Living 'softly.
a look into Zach Robinson

"Then we are lost!"
"Perhaps so, " replied Conseil calmly. "But we still have some hours ahead of us,
and a great many things may be accomplished in such a time."
Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

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The Fringe has started! I'm a Molten Corps volunteer at the Seattle Chamber Theater (in the same building as the Century Ballroom). A "Molten Corps" volunteer means that I'm doing extra special duty - something like ~80 hours of volunteer time during the Fringe. I work for Michel - my house manager - as his special minion: my one goal being to make him happy and stress free.

So far it's going very well. He's a control freak (in his own words) so I mostly just get to sit back, advise, keep him calm, and entertain the other volunteers. It's surprisingly unchallenging: at this point it seems only a warm body is needed for the job.

The other volunteers are for the most part fun and interesting and cool. Pretty much everyone I've had a chance to sit down and talk to I've managed to have very interesting conversations with. Even the slower people I'm not as usually keen on talking to have been interesting.

It's been a painfully small world so far... when I showed up Thursday for my first shift, Emily Stone was already there (?) - evidently she's part of a dance group which practices at the Chamber Theater. Then at our first show - "Come See Me Naked" (Warning: Nudity) - the show was held up waiting for a late cast member. They eventually got an audience member to volunteer for the part. We closed the doors, and I had instructions to let only that cast member in... and when that cast member shows up in the nick of time it's none other than Michael McQuilken (sp?) of Player King fame.

"Ouchless" band-aids in contract to what? I scraped my knee up pretty badly in our last soccer game, and my knee is covered with band-aids. They definitely aren't ouchless. Perhaps I picked up the Inquisition band-aids by mistake? My glow-in-the-dark band-aids are especially painful. Oh well: another week or two and I'll have skin again. <frown>.

Aaanyways... the second show's music director is none other than John Osebold - the other half of Player King, and a member of The Habit. Thankfully our third play ("Speak the Devil") is from San Francisco, but chances are that I somehow know them too...

I ran out and got pop for everyone in our building (there's 3 theaters - Freehold, Seattle Public Theater, and Chamber Theater - in our building) with Risa after the second show started, since there's not a lot for us to do then. Risa and I talked about name changes, as she wants to change her last name to "Racecar" - quirky and a palindrome. I liked her - she was fun.

It wasn't too busy later, so Michael and I watched "Speak the Devil". It's a buffoon show, which is a type of theater I'd never seen before. It was fairly well done, but it didn't really go anywhere, and they never advanced beyond the idiocy of the audience and of life... I agree that we're stupid sheep often, but ... help us overcome that. Show us some new angle on our life... I don't think we saw anything new. Since I've thought about the sheep argument more often than not, it wasn't exciting. But it was a good play.

After Michael and I wrapped up, we headed downstairs to take everything back to HQ. But I got distracted talking to the house manager of Freehold Theater, and she and I ended up talking about ... everything for almost an hour. She does ceramics and illustrations to support herself, has 3 cats and nine rats... a generally intelligent interesting theater person. There's a lot of them.

Supposely "Baggy Pants" and "Kazoo" are great great shows. I've heard very good things about "Fallen Women Follies" too. "Nymph" (Warning: Nudity) at our venue has been sold out, and Mara's "Virgin Slut Actuality" (Warning: Nudity) had a great audience for a 10:30 showing.

Today... Megan's friend Ernest is in Mara's show - it was weird seeing him: teeny tiny world. Michael McQuilkin arrived late to see John's show. Afterwards he made a point to stop by and see things were in my world - I thought that was nice of him. He seems like a good well-hearted man. I mention that in contrast to Mara... I don't get her. Maybe it's the show? She's always seemed like she needs to be *there*, not here, and it's kooky. I got more acknowledgement from everyone else on her crew - and I only knew Ernest ahead of time - than I did her. But I guess if you're going to be doing monologues, you do need to be tightly honed in on your inner self: it's your time.

Our second show, "Speak the Devil", had only five audience members. Ouch. They're from San Francisco and no one knows of them yet. So they're going to be walking the streets of Capitol Hill tomorrow trying to drum up business. I wish them well - it's a pretty good show. The sad thing is that the person who laughed the loudest during the show was the Stranger's reviewer - but the Stranger doesn't come out until this coming Thursday, which means that "Speak" won't pick up any publicity help.

The clothing of people here is amazing. Lots of people with taste and panache. I appreciate it. Lots of cute escapees from New York.

I'm exhausted, but it's nothing that some sleep and a good wouldn't cure, as my sister used to say.

-Victoria Tennant, L.A. Story

I just like that quote. It's startling the first time you hear it. After three hours of sleep last night, it's 4AM Sunday morning and I have yet to get to bed. zzz. I'm going to be so tired this week. But I'll be having fun.

I have no time: these are just my notes from the underground...

alyssa's comment that falling in love should be done at least once a day
falling in love with magda the effervescent(sp?) redheaded rollerblading carhop

Jacky is the cool Molten Corps volunteer from the Freehold Theater. My boss Michael and I were joking that we should trade our volunteers for her - she's a lot of fun.

michael late AGAIN to his own show
talking with his girlfriend Michelle who missed the show because of his lateness
she's 28 dating a soon-to-be 22 year old - paralleling my relationship with Anne
their trip to europe for two weeks to sort things out, they may spend april in paris(?),
her sister ran off to marry a clown and live in france
i got some blue and green roses earlier on a drink run, and gave one to michelle - and it turned out to be her birthday the day before
talking with michelle was interesting and fun. i think i (could?) swoon for most any of the girls here - they're all intelligent and opinionated, comfortable with their place in the world, trying to follow their dreams if they know them
michelle is studying to be a naturopathic doctor at bastyr, ala what Anne wants to do.
i loaned her my "KGB Bar Book of Poems", which she read throughout the show as she waited for it to finish. she said she liked the poems i'd highlighted - i need to quote the "poet's girlfriend" poem more often - it's a little spicy but very apt
michelle plays chess and foosball - I was impressed. didn't seem to like the idea of seeing theme parks, though, and my suggestion that she could see EuroDisney was met with abhorrence. but she had seen Cupid, so I might loan her my favorite episode to watch with Michael as they figure out if things are still ... *there* or not. I offered to be her romantic consultant if she wants one - I took an instant liking to her. Maybe it's something about 28 year olds?
she offered me her number within a context - I had to ignore the offer at that point because having her number wasn't something I wanted to jump into

asha and matthew stopped by as they went to see a show at the Seattle Public Theater. It was interesting getting a hug from Matthew but not from Asha. But I respect that and I think I like Matthew more each time I meet him - he definitely grows on you, and that's great considering I liked him originally

I'd worn my velvet outfit complete with top hat and tails
Throughout the day people had fun borrowing my hats (I also brought a fez for Michael to wear) - girls look naturally very good in hats. I'd let Jacky borrow the shirt of mine that has a row of buttons on the left shoulder - she looked hot in it. I think the best part of wearing all these nice clothes is that other people try them on and actually look good in them

dancing with alyssa at the elysian / we talked about her... i told her that she's a "subtle" or "camoflauged" person (vs being "normal") - she's full of elegance, there's a radiance to her smile but she seems... average until she smiles, until she moves or dances - a very unexpected person / she's way too young to be so confident, but I like it

The "Speak the Devil" buffoon troop at the Elsyian... changing in the men's bathroom, leaving their fake poop on the sink counter

Elysian riot waiters kicking everyone out EXACTLY ten minutes after last call

driving brenna, alyssa, and michael home, getting into the SUV Bad argument / brenna's a fellow adbuster's fan, and we've sworn to have this discussion out in toto over the course of the Fringe

and now i'm home and tired. i responded to two work e-mails telling them nicely to shut up and be patient before i can get to their stuff, to one guy asking me for HTML scripting help saying get in line (plus brief pointer), and to one girl who had some excellent questions

i started stripping on-stage today. i thought michel wanted to see "see me naked", so i asked him if he wanted to watch the show - to which he told me i could go in and watch it(?), so i happily did. (after all, *he* gets paid - i'm only a volunteer.) the show was outstanding, and i'm glad i saw it - it'll probably be having a wider run later on in the year, and i think it deserves it.

at one point in the show, maria hands out cookies. i took the last cookie from the plate of about eight cookies... she looks at me and points out that i took the last cookie, and that perhaps i could make it up to the crowd by showing them my penis. (really, this makes sense in context.) she asked me if i'd be willing, and i said 'possibly'. i've been naked on stage before so it's not too big of a deal - heck, my parents weren't there this time (and thankfully had left early the night they attended the show i was naked in) - but it's her show. so to a stripping drum tune provided by michael (of player king fame), she got me to unbutton my shirt slowly - she was unbuttoning her shirt as well - and unbelt my pants. at that point the show took a turn and i got to put my clothes back together... but it was much more of an interactive show than i thought i was getting into. maria and i talked about it afterwards. she said she'd picked me because she thought i'd seen the show - i hadn't. i explained i didn't really mind being naked, but ... it didn't seem right for the dynamic of the show. she agreed and so we discussed how she could actually get the audience member naked and yet turn back to the serious part of the show. in the end the show is about the naked body, but in an honest fashion... and a naked audience member isn't necessarily "honest". it's not the honest scared nakedness of a friend or lover, it's the doing-it-on-a-dare nakedness, and ... i don't know if it'd fit in the show. but we'll see if she can think of a way to tie it in while still maintaining the beauty of the show.

jacky came up and sat down on our bench for a while. somebody had moved the chair that was supposed to be next to where she was sitting, and so i put it back. as i was walking away, she asked me if was going to sit down there... and she's funny and interesting so i did. we talked for around an hour before she had to go. just sitting there next to each other being comfortable, blowing bubbles, talking about life - she's going to be a high school teacher soon - and literature - she's a fellow brit lit fan and even has a copy of my sadly-missed Norton Anthology of British Literature - and theater. we were pressing into each other a little bit due to how the seats were made, but it was friendly thing and i liked it. it felt intimate without being overdone - i was very conscious of her because she's probably a 7 or 8 on the zach-attracto-meter while at the same time being a solid 8 on the friendometer. may be a bit too new yorkish for my tastes, though, but it's very nice having her around - she wasn't there yesterday and i missed her.

