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01/01 Direct Link
"On a scale of one to ten, how sad are you?"
"What?"
But I heard you. "I'm not sad at all."
"It's just that look you gave me. You seemed so sad."


How the hell would you know? I thought. But I knew you might. Isn't that why I was there and not home?

I'm sorry, Elzey, if I screwed up some plan you had. I'm sorry that in person, I'm not as fearless as I am on a page. I'm vulnerable and soft and shaken to the core. This isn't my game.

Christ, I should leave while I still can.
01/02 Direct Link
I didn't go to Jake's party. It wasn't because I was too tired. Not physically, anyway. I think it was because I couldn't handle somebody looking right through me tonight. Not two nights in a row.
It's crazy. I could really get hurt.

Lately I feel vulnerable in every way. Like I've been going to school without pants and hoping no one will notice. No shirt, maybe they could overlook it just once. But pantless? I don't wear underwear, so it's simply unsafe.

And I keep thinking to myself: Must not forget pants today.

But I do. And somebody notices.
01/03 Direct Link
We are laying the foundation of diplomatic friendliness. We are paving over all the preconceived ideas and stories and unreasonable expectations. Why should it be required that there be more than reality?

Yes, I believe in destiny in small doses such as this. God sits up there, laughing, all knowing. "Finally!" he says. "Coincidence, schmincidence! Nobody moves until you kids sit down and talk!"

I digress.

Coffee, poetry, a chat.... It'll be good. Last night when I asked him about his work, he answered like a hardened celebrity talking to the press. Maybe we both have some unlearning to do.
01/04 Direct Link
Sprained my thumb today. Fell and rolled onto the sidewalk in front of Bongo Java, jumped up like a puppet, dusted myself off and came back inside to drink my coffee and wait on Elzey. Ten minutes later I'm unable to move my entire left hand.

He arrives. Conversation proceeds. The hand's nothing compared to what he was doing to my head. I realize now he was projecting. He's sad. And though I doubt I'm the one to cure it, I'm insulted he doesn't think I understand.

Always when I DO get it, they can't believe it. Sadness is personal.
01/05 Direct Link
The issue with Clearblue isn't timing. It isn't revenge. It isn't even location. You sure you want to know?

It's the kid. I once imagined a loving father, giggling with little Phoenix Moon and her wispy locks of brown hair – I now see somebody who will tell her what my dad once told me. "You don't need to go anywhere. Quit running around so much."

And I can't let that happen.

If my imaginary daughter wants to fly to the moon, I will make her silvery wings.

So, you see, he can't be the One. He doesn't have a passport.
01/06 Direct Link
Earlier today I felt almost manic. I lay on one of the massage tables and tried very hard NOT to think of Elzey and what he said. I tried NOT to find fault with NY And I tried even harder to NOT subconsciously run into Jake this week. They aren't answers. Just questions.

My hand throbs. Still not sure it's just a sprain, but I can't go to the hospital.

Some really awful paintings were hung in the Brew over the weekend. "Sexy Mini Mouse" was one. This guy actually got a show.

I helplessly look for Manhattan's December batch.

01/07 Direct Link
This afternoon, about the time I drove my car down 8th, listening to a Purple Rain CD, thinking it's the best album ever written is when I realized I may have lost a little creative edge. Right before that I'd been watching a film that made me think I shouldn't care so much about other people's feelings and embrace a life of beaches, dancing and sex without guilt.

Point C is very far from A or B, where I was just a year ago. I am a writer now, but I'm still alone. God, do you care about MY wishes?
01/08 Direct Link
I've given up trying to understand what happened Tuesday night. Too much energy has been wasted on my trying to control everything.

I went to my counseling session, barely awake. But sleep deprivation is the same as truth serum, right? So maybe that's good. My therapist, Betty, said "Your Free Child is starving to death. I'm not sure you've ever let her speak."

I looked at the chart: Free Child, Adaptive Child and Rebellious Child. Well, I thought Rebellious Child is speaking up. In fact, she screams so loud she scares the shit out of my Adult and Parent sides.
01/09 Direct Link
Morning: Wrote Elzey a poetic explanation/apology of sorts. I copied it out of my journal. Figured it was the best thing – real honesty and not something from the bag of tricks I use on most people.

Afternoon: Asked Oklahoma out for Sunday.

Night: I didn't plan to tell Cb over the phone, but he couldn't wait. Sounds like he hates me. But given a few weeks, he'll find a reason to do just that. Not a good reason, but that won't matter.
Chat with LB and etc. at dinner. We scored the men in our lives. Elzey ranked. Imagine that
01/10 Direct Link
I'm poor and in need of a real job. I have twelve dollars to my name and nine of it is borrowed. This has to last me four days.

How did I get from unnoticed paychecks, room service in Manhattan and buying $50 teeth whitener to this? I used to be worth 1.5 million dollars in life insurance – can you believe that?

It's because I'm a writer. I put myself here; made this bed.
It's insane. The world needs artists as much as it needs Wall Street, but they'll let us starve.

