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03.08.00 10:08 p.m.

If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.

 -Sun Tzu 

Created on 8/07/01 from a letter written to Kate.
Probably not surprisingly, I am having a lot of problems in my relationship with Kate recently. I do not understand her behavior very often, though I have been trying my hardest.
She has taken to vehemently defend people she hardly knows over tiny things and attacking me because of it. This honestly frightens me as I expect her to at least try to be on my side and not doubt every word I say to her, claiming anyone who disagrees with me is somehow right rather than me.
She has also been acting hot and cold with me, cooing up to me one moment and acting as though I am a serial rapist the next. Why does she do this? At a party about a week ago, we were straddling one another against a wall to the beat of the music. It was hot and sexy. I frankly have never felt anything quite so charged in my life and melted at her touch. Yet the next day, she is terse at best with me. I feel like I am dating someone with multiple personalities.
Perhaps oddest, she held back for about a week rather than just telling me that some jerk tried to pick her up at a party. I get hit on a lot, and I rebuff those would-be suitors. Yet she just shyly looked away and ended up getting kissed on the cheek and asked if she wanted to go back to his place and later confessing to JB that she felt violated by the whole situation. JB knew, but Kate did not deign me worthy enough to share this with.
I feel that it is symptomatic of a greater problem in our relationship, and I know not what that problem is. But I am very confused and frustrated. And when I get like this, I am not in the mood for even cuddling with her. I mostly just want to be best friends until things clear up. And I know that that would only confuse her further and make this situation more difficult.
I do want her and me to be wonderfully happy. I do love her. And I am honestly not attacking her, so I am hoping this does not provoke a defensive reaction. I am just curious as to if there is something she wants to talk about that she hasn't told me so far. It wouldn't be the first time I had to nearly beg to get her to open up, though she always feels better about telling me in the end.
Is she just really stressed out, which I think would be perfectly justified given all the work she's been doing lately? Are there other problems?
I just don't really feel comfortable in this relationship right now. Most of the time, I feel that I can just fall asleep in her arms. But in the past few weeks, I worry about her. And it does affect my sleep a little. I'm not trying to guilt her. I told her (and you) because it is something that concerns me and I want to share it. Right now, the world is so happy. All mud-luscious and puddle wonderful. And I want her to be as happy. And I feel that she isn't. Hell, a blind deaf person on anesthesia could sense that. I truly want to help her and our relationship. I cannot endure going through another bad phase. While hardship may be good for the soul, it is worse for the heart than a month of McDonald's. At least for mine.
Sorry, I know I am rambling. I meant to go a while ago, when I got off the phone with Kate. But I just felt I had to get all of this down. Even though I expect you know most of it.

reading: tea leaves. Everyone leaves.
listening: grasping inhalations of one who forgets how to breathewanting: To unify my love's mind and soul.
interesting thought: All that I remember is wholly fallible.

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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