"of mankind" is a holocaust memorial piece playing at our venue. it's had terrible audiences so far. it's averaging maybe 6 customers, with maybe 2 paying customers total. michel and i had agreed that holocaust drama pieces weren't what the fringe was about - that shows about nakedness/steaminess ("nymph", "see me naked", "the virgin slut actuality", "fallen women follies") were what sold. so he and i felt terrible for them. we let the other two volunteers go in and watch the show tonight (for a total audience of 5). sadly... they came out and *hated* it. an hour and a half show... ouch. this is especially sad in that so many of the shows this year are *terrific*. but i guess each venue has its loser, and this appears to be ours. even "antigone" - a high school production - will get great audiences in that all the parents, friends, and students will be coming to see the show. frighteningly, the reviewer said she was here to see "Anti Gone" - both michel and i got scared.

i like the audacity of the title of "Another Jackass Tries A One-Man Show". and it's been getting rave reviews: i'm going to enjoy seeing The Best Of productions, because there's a lot of great stuff this year.

my unofficial Fringe Art Contest has gone suprisingly well - we now have 9 entries in just two days. hopefully that'll encourage more people to enter - i like getting people entangled in off-the-beaten-path projects. i still haven't decided what the prizes are. perhaps i'll check with kate on that, since she used to give out prizes as part of theater dangerously.

i miss her. she was an underutilized friend. i'm sure i underutilize most of my friends, but i especially feel it with kate because what i know of her and what's she's done is so neat and cool. i'm glad she has steve.

rachel (from the one-woman show America's Royal Miss) came by before her show started. most of the artists are friendly and talkative once they see that you're here every day. she was as tired as we were. 'cept she had a show to do, so she was bouncing around doing jumping jacks. she's in her late thirties(?) but she's very petite and cute. i wanted to ask her if i could pick her up in my arms - she's small - and hold her just to feel the weight and way of her, but... somehow i didn't think that was fair conversation topic, no matter how spritely a woman might be.

john's work on among the ruins was called "brilliant" in the review rag, and he was described as "a fringe favorite" in the write-up for "among the ruins". i'm happy - he's a nice guy. he gave me a big hug yesterday, and always has a smile for everyone. he even entered our art contest, which earns him extra brownie points.

played scrabble with michel tonight... he played a 7 letter word on the third turn, so had a 60 point lead that i slowly chipped away on, and finally managed to force a tie on the very last play of the game. first scrabble tie i've ever had (344-344), and the first time someone i've played against has played a 7 letter word. 'twas fun - perhaps i've found a new scrabble partner?

marie called yesterday while i was working, and we caught up on each other's lifes. i told her something i've been slowly thinking through myself: i think i may have given up on love to some extent of late. i think i've reached the point where it might Happen, but ... while my romanticism remains unbridled, i personally don't feel hopeful that i'm going to meet that Right Person. like talking with michelle (michael's girlfriend) yesterday - she hit a lot of the right notes, but is taken. whether or not it's for a long time to come - it should be: he's such a better person with/through her - it's not quite right, and that has seemed to be my story for the past years. maybe i'm setting my sights too high, but i don't think i mind if that's the case. i'm willing to wait - i've got the patience and determination to do things right. i'm going to keep being the kind of a guy that i think the kind of girl i'd like would want.

I was beating Michel at Scrabble by ~80 points when Rachel Solomon stopped by and said hi. I was wearing my silver rayon/spandex shirt, and she rubbed up and down on my back with her warm hands while we were playing. She then talked to her friend a little bit, and then returned to rub my neck for a couple minutes before leaving. I was so incredibly blissed out. It took me an hour or so to even start thinking about anything other than "wow I liked that". I wanted to curl up in a little pile of warm and let her do what she wanted with me. I like physically affectionate people, and the little bit of her I've seen of her so far - very friendly, quick smile, affectionate - makes me think she's a great woman. Mmm. Neck rubs. Need more of those. I was so sad when she went away - that woman had me. Mmmm.

We have almost 20 entries into my Unofficial Fringe Coloring Contest so far. I've upped the ante by listing some prizes now - massage gift certificates, Fringe tee shirts, crayons. John Osebold was really excited about the massage gift certificate, so will be reentering the contest several times to increase his chances. I think I might offer his work to Anne as a special present to her, since she has had a minor crush on him. I think I'll try to remember what people want and let them win that Right Prize. Maybe I'll even send out cool prize ribbons. Hmm. Must go to store and get some of those - that's a good idea for starters.

[Addendum: I kept getting asked to explain what the Coloring Contest was. It wasn't anything. I just got bored sitting around, so brought in crayons and paper as a cheap excuse to make people amuse me by coloring. I realized that portraying it as a contest was a great way to get cooperation, so ran with that. As it sprouted wings of it's own, I decided to award prizes so that it was "worthwhile" to people.]

I offered to drive Jacky to her car (a block away) so that we'd have a chance to talk some more. Plus that way I could move my car so it was "conveniently" situated for me to able to drive Michel and his girlfriend home from the Elysian, rather than having them walk. She'd made some talk about how I talk about relationships a lot, and commented that based upon my conversations so far she noticed I seemed to at least want to appear (and these are her words) "vibrantly heterosexual". Didn't know how to take that, so I shut up and thought for a while. So we drive to where her car is and of course we're not done talking - we're never done talking - so we both decide to keep going. She needs to take care of the dogs she's dogsitting and I need to join Michel & co. at the Elysian, but we both are ... really interested in each other's company and don't like saying goodbye too early. I drove around and we stopped at Phillie's Best for some food for me. I was so happy inside Phillie's Best - I wanted to take her in my arms and dance with her. There's some element of love and honesty and acceptance at that restaurant that I just like - it refills me. But I'm too shy so I let her do her own thing. After that she wanted to stop and get some cocoa too somewhere, but I knew I could stay out all night with her again, and I didn't want to blow off Michel. We exchanged phone numbers finally and then I dropped her off at her car.

Jacky and I have a weird relationship so far. We keep hanging out as long as we possibly can, and yet I don't know if we actually like each other yet. I think we do find each other fascinating, though. Thursday night Michel, her, and myself hung out at the Satellite until 2AM, and then after we dropped off Michel she and I spent another hour and a half talking in my car. And the conversation was bizarre - she was really curious about *why* I was a Nice Guy (pathologically nice in Michel's words), what I got out of it, etc. She didn't seem to Accept me. I can't figure her. But we go daily to get drinks for the theater crew, and we have fun and laugh together. We're gradually becoming a little more physical with each other. I can't figure out if she's an enemy, a friend, or what... but she is interesting and I don't think I've dealt with someone like her before.

Most of the women volunteering at the Fringe are... curvaceous, and I asked Jacky if there were a minimum breast size requirement. She didn't hit me, which I take as a good sign. I'm not usually that crass, but it had struck me that very few of the theater woman had below-average size breasts. Could be an interesting study on the relationship between physique and social confidence, but I imagine it's already been done.

So I joined with Michel, his girlfriend, Rat, and a woman Fringe board member who will remain real-nameless (we'll call her Patty in honor of St. Patrick's day) at the Elysian. The Elysian has been really low-key so far - theater groups have been going to Linda's Tavern or Neighbors, but not really the Elsyian. We saw Attaboy and Burke and said hi, but ... other than that we might have been the only Fringe contingent. Sunday (the Fringe wrap-up party) should be a big shindig, but we're talking about going to Linda's tonight if the Elysian is dead again.

So we're talking about music and how Patty came to terms with her deep love of music. She says that she's always been able to play any instrument with skill, and immediately I giggle and she whips towards me and says "Yes, I'm *very* good at that". I felt caught in my private amusement. We keep talking and I rub her back/neck a little bit as we're leaving and she makes some noise about having to take me home if I kept that up. As we're leaving she's walking behind me trying to tickle my sides, a little subtly. I don't know of anyone noticed, but she kept it up for about a block or so. I didn't know how to take it. Someone said that she really needs to get laid, and I buy that. I just can't tell if she's flirting with me or not, so I don't know how to act around her. I like her - she's fun - but she's not my type. I'd offered to drive Michel and his girlfriend home - since it's cold outside - and we talked about it a little. I said that even though they might hate me for saying it, I did have to be honest and say that I'm just not attracted to ... squatter people. I think she's in good shape - she seems to have nice legs, but I like trimmer athletic-*ish* types. Not necessarily athletic - although I appreciate nice bodies - but ... trim.

While I was ordering my tea, a cute woman came up behind me to order her drink. We only talked for about a minute, but as I walked away I felt stupid for not offering to buy her a drink. I think the Fringe has done wonders for my self-confidence in that I'm actually dealing with new and strange women on a regular basis, and it's pretty clear that these people think I'm a good guy. I'm self-confident anyways, but now I feel less apprehensive about ... meeting new people, about making that initial foray into uncharted territories. These are the type of women and people (and isn't that phrase a quick look into my psyche) that I enjoy meeting and knowing, and I feel accepted and enjoyed. I still have no way to gauge my theater talent, but I at least can be a Friend of the Theater, and that's a good start.