Where is the Presidents relief fund for artists?
01/11 Direct Link
If I laid you down and kissed each eyelid,
the centre of your chest,
and let my fingers trace a circle
at that small, sacred place at the low of your back;
if I stopped trying to be tough,
forgot the past
and quit lying to myself,
would you hold out an open hand to me?
Would you no longer
look at the bottom of a glass for warmth?
Would you instead look in the mirror
and see that no price is high enough for a soul?
If I took a single,
brave
step…
For you …
Would you love me?
01/12 Direct Link
I'm looking for a PARTNER, not just any man. There was a time when I actually viewed this as a search for a business partner. After all, if a relationship this important doesn't require an extensive background check and matching goals, what does? Then again, where does that leave passion?
I can answer that. Passion matters. Passionate love is exactly what keeps you there when your partner has not lived up to your expectations. And vice versa. After all, my work ethic could be better.

Did I say I was looking? That implies an active search. Maybe that's the problem.
01/13 Direct Link
I wrote this evil little poem once about a guy named Ben who tried to bed me while saying he was "just a friend". It is an old, decrepit, ancient story. But I still fell for it.

I cannot believe
a word you say
Full of kindness
I am your prey
Wet my ears
With silver tongue
Guilt or shame
You have none
Stroke my hand
With careful skill
Forget not
My unbroken will
Pierce my eyes
With solid form
From this chamber
No love is born
I dare not believe
Or start to sway
Nothing good
Begins this way
01/14 Direct Link
When I was a DJ in 1991, this Oleta Adams song was popular. I think of it often these uncertain, wreckless days.

You can reach me by sail boat, climb a tree and swing rope to rope
Take a sled and slide down slope, into these arms of mine
You can jump on a speedy colt, cross the border in a blaze of hope
I don't care how you get here, just - get here if you can

There are hills and mountains between us
Always something to get over
If I had my way, surely you would be closer
01/15 Direct Link
The mistake was asking the question. "You didn't happen to know a guy named Nick, did you?"
"Yeah, I know Nick. With the low British accent, like this: Hey. I'm Nick."
I had not prepared a response. I had no idea why I asked and I hoped we could ignore it.
"How do you know Nick?" he asked. "Did you date him?"
I would have been happy for the ceiling to cave in on me.
"Well," I stumbled. "Uh, I'm Nick's ex wife."

It was as if I shot an arrow in the air above my head and couldn't move.
01/16 Direct Link
Elzey can be so cruel. In his sadness, he is ruthless. I take it like medicine that I've no idea is safe. I don't know why I put so much credit in his opinion of me. But he's right. It takes an arrogant git to know an arrogant git. Not that we are very original in our shortcomings.
I wanted to pet his head – have the release of being nice to him. I think underneath all our junk we're simply a little tired.
He mistook my affection as a sexual advance. ‘Twas an alarming, new and unwelcome experience for me.
01/17 Direct Link
When you don't think you can find someone who will love you exactly as you are;
When it's been so long since you've felt really happy and honored to be in some ones presence that you've nearly forgotten what it's like;
When you've been hurt and let down that so many times that you've lost count;
A strange thing can happen.

You can convince yourself that not only do you not need a loving partner to accomplish your goals – you don't want one anyway. In fact, you say, needing that kind of partnership and love is a sign of weakness.
01/18 Direct Link
I am faithless
I am holy untrue
And I am better now
that I've heard these things
from you

I was in a bit of a trance on the way home and I started singing it like a love song, but then it turned into a mantra and then a question for which I demanded my ego locate the answer.

I put myself through my own therapy regimen last year. I looked inside and uncovered the shocking moldy corners. But lately, I've invited the wrong people over to inspect. Enough is too much. I'm done with the self abuse.
01/19 Direct Link
He pulled to his lips
the crucifix
that hung around his neck
and kissed it.
Resting there, I caught a glimpse
of the Star of David and a Saint.
A man like him would need to cover all the bases.
I only lack the cross in my collection.

"Shiver in my silk white robe
Transparent, but not quite"

I know everything
That can be contained on the tip of my pen.
But nothing that can save him
from this end.

Who will save you from yourself?

Who will stay when everyone else leaves?

Mon cher, be patient. There are answers.
01/20 Direct Link
Here's a little advice:

Don't get behind on you 100 words project. Because if you do, it will take far too much time to remember what you were doing on those days. And if you actually wrote something every day and didn't date it, you will have to try to remember what the hell you were writing about or, even worse, who you were writing about. And then it just becomes this big collection of shite that you wish you could delete, but can't because Jeff knew this would happen and set the site up this way – to capture you.
01/21 Direct Link
Elizabeth lives at the corner of 40th and Nebraska in the big yellow house with the rocker I painted Colonial Red two years ago. I gave it to her when I moved out next door. But now I want her big house, complete with the porch, mud room and corner lot.
So I impatiently wait for her to relocate to Holland or Italy (where her record sales are high) so I can take over the cheap rent and bring my enormous wood desk home where it belongs.
This might be the only acceptable living space for me in this city.
01/22 Direct Link
We were having a pretty good time, sitting there on the couch talking, munching on soft pretzels and beer while some writers plucked guitar on stage. And I thought for a moment that everything would be perfectly fine. This could work. I could stick around long enough to lay down the roots of a small tree, at least.
I even apologized to Ben. It just seemed so nothing at that point and I was tired of trying to make anyone get it. It's just my name, my integrity.

