not be just a little sad. This place glows with the life that I and my fellows put into it, even though they're not here. At night, though, when all is supposed to be quiet, the halls echo with the voices of people that I may never see again.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Senior week part 3

Luke moved all his shit out last night. So I took the opportunity to rearrange the place to make it more comfortable for me for the remainder of this little waste of time called senior week. I think I would have felt much more productive had I just stayed at home and worked out all day and been able to concentrate on getting some stuff done. If I get that job with the park Rangers, I'll be working from 7:30-:2:30 five days a week. Which is actually perfect, considering that's exactly my productive time of the day and the time when I'm most likely to want to be awake. I'll never have to be awake before noon, and I can go for a run or work out as soon as I wake up. It will be sweet. If I got the job at Cedar, I'll also be outdoors and near water all the time too. This is a far more promising opportunity than working for Don. At this point, I almost shudder at the thought of being trapped in that basement again with no AC during the hottest part of the day IN FRONT OF AN INDUSTRIAL OVEN. Not to mention the lower back pain that standing all day and hunching over to avoid the low ceiling produces. I never realized how much I hated that job until I didn't have to go back. How cleansing.

Another marvelous byproduct of Luke being gone is that he took the phone with him. Meaning 1) his girlfriend won't be calling every five minutes, and 2) no one will bother me either. My room is blessedly silent except for the peaceful hum of my fan and the sound of my fingers striking the keyboard. It's almost reminiscent of this winter when I was all alone in this building. I really liked my life then. It was lonely, but it was nice not having anyone breathing down my neck. I think living on my own will be a treat.

I downloaded the Stephen King story from the Dark Tower series that appeared only in a short story anthology. It's called "The Little Sisters of Eluria." I enjoy getting audiobooks from Napster, but I think I'm going to enjoy it even more when I'm home and have access to my father's thick Roadrunner connection. I have still been unsuccessful in getting that other story off of my Cassiopeia. I'll probably have to take care of it when I get home. It's hard to work on it just on that little keyboard. I have lots of ideas, but they come faster than my fingers can type on the tiny keys.

It just occurred to me that college, if nothing else, has turned me into a skilled typist. And to think a few decades ago, typing was a skill that people had to work at. I can't really type without occasionally looking at the keyboard, but I can still type as good as any secretary. I can type almost as fast as I can talk.
I'm looking forward to going to the senior dinner dance. Even though I don't really identify with most of the people there, it's going to be fun to get dressed up and go somewhere nice for a change, especially since I get to take Jill. I hate being that guy that shows up to dances alone only to discover that everyone else has beautiful dates. This time I get to take the beautiful girl to the dance. Things have sure changed for me since high school. I'm amazed that I've come so far in just four years. Four years ago, I wouldn't have even recognized myself. It feels like so much longer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Senior Week Continued

Life becomes difficult. I got trashed last night and slept till almost 5 this afternoon. I woke up from a particularly nice dream when my ex-fiancee entered the lounge where I was sleeping. It was too hot in my room to get any decent sleep, so first I went out into the hall and laid down in front of the window to get a nice breeze (see the picture below that my roommate took of me with my digital camera), and then I went into the lounge. Between Socia and I, we finished a bottle of Black Velvet, half a bottle of Mandarin Absolute, and about twenty five beers. I'd say it was a successful night. Jeremy blew a fireball and I got it on tape. That should make for some interesting party viewing in about twenty years.

There was some hokey-assed Hawaiian luau for the seniors tonight. If it was anything like that lame-ass FYP reunion, I didn't miss a thing. I skipped it and munched on the cheese hotdogs that were in the lounge fridge. Senior week is turning out to just be a total drag. Everyone is just roving in pack based on which frat or sorority they're in. This leaves our humble narrator at a decided disadvantage. I think I'd rather be home. At least I managed to do my workout routine today. I'm regular enough with it now so that I can feel it in my muscles when I skip it. I can't wait till I have time to work out every day and run. It will be so good to be back in shape again.

My roommate's girlfriend called here no less than seven times today. That's just since I've been awake. God what a nag. I don't make that many phone calls in an average week. Some people should not be allowed to use the phone.

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Senior week

I got a nasty little surprise today when I went down to get my lunch. Dana dining hall was running basically on a skeleton crew and there were two choices for lunch: cassarole and cassarole. There was no pizza, no sandwiches, no grilled food, salad bar, and no dessert. Basically everything was closed and that was the only place seniors could eat on campus today.