Bed beckons, but if you want to send over a sweet angel to share my dreams, I'll understand.

so much goes on that i lose track of it all. a big part of what's transpiring is that i'm in a whole new world. i deliberately immersed myself in it, leaving everything else behind temporarily so i could feel out for myself what being a fringe volunteer was like.

my unofficial art contest is going amazingly well. we have ~25 entries so far, and more are promised. the poor starving theater students like the idea of cool/free prizes. i'm currently offering massage gift certificates, fringe tee shirts, chocolates, and cookies. one intriguing moment occurred when brenna asked if they were real gift certificates and i said yes and in turn the sexy german sara said "oh- i was hoping they were from you." i was pleasantly taken aback - another nice moment. trust is cool.

mike commented that magda needs to date someone that is perceived as being cool. i found that remarkably astute. very fun interesting energetic woman - but also ... Hungry? it will be intriguing to see what happens to her as she grows - she's talking about doing a show for the Fringe next year.

keep getting more comfortable with jacky. still not sure how things stand with her, but we exchanged numbers and have agreed with michel that tuesday will probably be a good night to get together regularly for gaming. she's so adorable and angelic and sincere - i want to give her a big long hug and just smile into her.

while we were waiting for a show, she rubbed chap stick over my ear. that IS weird, but my ears are nicely sensitive and i was riveted in place. it sent chills up and down my legs. i chapsticked one of her ears in revenge. she stood there with her eyes closed - i wonder how she took it. i have a slight fear that this could be akin to the relationship i had with linda early on, where we both kept touching each other more and more yet never actually coming out nor being openly attracted to each other. but it is fun for now, and i do get a kick out of her. i mentioned that we should sneak out and watch a movie together - neither of us has much work to do - and she said i could watch it at her place while she feel asleep. i liked that though. i've always liked sleepy people, and i like the idea of her relaxing/resting with me. she is so cute and so unlike any other woman i've been attracted to. linda always asked if i Respected her, and i think that part of why i like jacky so far is that her way breathes a solid person worthy of respect.

i found my "DESPERATELY SEEKING HARLOT! PLEASE HELP!" sign that i made at crayoning a long time ago when i brought my art supplies into the theater today. i held it up sadly to various people, asking for their 'help'. patty asked me if i was propositioning her, and i laughed. she kept looking at me so i said "no". then for the rest of the night she brought it up as if i'd offended her. i didn't know how to take it. i think she was kidding, but... i didn't like it. "Proposition" just has connotations that i don't like or enjoy. megan said she'd be my hussy, but... i'm not really after a hussy, either. just a fallen woman.

after i got off my volunteer shift, i watched rachel solomon in "america's royal miss". this was genius - i was enraptured during most of the play. but some jerk not only arrived late but kept talking/heckling during the show. not only was he rude, but he was too drunk to make any sense - he yelled "gladiator" during the middle of a monologue, and no one could figure out why. thankfully he left - during another monologue... - but everyone in the theater was really torqued at home and i think if he hadn't left he would have been bopped several times after the show. both rat and i are generally pacifists but boy did he have it coming to him.

i met up with rachel and brenna and westley after the show. everyone decided to go to the Comet. i zipped by to QFC to pick up some flowers for rachel first - it was a great show and she had handled the heckling well - and then joined people at the Comet. but it was Lame Night, so we (rat, rachel, and myself) left after about ten minutes and headed back to rachel's apartment to chill.

she was staying at the ace hotel in belltown... it's generally a standard hotel with a little hint of inspiration by stanley kubrick. her room - at ~$150 a night - was fantastic. a big emperor-size bed, t.v., couch, big white tiled walls... and that's it. pretty simple and uninteresting. until you lean or push against the right wall, in which case the wall swivels around to reveal the hidden bathroom. right out of a james bond flick. magnificent. and the other side of the spinning panel is mirrored, so you can have a mirror covering almost the entire right wall if you want. it was fascinating sitting on the couch with rat, rachel, and derek (guy who worked at the ace) and watching the conversation next to me through the distance of the mirror.

we had picked up some beers previously, so they all drank (i had my fruit juices), smoked, and talked. rachel is planning on moving out here later on this year (after the new york fringe i believe)... i'd like to see her again. we're vastly different people and probably incompatible as friends, but... at heart i can't help but think we're fairly kindred. at the least, she channels her energy well, and i admire that.

The End of the Fringe party at the Elysian...
Player King as usual did extremely well award-wise... two of the three Best of the Fringe awards went to shows with Michael or John involved in them (See Me Naked and ...among the ruins, respectively). Mara's Virgin Slut Actualities got a "Sell Out" award for selling out her venue, but no prizes. She seemed a little upset about that to my inexperienced eye. The "Sell Out" awards were kind of pointless, though - some venues sat ~500, some ~30... it's a nice award if you must have an award, but ... why?

Jacky and I had been crouching near the front tables (there weren't any chairs), and on the way back from receiving a "Sell Out" award, a woman caught her foot on me and dropped and broke her award. Ulp. I waited a couple awards so as not to look too conspicuous and then moved to the standing area over by the railings.

I got a nice big round of applause when they announced the Molten Corps volunteers. That was a little rewarding, but it also felt silly: they were announcing all the Molten Corps volunteers and all the House Managers and all the Venue Managers as if we'd actually done something or contributed in some fashion, when it was the artists who created and made the festival what it was. Our contributions to the festival didn't just *pale* next to those of the artists, it seemed a blight upon the event just to discuss them...

I got to announce the winner of my coloring contest at the awards ceremony. I awarded Most Artistic to Mike's fantastic watercolor faerie, although I had a bunch of smaller awards I was going to award at the Fringe Volunteer Party.

So Jacky had been drinking... she's a minx when she's drunk. We had hardly touched at all and things were cool and calm between us - well other than her chapsticking my ear and kissing/sucking it briefly on Sunday - but with a little alcohol...

She accidentally brushed against my groin a couple times with her hand while we were sitting at the bar talking together. I was a little jumpy about that - kinda surprising - but it stopped and so I just held her as she was talking to other people at the bar. we had dropped off her car at her place first so she could drink without having to worry about driving home (I was her ride). So we talked to people - I was in quiet mode - and danced to Player King. We both knew different people, so we spent a lot of time apart. But I kinda was trying to make sure she was okay, so checked up on her. She is a really good/wild dancer - very animated. I really liked that. Really really liked that. She's been so calm and sweet and geniune and sincere - it was fascinating seeing her cut loose.

She was dancing at the back walkway of the Elysian by herself so I stopped by to say hi and she wrapped herself around me and looked up at me with her big eyes and said "I love watching you flirt with other woman and knowing that you're going home with me." rrrrr.

Later we were talking with some friends of hers about ecstasy for some reason and she got really excited and said it was the best thing ever and she had to make sure after the second time she took it that she never took it again because she LOVED it. She's really forward in her friendliness/love - she was so sincere when she told SO many people how much she cared for them.

Anyways, so talk went to a discussion of having an ecstasy party, and then about how Jacky thought she would really want to be at least topless for the party and then they were talking about Sharing and bi-curiousity, and Jacky made some comments as she was writhing against me that she'd be really good at orgies... and as happened repeatedly throughout the night, her hands slowly subtly brushed over my groin. while they were talking at some point they were talking about experimentation, and Jacky said "I'd fuck Zach". Didn't know how to take that. Very forward woman. Refreshing.

Bear in mind we've only been friends to this time, and I haven't made ANY moves or encouragements, just telling her that I can't seem to spend enough time with her - a really mutual feeling so far which is why I had mentioned it. And I know me... I have to sit someone down and understand their motivation before I'm comfortable progessing physically with someone...

So she has to go to the bathroom and tells me to wait outside the women's room door and I do and when she comes out she comes up to me and gives me a close hug and kisses me semi-chastely but... sexily (she's really good at that...) and asks if I'd like to stay or take her home now... I hesitated - she seemed tipsy - and so she quickly said we were going to stay and danced off.

I spend the rest of the time talking to lots of the various people I'd met. Mike - my venue manager at the chamber theater was particularly sad to see me not obeying him anymore. Son still seemed hurt that I'd rebuffed her advances. Melissa (Michael Mcquilken's "girlfriend") was sick so couldn't dance to the Player King music, but said hi. Paul (music director for "Spare Change" and a guy that was in my college choir) and I bid our goodbyes for now, but I promised to see his band "Valu-Pak vs. the Ingredients". :) Lots of people thanked me for the work I'd done and the fun I'd introduced. Very cool. Still one more party to wish everyone a goodbye, though, with the Volunteer Farewell on weds.

Jacky came up to me and told me that michel (aka mike) had told her to be nice to me. that was sweet of him. I guess a number of people had come up to her and told her to be nice to be me... that made me tear up: it's cool to be looked out for.

Gillian (one of the girls that'd been involved in the ecstasy discussion) came up to me and told me that Jacky really found me attractive and wanted to jump me, and we talked for a while, since Gillian knew more about Jacky than I did. I guess Jacky's mom was the prom queen and her dad was the high school and college quarterback. Gillian thought that Jacky was REALLY convinced that she wasn't good enough for me, but that she'd been in to me for a while.

Risa came up to me and told me that Jacky was a hottie. etc etc etc - EVERYbody had noticed us together, I think, even though I'd largely been thinking of her just as a friend until tonight, when she'd kicked open the door.

Jacky was smoking while she was drinking. This is really the first time I've been attracted to someone that smokes, but thankfully she's only a very rare Drinking Smoker - she doesn't have cigarettes of her own. Still... something to keep in mind since I don't like it in terms of both the aspects that I notice and the internal psychology that gets one smoking...

So after a couple hours of goodbyes, Jacky and I headed my car to head to Minnie's. We hadn't kissed, and now that she'd sobered up some I was more interested, and so I was going to kiss her by the side of my car. But she said that I couldn't kiss her now because I didn't kiss her at the theater, and it would have been more romantic then.

