Monday, January 30, 2006

A Quick Note

I am taking a sick day. I cannot possibly be expected to cope with both the loss of my porn and the onslaught from Saturday.

If I have recovered sufficiently later, again, I can tell you. I have to say, though, I'm really not sure children aren't some kind of alien plot. Very skittery, and inexplicable behavior to say the least...I'm not sure how many times I just stood there and said "But why would he do that?" And then I was expected to clear up the mess!

And if they're so innocent, why do they make eye contact before doing something that will get YOU in all kinds of trouble? It's like the kid was saying "Watch this!"

Plus, I can't say as I approve of his choice in films, although eating a Martha Stewart magazine was an effective critique of that level of writing (don't tell his aunt I said that). His conversational skills were lacking a bit, and his hygeine, if left up to himself - well, the less said about *that* the better.

Of course he was adorable, delightful, and intelligent - but I don't think exhausting is an unfair thing to say, either.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Purge

I'll get to this later, when I've recovered.
I'm going back to the couch to whimper.
Gone. *sob* All gone. I...I can't...oh, god.

Please tell Alex to stop laughing. I'm in real pain here.....


Ok, I think....sniff....I can do this now.
On the surface, everything looked fine. Good even. The walls had been repainted in nice, neutral colors - odd, really. Colored walls. Curtains. What will people think of next? True, the comfortable smell of pending laundry was missing, and my butt groove had been fluffed out of the couch, but those I could fix. The most disturbing bits of art were gone, the ones left were rathr nice, oh, and YES, my old tv was missing. I nearly wept for joy. Apparently Steph felt it artistically necessary to steal the old one. I must remember to thank her. The replacement isn't a plasma tv, but it's quite nice enough.
But I digress.

So, a quick sweep of the place revealed nothing markedly odd. There was even a gift in the fridge. I do like brownies. I must've had five of them while trying to figure out how someone accumulates seventeen bottles of salad dressing in three weeks.
I left some out for Alex, but I kept going back to them.
"I can't figure out which of these mustard bottles were already, I'll keep 'em..." It occured to me how much I like mustard. And hotdogs. When was the last time I had a hotdog, anyway?

Alex was trying to cope with the bathroom. Whatever it was in the tub, it wasn't jello. Jello dissolves in hot water. Then she asked me about the "lamp." I looked at it. Really looked at it. It was so pleasingly aesthetic. "Leave it." I said, "it really pulls the whole room together. Hey, are there any Fritos in here?"

She reached the bedroom and yelled for a minute. I blinked and said, "Oh, wow. Oh. Um, that's...not mine. Um, I have never seen one of those before...I have NO clue what that's for. But hey, leave it up. Wait, you could test the weight limit on it..." She was soo confused. The look on her face was kinda funny. Okay, really funny - or I thought so.
Once I stopped giggling, I saw that my underwear drawer was open. It looked like something had turned my shorts into a nest, and it smelled musty, like a - "Oh, fer fucksake. I think I found where Fido was sleeping." Now Alex started laughing. Not that it was funny.

Damn, why don't I have any junk food in this place? Except for the brownies. Yum.

So I get back, and she's still trying to figure out the ceiling thing, and I look at the closet ceiling. There's a pink string hanging from it. Odd...
Did you ever watch Captain Kangaroo, where the moose would drop a load of ping-pong balls on the Captain's head? Yeah, it was a lot like that. Only with panties.
Now Alex sounds like she's about to pee herself laughing. It is kinda funny, and I sit down to really think it over. Ok, lie down to think about it. And while I'm down there -ever notice that you can hang onto the world while it spins? - I see that my box o' porn has been moved. That's strange.

So I open it up....and that's when I see the depths of the treachery.....

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Well, we got back to the city just fine. Despite a few necessary rough spots, things were good. We got back quite late, things were crazy on Wednesday, and so I wasn't ready to deal with anything until Thursday. I was about to pick up the phone when they told me someone was waiting for me at the desk downstairs.
I caught Alex's eye and shrugged. She gave me the eye right back, meaning that she wanted me to lay down the law today. As I grabbed my coat, I went past her. "I think she's off. I may be seeing her to the airport. You mind?"
"Just as long as you get back in one piece...think you can manage that?"
"I'll do my best. I'll say "hi" to Fido for you, too."
I ducked the file she fhwapped at me and headed out.

Sure enough, it was herself in the lobby, all packed to go. The contents of her pet satchel growled at me. 'Nice to see you, pest. Oh, you brought Fido. I hope you don't expect me to drive you." I waved the hand at her, "I've still got two weeks with this thing."
"Don't be dafter than you have to," she brushed that aside. "I have a car service coming. I thought you'd come along to the airport, that's all."
"Do I even want to know?"
"Of course you do. It's brilliant. NYU's very interested in the system, I have a second meeting with Bloomberg in May, and now I can go take care of Kent's new business in London."
I followed her out to the waiting car, as she explained Kent's "brilliant" idea. Seems they'd revamped Britain's prostitution law, and Kent - who apparently is also a total lunatic, but one with a lot of cash to throw around - wants to start an American themed franchise. Who does he want to market it? The looniest American he could find. "And guess what he prepaid me in? Go on, guess!"
"I dunno. An island?"
"Got it in one! Or rather, three! I've been trying to get these lots in Elounda - that's in Crete - and a big chunk of Milos off him forever, and now he's desperate, so I got him to agree to give me what he's got in Corfu, too. People with hereditary money are astonishingly naive sometimes."
"I hate Corfu. Almost worse than I hate Jersey."
"Are you still bitter?"
"Do I still have scars?" Long story, but trust me - worst vacation ever.

I let her go on for a while, only occasionally questioning the sanity and morality of this whole proposition. Finally, I figured she'd run out, and got a word in edgewise. "Kate, listen," I said, "I think things are changing."
She gave me the weird sidelong look that was one of the first things I ever noticed about her. "That's normal. Things always change. What's your point?" She sucked in her breath. "Oh, no. You're not going to go all bourgeois on me, are you? I knew that one was trouble." She sounded mad, sure, but she looked for a second like she was really going to break on me.
"I don't think it's trouble, and I really doubt it's headed for - what did you call it - the hell of suburbia? But I promised I'd tell you if things changed."
She stayed quiet, and she wouldn't look at me.
"Kate. It's just different, that's all."
"Well, I should hope so." She put her chin back up, and the hard version of KD was back. "I don't need to be replaced. And I've never wanted you for day to day, anyhow. Once in a while is fine by me."
"I know that. That's always been the problem."
"I disagree. I think that's been the solution. We'd never have worked, once you decided you wanted this," she flicked my tie derisively. "I said I'd never do this kind of life, and I meant it. Grow up if you want, Peter, but there's no place for me here. Let her be Jennet, and you can be Tam Lin. I'm happy as hell to be the queen of the otherworld, with or without you."
You know what? I'll skip all the fairy tale allusions that happen when you end up with a minor in folklore - I'm not proud of that - but safe to say, I trotted out the Oisin and faery metaphor, which she did love, and we threw all those other stories back and forth. It made it easier, it always had, to hide it in myths and stories - and that's what those stories are for, to help us understand what we have in the mundane world.

She finally explained something else about regret. I'd read "The Garden of Forking Paths," I don't know if you have, and I won't bore you with details. Suffice to say, it's where Kate got the idea that everywhere, things come together, and you make every choice possible, so there's no use wondering if you should've done better, since yes, you have, and you've also done worse. Here and now, you did what you did, and you follow your path to the end. I knew she felt that way before, but I still had to ask her about the big thing, the one that really drove us apart.
She cut me off sharply. "Sometimes. Sometimes everything seems wrong. I live with it."
"Am I the only one who feels bad about how that ended?"
"Yes. Because it was all about you. Don't be stupid, Mike. For a second I had what everyone tells me I should want, and I panicked. When I realized in that second that deep down, I'd hate you for it, and we'd both know it, there wasn't anything else to do. Did you want three miserable people, or two kind of unhappy ones?"
"Would we have been so miserable, Kate?"
"I think we would. Did either of us try to get that back?" I didn't answer her, since she was right. "Do you need to hear that I don't always think so? I'm as sure as I can be, that's all. But I have my moments. Sometimes I think it could have worked, and that's the worst part of this."
She dug in her purse, and handed me some pictures. "There. If you want proof, there it is. I saw these after I'd been in the accident, and they stopped me cold."

