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12.30.99 1:22 p.m.

"It's hard to maintain existence and constantly be bombarded with life."

 -Sarah Merrit 

Created on 7/19/01 from a letter written to Kate.
Venessa had wanted me to hang out with her, as I mentioned in my previous entry. Around eight, she called again. I was supposed to call her. Frankly, I had simple forgotten. So, she suggested we hang out at Juliet's. Obviously this sounded like a good plan to me. I like the Juliet's. It is "Juliet's" or "the Juliet's"? I've heard it called both. Oh, well. So, I hopped in the Grape Ape (my car), hooked up my Discman to play Tori (I was going to listen to the Katie tape, but the battery died in the dictaphone and my car tape player is not yet hooked up.) I used my headphones. Which, I know, is a car no-no. But they weren't very good headphones and I could hear everything that was going on in the outside world.
Finally, after almost half an hour, I got the Juliet's. (I've decided that I shall use both "the Juliet's" and "Juliet's" depending on what sounds best in the sentence. Everything for aesthetics.) Rob and Venessa were nowhere to be found. So I walked around. Then I played CarnEvil. Died in under a minute. So I walked around some more. I went outside.
I looked at the Dreaming Goddess. Noticed a tattoo and piercing parlor opened up next to Rhianna's and there was a large demon head looking at Rhianna's door. Bet she loves that. Actually, I am not being sarcastic, I really think she does. I wouldn't be surprised if she REQUESTED that it face her door.
So, I went back to Juliet's. The whole time I was outside, I have my whole "alone-but-dangerous-vampire" air about me. It's a protective thing. Once inside again, I spoke with an ex-classmate for elementary school, who now is a waitress there. Growing tired of her, I went and played the pinball machine. Fittingly, I am rather good at pinball. One might even be so inclined as to refer to me as a "pinball wizard." See, I bet you didn't know I was good at pinball? You learn a new thing each day. Thus, you could never ever get bored with me, as I have so many layers. I am the gift that keeps on giving all year long. I almost said "all night long" accidentally. I wonder where my mind is?
Well, I played for a bit. But it wasn't a very good machine. A lot of the newer pinball machines sacrifice the amusement value for little LED screens. I am opposed to them. Pinball is almost a sport, not a video game.
Well, back to the point, Venessa and Rob were still nowhere to be found. So, not wishing to waste anymore of my hard earned quarters, I left and went to The Cubby Hole. While I was outside, I resumed the "alone-but-dangerous-vampire" aura. No one was in Cubby Hole, so I just looked at the pictures for a bit. I noticed that they have a watercolor pentacle surrounded by vines on the wall. I wasn't really surprised, but I began to wonder how many "witches" actually visited Cubby Hole. I suppose a lot, as Vassar, home of the Dianic Sapphos, is but a stone's throw away. Granted a rather aerodynamic stone. Possibly with wings. But a stone's throw, no less.
Growing bored with that, I went back to Juliet's. I still did not see them. So I resolved myself to sitting in the corner and reading Vonnegut. I decided that the only way they will show up is if I am in the perfect position. And reading Vonnegut in the dark corner of a billiard joint seemed just about right. No sooner had I finished the story then they walk in. So, we take a table near the window and proceed to chat. For the first half an hour, mostly about the Mansion. Evidently, next year, the plot is that you get sucked into a comic book. Which could very well be totally lame. There is a very slight chance it could be good, but let me stress VERY SLIGHT. I also found out the reasons the Mansion has been going down hill. Pete (I think that is his name), one of the techies, has been influencing Kevin a bit as to what they should do. Second is that fact that Kevin lost a ton of money when the restaurant closed down. Thirdly, that fact that Kevin has a child, thus he has toned everything down.
Anyway, during the course of our chatting, I absentmindedly mentioned that I saw a beeper fall from the sky. Actually, it was just a wall. So, before we left (actually, the reason we left), Venessa picked up the beeper and decided that she wanted it. Even though she had no use for it. Just because it looked nice. I'm kind of like that too. A magpie. So I admired it a little.
By this point, many people were looking for this beeper. So we beat a hasty retreat. I ended up following Rob and Venessa back to Venessa's house. I wasn't sure for most of the trip that I was following the right car. When we arrived at the house, they informed me that the beeper had been vibrating constantly since they got in the car. When we got to Venessa's house, I was stunned. You know how I always fancied Venessa a bit of an exaggerator? Well, she didn't exaggerate her house. This was truly a mansion! I got lost in it.
When we entered the house, Venessa's mom told us that Rob's mom had called and Rob was supposed to have picked up his sister at nine. It was now ten. Rob was told to go home to presumably face the music. However, bowing on one knee, he tried to explain this to Venessa. She would hear none of it. She wanted him to stay, since this would be the last night they would be able to spend together for a while (sound familiar?) However, finally, he agreed that he would go home and try to come back. So, Venessa and I were chilling in her billiards room (she has a billiards room). It was filled with dead deer heads. One was on the table. So I touched its eyeball. It looked wet. It was not wet.
Venessa and I talked for a while. Really good conversation. I was kind of surprised. Finally, Rob calls. The boy not only can come back over, but they let him use the car. I was shocked. I told him that I was in awe of him the minute he walked in the door. So, we all talked for a while, about varied things. Rob is a very cool guy. A lot like me, though that sounds arrogant. He is drug free and very chivalrous. I will have to keep e-mailing him after he goes back to Philly. He also tells me stories about the Mansion that will give me nightmare.
Well, at 11:30, I decide to go. As I am doing so, my father beeps me and tells me Kate called. So I rush home, blasting Tori and hope I can get in contact with her before she goes off and to do something fun. That brings us to now. But that is another story for another time.

reading: Vonnegut
listening: Toriwanting: Kate to return right this very moment.
interesting thought: Lives intersect so randomly, yet there is a pattern.

Thomm Quackenbush is an author and teacher in the Hudson Valley. Double Dragon publishes four novels in his Night's Dream series (We Shadows, Danse Macabre, and Artificial Gods, and Flies to Wanton Boys). He has sold jewelry in Victorian England, confused children as a mad scientist, filed away more books than anyone has ever read, and tried to inspire the learning disabled and gifted. He is capable of crossing one eye, raising one eyebrow, and once accidentally groped a ghost. When not writing, he can be found biking, hiking the Adirondacks, grazing on snacks at art openings, and keeping a straight face when listening to people tell him they are in touch with 164 species of interstellar beings. He likes when you comment.

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