I couldn't kiss her at the theater, though - I hadn't gotten any signals, and ... umm... I can't do ANYTHING here until I straighten out things with Megan. But I really really like Jacky.

So we went to Minnie's, and I played the Magnetic Fields for her and she fell in love with "the book of love". When we got there we just couldn't talk to each other - she kept talking about how she couldn't marry me, that she'd read my journal and didn't think she was the kind of person that I wanted/needed, but she wanted me to marry a friend of hers (To Be Named Later). I kept trying to explain that we'd known each other for a WEEK and I wasn't talking about ANYTHING yet and SHE had kissed ME so I didn't understand what was going on in her head at all.

Jacky said she and I couldn't be married because we would look bad in wedding pictures. and so I asked the waitress what SHE thought, and besides saying that we'd look great together... she said that Jacky's brown hair and my red hair would look really good together, and then she looked at me again and said "redheads! grrrowl!" and I was not-so-secretly very pleased. The waitress said we'd have gorgeous kids too. I gave her a big tip.

So we'd talked about it back and forth all night, and we decided that I'd spend the night at her place innocently, just holding her. It felt like we'd been dating and breaking up all night long - I kept recalling Robin William's "I don't drink coffee..." speech from Fisher King - so I thought it would be good to recenter and hold each other.

When we got to her place, she made me stop outside her car and put "the book of love" on repeat and she climbed into my seat and kissed me for 3 songs worth. It felt right in a way that things haven't for a long time. It doesn't hurt that she's a very good kisser... mouth not trying to eat my mouth, not shoving her tongue down my throat, not being too 'seperate' in the kiss but actually joining lips...

I mean, let's be honest here... I'd have wanted to kiss her again quickly and briefly repeatedly anyways to make sure she was real and here with me, but... being a good kisser was a nice bonus.

She's so cute. Actually, more "pretty" or even "gorgeous", but what's really cute is her Kentucky accent. I'd never realized that it was sexy. She plays soccer and runs - she's trying to get in shape for the Portland Marathon (!). I feel inadequate...

So we went to her place smelling of smoke and even though it was almost 3 and she to get up by 6, she had to show me pictures of the things she loved (she loves her dog).

We slept together pretty well - nicely cuddled - and kissed some before going to sleep.

She's like a big walking teddy bear - so sweet. I think Kate would like her. I wish I knew. She smiles nicely and is sincere and honest and genuine. Kinda like all the *good* parts of Rachel (honesty/herselfness) and Janus (exuberance/extroversion) and Clara (fascinating unpredictability) and Lynn (sexiness) and Kate (bestishness and cuddliness).

Negatives? she's working at a coffee-shop right now - I think she's fighting against the societal expectations of her. May not be ready/available for anything. Seems to have a inferiority complex in regards to me (?).

But... she's Herself and I really want to invite her over today when she gets off work... maybe watch a movie, maybe nap. I likened her to a face - a lot of people lose track of themselves and so they're a prickly beard of unpredicatability and quirkiness, but she's as smooth as a baby's ass - just Herself and inviting or almost demanding of trust. I like her.

I explained to her over dinner that part of the reason I hadn't hit on her or kissed her was that I didn't see myself as the kind of guy she could possibly be interested in. I've been tripping over my tongue lately, feeling goofy/gangly... I didn't see any way someone as neat as her could want to be attracted to me. But I think she really digs who I am, who I've been lately. we'll see.

And I wonder about the lie of the first kiss. I wonder if it can be calm and mellow and seductive again. In part, I want to not be wanted. I want to be fiercely independent and be with someone fiercely independent, and ... to have my partner feel the same way about me that I do about them.

She's a dream, though. I can see some of the realities now, but... it's nice to be able to dream, however briefly.

Last night was the Fringe Volunteer party. Word is "lame". But I gave out prizes for the coloring contest and people were happy. One of the female volunteers turned out to be dating a developer on Kate's old team at ATTWS... what a tiny world.

But Jacky was at the party, which was good. I took her home, and since we were both tired we went to bed. But we can't sleep together yet peacefully - that's too much to ask for right now - so we played around for a while. Until last night everything had been pg-13... She's very good at touching, and her skin agrees with me. It's just fun to touch and rub - I like the texture of it. She wanted to have sex with me. She is a tempting minx. But earlier she'd explained that she felt like she didn't want to have sex with someone she knew, but did want to have sex with someone she didn't know and wouldn't see again. So she wanted to have sex with me and never see me again. Said in jest, of course, but when she proposed that we should have sex I teasingly threw that back at her. Did I mention she's sexy? So we didn't do That Thing. Later she said she should have tried harder to seduce me (she was doing a damend good job), which was flattering, I think. Don't know.

I've been seeing her a lot recently. But she's starting a new job tonight (Swingside cafe), so I'm not sure how much we get to see each other anymore for a while. She still hasn't seen my apartment and we haven't really met each other's friends. Not quite true - I've met her theater friends and one of her friends, but we don't know each other yet so sex right now would seem to be almost purely physical. Yet still emotional...

She "mmmmmms" when I kiss her. That's very appealing. She says she likes to have sound effects, and she sings a lot too - she's so cool. I dig her.

And even better she doesn't really Want anything right now. We're just figuring things out. I like this. I realized I felt a pressure from Megan...I wasn't sure of things, and I think we let our interactions suffer. But Jacky and I are being great fun friends - she's kind of the mini-Kate right now.

I feel in many ways that the relationship with Megan withered because we got too intense... I think that if anything Jacky will remain a friend first, and that makes a lot of difference to me at this stage in my life.

i spent yesterday at the seattle center bopping with and being bopped by inflatable weaponry at the seattle center. i got to climb on top of the fountain and play stuffed-chihuaha baseball with my inflatable hammer.

life is pretty good sometimes.

 
It was really an incredibly great day. Nicole and I got up, had breakfast, and headed to the Seattle Center to catch "Ride The Ducks". But we goofed around and were slow getting there... so we missed the d*mned Ducks *again* since they closed at 3pm that day. Grr. So instead we wandered around and went on the rides. They have an evil Tea Party ride that spins up into the air. Herk. We were going to go on the roller coaster so first I had to stop and win a prize stuffed animal to take with us on the roller coaster. We headed to the Pokemon ball shoot - which is functionally a Horse Race where only one person wins, but since the two of us were friends, we'd be set. Of course a bunch of people come and a little 8 year old wins my damn Pikachu.

So intead we headed to the dart toss and won a stuffed chihuaha to take with us on the roller coaster. It was fun. Toting a little stuffed animal around is a great continuous source of comedy.

Then after we were done with our rides, we stopped by the dart games again. This time we won a bunch of stuff - I won a big inflatable hammer, and she won an inflatable morning star. And the rest of the day was happy boppy fun.

The Seattle Center International Fountain was off for "energy conservation". Various people had climbed on top of it. I decided to do so too, and with my hammer speakin' fer me, got to declare myself King of the World. Becoming King of the World is surprisingly easy, it turns out: not a person challenged me.

Nicole had thought about climbing up to join me, but it was a good climb, so she decided not to. Instead she pitched the chihuaha up to me, and I got to whack it was far as I could with the inflatable hammer.

The sadly cool thing was that all the little kids surrounding the fountain were fascinated by this, so helped Nicole fetch the chihuaha for her to pitch up to me again. I felt catered to. Eventually I got down. She had her turn of chihuaha-batting practice and I made a point of pitching to her for a little extra while in order to make up for how catered-to I'd felt earlier.

What a wonderfully fun time.

On Tuesday my boss called me into his office. He shut the door, had both of us sit down at the table... and he gave me a $100 gift certificate for Bellevue Square and told me that he thought I was doing a kick-ass job. That was pleasantly unsettling. Plus I have my new employee ramping up and starting work on stuff, so perhaps sometime soon I won't be the man being crushed by multiple critical multi-day projects due yesterday... arrgh. I spent ~12 hours yesterday just under the debugger trying to verify where my dll was failing... *not* how I like spending Saturdays.

If I had unlimited time, I could tell myself unlimited lies and I could forget everything that bothers or troubles me.

The Devil's Slumber Party (last weekend)
Quote of the month: "It's too bad you didn't want to have sex. I'm washing off the evidence now, but I was wet all morning."

Nicole had flown to Seattle to visit some friends while she was on Spring Break, and I offered to let her stay at my place. She'd been without male companionship for some time - med school not being the best time nor place to meet men - and she'd mock-threatened to seduce me when she came to town. Things did transpire, but ... I drew the line. People have told me that I take things too seriously, that I don't just relax and let things be. This is true. It's really hard for me to be selfish, or even to proactively go for what I want against the *possible* feelings/wishes of another. That is, I don't hit on a girl or make a move unless I'm Sure: it just doesn't seem necessary. So... I thought I'd try to relax myself, bend my rules a little bit, enjoy what two physically-attracted-to-each-other-people can do together. It didn't work. I didn't like how the little we did made me feel. I should have known, but ... sometimes I feel like I should be a normal Guy and be able to get off my high horse. I don't think I can... it just doesn't feel right to me.

Things with Jacky are off in limbo or perhaps outer space. We've been seeing each other at least four days of the week, but as friends, not romantic partners. Oddly, I fear that we've run our course... I think we've settled into a friendship. I like her and she's dreadfully good at making me smile and happy, but ... it's just gone. There was a few dates where there was something, and then it seems to have left. It's probably good for both of us, but I can't help hoping for something different.

That's a cop-out. If I want it, I can pursue it. Maybe she wants to be wooed. I don't think I want to woo her. As much as I'm attracted to her, I think not pursuing things with her, with giving each other time and space, is the best way of helping a relationship between us develop. Why get involved with each other in a state of weakness? Trust in the friendship first, settle into that intimacy, know the other will be there on a cloudy day, and then open those eyes and see who you're attracted to.