I swear, those were the weirdest things ever. It was the kid from my dreams made into a doll. It stared out at me, but instead of the anger, it seemed content. "What is this?"

"They're just some dolls, that's all. Or a picture of what could have been. I bought them, I put them on a shelf, and I moved on." She took my hand, finally. "I need you to move on, too. It could have ended differently, but it didn't."

She leaned against me for the rest of the trip, not talking. We got her headed in the right direction in silence, and then it was time for her to go.
"Do you love her more than me?"
I'd been expecting that.
"I wouldn't say more, Kate. I'd say different. But you're right, we can't have everyday. That's not us. And I want to give everyday a better try than I have been."
"I guess I'll go."
"No matter how far, Kate, I'm still here. I keep my promises."
She smiled a bit. "And I'll keep mine. I'll be back when I think you need me. I think it may be a while this time, if you don't screw it up."
"It's a deal, you loon." And I couldn't take the whole back-and-forth rude right now, so I held her for a minute."Off you go, then, back to the Island of Apples in the Summer Country, o bride of my lost youth. You to your world, me to mine."
She wiped her eyes and began to pull away. "Be careful you're not in the wrong story again. I might be Calypso this time. Go home. Say "Hello" to Penelope for me. I think she's been waiting a while."
"The wrong story? Never. Eris, Idunna, whoever you are next, I'll see you again to make sure I don't get too old to recognize anymore." I let her go.

I watched her walk through the gate, and that was all. I had the whole car ride back to collect my thoughts.

When I got back to the office, there was noise, the regular chaos and Alex. She raised her eyebrows at me and said "Was that so hard?"
"Nah," I said. She looked really happy, and I realized I had come back in one piece after all. "You were right all along."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Cleaning Up

Now that's the better thing about not being in the city. I don't mean the stars and the beach at night, I don't mean the quiet and stillness. I mean the tremendously oversized tubs. The beach and the stars and the quiet are great, but you will freeze your butt off enjoying them.

A nice, warm bath is exactly the thing - unless the other person in it keeps trying to drown you. Though she is but little - and slippery, I might add - she is fierce.
"A television! You let your ex invade your house for a lousy TV?"
"I yield, I yield!" I hate getting splashed at. "It was going to be a really big television. She's always so sorry when she breaks things....and I've really been wanting one of those plasma widescreen deals..."

Some women have no appreciation for fine electronics.

"All right," I said,"No more taking "just because" as a reason for letting Kate run rampaging through things. But really, asking her for a reason is pretty out there. Besides, she's due to flee to the outer dark again, soon."
"I don't know where. I try not to ask. She always tells me afterwards, like when she got hit by a bus in Hokkaido. I din't even know she was in Japan. She just mentioned it in passing five months later, when she was trying to get me to get her out of a ticket in Austin." I thought for a second. "You know, saying stuff like that out loud does make her seem kinda weird, doesn't it?"
"It kind of does, yes." Ah, Alex in sarcastic mode. Even wet, it burns.
"No drinking alone with her. Fine. Done. I just hope you have better plans for the fiftieth birthday, though. It was going to be epic."
"I think that might be arranged."
"Fifty. Euch. Talk about something sounding weird out loud. Where does the time go?" Something nagged at the back of my mind. "Hey. Hey! I get it!"
"Aw, never mind that now. Wait 'til you're tired. It'll make more sense." It'd give me time to put it into words, anway. But she kept splashing - I hate that - so I had to try. "There's a theme in some legends - the Irish have Oisín and the Japanese have Urashima Taro, and there's all those poor folk who eat and drink in Faery and stay there longer than they'd meant. I never really got what the story's meaning was until right now. This is great!"
"Great? Mike, you get weirder by the second."
"No, here's what I mean. You think I've been paying so much attention to her that the time's gone by and I've been missing it all the while." She got quiet, so I knew I had something there. "Not quite, but that makes a lot of sense. Trust me, no. I don't think I've missed anything. Almost did, though. Good thing I had someone to speak up at the right moment."
(A quick drawing of the discreet curtain here, if you don't mind.)

"Anyhow, about Bobby Goren."
"What about him?" Uh-oh, time to tread carefully, or more splashing was imminent.
"Is he going to come knocking on your door at one am or later to talk? Because I'm not gonna put pants on just to make him feel less awkward. He shows up to steal you for a girls' chat, and he can just cope with seeing my boxers as I get a beer to compensate for losing my source of warmth. In fact, I feel he should be bringing me an apology beer or two..."
"And what makes you so sure you'll be at my place at one am?"
"Good point. He does NOT get a key to my place. You can have one, if you want." I sighed. "I'm kind of looking forward to getting my cave back. It'll need a thorough purge and a search for booby-traps. But maybe you could come there once in a while, if you can take being surrounded by "manstuff." Besides, I keep all the best toys there. And did I mention I might get a new TV?"

One more Alex-generated tidal wave later, we returned to delicate negotiations. Who stays where when, and all that jazz. The lines with Kate got laid down, and we outlined what Bobby is and is NOT supposed to hear, and the fact that if he makes ONE "unloaded gun" crack, there is gonna be trouble....But there was one more thing.

"Hey, Alex...if there's just some things Bobby just knows about you..."
"Can he handle the Valentine's Day romance end? I'll take over at night, but I figure he can get the flowers, and the sensitive stuff, take you to lunch and discuss your feelings, and then you can come home, slip into the Wonder Woman costume, and I'll show you the weird german thing I found for you...I mean, you can take full advantage of the two guys system, and I may as well catch a break...Ow, watch the soap!"

Sunday, January 22, 2006

All the Candles that I Need

There comes a time in a relationship where a guy just has to shut his trap - well, times. In fact, it seems like a whole lot of the time...

When I got back, Alex was off the phone with him. If I hadn't made up my mind whether I wanted to fight or to drop it and cave in, the look on her face settled it. For a second, I was sure he'd told her to give me the heave-ho, and she was getting up the nerve to do it. Strangling him was number two on the list of reactions. I went with number one instead.

I pulled her to me, and asked her not to leave me. And that opened the floodgates, pretty much literally. Like I said, what Alex's said, I won't go into, but I was kind of floored that she thought I'd be upset. It also kind of threw me that she cared that much about what I thought, too.
It did seem she misunderstood what I think about what happened bewteen Kate and me. I don't blame Kate at all for her decison, and I don't have a problem with anyone making that choice. I had a problem with MY feelings about it - I still do - and part of that was due to the fact that I wasn't able to convince Kate that I could handle things. That Kate heard me say I never wanted a kid of my own too many times, and beleived what I said, and she couldn't believe that I wasn't taking her seriously when she said the same thing. That no matter what, Kate wouldn't let me in that one last step, and she may have been right not to.

But enough about Kate. There was time to talk about her later. And the Bobby stuff, jeez, that was gonna have to come up, too. I mean, right there, she said it; "And I've only ever told Bobby..." When she finally slowed down, and let me tell her that no, it didn't bother me, why would anything she'd done bother me, and things had settled a bit, I brought that up.

"Alex, listen. I guess it's kind of soon and all, but I don't want to be behind Bobby in everything. Is it always going to be that way?" I guess I sounded about as hurt as I felt, because she started beating about the bush, and I felt like I had to keep going. "I'll work with it, all right? I just...well, this is enough, I suppose."

And that's when she fumfahed her way through the next bombshell. Sure she padded it through with "I think," and maybes and started it over a few times, but she still said it. I gave her the interregator stare and said, "Did you run that past Bobby, too?" before I laughed and added, "I don't care if you did. Hell, call him back and fill him in on the results. Say Mike said "Um, uh, I dunno, I might possibly kind of love you back, sort of." Really, though, you could clean up both statements before you put them on the record."

It got a bit mushy there, so I'm going to stop for the day.

For privacy's sake, I'll skip ahead a bit tomorrow, all right? But I figured some Yeats would work here, from The Land of Heart's Desire:

Would that the world were mine to give it you
With every quiet hearth and barren waste,
The maddening freedom of its woods and tides,
And the bewildering lights upon its hills.

Then I would take and break it in my hands
To see you smile watching it crumble away.