So, in a rare feat of impassioned fury, I marched up the hill to Vilas hall and took my complaint to the Dean of Administrative Affairs, the Dune of Student Life, the director of Student Activities, and the senior class president. Everyone said that they'd call and try to straighten things out. The Dean of Affairs is the guy who directly controls food services, and I spoke to him at length and told him that not only was I disappointed in service, but that I saw a couple of young-looking people and their families here that looked like prospective students. I told him that it would have been a huge embarrassment if those people had paid the exorbitant fee to eat there and had to choke down Dana cassarole. If that influenced a student to dislike SLU and give them another reason to not come here, Food Services is risking $120,000 in tuition money for saving a few bucks on some hamburgers and hotdogs. It was really beneath them to be so cheap. I think Dean Coakley got the point. The thing that was the biggest bitch was that the people that run Dana, the people that I've become friends with all year, totally ignored me when I tried to complain to them.

They pissed off the wrong guy today, and somebody's ass is going to be in the fryer this evening when my Dean friends make their phone calls.

Senior week is turning out to be kind of a drag. There's really not much going on here, and most of my friends weren't seniors anyway. The senior friends I do have are holed up in their frats and sororities and doing whatever it is frats and sororities do this week. Everyone else is laying low and nursing the wounds of a particularly long and brutal semester. All I want to do is sleep, eat, read, write, and exercise. Everything else, including partying, can wait. My FYP reunion is this evening at five. Hopefully Randy will be there and throw some burgers on the grill for us. I'm going to take some booze now that I finally got some ice. I wish I had a blender, I'd make Pina Coladas.

I have a story on my little palmtop that I've been writing for a few weeks and I'm trying to get it onto my computer so I can work on it at my desk with a real keyboard, but for some reason the serial cable doesn't want to work. I wrote a short story that will be published along with work by Carl Rafala, Paul Hughes, and Dorian Sagan (Carl Sagan's son) in a Sci-fi compilation called Alien Light, hopefully sometime toward the end of the summer. It's called the Loupe. Another unreleased story of mine will be published in that anthology, but I don't know which one yet. We'll see.

I interviewed for a job as a park Ranger for the summer. I'll know sometime in the next few weeks.

Monday, May 14, 2001

Following a hellish year of disappointment and personal destruction, I have decided to begin once again publishing my personal journal online. I will try to update it as much as possible, hopefully every day, but we'll see. I may end up moving at the end of the summer where I will not be able to have daily computer access. Until then, here you go.

I think perhaps it's important to make some sort of segue between the last entry and this one, as many things have changed in my life since then.

First thing's first, I suppose. After a particularly bitter fight, I bought Jen a cellphone to say I was sorry, and when I took it up to her, she greeted me by telling me that she no longer wanted to be my fiancee. She said that the relationship was just too serious for her and that she wanted to go back to just being bf/gf. Assuming (correctly, I might add) that the reason is because she either was or wanted to see someone else, I told her that if she didn't want to be engaged anymore than that was it. There would be no more "us". Until that point, her internal war of selfishness had always come out in my favor. I guess she wanted something else pretty bad, though, because she decided that whoever or whatever she would get out of it was better than a relationship with me.

She proceeded to have sex with a total geek that lived on my floor and one of her ex-boyfriends. Since then, who knows. She lives basically right down the hall from me, and I still never talk to her. One of the best parts of being out of SLU will be never having to look at her again. I am disgusted with the person she has become. She told me afterward that she was flirting with some guy that she was on the CA staff with. I suspected this all along. The bottom line is that I should not ever have trusted her and never can trust her again.

So. That's over.

That, of course, doesn't mean I didn't have my share of romantic interludes this year, I dated a number of very beautiful and very lovely women. All of them, however, were short-term flings, and ultimately disappointing. I'm looking now for the next big relationship. I'm out of SLU, so hopefully this means it has the potential to go further and deeper than ever before.

The other big change is that I'm no longer going to be a prosthetist. I made the decision months ago that I would rather work for less pay and do something I liked than go back to work in a place like that again. I finally got the courage to say "No, I really don't enjoy the work, I don't care much for the people I work for, and I don't feel like my life is going anywhere when I do it." I applied to Northwester and got delayed because I needed to finish a certain class. I took the class, but I didn't re-apply. If I want to in the future, I still can, but for now, I need a little excitement in my life.

In probably what was only the second or third truly spontaneous decision of my young life, I decided to apply for the New York State Police. And, subsequently, sent applications to a dozen other law enforcement agencies all over the country. I'm quite excited about going to an academy and getting back into shape and even getting out of this part of the country for a while, perhaps. It's certainly a career direction that is much less certain than the medical field for me, but that's what makes it exciting. I'm reinventing myself in true scorpio fashion, and loving every minute of it.

Right now, I'm sitting in my room at school during SLU senior week and preparing to leave college forever. This journal will hopefully be a chronicle of the adventure that will be my life for the next few months. Right now, I know about as much as you do concerning where my life will go and who I will meet in the coming months.

It will be something.