Part of me thinks she'd be nuts to be attracted to me, but I bet that she's got the same feelings. All I know is that on Tuesday night I thought about her schedule - soccer Weds, working Thurs-Sat night - , looked at her and said "See you Saturday!" and she looked at me and said, "Unless we see each other before then...". We saw each other Weds, Thurs, and Saturday. It's good to have a crazy fun friend, like Kate was/is, again.

I got a couple electronic Valentine's lately. One was kind of funny, but the other disturbed me in that it seemed real. I don't think I've had anything with anybody recently. The closest I've come to anything recently is a ~3 day stretch with Jacky, and that came and went and we seem firmly in friendship-mode now.

I realized while I was debugging that the 'real' Valentine disturbed me because I'm not allowing myself to hope right now. Jacky's friendship has helped me to recently come to grips with *not* having a relationship. I'm okay with being single now. It's not something I heartily desire, but I've ... I guess... steeled myself for it and can work within those boundaries. And now maybe the game is or isn't being run within the rules I thought it was.

He might have been a sex-fiend
or a saint.

But whatever he was,
he was condemned
and we stood in the sun and
smoked
and looked around
in our leisure
to see who was next in
line.

-Charles Bukowski, Poem for Personnel Managers:

...
Several hours and Grosse Pointe Blank and Groundhog's Day later, I realized what bothered me about the "real"-ish letter from an admirer. I didn't mind nor take issue with a nice person sending me a nice card, but the belief that a close friend might have established a false intimacy with me... that was scary. I didn't know if it was a close friend, who it might be, and how I might feel about that.

I'll wait for you every night like this
You are my lover through thins and thicks
I love how your heart beats
whenever I hold you
I love how you think of me
without being told to
But ,darling ,most of all
I love how you love me.
? Sounds a little like somebody sent me a lyric or a poem, but I can't place it. Whoever it was, it was sweet.

What are you looking for? Who's your perfect guy?

-Bill Murray, Groundhog's Day

I was talking on the phone with Anne earlier - a particular suspect in this but it twasn't her - and she repeated that non-plussing statement that breaking up with me had been a mistake. I was talking about how Michael needs to keep dating Michelle or else I'll have to kick his ass, that it would be a terrible mistake for him to dump her... and she said she'd made that kind of mistake. I still don't know how to take that. It'll be good to get her back in town and settle into a friendship with her.

The problem with the false intimacy, with the possible misunderstanding of the closeness of my relationship with a close friend, is that Jacky is teaching me a lot about true intimacy. It's really helpful to have someone I'm around all the time that is just a friend, nothing more, not even a pretense of such. It's helping me, I feel, become more honestly intimate with those that I care about. She helps ground me... I've needed someone like her in my life for a while. This is a nice time out allowing me just to be, to chill. I still want a relationship, want to meet the right person... this is a good breather.

If one, settling a pillow, or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
        "That is not it at all,
        That is not what I meant, at all."

-T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I got an e-mail from Jacky explaining that she didn't want to pursue the physical side of things right now, and that really wrankled me. We haven't kissed or anything along those lines for at least a week, yet we've seen each other ~5 times since then. So in theory she wouldn't even have needed to say anything - it should have been obvious that I was not pursuing anything. I feel disappointed that she had to call it out.

On the other hand, in the weird e-mails going back and forth on this, I think I figured out the big disconnect here. She said "a girl can sense the unsaid - the unpursued optimism that creates the awkward outs." in e-mail yesterday. I didn't get that for a long time, but I think I do now, and I think it's a critical perception problem between the two of us. I don't think she understands how "easy" my life has been.

I've never had to fight for anything. My job, my life, my friends, my skills, my girlfriends... they've all just *happened* to me. I never had to sit down and fight my way into med school, never wooed the unwooable wench, never travelled anything but a straight path to proficiency. Faced with a hellish time, I landed a cush job which let me banish away all the evils that troubled me (no, money can't buy happiness, but it's really frickin' good at banishing badness...).

So: I don't lead much. When I'm with someone I think is awesome, I leave the door open and they can walk through it if they choose, but it's a mutual thing. If it's not mutual... I do not want what I have not got. So while I can watch Groundhog's Day and get inspired to broaden myself, I'm not really *driven* to pursue anything in particular. My response to the questions "What is there to live for? What is there to die for?" has always been love, but love is largely a passive value. The creative acts I've pursued have almost always been for the joy or pleasure of another... I've oft noted that I'm a collaborationish at heart, and I think this latest realisation only confirms that.

So while Jacky can hang out with other people who really aren't saying what they mean, are hiding their poor Ducky hearts... I can truly think a woman is incredibly cool, be madly in love with her, and just not be bothered by anything further than my warm thoughts and high regard for that person. That exact reference is to Kate. Incredibly wonderful woman who makes the world a better place to live in. I don't think there's any difference whatsoever in the basis of my feelings towards Kate than there are towards any other random person: I'm open, accepting, and want the best for that person. And generally I'll let that person get as close to me as they want (see, passivity again!) so long as I'm comfortable.

I can't think of when I've ever asked for more. The few examples that I can think of where I *did* "want more"... they come off as childish hoaxes in hindsight. The battle had been lost, so I could pretend to get all uppity and fulfill my need for Heartbreak and Pain and Betrayal. Those just don't come easily when you're a nice guy. The biggest relationship problems I can recollect is a girlfriend telling me that she had faked her orgasm the first time we were together (which is stupid repeat stupid because the boy is supposed to learn). I mean... how lame is that? Wah. A girl grows up her life not knowing her body well, gets to faking by default, and fakes once with you before things Open up and you know each other better. That's just a lame Worst Girlfriend Experience. A girlfriend reading "Endymion" at the Harry Connick Jr. concert? That's just lame, not harrowing. I've been ignored but never f*cked over, in my recollection. The only truly Evil Person in my life I'm allowed to completely ignore, to just let that presence roll off my back like water on a duck. And that's not even a bad experience - that's an Evil Person that was Evil from the get-go, so I don't even get to claim Betrayal.

School was a laugh. I've always been bright. I never had to work hard in school, never had to sweat bullets for a test, never had to stay up nights working on projects... I've had it chillingly easy. I ran into Karen Mattsen (teacher friend of my parents) the other day at Marymoore park, who said, "You've never needed a piece of paper to tell you that you were smarter than your teachers." That really rubbed the wrong way - and still does - but ... part of it is just True. Things came far too easily. My parents mentioned that they had given thought to skipping me grades... that would have been terrible for my already poor social skills, but it might have helped the general lackadaisicalness I've successfully been able to approach school - and life - with.

College politics... I decided to run for office, and I won. No challenge. I lost the race for student body president, but I'd been lone-wolfing it without any attempt at building a Coalition, without having any sort of election team... and yet I still made the run-off.

I got my job at Microsoft more or less Just Because. I was working in test as a contractor (orange badge), dutifully toiling away for surprisingly good money, and was approached by key members of the dev team asking me to join them. I didn't feel I was good enough, they did... and after resistance, I took a crash course relearning programming, and landed the job. Now five years later, probably making more than my parents, who've been working all their life, put together... all this because I dropped out of college and accepted a job contracting at Microsoft. (Oddly, people always mention how hard the interviews in the Windows Media group are, yet I know I got all Hires when I interviewed here to become a full-time blue budge developer - it's that weird luck/easiness coming into play again.)

I've never had to fight for anything. I don't know if I know of anything I'd fight for. John is out there writing cool comedy for some reason, Anne is learning renaissance craftwork... I don't even have the craft or artistic outlet others have. My outlet... maybe loving people? Loving the world? It's so passive it's sad.

I'm not down on myself. I think I'm generally a Quality Human Being. But I'm not producing concrete contributions to the world, not fighting for myself - and wondering how I can that. But the sad pathetic thing is I still do not have the *need* to fight for something. It's all there, it's all free. I slack (in my eyes) at work, and my boss congratulates me on my hard work.

Sigh.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep. . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet--and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

-T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

So... I think that's why Jacky so completely misunderstands me. I think she knows what I think of her, and expects that for most guys this would entail them furtively questing for her, if not being outright about it. I didn't even think of the possibility - why would I want someone that doesn't want me? It doesn't make sense to my life: good things come to me regardless of what I do.

This is my confession of patheticness for the year.

My crime is sloth.

I'm really open to ideas here.

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, Deferential, glad to be of use, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; At times, indeed, almost ridiculous-- Almost, at times, the Fool.

-T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

In the end, I just need to get over it. I'm a middlingly successful chap in most I do, and while I may never shine or may not usually wallow in failure, it's a good life and I shouldn't begrudge that. I think the issue is that at heart I find disappointment and failure romantic. I like people who are struggling, who have vitality that I haven't found a need for.

I think that's what happened between Megan and myself... I think I saw her struggling through confusion and being really cool strong person, and then things got easy between us and I didn't know where her energy was going. Probably recuperating, resting... but that's such a valuable part of a person that missing it really saddens me.

"You make a much better adjutant than you ever would a lover, Featherstone."