Then I would mould a world of fire and dew
With no one bitter, grave, or over wise,
And nothing marred or old to do you wrong.
And crowd the enraptured quiet of the sky
With candles burning to your lonely face.

Your looks are all the candles that I need.

Friday, January 20, 2006

It's Not Dover Beach...

Grit the teeth, walk out, DON'T slam the door, get well out of earshot, then scream. Luckily, the beach is still deserted. I'll go for a nice long walk so you can take your time on the phone. With Bobby.

Holy crap. Do you WANT to see some sort of jealous display? Mission accomplished! This is obviously some sort of freakin’ test. I say I'm okay with something, so you need me to prove it. Are you sure? Really sure?
Maybe I should call Izzy! That’s it, I’ll call Izzy and ask her to ask Bobby what Alex thinks, then Bobby can tell Izzy to tell me to tell Alex that….are you seeing the issue here?

How many people are in this relationship, Alex? Yeah, I know, technically quite a few. But I was really hoping for a bit it could be just you and me.

Stop. This isn’t helping. Ok, here’s what I’ve got. Your husband is gone. Ergo, he’s perfect, isn’t he? He’s not here to screw up, to be human. There’s no pressure? Are you out of your head? He’s not here to supplement the other half of the problems, that’s what it is. I don’t compete because I can’t. It’s impossible, and it’s futile, and it’s unfair to me and to you, if you think about it. He’s part of who you are now, and I was all right with that – I am all right with that, but don’t pull this on me.

But Bobby-frickin’-Goren is an entirely different matter. He is right here, and the last time I checked, he’s a guy. No offense, but I know how we think, no matter how innocent the intentions, no matter how we don’t act on it. Want to know the biggest difference – and don’t you dare get pissed at me – between the two situations, me and her, you and him? I’m not curious about her, because I know.
Wait, you say? He’s your best friend; the closest person in the world to you… is this sounding familiar? The person who knows you best, all the hurt and problems? Well, how about I say I don’t like that? I wouldn’t do that to you, so that’s not an issue. Why? I trust you – that doesn’t mean I enjoy having another guy, a guy I work with, involved here.

Another big difference, Alex? If you came out and said something – if you said, “I don’t trust Kate” – and you don’t know her, so I can’t blame you, I’d go for that. Want me not to go out drinking with her? Sounds fine. Not okay with me disappearing for hours with her? Whatever, all right. If she said that about you, and that’s a BIG if, since she’d never go that far – we do have lines, you know, weird ones, but they’re there – I’d laugh right in her face.

The only way Kate Dobyrinski has ever kept me from having what I really wanted in another relationship is because I haven’t met anyone I like better. Until now, and you can take that either way you choose.

I’m tired of throwing rocks in the ocean and being pissed off out here. Maybe you’re off the phone, and out of the three guys and two women – at the very least – we’ve dragged here, the two of us can talk as privately as we can manage.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

When You Assume...

Well, there were a few mistaken assumptions flying about here, and it’s safe to say some of them are gone for good. We obviously arrived here at cross-purposes. I wanted to get away, and Alex wanted to open up old wounds, hers and mine. Hers, I won’t get into. I don’t give out what doesn't belong to me. But on my end...

When she said, “I know about the baby,” I almost gagged. I stifled the urge to start grilling her, to ask her how, where, who told her that...I almost accused her of going through my things, even. It turns out she’d managed to piece things together through the smallest of clues – well, there’s a surprise, right?

So we talked, the way Kate and I have been postponing talking about it since the day she said her mind was made up and she crawled out a window to get away. The only recap we’ve ever had was the goodbye note she sent me written on the slip from the clinic, and later, much later, a few jokes about the worst proposal ever. It felt odd to be talking about it with someone else, but getting most of it out helped some.

Alex really seemed to have thought about what Kate might have been going through, what she may have been afraid of. True, she didn’t know all the demons Kate had in her head, but those aren’t really my secrets to tell, are they?
My end of it, though, I could talk about. How I felt responsible, but resentful, and that’s exactly how I came across when she first told me. I could tell her how sick I was when I tried to talk to my dad about it, and he just said, “Well, I’ll guess we’ll be havin’ a wedding, then.” How, when I finally talked myself around, that I parked myself outside a locked door and practically forced Kate in the other direction than I meant to. All Alex could do was listen, really, but that’s more than I’ve let anyone do for me in all of this.

But then she asked me if I missed what I didn’t have – not in a way that implied she really wanted an answer. Like she blames Kate for me not having a gaggle of kids and someone keeping house for me. Then wasn’t the time to defend Kate, but the urge was there.
Why do people assume that’s what I wanted? I see people who have that all the time. Great. Good for them. Does it give me the occasional twinge? You bet. But do they miss being able to lock the door and disappear for a week? Or the freedom of sitting around in their underwear eating ice cream and watching porn at 3am? I would miss it. Call me selfish – lots of folks do.
I would make a lousy dad. I said it. I’m okay with that. When I realized that under the guilt and the blaming, there was that little selfish tinge of relief, I felt horrible. And then I went and did something about it. One small snip – messes with your head a wee bit, true, but saves you from ever going through that scenario again. That wasn’t Kate’s fault, not at all. I did send her the procedure slip, though. One good turn, I figured, but that's in the past now, too.

But back to here and now and the serious talk. There's still some unspoken things going on here. I mean, look at this - all at once, Alex tries to explain Kate to me, then she turns around and makes her a monster again.

You boggle the mind, Alex Eames. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you were jealous of Kate.

First and foremost she was my friend. Is, no matter how weird. Nearly thirty years there, and some bad roads familiar to us both brought us together. My poor, broken Katie-girl isn’t a threat to you – she’s long gone. The ghost of the girl I loved is still hanging around, but what’s real is my strange buddy who tears through once in a while. If she were my deranged sister, would she bother you then? Does the time I spend with Munch bug you?

I mean, am I the crazy one here? You’re so close to Bobby Goren, and I let that go by. You fuss over him, you listen to him, you spend time with him – and I don’t mind. It never occurred to me to do that. If you wanted him, why would you come to me?

I guess I should be more insecure about your husband. I didn’t give him much thought, that’s true. I don’t worry about measuring up to him, because I’m not him, and I never will be. Of course, I didn’t really think I’d be in this position, but I wasn’t thinking I was second-best. Just later, that’s all, because life takes you places you hadn’t planned on.

Is that what you think? That you’re a second choice? You came next, that’s all. It can’t be helped. There were plenty of others who didn’t matter between then and now, but here you are, and suddenly you do.
How could you think you were second? One month, that’s all, and here I am with you, with the serious talk, and I’m listening because it’s important to you, and you’re important to me in a way I hadn’t expected.

Well, what do you want, Alex? I’ve given you what I have, and I don’t know where to go from here...maybe you should tell me, or maybe I should just ask.

It took half the time
I am still afraid
So stay by my side
And hold on to my hand
Try to teach me that
I'm all right, I guess
But there's so much wrong
But there's so much right
I guess we'll agree
To differ on one thing

So we need to talk more, I suppose, in the morning, and if you don’t start, I guess I will.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Adult Content Below....

I warn you, what you are about read is not for the faint of heart.

I know you may have been looking forward to some kind of resolution after all this gloom and doom. True, I meant for this weekend to be romantic and fun, but apparently, some people have different ideas about what that means. That’s ok; I guess we were due for a talk, and I may not have been as smooth in keeping my secrets as I thought.

I’d like to say, though that someone has learned their sense of interrogation and timing from Bobby Goren, and Bobby, I hate you.

I’ll tell you what happened, all right. You'll get all the drama in its full glory. But you want to know what led up to that?

So, we end up out on the beach, and Alex questions me momentarily about the legality of the bonfire. “No problem," I say, taking a quick pull from the bottle, “Most beach cops dislike interrogating naked drunk guys with a badge. I’m getting the drunk part outta the way...”

Cut to twenty minutes later. I think I hear her – “Mike...Mike, I think we ought to talk.” I try to make it clear I’m not listening, and while la-la-la works pretty well, serving rather a dual purpose as it does in the situation, using someone else’s legs as earmuffs just don’t work as well as sticking your fingers in your ears... and she keeps saying it! Once she pulls my hair, I figure she's serious.