Thursday, May 10, 2001

The Tenth Day of May

Today, I completed my undergraduate education.

I thought about doing something special to commemorate this day. You know, buy a car, call an old girlfriend and told her "how'd ya like me now?", sit naked on the quad. SOMETHING. In sitting here and thinking about it, I really did do something. In fact, I did a number of rewarding things today. I turned in my last piece of academic work for this stage of my life. I may end up doing some later for Police Academy, but I doubt it will be anything like this. The little paper I turned in was a piece of shit that I wrote this morning at about 9 AM. It was 8 pages, double-spaced, five sources. Just what the doctor ordered. Even if I got a zero on the fucking thing, I'd still comfortably pass that class. So I took it to my professor's office, stood in front of his desk, jumped into the air doing a little midair leg-lift, and spiked the paper on his shag carpet like a football player spiking a touchdown pass. My professor laughed heartily as I did a short victory lap around the paper, which by then looked like nothing so much as a birdshot dove. It was an infantile moment, to be sure, but it was a delicious one. I returned to my dorm and proceeded to round up all of my academic material and place it in a large cardboard crate. I then taped the bastard shut and stacked stuff on top of it. I went down the hall and played with my friend Dorman's 4 month old infant son. The kid seems to like me, evidenced by the fact that when anyone else (including, at times, his own parents) hold him, he screams like an air-raid klaxon. He is perfectly behaved when I hold him, and I have a great picture on my desk of me giving him his lunchtime bottle. Many will probably disdain my apparent show of domesticity. But fuck you, I'll kick any of your asses in a fight. I've always said that my goals in life, the things I want to do better than anything else, are to be a husband, a father, and a hero. Modest as they seem, I take them very seriously. Anyway, next up was a nice nap followed by reading Mario Puzo's "The Fourth K" which rivals his other works in sheer brilliance. I also received an excited-sounding email from a beautiful young woman that I met about two weeks ago who will be attending the SLU senior dinner dance with me. Given that I have pretty much not had time or effort or force of will to pursue the bitchy population of SLU women, this is a breath of fresh air from a woman who is even more classy and charming than any of the sheltered SLU Buffys and Tiffanys have any hope of being. I then ordered a Sergi's pizza roll and 10 hot wings, which I devoured with glee while watching my usual evening airing of "COPS" reruns. I retired to my room and proceeded with my daily thirty-minute, upper-body workout. Then I sat, and began this piece. In a way, I'm more proud of myself for what I managed to accomplish today than if I had gone and done something outlandish. I'm working my way from this life to an even better future, one day at a time. Frankly, at this point, debauchery would only get in the way. Make no mistake, I plan to raise hell this next week, but not as much, perhaps, as I had intended. I have come too far these past two weeks to sabotage myself at this early date. Frank Herbert had a wonderful line in "Dune";

"A beginning is a delicate time."

I think that many of my fears about graduating from this place and moving on are just a reaction from an old, lazy, and outdated me. There is a new Mark coming. He is only a year, a month, five minutes, one heartbeat away. Every day brings me closer to graduation. To the Dying Day of my youth, and the birth of a new time in my life. A time when things like education and commitment won't stand in the way of me reaching for my three goals. Because soon, those three goals will BE my commitment.

I am very pleased with how my future looks, and I am very excited to meet it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

IM Transcript

(transcript of IM)

resurrender: twelve and then cans of french.

vinnievole: munch five irons of silt

resurrender: it is, some would say, the time when there is no more chance to be none.

vinnievole: I possess not the knowledge to teach to others my ideals, I possess barely the integrity to follow my own beliefs.

resurrender: and sometimes there would be ham and at other times abject proclivities toward ethnocentric justice.

vinnievole: If you want to talk the walkie-talkie, you have to walk the walkie-walkie.

resurrender: smearing of cocoa butter will never have the same tryouts for phantoms and four bears.

vinnievole: My pine kills need racing gloves for subjugating the mine.

resurrender: fourteen will never again hold for me the resistance and chablis of christendom and lard.

vinnievole: nine-times-nine equals twenty dime fobs with chain-link accessorization
toward meat.

resurrender: kings and peasants alike ran the risk of treading upon the cobblestone pathways of hector and snide.

vinnievole: seniority is the curse of a gallbladder that bears succulent non-fruit.

resurrender: smashing these people and their umbilical transoms against forests of nineteen-forty-three will someday cause a welsh of purple for those who never have.

vinnievole: let my bakers gross elude the finest honey and steel-wool without once playing the tune of "Poon".

resurrender: it doesn't ever happen to be fuzzy or meaty when we try to avenge the watershed war.

vinnievole: Mine is the kinsmen and the powder and the jury, then, and for never.

resurrender: blinking screens will filter the happy golem jumpers and veneers of plankwood palaces replace treads under the tanks of resistance and hair.