-Warren Ellis, Preacher

(directed at myself, mr. middle america)

Orionís arms are wide enough
To hold us both together
Although weíre worlds apart
Iíd cross the stars for you

In the heart of a sleepless moon
Iíll be with you forever
This is my destiny
Till my life is throughv
The arms of Orion thatís where I wanna be
Since youíve been gone
Iíve been searching for a lover in the sea of tranquility
Drowning without you here, my dear

When I am lost and feel alone
I just look to heaven
I find my comfort there
God only knows where you are tonight

God only knows where you are tonight
Maybe time will tell me
Till then Iíll close my eyes
Say a prayer for you

The arms of Orion thatís where I wanna be
Since youíve been gone
Iíve been searching for a lover in the sea of tranquility
Drowning without you here, my dear

Orionís heart is bright enough
To shine on both of us
The constellations never fail
To light the way for love

Orionís arms are wide enough
To hold us both together
Although weíre worlds apart
Iíd cross the stars for you

-Prince, The Arms of Orion

I think the Jacky misunderstanding is over now. I explained that I thought she had thoroughly misunderstood me, and she's laid off the subject now and we're starting to talk a little again. But I still have lingering distaste that I'd be misinterpreted like that, treated like a child. It felt like she mistrusted me, and that's noxious to me, given who I am.

I think it gets back my middle name and the book, Demian:

"Love must not entreat," she added, "nor demand. Love must have the power to find its own way to certainty. Then it ceases merely to be attracted and begins to attract. Your love, Sinclair, is attracted by me. When it begins to attract me, I will come."

-Herman Hesse, Demian

That's my general rule. It's not about anyone, it's about that Right Woman who may or may not be out there for me. It's sad: Jacky has my copy of Demian right now and I could have easily read her that quote and maybe she would have understood, but now there's this sense that I was mistrusted and misjudged and I'm miffed.

When I worked at Sierra On-Line, I was intrigued by one of the artists who worked there. I'm very shy, so I waited until my last day there to ask her out. She accepted, and we went out and had a great time. And then on the way home, she said to me that she 'knew I was in my early twenties and really wanted sex, but that's not something she was comfortable with yet' or something sadly twistedly similar. I was dumb-founded and disgusted... for some reason some women don't understand that if you're not making a play on them, that that might just mean you're okay with things where they are. It miffed me. I felt mistrusted from the get-go, and so I never went out with her again. A little sad in that we hit it off really well and it's always cool meeting new interesting people ... but ... I believe I'm so straight-forward that even the hint of being mistrusted really really sticks in my craw.

So... I guess I'm mental right now. I don't like what's happened, I don't like the insinuation. I think we need to see each other to help jar ourselves back onto the right page, but that's part of the problem: I don't really feel like seeing her. You offer yourself up openly and honestly, and to have that not "gotten"... that bothers me.

 
I finally got to honestly say it. In life you say a lot of things that you don't mean. Things you hope people look over because they know it was the moment. But... it happened to me for once, and I'm truly happier to have been able to have the experience.

So I was chatting with my brother using the accursedly flakey AIM software (it's got such potential yet is such cr*p...), and he wanted to borrow an outfit of mine. I was down with that, but I like teasing people so I told him I'd be in Pittsburgh until a week after his date, but I could send him a clown suit in the meantime, since that really said "Dustin" to me. So we kid around a little more, and then he asks me about Pittsburgh - and I tell him that I was kidding, and he says:

i am so gullable...

and in turn I got to tell him that:

you know gullable isn't in the dictionary, right?

And it was true for the first time ever. Anybody pointing out that Webster's Dictionary - the official Scrabble dictionary - accepts "gullable" as a valid alternative spelling will be met by a hail of turnips and roundly trounced with the big inflatable hammer I won last weekend at the Seattle Center midway's dart toss. It's not in the Encarta dictionary, nor in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Ed. Grr. Trust Webster's to spoil a perfectly good truth. It's dictionaries like them wot cause unrest.

I had a great long catching-up chat with Keith Friday, and a great long visit to the Tulip Festival today with Cynthia, both of which I want to write up. And I want to write up a little bit about why this:

I    am   scared...

-DJ Shadow, Stem/Long Stem

is profoundly cool and has been my recent anthem song (it's not that line, it's the haunting searching melody), and so forth, talk a little about understanding some more of Cynthia at long last, about a really good day of discovering my unrealistic expectation of peoples and wondering about how stupid I am in relationships, but...

The thing that catches my heart today was an e-mail thanking me for some work I'd done:

But thanks very much for your extra work on this. You're the point man for everything!

it was so unexpected and nice. I typically do have a small hand in most everything and that's really an overstatement on his part but... it's cool to be recognized and loved, and I've felt beloved lately by work. Brian is aggressively ensuring that I don't get overloaded - we're planning my schedule two months in advance now, which means I may not have to have insane Pajama Weeks where I live at the office. The past week I was working normal shift, leaving for standard night time activities, then coming back and working until 3-5AM. It's certainly an effective way to get a lot of work done, but it's not very healthy or fun long-term.

And the public gets
What the public wants

-The Jam, Going Underground

This, I guess, is Love Day. I like it. And I brought some tulips home with me from the festival, so I'll bring some with me to Neverending Story tonight, where I'll finally meet Heather.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

-Sylvia Plath, Mad Girl's Love Song

Last night was terribly cloudy so I didn't get to see the promised meteor shower. It's still drizzly and cloudy and I want to go running and this weather is not helpful. But I must not be lazy, and so I will just go anyways and enjoy my wet romp through Greenlake regardless.

I finally "wrote" something new, a poem for Megan. It's still in a draft stage, but that's a lie in that what I write tends to stay in draft stage.

I finally met Heather. I think Cynthia had pitched me on her months ago, and so I'd checked our her web site and we had exchanged e-mails. It had been a good lengthy mail conversation, but then she moved and we hadn't talked for a while. I had been planning on going to The Habit last night, but since I hadn't confirmed with anyone, I decided to reschedule until next weekend when Rachel will be in town to appreciate them too. I'm trying to be better about doing Group activities.

So instead of The Habit, I was planning on napping - after a long hard day of looking at tulips - and then getting up about 1am, getting some paper, and going to Gasworks to watch the meteor showers and to write. But Heather was going to the Neverending Story which just happened to get out at 2AM, which just happened to be the time that the meteor shower was at its thickest... so I decided to join her crew instead.

I wasn't sure how to make myself Known. We'd seen webcam pictures of each other, but those can be deceiving. I thought about wearing my chef's hat or bringing along Gossamer, but... impressions? Instead I brought along a chunk of the tulips I'd picked up at the tulip festival, and stood around out front of the Egyptian handing out tulips. Hard to miss a guy handing out flowers. Plus, it's a great way to wait for someone.

I had almost given up and was heading inside when Heather popped up - she was already *in* the theater - and we bopped inside and joined her friends. She warned me ahead of time that she talked during movies. I think I'm usually quiet during movies - I'm big into the Suspension of Disbelief - but... it was the Neverending Story and she was intelligent and so we kept up a dialogue through most of the film. There was a little six year old girl with her mother in the seats in front of us. The poor girl was *terrified* of the evil Gomork wolf-creature so ran off from her seat into the aisle. Later she even ran out of the theater to avoid the evil Gomork. This reminds of why people have kids- I was incredibly enchanted by this. Unfortunately, after the running-out-of-the-theater episode the mom took the little girl home, and so I was without what was coming to be one of my favorite parts of the movie experience.

They look like such big strong hands...

-Rockbiter, Neverending Story

So the movie ended and everybody slowly filed outside. My end of the aisle was capped by a group conversation including a woman with a lovely Scottish accent. I couldn't get anywhere for a while, but did I care? I indeed must visit Europe soon.

It was too cloudy to go meteor watching, so we instead decided to head to drinks/food. Others had to get up in the morning, so I ended up taking just Heather out. We headed over to Minnie's and I played a little DJ Shadow during the drive. Really oddly she had been listening to DJ Shadow earlier in someone else's car. He's not a new artist - I think his albums were in '96 and '98 - so that was a little spooky.

Minnie's with her was great. We just kept talking and talking and it got to be gawd-awfully late and we were both yawning but I think we were both still interested. By the time we left I could have simply napped on the table quite happily ... the salt shaker was beginning to look like a most excellent pillow. I was tired enough that on the drive home I didn't recognize where I was - the same turns took me to the right places, but either Seattle looks like a different city at 6AM, or... my memory had shut down completely. I almost always read before bed, but I made it down maybe half a Charles Bukowski poem before my brain shut down and it was time for slumber.

She's really cool. She's smart, reads, has a wide body of interests, has thought herself through fairly well, has a precise memory, likes poetry, is a film buff, is very funny/lively and extroverted... she's a really good cookie. Oddly enough, she trembles her leg too! I've never met anyone else that as this quirk... when my ankle is at a certain angle, my entire leg twitches incessantly. It doesn't bother me at all, but others hate it since it can shake the table. She does it too - a kindred freaky spirit! <grin> I'm looking forward to hanging out with her again.

We were having a really good conversation and it kept flowing, but I wanted to take notes so we could back to certain subjects. Unfortunately I didn't have a writing utensil, so I cracked open a couple sugar packets and used those as dry ink. When she went to the bathroom, I made her a little sugar angel/faerie thing. She saw it and was amused and proceeded to create this masterful sugar angel with appropriately textured wings. It was a very sad reminder that I have the artistic talents of a five year old.

 
I don't know if I can write poems about people if I'm in love with them. It's only when things fall apart that I seem to be able to. I think I'm going to make an effort on this front. I've been planning poems on Nicole and Jacky, but maybe I'll write one on Kate just for the challenge: I don't have anything Bad or Disappointed or Failed to say about her/us, so where would I start? Actually, that's not quite true... but I know that when I write I like to look at failures, and that'd be weird when written about Kate and myself.

I wonder how much of that 0.03% click-through rate on banner ads nowadays is due to people accidentally clicking on a banner ad when they switch back to that browser window? I can't recall the last banner ad I deliberately click on.