I prop up on one arm, and address what I consider to be the issue. “Um, Alex? I don’t mean to be a jackass, but it really is bugging me that I’m working on what I consider my “A” game here, and not getting the proper attention paid to that...I mean, if you notice, I’m not just "painting the fence," right?”

She duly admires the effort (and well she should!) but continues, with a little difficulty, to insist that we’re going to have a heart-to-heart.

Over thirty years of "research" have taught me a little bit about distracting someone, so if I can just stall until I get it right...“Sure, we can talk...” hmm, not there...“but do you really think now’s good?” not there either; I’m using my off hand, remember...“I can quit if you want...” Eureka! Dr. Grafenberg to the rescue...

Repeat this a few times over, in varying combinations. Finally, I try to roll over and catch a quick nap, even though it’s kinda cold out there, and she says it again. I know she’s serious, and I only briefly consider bursting into tears to postpone it some more – a cheap trick, I know, but I’m sooo tired, and my fingers are cramped, and my tongue might be sprained...but all fun aside, I meant to come up here to be with her, and if she wants to talk, we'll talk.

From there, it gets really serious, really fast. More later.

Oh, and the regular music returns tomorrow, but you should really listen to both songs up there now.
Addendeum - I've taken them down, but let me know if you want them for future readings. They were Will Ferrell's version of "Afternoon Delight" and The Flash Girl's "Meaningful Dialogue."

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I forgot to hit "post," so you're getting this at least one day late. Sorry about that, but I'm off for a bit again.

Some people think you can't outrun your problems. Maybe not, but you can certainly try to postpone them indefintely. Take this weekend for example. After Alex finishes with the nasty business with the eurotrash, we will be out of here for a short break. You have to love Federal holidays. I don't want to think about work, about complications, about anything, and I think Alex agrees, so we'll see you a bit later.

Where are we going? Well, that's best kept under wraps until we're back. Maybe she'll tell you. It's not quite the end of the world, but it may as well be.

I had some last minute business to take care of, and one of those was checking in on Kate. She was less than receptive to that, which was no surprise. People say guys bottle things up - most guys I know have nothing on her. I asked if we could talk, and she said, "Sure, we should. But not now, ok? Not today. Later. Really."
I came back with "It's been 24 years, so I guess no hurry, right?"
"If you want to be a jerk about it, as you so clearly do, it's actually 23 years and 364 days, thanks. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get ready to sleep with your shrink." With that last crack, the line went dead.
You know, the one thing she hates (and always hated) is when people question her choices. The good, the bad and the utterly bizarre, she makes them and that's done. The more important it is, the harder it is to pry her doubts out of her.
I think people should make their own choices. No doubt about it. I didn't and I don't want to turn what's between us into an ethics debate, where she screams at me that I support everyone's right to choose but hers. We'll talk about it someday, she says, and that's good enough, or at least it has to do.

I'm hoping clearing out will stop with the dreams, and maybe it will. As long as I keep it on the quiet, no big deal. They happen sometimes, they clear up, they come back. I can ride it out; I've always done it before. Alex just doesn't even need to know. There's another escape and another choice for you.

I'll check email, comments the like, maybe, but I'll skip boring you with the dark-of-night horrors, unless you insist.
Meanwhile, while we're gone, amuse yourselves. Here're some links to help with that:

Kulak's Woodshed has streaming video of acoustic perfomances. You can choose by performer, or you can just let it run.

Kate Higgins is someone I found on the site, singing the rather terrific "Ghost" and because she's cool like that, you can hear a good selection of her songs on her own page.

I mentioned Snow Patrol on Chloe's site, and they're still unbeleivably good. "Run" is one of those songs that just hits you where you live, I think. If you're in the UK, you might need to go to their other site.

And thanks to Bobby, I've gotten hooked on Joshua Radin, who, thanks to "Closer" might be my new favorite artist, at least when I'm in this mood.

Take some time, have a break, and get away, even if you're just at home.
See you when we get back.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pictures of You

After not being able to sleep - again - I went out in the living room to dig around in that box I gave Alex to keep. I kept digging until I found the pictures from when things wound down the second time, and I still can't believe neither of us saw things coming to a head. The pictures of me with her law school cronies? I have the same "please shoot me" look that she does in the pictures of us hanging out with my friends from the neighborhood.

I wonder if the legal larvae took Kate aside and told her how much they couldn't stand me? I remember how mad I was when the guys said their wives didn't like Kate. She blew it off, said they had a problem because they were unhappy with their own lives, that husbands and babies weren't cutting it for them, and they resented seeing someone not buying into their mistakes, but I could tell it bugged her like the lawyerettes got to me with their casual elitism.

God, we both looked so tired, too. I was working all the time, she was trying to juggle classes at two different schools and some work when she could get it. And then she started getting sick. Really, really sick. In one of these, from the last Christmas, she looks half-dead. How did I not notice? Then we found out what was wrong, and the whole world crashed.


I must've fallen asleep, because the next thing I know, I'm outside my apartment door - the apartment I had back when I was at the two-seven. I go in, and there's the damn kid again. Older, still mad. She has a few toys scattered around, and she's busy ripping up one of my copies of Yeats, which annoys me no end. I mean, she looks about ten, and that's too old for that crap, right?
I try talking to her, because again, since this is a dream, it seems normal for her to be there.
"Hey, I guess I'm late, right?"
No answer, just a glare.
"Have you eaten anything?" Again, no answer; she's just drilling holes in me with those eyes.
I dig through the place, looking for something to feed her, which is kinda hard since I never kept much around there. I try to make small talk - how was school, what did you do, all of that jazz. Nothing. The kid says nothing.
I finally turn around and say, "Look, I've got to go get you something, ok, kid?"
I guess that's something. "What do you mean, no?"
"No. You don't. I don't eat."
"That's crazy. All kids eat."
"I don't. I don't eat, I don't sleep. I don't go to school. I don't do anything." The glaring continues. "But I guess that's better than being here with you."
For the first time, I notice she has bruises up and down her arms and legs. And all of a sudden, I see that she looks like someone's given her a good hard one with an open hand across the face. I don't want to know, but I ask anyway. "Who did that to you, kid?"
She turns up the hate in her looks and her voice and says, "You would have."
I want to tell her no, I wouldn't, I couldn't, but she's backing away from me as fast as she can, and then she's gone.


Again, when I wake up, there's no screaming but I am in a cold sweat. At least that won't wake Alex up. I put the pictures away and have a beer before hitting the shower to try to scrub this off of me. Won't work, I know, but what else can you do?

So, you really think I should get into this with Alex? It's been one month, that's all. I've had this nest of snakes in my head for a long, long time - and who wants to see that?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Bad Wisdom

What I hate the most about these dreams is the way you know things in them. How this info springs to mind, and you have a whole story that your head - which has made up this vivid hellshow for you in the first place - won't let you wriggle out of. Sometimes, it even lets you in on the secret that you are actually only dreaming, but it drags you along kicking and screaming anyhow.
And there're the ones that happen again and again, even ones where they aren't exactly the same, but you know what's going to happen - like they're on the same map, and you remember, suddenly, in the last one this happened there, and you know the directions to the imaginary spot....

Like this one, where I knew Kate was gone. I was standing in the apartment, and it looked like it did after she tore out of there for the last time, but I knew she'd done it later this time. And if I needed proof, I heard that voice behind me again.

"She left us." I know it's a dream, so it makes sense that this kid can talk to me in a sensible manner, despite looking what, three, four maybe? I don't know, some undefinable age.

"Aw, baby, no, she'll be back," and I have the horrible image that maybe Kate won't because she took the other kind of exit - but I skip past that because the kid is staring me down.

Young as she is, she's got long dark hair that marks her out as mine. I have a momentary absurd impulse to apologize for the beak she's gonna end up with, but I stifle that fast. She looks at me with a face that's mostly Kate's, but Gran's eyes, too old for her time, knowing far too much too soon. "She won't be back. Not ever."

I should go over to her, say something, but she's pinning me to the wall with that look. She's got a stuffed dog that I know I should recognize, and it seems to be making her angry, as she backs away. "I hate you."

"Don't say that, baby, please. It'll be all right." Why can't I think of her name? That's right, I remember, she never got one.