Sometimes you have to let people misunderstand you; exhale the rank air.
01/23 Direct Link
Bell arrives tomorrow for our excursion to see her husband graduate from Army training in SC. I can hardly wait to get the hell out of here. Lately it feels as if everyone around here has been taking steroids or something. They're getting fit and mean. I stood looking at Lar the other day, wondering if given the chance, she would physically attack me. And don't get me started on Susan.

Do you know that sleep deprivation can lead to hallucinations and paranoia? Trust me, it can. I am the Master of Sleep Disorders. God bless the makers of Melatonin.
01/24 Direct Link
I love the airport.

I love suitcases and rental cars and paying 6.25 for coffee and security checks that make me feel oh-so-safe and back-lit signs that direct us where we need to go. I love the corny art and the trusty boarding passes and the uniformed pilots with their perfect buttons. I love my frequent flyer cards and the programmed announcers that say "Welcome to Nashville" or Chicago or Morroco or whatever. I want to live in airports and planes as my own private country. I want to wake up in a new time zone every Tuesday and Thursday.
01/25 Direct Link
Eight days away from work. I'm not sure I'll have it in me to return. I want to keep driving, fall right into the drink of the East coast.

My life resembles every Matchbox 20 song ever recorded. And it should be more like a Lord Byron essay or a Chagall painting. Have I fallen so deep in the well of mediocrity?

Tonight we have a Friz show to attend. I've only been talking about these people to Bell for three years, so let's hope they abide by the impossible reputation I've laid out for them.

Don't tempt the devil.
01/26 Direct Link
Can a person be under-sexed? Sex deprivation? I feel like I've stopped taking a vitamin. Oh please. Don't look at me with that face.

Problem is – or the "up" side (depends on how you look at it) – I don't enjoy feigning intimacy with someone I don't respect or feel connected with. And I need to believe he feels the same way about me….-I may not be having sex for a very long time.
Finding a partner is like looking for dancing boots. They have to be NOW boots, last longer than one season, and make you feel like a star.
01/27 Direct Link
Clearblue has decided to go to Cali. Bell said "People always follow your advice, they just don't want you to know about it." Maybe I am more like Brickell than I wish to be. I follow his advice – I just wish he gave it in a way that wasn't so damning.

Anyway, I'm glad. Shocked and irritated at his delivery of such news, but glad nonetheless. I don't know that Clearblue realizes I honestly do try to put him first. I don't always execute my thoughts in an easy way, but I act from innocent love most of the time.
01/28 Direct Link
I'm amazed that Bell and I get along so well. It's a phenomenon, really. We drive along, talk, sing to the CDs, laugh without restraint and talk some more. By the end of this trip, I'll have analyzed my life into the size of a cough drop- which is really convenient since I keep moving around.

The drive to Ft. Jackson is really nice. Pine trees, mountains, etc. Once there, we'll watch Martin graduate and head on to the beach near Charleston.

It's good to be with Bell who knows me well and has no issues with who I am.
01/29 Direct Link
I'm devising a plan with Bell to snag her brother in law so we can be happy together with our ever healthy family near the beach and mountains. It's really scandalous to plan such a thing. Wuzzy and I have never met. But the idea that someone – THAT GUY – has just been hiding around a corner in SA with my dearest friend, Bell… that it would be so simple… this is soothing to me.
And with a brother like Martin, a name like Joubert… Sounds nice, doesn't it?

Sigh. If Wuz hears this, he will never get off that sailboat.
01/30 Direct Link
Martin graduated from Army basic training today. He was striking in his uniform and Bell was the perfectly supportive, proud wife. It was a feel good day for all with the exception that everyone knows we may go to war soon.

We came back here to the hotel so they could spend some "quality" time together upstairs. I'm in the lobby trying to be interested in 100 words and drinking very bad coffee from a child size styro cup.

It's a bit lonely around a happily married couple. I sheepishly admit I want a Wuzzy to rest my head upon.
01/31 Direct Link
Last night I spontaneously did a breast exam and found a distinct, unusual lump in my right breast.
Could be nothing.
Could be cancer.

This isn't how I wanted to end my January batch. Am I this open? Is it okay to admit this weakness, to say I'm really scared?
I've no health insurance, no money. Could the timing be worse? Is there a good time for this ever?
But I tell you – in one split second everything changed. All the trips, the promotions, and the endless hours cultivating a "reputation" – they mean nothing. Who will fight this with me?