Odd fact of the day: you can't put in your MSN screen name, or even , so if you want to be "Giant Penguin" for some unfathomable reason (I'm not really sure... either it was an 'I just gotta be me' thing or I was thinking of Happy Gilmore - maybe some of both), you'd have to be "Giant Godd@mned Penguin". Yet internal to Microsoft, you're free to have "" in your computer's network name. I know that's probably inappropriate ("Hey Bill! Go to \\xxxx\demos to see the new interface!"), but when you're trying to ship a product and so restore an image of Windows XP and it won't let you log in until you Activate and you can't Activate via the net because you haven't configured Internet Connection Wizard on that image yet, and you can't call the d*mned hotline because it's only open M-F 9-5 (or so) and you end up recreating the machine image so you can get some f*cking work done AT Microsoft FOR Microsoft and you end up wasting ~4 hours (image restore, realization of boned state, image recreation) because of Microsoft stupidity... I get a little cranky. And then when I try to log in and get denied the computer name I want because that useless image I just destroyed had used it previously... well, "" becomes part of my computer name at that point. I feel childish. The moral of the story is obviously to either Activate the OS or to have run Internet Connection Wizard *before* imaging, but... grrr. Puny mortals.

And while talking about love, it was my father who said to me,
ďYour mother is the only time I got what I wanted.Ē

-Rachel Carroll, Things We Dream Of Having

Yes! Yes! Yes!

-Sally, When Harry Met Sally...

I thought I had missed the Kilt Run! But wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles - it's *next* weekend! Awesome! I can do 5k no problem. I went running today at Greenlake - one lap jogging, one lap walking - and I was worried at first about my right knee (banged up from soccer), but the pain quickly faded once I got into a rhythm. The back of my knee is a little bruised, and I had a jacket tied around my waist. The perceptive would ask, "Hey... but wouldn't your jacket's zipper bang irritatingly and quite painfully on that bruised knee?", and that would be the case. *Ow*. I ended up tucking the jacket into itself on the side to get rid of the zipper beating I was enduring. As I was jogging I would ask people what breed their dogs were - that's something I've never paid much attention too - and was amazed to note that most dog owners didn't know. "Mutt" was common, and about 3 people out of 10 could name a breed or two for their dog. Were the dogs rentals?

On my way home from jogging, I got a phone call from a guy getting background information ready for my dad Dana's divorce. Dana and his ex-wife-to-be (isn't the word for that "ecnaif"?) to be are still living together with their daughter (my three year old half-sister Grace) before the May 3rd preliminary hearing where they will learn how they're supposed to begin splitting things up. It was a very startling call because I'd been planning for weeks to see my dad Dana this weekend for the first in four years or so, in order to ask him WTF was going on that he was heading into his fourth divorce. But now that I know that Karen is still living with him... I'll wait until I'm sure to get him alone. I don't want to bother her or add tension to her life. How stupid. If nothing else, I've never been Divorced.

What a terrible goddawfully ugly word. Read: "Told Someone I Would Spend The Rest Of My Life To Them But Was Either Lying At The Time Or Later Did Not Understand 'Commitment'". I don't have a problem with open relationships, with common-law marriage, with just living together... but if you're going to get *married* - which is a very distinct LEGAL and RELIGIOUS concept, f*cking mean it. Idiot. As unhappy women can attest, I don't even do the "girlfriend" thing without *serious* consideration. Commitment means a hell of a lot to me.

I've been having an e-mail row with Megan. It's lead me to believe, however briefly, that if I truly find someone attractive, I should never get involved with them until we're both in love with each other. It will never work - Linda had to "stop seeing" me because she liked me too much and I wasn't getting involved with her - but... it's an attractive notion. Just friends forever with everybody. I'll be everybody's guy gal-pal. A harmless roving angel.

Meta time: I guess I don't post big enough warnings on the top of the page not to read my journal if you're not able to put it in clear perspective. I don't think some people "get" the Myth of the Fingerprints... it amazes me to have what I wrote at one point in time thrown back at me as if any text I ever wrote could be a definitive statement or summary of anything ever. Isn't that the entire point of my journal, that things and myself change over time? That this is my confused internal dialog as I try to sort things out in my head? Yeech. Disappointing.

The question I would pose to myself, as well as to my obvious but mock-anonymous detractor: who am I? Do you think you gained a greater understanding of me by reading my journal, or by spending time with me? Was there a contradiction between who I am in person, and my words? And if you find that to be so, given that I make a point of thinking most everything through... how do I reconcile this? It all has to fit within a cogent personality/worldview - that's part of my make-up. I can understand not understanding how things link together... but they *have* to fit together. It's how I work. So take the pictures of me you've drawn, and piece 'em together. You've made a picture of a fractured psyche: put it together. I'm open to different interpretations of myself - everyone has their own picture of each individual they encounter - but ... c'mon, work within a logical/plausible character construction.

Oh well. I think that people who need to be out of love paint what they need to or want to as regards the characterization of their soon-to-be-ex love.

After the unsettling phone call about my dad Dana's divorce, I headed over to the Compline Service to unravel my mind a little. But after having been up so late the night before... I was exhausted. A tiny catnap in my car before the service began became an hour and a half nap. That felt really good.

Hrm. This whole "writing in journal" thing is getting eerily regular recently.

I got my Official "United Way of King County's Leadership Giving Circle" book/roster today. These were the 10,000 suckers nice souls who donated over a thousand clams during the 1999 Giving Campaign. My first thought was: timely of them. Of course then I realized that by now everybody's actually paid in full, so they don't have to keep sending updates like this:

Joe Glaser is lame and backed out of his contribution when his company tanked. We have teepeed his house in retribution.
My second thought was: what a nice waste of the money I gave them. Some stupid book that no one is ever ever going to sift through. I mean, Who's Who and What's What... maybe some day you're so unsure of yourself, so completely lacking in dignity, that you casually elbow your Who's Who off the shelf and it falls open right to your page in front of your date. Who of course leaves in disgust because that kind of stuff just doesn't matter and thinking that your date thinks it does is an insult to their make-up. But it turns out that Costco and Eddie Bauer paid for the books/rosters to be sent out, so they really didn't waste my money... just somebody else's money. I didn't randomly give United Way my money anyways, though - I earmarked it all to causes I cared about. Some would argue that the "Wild Burro Rescue & Preservation Project" could be construed as a waste of money, but... you gotta go with what you believe. And I gave $$$ to lots of good causes, so I think I'm forgiven.

This book is pretty uninteresting. There's no plot whatsoever, just a list and pictures of people who donated $50,000 or more, and names and work-places of people who donated under $50,000. I got to be a member of the "Silver Feather Society", which isn't part of the "Alexis De Tocqueville Society" ($10,000 and up) but is a step up from the "Red Feather Society" ($1,000 to $2,500) and a decided step up from the "Thanks For Pretending You Care You Society" (less than $1000).

Maybe my mom will like it.

 
Last night was week two of my modeling class. I'm a fan of satire, so have sent away for my Doctorate, my Certificate of Ministerial Ordination, my Wizard-in-Training certificate, my Angel card, stuff that sounds really good but means very little (it means very little originally, but... that's a different topic). I was reading my blurb at my high school's alumni site, which reads:

I spent three years at WWU, realized people got paid for what I was doing as a hobby, and so got a job as a developer at Microsoft (on Windows Media). Since then, I've gotten my doctorate, was part of a local theater group for a while (currently incarnated as the Seattle-based "The Habit"), released a small-press CD, and generally lived. More info at http://www.zachd.com/ .
, which I've got to say sounds abstractly cool. Hopefully concretely cool, too, but ... I don't have any illusions: I'm just making my own particular mess out of life, as we all are.

Anyways, modeling. So I signed up to be Male Model And Actor. I don't know whether I'm "officially" a Male Model yet - I haven't done any blow or gotten any gigs yet - but I've got the headshot, and do have a Talent Rep. Now I take classes on learning to be a model citizen... last week we got to practice Walking and Turns, this week we got to practice our Looks. I am not a vain guy. I do not find myself very attractive. I'm not hideous, and my looks can be interesting at times... but I'm not compelling - I'm Average. So having to stand in front of a mirror for an hour and practice Happy, Sophisticated, and Flirty looks... I just can't do that seriously. We were in front of full-length mirrors, so I kept losing it and doing the Karate Kid Crane or whatnot. Plus I'd only gotten a handful of hours of sleep the past several nights, so looked *terrible*. When most people look in the mirror and think, "Whoa... I look awful today..." they get to look away. Being faced with that for an hour was unsettling. But now I know the Strong Side of My Face. I'm sure that'll come in useful in the real world.

Once I was on the stage, though, modeling for the class, it was easy to be On. I can do *acting* - that's simple enough. What's the difference between modeling and acting? Less talking? I'd rather do acting than modeling, but it will be amazingly amusing if anything ever comes off the modeling side of this. The Extra in a Movie thing seems semi-plausible. We'll see. It's a strange world.

From an insightful if too-late-to-be-helpful letter...

One of these days you gotta let go a bit. Or you're going to hang out on your current plateau for a while longer. Remember that your action's speak louder than words, so don't overdo the gifts if you don't have her think that you're madly in love with her. Trust me on that one.

-Nicole

Jacky had told me that if we got physically involved, we could never see each other again because she was mental. Actually, her exact words were "I have issues...", but I think the rephrasing is valid. It's so weird. I had stenciled her into the role of a close trusted friend. I had decided to downplay any attraction and be a Homebase for her. I think inside I've always felt very secure and comfortable in who I am and what I am, so it's puzzled me this past week to see what is more or less my friendship being rejected. Seperation occuring due to distance or time is something that makes sense to me. But this... it still doesn't make sense to me. I think she's off dating a new guy, and I guess that's a valid reason to blow me off for a while. I fully understand this - I've been there and done that myself - it's easy to get lost in the newness of someone. But this seems to be something deeper, and that I do not understand. We're supposedly getting together for lunch next week. I'm tempted to cut my losses and just dismiss the remnants of the friendship then. I guess I need to hear from her what's honestly up - it's easy to be weird and unpalatable over e-mail, but... I think seeing her in person will allow me to judge more honestly what's going on in her head, and know whether it's worthwhile to continue talking to her or not.