Like she can hear that thought, she reacts again. "No, I didn't. You did that. I hate you." She breaks into a run, and I follow her out to the hallway, which is impossibly long and drops into darkness. I can't catch up, but I try, as fast as I can until there's just a gaping hole at my feet... I stop, but not fast enough, and I know I'm about to fall, I can feel the vain twist backwards I'm making to stop it, but...

I wake up. Not screaming, just that fucked up awake where you can't get for a minute where the real world went -and then you have to adjust to the fact that no, this is real, that wasn't - but you can't quite convince yourself of that yet. All you can do is roll over and try to wait for the morning, as if that'll solve things.

I can't expect Alex to understand. How could she? Sooner or later, if she doesn't leave, she'll want what I can't give her, won't she? How is that fair - to her, to myself, to any of us?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Afternoon Distractions with a Glass of Whine

First things first. Deb's been in an accident. Drop by and give her a line, or ask Janice for details. I hear she'll be ok, but a note from friends is always good. What I like about you guys is the way you support each other.

What I don't like? These games of tag. I keep saying I'm not gonna do 'em, and then you ask, and how can I say no? As you might have guessed already, "Just say NO" is not really my thing. And I do appreciate the attention - ok, I LOVE attention...
Don't I make enough trouble on my own? Now if you wanted to play strip flashlight tag out on one of those golf courses, that, I wouldn't mind. Or you could make like Amy, my own personal Kitty Kelly, and just ask.

However, I bow to peer pressure. Kara, Riccie, Janice, I will give in. Next time, I warn you, you get nothing but snippets of poems, or movie quotes or bad haiku.

Addictions, hunh? I want to contest that phrasing. I have habits and preferences, which I can discontinue anytime I want to. However, I prefer not to.
Certain things I consider needs - so eating, drinking and "having it off" are not on this list. You heard me.

There are ones better left in the past for personal and professional reasons. It is no longer always 4:20 at my place, sadly. And I had a really good signature move that my back no longer cooperates with.

With that said, here you go:

First, stories. I love stories. Hearing 'em, telling 'em, reading them, watching them, true ones, tweaked ones, ones that never happened. It's part of why I'm a detective. I like to know what happened and why.

Next, poetry. Real stuff, and its bastard cousin the song lyric. Don't know why, I just do. Hey, I'm Irish; you scratch us and we bleed poetry and alcohol.

After that? Answering questions I guess. I can't resist it for the most part. If you'd asked my Gran, she'd swear I'd had a geas laid on me to spill the beans. I think Catholic school gave me a taste for the confessional - that and a bit of fun with corporal punishment. Not that I always tell the truth, but I do say something. Most of the time. The flip side of this is I love avoiding things, so I'll do it - but I'll do it at some nebulous later. Like a great man said, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

What else - Messing with people. I usually get it out of my system at work, with the perps. But I love the moment when they know you've got them, and it creeps over their face....I also people-watch for that reason, and ask people questions in all-night diners when they're obviously trying to write bad poetry.

Finally, I've been told I tend to polish stuff off almost compulsively. I got called "the Bogart" for a while - it was a joke based on the mythical critter called a boggart - but in this case, in addition to all the other lousy tricks, the Bogart was an oversized jerk who ferreted out your stash of whatever, and said he'd get the round next time...Hey, I've quit. I don't know who ate all the doughnuts this morning.

Oh, and I added new music. Maybe used CDs are is imposing your taste upon others.

Note: Now I've seen it all. There are mome raths in the world. 'Tis surely a wonder, and that's no lie.

3 AM with a Second Sleeper

Well, this is lovely. I can’t sleep anymore, because the whole thing’s rushing back. Damn Kate's mom and her vicious little screeds. I read it myself, just to rub the salt in, I guess. It's not fair for me to walk away from what Kate can't.

I want to wake Alex up to talk to her, but she doesn’t want to hear about Kate at all. I’m sure if I tell her I’m dreaming about KD, that’ll go over well. Besides, I want her to sleep. One of us should. She can lie there and not know, and be something untouched by it all. Once she knows, if she ever does, I really doubt I’ll see her sleep again. I don’t want to think about that possibility. Right now, seeing her there is as much comfort as I can imagine.

The whole idea of talking to someone while they’re asleep is ridiculous, isn’t it? But I have the urge to tell her what I can’t when she’s awake.

It started so well with Kate, even the second time around, but the end was hell, and I helped make it that way. The final nail in the coffin - even bringing that metaphor into it makes me sick, after all this time. Is it any wonder it comes back from my subconscious to haunt me – the things that happened, and the thing that didn’t?

In my dreams, I fight with her about it again. But this time, there’s no screaming, and I cave in much more quickly. Maybe I didn’t have the last drink, or maybe I had a few more. This time, I can say what I think, it’s in my head as words, not as hot, angry flashes that I don’t understand.
I ask her if it’s me, I don’t scream that I know it is.
I ask her why I can’t be good enough, but the hate I managed to direct outward instead of at myself - it isn’t there this time.
I deal with her fears that she can’t do this, instead of mine that I can’t.
I beg her to let us make it work, instead of shouting at her that she’s a bitch for not considering it.
I tell her that she’ll be good enough, instead of snarling that she thinks she’s too good.
I tell her it’s okay to need me, even just sometimes. I tell her it’s more than needing, that I really want her around. That if I’d had more time, this wouldn’t have been an issue. That this isn’t why I want her to stay.
I can still her crying through the door, but now I don’t have to break it down. The window isn’t open, she isn’t gone. This time, she lets me in. This time, she stays.


But I’m awake now, and it’s years – decades – later, and what could have been is long gone. Alex isn’t Kate, and she’s asleep. I want to tell her just being here with her makes things seem better, but without telling her why, could she understand? Things aren’t different, they are what they are. All I can do is hold onto her until morning, as long as I can.
Maybe I’ll try Sara’s advice. “I think I might be…”

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Season of Mist

Well, went over to get my stuff. And Kate was out, all right. Out like a light, half on the bed, half on the floor. I'm not sure how much of the bottle of absinthe - Logan Fils brand, ironically enough - went down her throat, but there was a fair amount on the floor and in her hair.

I picked her up, and found what'd sent her off on this. Her mother's annual card had arrived. Great. I always whip those suckers right in the trash, after I made the mistake of opening the first one. But she sends 'em, year after year.

Kate's mom is a real piece of work. I've met very few people who I wouldn't trade mine for. This nutcase? Specializes in verbal abuse. When I met her, she gave me a dirty look and said "Irish, hunh? Maybe you can beat some sense into her." Nice. And mind you, that was when she liked me. She really thought Kate was a failure for going to school instead of getting a man with a "good job," like one in construction or something. Now, of course, I'm the lowest form of life imaginable, right after her own daughter.

I took a look, and sure enough, it was the same old crap. I swear, the effort that vicious old bat puts into these could save a rainforest or something. Why in the hell would Kate open it? Has she been opening the ones she gets every year?

I shoved the damn thing in my pocket to get rid of it later, and dealt with Kate instead. I cleaned her up and got her back in the bed while she mumbled and groaned. If I’ve learned nothing else in this life, I know how to handle a drunk.

By the time I had my things, and everything was taken care of, she was vaguely aware that I was there. So I sat next to her, waiting for her to go to sleep, giving her the same old reassurances about being there for her, no matter what, and that she’s never done anything wrong. I tell her the stuff she’s heard before, because it's what she needs to hear, and I don’t bring up the nightmares - I never do - because they always start with her and the things I should have said but didn’t. And what good would that do us now?

I left her sleeping, if not peacefully, at least quietly.

In Which Fiction Proves to be No Escape

People are asking me what I want, and the simple answer is - same as most folks - I don't know.
I've always been jealous of people who say they "just know." Well, jealous and suspicious.
Most of the rest of us have vague ideas and plans for our lives, and we pedal though, and find ourselves someplace, and we aren't all that surprised. You're not unhappy, you're pretty comfortable. But occasionally, you get a shock to the system, and you feel like you could jump either way.

Suppose you find yourself confronted with what you are, and what you could've been. Imagine that you could represent these two things with two different people. One's a really good version of what you are, in regular, everyday life and takes normal as a given, which at times, especially at 5am in the middle of winter, you'd kill to have. They might ask you to change, sure, but they'd be good changes, changes you could do, changes you probably should do.