vinnievole: Hate the frenetic gothic facades if you must, but never question the likeness of my father's spoon to the credibility of a well-oiled glock's nest.

resurrender: long-hairs and new pears will cease to please those whose interests lie more in beef-broth and pepper-corns than the well-being of nicely-hyphenated discourse.

vinnievole: Juxtaposing hence, will predicate only the proliferation of punctuation.

resurrender: synecdoche and anaphora will never again be privy to political pandering.

vinnievole: Without a sail for her fire engine, my creedo is broken into a thousand mealy-mouthed angers.

resurrender: credo rhymes with play-doh.

vinnievole: creationism is the opiate of a banana.

resurrender: on Caveman Day, i like to try to never ever be.

vinnievole: Having a slice of melancholia with your soup generally helps trendy individualism take root in the socioeconomic superstructure.

resurrender: invitations to disaster seldom include a postage-paid reply card.

vinnievole: to incur the wrath of a goat berry is to incite perhaps the greatest rock'n'roll star ever to grace the stage of CBGB's.

resurrender: that is why i am so well-loved amongst the digerati, mr. falcon.

vinnievole: do not toy with my latent sense of self-aggrandizement, lest you be without a boon companion.

resurrender: heroes bathing themselves in the gravy of discontent will soon find that of all the lesser deaths that elderly statesmen undergo, only that which is shiny will do for the chickens.

vinnievole: Leave my former death at the doorstep of Dominic, I need only the frequency of needlessness to guide the path of owl fornication.

resurrender: hell-bent and ready for the marmalade sunrise of now and five, we will never bare all to honeypie, sugarbunch, or Lady Elaine Fairchild.

vinnievole: The Gentiles want to enter Kingston by way of shrew-drawn watercar.

resurrender: winches and wenches will quench quentin.

vinnievole: A moment of respite is worth a thousand shoes.

resurrender: pleather pleasures heather whenever heather's weather withers.

vinnievole: see some signs shifting silently surrounding senseless seaside sinkholes.

resurrender: are we all to travel to callaise tomorrow to see the bishop regarding the transfer of title to uncle, papa?

vinnievole: On the morrow, I will ascend to cheese and make known the manifest destiny of my scrotum.

resurrender: triumph swiftly follows those who turn red upon gallyvanting amidst the beets and turnips of virtue.

vinnievole: pissed off are two heads floating with green gables of abject poverty and whores.

resurrender: brazen bilking of bottled breadcrumbs bothers billy, bobo and brynn.

vinnievole: Get thee to a tannery. I will no longer forsake cunnilingus for such unworthe protuberances.

resurrender: unfettered hooplah only serves to undermine righteous indignation and three bowls of delicious custard.

vinnievole: windows that must be open are shut and curtains that need closeness are three.

resurrender: three is a symptom of diverse poverty, horticulture, and plankton
sandwiches.

vinnievole: phytochemicals require sufficient abnormal conditioning and without such, require a more terminal denigration.

resurrender: yellow is my favorite color, and sometimes late at night i try to swim into my own blood.

vinnievole: being the obtuse wrecking ball clown that you were, I thought it antiprudent to enliven the stage of grief with my plucky seemlessness, which, if you remember, was not a frequent realization, but rather a wheel of gouda frosted with nutmeg.

resurrender: glazing my eyes with cinnamon and turpentine only served to heighten that longing for something closer, something
farther, something that father had once said: "Now, daughter, some porridge, please."

vinnievole: Beer nuts fear me, rabbits love me.

resurrender: horses will sometimes stop on their way to church to pay respects to me for driving away the timelessness of their repose.

vinnievole: Nothing, NOTHING will stand in my shoes when it comes to cross-breeding incompatible lower primates.

resurrender: whenever yogurt attracts vice and corruption to cincinatti, i try to say nice things to old harlots.

vinnievole: buy me a posey, Harold, and then smash me in the face with a slab of porterhouse pig iron.

resurrender: all i need is for you to end and then we will dance the dance of dripping foretold wanderings.

vinnievole: Mario Puzo is a drink made of squirrel juice and bad intentions.

resurrender: keyboards wind up dangling like nutty buddies on afghani lampstands.

vinnievole: Jesus liked jumping jacks in the jury box.

resurrender: piles of paper products and reams of red rubber sometimes slide sideways seventeen stones, silly.

vinnievole: May I strike the little puppy with my sense of forboding bliss, or must I use the vegetable cudgel?

resurrender: woe is to be for those who try to never when they try to never ever be or even if they do not try they succeed at never.

vinnievole: never is a five letter fruit that bears only the seeds of wafflehouse flapjacks and knobby-kneed adolescent sage-puppets.

resurrender: henceforth, nothing.