I'd actually even sent an e-mail to her on an entirely different tact, dismissing all the weirdness between us - not even mentioning it -, just being e-mail friends as if we'd just met. I got back a message apologizing for having been so weird lately. That's not a helpful/terribly viable way to have a friendship. At some point ya gotta move on. I just ... it's just sick to have a friendship end in such a weird way. I don't understand women well enough to understand why after having made the apparent transition to friendship, the fact that we needed to transition to Friendship would become of paramount conversational importance. Especially with how relaxed and mellow (too much so at times) I am around people that I appreciate. I can't see how she could have possible misinterpreted my intentions. I suspect it's some of those "issues" referred to earlier, just coming out with a little delay.

The outstanding question is... is she a Quality friend? Do either of us care, or has it been a fun run that's now over?

...

We need batting cages. Work's been a pile of doo-doo today, and I'm tired of dealing with the insanity. Batting cages are a great way to work through stress... they're a meditative level of simplicity that I'd appreciate right about now. We did get a nice ice cream party, though. The marketing team is loving what we're doing, so they served us up tasty treats in exchange for our tasty software. We got t-shirts too: "This digital media rocks." No offense, but "uhhhhh?" That slogan doesn't exactly ring, and there's not even a picture of the new products on the tee. Oh well. The shirt was free.

 
I went out for the third time with Heather last night. Justin had decided to get together a bunch of people for a Gang Night at Gameworks. I headed over there, caught up with Dave, Bob, and Justin, and waited for Heather to finish work and join us. Heather was a really good sport - she has really positive energy in general. We played lots of different games, and she put up with me ramping up the level to "EXTREMELY HARD" on everything. My reasoning was that that way we'd have an excuse for losing. We got to play a really fun "Big Rig" game, in which you get to drive an 18 wheeler. Neither of us were very good, but she didn't have that stereotypical girls-suck-at-arcade-games-itis. We both did the weird Addam's Family Electrocute Yourself game too. The thought here is that you pay money, put your hands on two metal posts, and they electrocute you with a continually increasing charge coming through the two posts. Happily, we both "won" too, me at the "Extra Foolhardy Level", her at the "Ha Ha I Can't Believe You're Paying To Get Electrocuted Level".

Gameworks was fun, but ... it's not thoughtful or terribly interactive. So we took off and headed off to the grocery store to get fixings for making dinner. Heather has been kind enough to volunteer to help me cook, so we'd agreed to a dinner and a movie.

Shopping itself was interesting. I am not wise with food. Heather knows what she's doing, which is unsettling.

But she has such a terrific and good heart. I find myself really liking her and so I tone down my voice as guys tend to around people they like... and then my already quiet voice is inaudible. At that point is when people start being annoying in how they handle the fact that they can't understand me. A lot of people act a little insulting about it, and it's grating. But she's really naturally good-natured about it. That's how she is in general, I think: really easy to get along with.

I feel safe with her, so showed her my office briefly. I thought about getting a quick webcam snap of her for my collection, but ... forgot or decided not to? I don't know. A guy from work was terribly drunk and the two of us talked with him for a bit before heading onwards. She's just generally a good person around people.

We went back to my place (it's about 2AM by this point...), and cooked up minestrone, a salad, and bread together. It was the first time I'd ever *really* learned about cooking from someone, and I very much appreciated the experience. I learned the secret of "'BOT" (Basil Oregano Thyme), among many other things: I feel like I could make last night's meal with confidence for someone else. I think her patience helped. I never felt like an ignorant fool (cooking-wise).

I kept playing her lots of music during cooking. I find that with people I really like, I very much want to share with them the things that I find beautiful. I'm curious to know what she finds beautiful. I have really liked the Auden book of poetry... but what does *she* surround herself with?

After making dinner, we sat down to watch Destiny Turns on the Radio (a personal favorite). Dinner was great, but it was about 4AM by this point. She kept falling asleep during the movie, though, so we never finished it.

Her falling asleep was a little problematic. I'd thought about this, and I was fully comfortable with her spending the night. But I didn't know how to broach that. So we lay down on the coach together talking for a while - she's fascinating to talk with - and got sleepier. I invited her to spend the night, but in the interest of her comfort I offered her the couch, which she accepted. Then we both got ready for bed, and when I got into bed she laid down on the floor and we talked more. I'd thought about inviting her to sleep with me originally but... I didn't want to unnerve her (the whole Jacky thng making me extra sensitive), but since she was on the floor, I invited her and she accepted.

It was odd seeing her in my old purple silk pajamas. I think other people have worn my pajamas more than I have. I don't know if I'd usually have minded, but... I felt like I wanted new pajamas for her to wear. She is too pleasing to wear the old stuff - she's qualified for the Penguin Pajama Privilege Pass, once I can find them again.

I let her have her own side of the bed. I'm naturally snuggly and thought about scootching up to her... but I think I'm much more sensitive to possible comfort level concerns than I might need to be. Why not play it safe? But it felt like not holding Kate. I don't Know her yet, but she comes off as eminently trustable and someone who would speak up for themselves if things started feeling haywire.

She didn't spend the entire night. We had gotten to bed by about 5AM, and she was to get up by 11AM. However, she didn't appear to sleep well - why? - and so took off at about 9AM to go back to her place, maybe rest a little, get new clothes. I had offered her some of mine, but she'd declined. Darnation. I like good people borrowing my clothes.

I wish she could have slept well at my place. I want her to be comfortable and at home around me. We're laying the groundwork for a relationship here, and I'd like this to be solid.

Every thing I've known about her so far reminds me of the value of a good heart. I tend towards hyperbole... no, that's not true, towards an honest statement of my feelings on how cool my excitable person thinks someone can be when I get to know them. But she's Good, through and through so far. Perhaps a little excited at times, but I'll take that anyday in return for someone with a sharp mind.

"We are haunted by our past, which clings to us like sad mystical lint. Of the past, the mystery of family is the most beautiful, the saddest, and the most inescapable of all. Those to whom we are joined by the ethereal ties of blood are often those about whom we know the least."

-W.P. Kinsella, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

Tinkerbell's preparing her charming little bells: soon it'll be the end of this particular page. I feel like I've learned more in the past two months than I have in some years. More about the realities of other people than anything else, but... it's been an important lesson.

I've always felt if I was a consistent enough person - "To thine own self be true" - and by being a good enough person, that what I wanted would come to me. But, to paraphrase Warren Ellis, sometimes God needs a little help.

I watched Bedazzled last night, and the Sensitive Guy part of the movie brought a wry smile to my face. Alison leaves Elliot, then the Most Sensitive Guy In The World, for a bunch of bullies who just kicked sand in Elliot's face, because they just want to get into Alison's pants - a baseness that she's been unable to find in Elliot.

I think about that. I've been thinking about it a lot recently. When I went out with Dave to the midnight show of Soylent Green Friday, we talked on the way back home about picking up women at bars. It's not something I've ever done. But sometimes women and men want that kind of shallowness: they don't want anything more. I'm not down with that. I don't even know where I'd pick up My Kind of Woman. I still don't think I've even ever picked up a woman - that implies an aggressive edge that I just don't seem to have had in my personality to date.

And that's what I think I've learned I need to bring out now. From pursuing a new house more aggressively, to improving my painting and drawing skills... I want to be more aggressive in the pursuit of what I desire.

Gien the kind of person I am, I don't think that should be unwelcome. We'll see.

 
And part of these thoughts are the relationship with Megan. I don't think I ever truly let down my hair with her, let go and indulged my inner and potentially baser self. Instead I spent a long while in an emotionally uncertain limbo - trying to protect both of us - and I think that hurt both of us more than if I had just rolled with it and given myself to the moment.

Songs of Innocence and Experience indeed.

It's a flawed world with flawed people. I'd thought that it was possible to be flawless, tried to see through the muck to the heart of the best of people. That's a source of my idiocy, though: I need to understand and expect the flaws of others. I walk into flakiness or loveless lust unprepared. Now I'm beginning to expect that unpredictable Quirk, and that makes all the difference.

...

I spent today working on myself. Practicing sketching, writing, sending out some postcards. I realized I wasn't as hideously bad at sketching as I thought I might be. While I was drawing - at Flower's - the people at the next table kept not-terribly-sneakily sneaking long looks at my sketchings and I got to feel all Artistic. I also wrote a new poem which I think is broken and a little vulgar but ... was what I wanted to say then. The poem that I wrote today that I truly liked was just too personal to share. There's still a part of me that refuses to voice certain hopes and certain fears - and that little soft secret defeated part of my heart was where this one came from.

I have come to the conclusion that a woman wearing silk lingerie is what I want or perhaps need for Christmas. It's been a long time since I've been in bed with someone that I've fully let my hair down with. I want to share a romantic comedy and home-cooked dinner, laughing together and enjoying each other's feel, retiring to the bedroom, and then enjoying the feel of our bodies next to each other. A nice slow progression through the bases... and having underwear (gasp, shock) be an intimate piece of apparel. Not just something In The Way.

My first girlfriend had very sensitive skin. I learned how to touch a woman through clothing, and gained an appreciation for the Revelation of more of my partner's body. I don't truly comprehend women who aren't into foreplay - it doesn't jibe with how I was taught. I understand and agree with the thought that you shouldn't have just one flavor all the time, but hearing from a woman that she's not really into foreplay unless it leads to sex: that's startling and unsettling. Being into foreplay definitely is one of my Requirements.

And internally there's just something about silken lingerie that says to me: foreplay.


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