The other - the other thinks you should set your ties on fire and run off to Timbuktu. Business suits and formal meetings are costumes, used to move among unwary creatures who live a life of quiet desperation. Rules - no matter however excellent they may be for people in general - can't possibly be expected to apply to you. There's no rest between high and low, it's a 24-7 rollercoaster, and you're standing up in the front car. Call what you do differently change? No, you call it freedom.

The door is open, either way. So, who do you listen to? I don't know.

I tried to distract myself by reading Peter Pan again. That was no good. Wendy wants Peter to leave Neverland, to be normal and grow up, which he wants to, then he doesn't. Tinkerbell is a huge jerk, but she loves him enough to die for him. There're no good choices, are there? Who's right? Wendy or Tink? Peter or the Lost Boys who leave him? Neverland or London?

Ok, now I know I'm losing it. Analyzing a kid's book, for pete's sake.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Truth Will Out...

So Kate called late - very late - last night, and I asked her to clear out while I picked up more of my stuff, and we got to talking, fact, she does not like Alex. Big surprise. KD can only play the wounded righteous one for so long, and then out come the claws.
They have one thing in common, actually, and neither one thinks the other should have it.

I tried to explain to Kate that Alex was different than the other exes she's driven off. She said , "I know. That's the problem." She didn't yell, or scream, or get hysterical, but she asked me what I wanted, and whether it really was going to work that way. She asked me what I thought Alex wanted, and I didn't have good answers for any of it. She left the big bombs undropped, but she didn't have to.

I think Alex would like it if I could erase Kate completely. Hell, I'd love to get rid of tons of my past, especially the things Kate and have in common. But I can't. And some of those things are why I like Kate. Some of those things are why I threw in the towel with her. Is this a conversation Alex is really ready to have?

Too Much Stuff

I have a horrible headache, and now I can't sleep. I need to stop by my place tomorrow and refresh my wardrobe, so hopefully, Kate will be out.

Bobby's post about fear, and the other about that kid...I've got to stop reading that or something.

I feel like I'm dragging the whole tone down over here. My bad. Still haven't talked to Alex. So, if Kate says she likes Alex, and Alex won't talk about why she doesn't like Kate, what's going on here? Should I keep my trap shut?
I hear plenty of theoretical advice, but no actual plans....

And if I go ahead and talk to Alex, as Sara suggested I do, I'm pretty sure that'll be it. Luckily, she's been sleeping right through the restless nights I've been having. I'd mention the nightmares, but that'd just bore you.

Here, I'll try to sound more like me.

A cab driver picks up a nun. She gets into the cab, and the cab driver won't stop staring at her.

She asks him why he's staring and he replies, "I have a question to ask you, but I don't want to offend you."

She answers: "My dear son, you cannot offend me. When you've been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive."

"Well, the problem is, I've got a terminal disease, and before I die, I wanted to fufill a fantasy I've had. I've always wanted to have a nun give me a blow job."

She responds, "Well, my son, since you're dying, perhaps we can work something out under two conditions. You have to be single, and you have to be Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and I'm Catholic too!"

The nun says, "OK, pull into the next alley." He does and the nun fulfills his fantasy.

But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts laughing. "My dear child," says the nun, "Why are you laughing?"

He stops laughing for a moment and says, "Forgive me sister, but I have sinned, and I've pulled a fast one on you. I'm not dying, I'm married with three kids, and a I'm a Baptist."

The nun says, "Well, the joke's on you, pal. I'm on the way to a Halloween party, and my name's Kevin."

Go see Amy if you want to participate in her evil little question-and-answer session. (I lost a bet.)
How many of you check out each others' blogs, anyway?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

An Aside - and Later

Well, there's the culprit. I swear, if he's eaten more of my shoes, that is it. I'll box him and send him down to Amy in 'bama, where they know how to cook those bad boys.

So, I suppose I get to stay put, which is good, and I managed to keep my head down and read a decent book today. Transgressions, edited by Ed McBain, had some pretty good stories in there, especially the one by Stephen King. When he's good, I really like him, and now I feel less like whipping a copy of The Dark Tower at his head.

I don't know. Things are odd, the air is a bit tense, and I feel like digging up my copy of The Waste Land. Anyone else feel like that?
Go ahead and turn the music to "Fallen For You" if you haven't heard it already. It's one of those days.

Late Night Update:

So, Alex is asleep and I’m not. Just so you know, she happens to snore too, only I suppose it’s more of a light rasping of breath. And she’s a pretty deep sleeper. I could run my hand along her spine, or press my face into her hair and the back of her neck, and she’ll just sigh and move closer. I want to wake her up, but at the same time, I don’t. There are questions I feel like I should ask her, and I know there’re answers I should give her. While she’s asleep, that’s all on pause. When she moves against me, it’s all simple. I can make believe it’s all really that easy.

Sometimes, it’s that way during the day, too. Like I said before, talking to Alex about everyday stuff goes really well. We don’t interact much at work, so we can keep things on an even keel there. Afterwards, it’s comfortable, not been-there-boring comfortable, but a good relaxed sort of thing. But occasionally, it’s like we’re avoiding talking about the other things, like we’re holding still from something. I don’t know if I’m worried that that something is drifting away or getting closer. I have no idea how normal people go about this sort of thing. I don’t have a name for what I feel about this.

Part Deux

I have a horrible secret to tell you all - I may lose my "guy" status and be reduced to 'traitorous wuss" for admitting this, but....we don't get it. You have to spell it out for us. Hinting, clues, all that, not gonna work.

I do not think Alex likes Kate all that much. It's just a feeling I get.

Kate says Alex seems quite nice, and got really sniffly about the fact that she doesn't think Alex liked her. This was in the middle of dissolving into a pile of tears because thanks to various snafus her business thing got delayed, and she'll be here much longer than she wants to, and she's pushing 50 and still doesn't own her own personal island....ok, that was a little crazy, but by that time she was really letting the waterworks flow.

Argh. I give up. I'm not even trying to understand what went on over my head there. They talked, I'm not sure what they said, (there was some exchange about my hair that had an accusatory tone) and the end result is I'm fairly sure they're both annoyed at me for something. Until someone explains it to me, I'm playing dead-in-the-head.

Like I said, sometimes Kate is quite fun. I did not mind throwing the painting out of the window. It was mildly therapeutic. She reads a lot of the things I do, or stuff I'd like, and vice versa, and so if we keep to that, it's fun to argue on a light level. In fact, art and literature and film sometimes feel like the only things worth arguing about. 100 years from now, who cares what the political scandals are? They just repeat themselves. Social problems? There'll be all new ones. We and everyone we know will be dead. But people will still be going over The Illiad and Birth of a Nation.

She also rubbed my temples and neck muscles when I began getting one of those godawful headaches I get. Let me tell you, during one of those, I would let a rabid grizzly massage me if it knew what it was doing. Of course, it was dealing with her little students' questions that gave me the headache...

She still thinks I could be a travel writer if I felt like it, even though she knows I hate traveling and writing. On that note, she did help me walk a mile to a pharmacist once, during an incident that led to my resolve to NEVER go on a group trip again.

Buy anyway, besides the awkwardness of getting grilled by crazed art students, viewing the postmodern destruction of my new decor, being plopped down between the current and the ex in what looked for a moment to be the next cold world war, seeing what she did to the bathtub, and the shouting matches and the crying jag, it was perfectly fine.

Oh, and the surreal bits. Here's two -

Kate: "So now, he's just shoving it in there, and I'm encouraging him "You can do it! Just crush it, it's ok!" The woman behind me goes "It'll fit! Come on!" and finally he stuffs the last bit in. I couldn't believe he got it all in there. I can show you; it's back in the bedroom because I just had to let people see this."
She was talking about groceries. I'd never seen $65 worth of groceries shoved into one bag - it really was impressive, considering it wasn't horribly expensive stuff, either. This was including cereal, bread, and frozen pizza, which are cheap and take up a lot of room. Thinking back on it, it did sound kind of risque, though, didn't it?

And Fido.
We're sitting around and it comes waddling up. It gives me a beady-eyed glare like I'm the intruder. I rub my eyes, and it's still there.
I ask, quite reasonably, I think, "Kate, why in the f*^@king hell is there a skunk in my apartment?"
"Ooh, he's my new little guy!" She picks up the thing and starts feeding it grapes. "I was thinking of calling him Mike, but I already know one big skunk by that name." The thing squeaks, but continues eating and giving me the evil eye. "Only kidding, and I have a permit, so don't start. I was thinking of naming him Fydor Mikleovitch."
"Oh," I say, "Fido." The skunk perks up.
"No," she says, "Fydor."
Just to tick her off more, I say "Here, Fido" and the beast waddles over to me.
"Dammit! First you corrupt Tuesday Minor..."
"You mean Fishbreath BeerBuddy." I inform the onlookers, "That was her cat."
She says I can't rename other people's pets, and I say I wouldn't have to if certain people wouldn't give them deranged names in the first place. We go back and forth and never get back to the point that there is a goddam skunk in my apartment.

Phew. Oh, and I have to ask Alex if I can stay, or go back to plan A, the breakroom. Or I guess it might be safe to sleep on my own couch. I mean, I know what I prefer, but...

Friday, January 06, 2006

I Do Work, Once In A While

Today, work really got in the way. Sorry, this'll all have to be quick.

I was supposed to get to go home tomorrow. This is not happening. Kate is stuck here until the 15th, which is bad on many, many levels.

I will continue with what happened tomorrow, ok? Meanhwile, enjoy the poster that survied the purge of my decor, and if you're easily offended, skip today. It's been kinda rough.

I had to call an acquaintance of mine, who's been brooding about whether they're still friends with someone. I tried to explain what a real pal does, with a story in which I do not come out so well....

"Ok, I was really, really broke in college, and towards the end of my freshman year, one of my friends from the dive I lived in - let's not even start with that - invites me to a party at her relatives' place - because free food and free booze = very good. I'm not really into family gatherings, but some extended families tend to have big old parties, and this was one of 'em, so it was one of those chaotic backyard dealies celebrating some kid's scholarship or something. The friend can't stand her family, so she figures she'll take the person most capable of doing damage, which, naturally, would be me.

So, we get there, we hang out, we start drinkin' and stop thinkin', and all afternoon, I'm talking to the boy-of-the-hour's big sister, Frances. She's like twenty, a little shy, dressed really conservatively, got a Mia Farrow thing going on with her hair, and she's reminding me of someone big time. But that's neither here nor there. My friend's in and out, having scenes with various family members, leaving me kinda stranded, so I keep hanging with Frances, getting her booze and telling her to lighten up, all the while getting lit myself.

She's babbling about how she ought to loosen up and live a little, hell, live a lot, and then she makes what would have been a really shocking suggestion, except by now, my good buddy Captain Morgan is making me his ventriloquist's puppet, and he says "Hell, yeah! Where?" So, we go down to the laundry room of the house, and proceed to - you know what? details aren't necessary here - but kinda loudly, kind of a lot, and Frances' other lousy brother is a burgeoning filmmaker, and hides at the basement window.....Well, it turns out she really was reminding me of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, and there's a pretty good reason, although she decided not to enter the convent after all. Hey, if nuns are the brides of Christ, then novices are only like Jesus's fiancees, right?

The little creep of a brother decided to show his film later that evening to an inappropriate mixed audience. I'd like to say that no matter what their uncle the priest said, those were venal sins, not mortal ones, and since my face was out of focus, the state of New York's morals laws weren't enforceable PLUS I was 18, so really I was the one being taken advantage of. Besides, technically, she was still a - ok, we'll stop there....Anyhow, people started screaming and yelling, and my friend kind of got into a biiig argument with her aunt and grandma, and the filmmaker announced that he wasn't going to med school, he's going to make porno films, so there's even more screaming, and I snuck out and "borrowed" the car to get home.

But when my friend called to demand that I pick her up, after she walked halfway back, she was cool about it. "Bound to happen," she said, and she maintained that, even when she sobered up. Now that's a friend for you. They forgive you.
God, if I hadn't banged her the next year, things would've stayed GREAT."

Somehow, I don't think Chloe quite got my point. She kept going "Ew!" and I think at one point she fainted. Must've been something she ate.

NOTE: Allie has something really important on her site. This is my support for that.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Well, That Went Well...

Oh, of course I'm being sarcastic. Except I'm kind of not.

Where to begin? What she did to my home? The decor was early drive-you-slowly-mad. I'm not kidding. The weird paint colors, the art, everything. "It's supposed to be extremely emotionally unsettling on a subliminal level." she said, as I was staring at one of the less odd paintings (see right) "If you spend long enough in it, it may cause some levels of sexual dysfunction." And she was annoyed about having to change it back! Oh, and, Kenny? Nice job on guarding the joint. Putting a lampshade on a six-foot tall bong does not make it a lamp.

The screaming fights, perhaps? Ah, I've missed the button-pushing, random insanity and deeply held but ultimately warped convictions that have bundled into the dear thing. Job outsourcing, Yeats versus Eliot, A Chinese Ghost Story, targeted advertising and whether Joseph Campbell was talking the piss were not supposed to be brought up in polite company. For each of these, we adjourned to the other room for a few, but the sounds may have carried a bit.

Oh, the lovely displays of humor - that's my favorite. Know what she told my neighbors about me being gone? That I went to Switzerland for gender reassignment surgery! Just to mix it up a bit, she told some of them it was a second trip, adding "Girlfriend's gotta make up his mind, on or off, I say." Her justification? "Your neighbors are too uptight."

The embarrassing stories, the mortifying questions, the mention of inappropriate intimacies, I almost can't bring myself to discuss. They're an entire post unto themselves, as were the actual good bits. I'll get into more of this tomorrow, maybe, when I have a little more distance. Remember all of this was a) filmed and b) in front of Alex!

The biggie?
I am not getting my house back tomorrow. That's even worse than Fido, and Fido was pretty bad....

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

You've Gotta Know the Rules to Play

Of course, dealing with KD is very often like playing Calvinball, so the rules are more flexible than most.

Before I get into that nonsense, I think all you doubters - or the ones over 21, anyway - need to look at THIS and tell me now who's crazy.....Oh, PornFairy, I do love you so. Call me....

So, after a long, but not long enough day at work, I'm going. Still don't know if Alex is coming with, and still not sure if that's good or bad either way.

Am I prepped? Well, I don't need to read Something Awful's article about how to spot and deal with a real punk. I know all about that. Perhaps the note for the Modern Drunkard's Guide?

I know this much, I'm a coward. I'm deliberately wearing a shirt she'll let live through the evening. The brown-and-black spotted shirt incident was the only reminder I needed. It sort of accidentally kind of ended up with red wine, cheez whiz, and what I think may have been bat's blood on it. Some people take clothes way too seriously.

I don't mean to sound completely sour on this. Who knows? Could be fun. Could be hideous. At the very least, it'll be surreal.

It always is. It's like entering Faery, where gifts are dangerous, and you can't say "Thank you" because it's insulting. It's too late, I've already eaten the food and had the wine, so I suppose that's why I've been stuck there for so long.

It all depends upon her ever-unpredictable moods, although she'd claim that's part of her charm. She's like a poem by T.S. Eliot - you get something from the sound, but you really need an encyclopedia, a good education, several degrees of initiation into a secret society and a moderate level of deep blue funk in your mood to really get her. And even then you're really not sure of acing the test.

So, today's songs are two that I made the mistake of writing out and sending to someone, once upon a time...."A Question of Lust" and "Every Me and Every You..."

I Added Music!

Today's song is "Stressed" by Jim's Big Ego. It may not be the one playing, but you can select it down there at the bottom of the page.

Tomorrow - technically tonight, I get to go to dinner with the Eater of the Dead ex. Oh, fab.

So, before I march into the mouth of Hel, I figure I can leave you behind one last testament.

Dear Porn Fairy:

My name is Mike Logan, and I am above the age of consent. I have been very, very naughty this year, and I would like the following things:

1) A private pole dance. I get veto power on the music, but I’m flexible. If there’s no pole, I can provide one. Yeah, baby, I sure could.

2) To play Batman and Black Canary get it on behind Green Arrow’s back (I think his costume looks too much like Robin Hood, and chicks dig the Bat.)

3) Alternately, Wonder Woman and her lasso would be nice. I’ve been really bad. Can I have both?

4) Japanese Pure lotion, in either lemon or strawberry. I hear it’s pretty good. I don't want anything else from the place where I saw it for sale, though. They go way too far.

5) I don’t want a pony, but pony-related entertainment (you know what I mean, don’t you, Porn Fairy? You know everything!) would be something I could go for. As long as someone doesn’t get carried away with that friggin’ crop again.

6) I know I just got new porn, but quality erotica is always welcome – video or pictorial.

7) Corsets. I like corsets. If they’re so damn uncomfortable, I’ll wear one, too, dammit, just please, please, make with the corset!

Thank you for listening, Porn Fairy. I have left out a glass of bourbon and a slice of cold pizza for you. Enjoy!

Yours Truly, Mike "Naughty Monkey" Logan

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Diversion, then back to the Grind

I have NO idea what would make people "tag" me for this game. Bobby, Chloe' - Uh, are you serious? I feel like I should be doing the G and the XXX version. I mean, Chloe even phrased it that I had to check "in what way [I] have been nailed" - that's such a straight line that my head's still spinning.
And it's VERY odd, because Amy just asked me about this, so I think y'all are getting free info on some fronts. I hate these! You'll be sorry you asked!

So, 5 weird habits?

1.)Well, this habit isn't weird per se. Everyone does it,and if they say they don't, they're a liar. But reading Jane Austen while doing so? Yeah, that's weird, I guess.

2.) If my food takes to long to get there, I will play with the creamers, and I take my games seriously, whether it's creamer baseball or the Penn & Teller creamer game. And you're sick. I'm talking about those little plastic things for your coffee. Perverts!

3.) I watch Hong Kong romantic comedies, at least once a week. If the stupid things were in English, I'd be in actual physical pain, but somehow the subtitles cure all. I mean, in America, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan would be all over these suckers, like Love on a Diet and Love Me, Love My Money, and I'd hate 'em. But put Andy Lau and Cherie Chung in it, and I can't look away.

4.) I have...tastes. In certain areas, I prefer drawings to photos, and scatalogical references actually make me sick to my stomach. I prefer half-dressed to full out nasty, and the ONLY animal that's acceptable being present is a goat, because goats don't care - and the goat can't be looking or being touched. Passing through. That's all.

5.) I give the giraffes the finger when I go to the zoo. They have attitude that I find unacceptable. I also argue with tour guides, but our time is up...

Now, will you stop asking questions that you really don't want answers to?

So, now, in the grand tradition of puff, puff, pass...
1.) Peggy-O
2 & 3)The Warrior Gals - Jules and Lady Axe
4.)YOU! No, seriously, I don't want to leave anyone out. Kara, Jen, the rest of you. You know who you are. Pass it along amongst yourselves. Don't bogart it.
5.) Nicole 'Cause I'm a sadist.

UPDATE:Call her whatever name you like, but KD does provide the occasional public service. She reminded me that January 3 is the day; The Professor's birthday! A birthday toast for those who care is in order.

I'll be dipped. Just took a celebratory quiz, and I'm a Tolk purist. Pure? Moi? Whoa-ho, someone doesn't know me too well.

Hey, it was voted book of the century, so having read it does not make me a geek. Besides, you know I like elf girls and warrior women....

Hmm, maybe I can add Eowyn or Galadriel to the list of would-you-mind-wearing-this-outfits....or maybe not.

Alex didn't seem to care much for those Gothic Lolita magazines I left lying around as suggestions. On the other hand, The Professor's Birthday should count as an official holiday, and holidays are a time of celebrations - and miracles. I still believe. I'm writing a wish list to the Porn Fairy now.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Man Who Laughs....

Has not yet heard the bad news -- Bertolt Brecht

Well, well, let's all point our fingers and snicker, shall we?
Hey, I didn't mean for you to do that literally!

Not content with her satirical poem, a certain someone dropped off a printout from a link for me.Here, you can see it yourself; Jody's Garage has seen fit to mock the great tradition of Irish yoga, and not only that, she circled some of the 12 Signs, and asked which I'd been subjected to. Saran Wrap guy's ears do look sorta familiar....

Oh, and there was also the cute little list, culled from a magazine I got a gift subscription to.

You Know You're a Drunkard When
  • Your name is police code for Public Intoxication.

  • Your favorite drinking game is Do A Shot Every Time You Do A Shot.

  • When a panhandler asks, "Can you give me a quarter for some beer?" you reply, "Okay, but I want to taste it first."

  • You know heavy drinking makes you smarter because you can never remember doing anything stupid while blacked out.

  • You've never been to Afghanistan or Pakistan, but you’re a frequent visitor to Imtoodrunktostan.

  • You can tell what bar you're in by the bottoms of their tables.

  • You judge cologne by its bouquet and finish.

  • You forget how pants work.

  • When buying floor tile, you press your face against it to see how comfortable it would be to sleep on.

  • You get into a loud, enraged argument, then realize you're alone.

  • You hate the person you become when you black out, because, you know, that f@cker drinks all your beer.

  • You know that, with a bouncer's assistance, man is capable of short-term flight.

  • You can, in a pinch, construct a fully-operational keg tap from a cigarette lighter, two clothespins and lots of love.

  • You always confuse the words picture and pitcher, especially when someone says, "Hey, take my picture."

  • You wish temperance leagues still sang anti-drinking religious hymns outside bars, because it'd be a very funny thing to watch while getting hammered.
But that's neither here nor there. G'wan, laugh it up.

While she's in a good mood, I guess it's time to mention that I'm dealing with the Discordian the Wednesday night, and she's still invited......I called the vile one late last night to suggest an apology for disturbing the peace. It is never a good idea to wake the demon-queen. She is a evil critter, and that's no lie. Want to know what she said? "You got problems, Logan. You oughta talk to your shrink. Hang on, I'll nudge him awake for ya."
After I finished sputtering, she claimed that she'd already left an "I'm sorry" on the voicemail, but if I preferred, she'd make nicer. Of course, she said, if she could do it in person it'd be more convenient and entertaining, then she trailed off into mad cackling.

I like it better when they're plotting violence. Humor is much more painful and the sting lasts longer.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Things You Learn from Interrogating Perps

1) The act of surpise is your friend. Do say, "What? Disgusting! That's....that's...." *stare in shock and horror*
Do NOT say, "Crap. I already have Intercourse With The Vampire and Robin's Wood."

2) Look directly at the evidence. Flinch a little, but do not stare in fascination. Even if you notice the title of one, say, Whore Of The Rings, is different than you'd heard. Perhaps there is another version called Lord of the G-strings, or maybe you heard wrong. Now is not the time to ponder this.

3) Deny and stick with it. Intimate that you have no idea why anyone would ever think you would be remotely interested in Splendor in the Ass or What Lies Beneath Me. Even if someone somewhere remembers you complaining about how hard it is to find copies of American Booty or Backend to the Future, it's only hearsay.

4) Do not volunteer info. Your current inamorata does not want to hear about how you & the ex used to get wasted and stumble down to Times Square to find the sleaziest movies ever and heckle them loudly, and whoa, that was fun. Nu-uh. For some reason, they will take this as either a criticism of them, or an admission that you are a degenerate, or both. Oh, they'll make assumptions anyway, and you may get asked, but for pity's sake, don't jump forward with it.

5) Someone is going down for this. It doesn't have to be you, at least figuratively. Literally, it may get you off the hook, or at least delay things a little. Meanwhile, most are willing to beleive that the ex is a thoroughly bizarre, reasonless creature. Again, not the time to discuss it. The person doing the interrogating wants answers, and there are right ones and wrong ones. "What a crazy b*%@h" is a right one. "I think some of those were freebies" is a wrong one.

Oh, and I really do watch them for the dialogue. I swear.

P.S. Alex neglected to mention that she let me turn on Muffy The Vampire Layer just to see "how bad that can be." (Answer: Pretty bad.)
Wonderland, on the other hand, does a pretty good job of passing itself off as an art film. You know what the difference is between porn and erotica? Lighting.

P.P.S. Figured out what was up with Onion Planet. First off, it's a very funny Harold and Kumar in-joke, and secondly, well, that's none of your business. You can look it up if you're that curious...