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10.22.00 2:34 a.m.

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."

  -James Dean 

NOTE: This entry was created on 3/17/01 from a letter written to Conor.

I am going to try to fully bring you up to date. On Thursday, I went over to Kate's house after class. She was not at her dorm because she had to take care of her developmentally disabled brother as her parents took a trip for their anniversary. Her house is ten minutes away from DCC, so it wasn't at out of my way to pop over.
After we got there, it was calm. We talked for a bit, about various things. What should be noted is that the week before Thursday, we had spoken very little because she was spending much of her time at parties at her friend Colin's house. It wasn't any big deal to me, except that I missed talking to her.
At about seven, she made dinner. I tried to help as much as I could, which was very little. So I read a book and kept her company while she made pasta. We ate, it was pleasant. Afterward, I told her that I had missed her over the week and hoped we could catch up on conversation tonight. Also, as we nearly had the house to ourselves, I wanted to be romantic (though I didn't say that, but I want you to understand the intentions).
She told me that she had a confession to make and that I wouldn't like it. I told her to fire away, because I particularly hate the anticipation of whatever might follow such a statement. She told me that she had been smoking a tobacco pipe (a habit provided to her by Colin's house, incidentally). I told her that I didn't really mind. She didn't understand why I didn't get mad, because I have been quite vocal about protecting her from smoking. I told her that it was her life and she had to make her own decisions. She knows that I do not like smoking and I told her that I didn't think it would be at all beneficial to get angry about such a piffling thing. I added that I hoped this would not become a lifelong habit and I would be less inclined to kiss her if she had been smoking, but that I did not see it as anything major. I meant this wholeheartedly. In the past I was not as understanding when it came to such things, and it just caused pain.
I told her that unless she was cheating on me or doing heavy drugs, it wasn't a huge deal. She told me that she didn't like that she felt the need to hide things from me or confess things to me. I told her to not do those things then. She asked me how I would have felt if I just walked in and saw her smoking a pipe, I told her that I wouldn't have been surprised; that is wasn't outside the bounds of her character. She began crying a lot and saying how different we are from each other. I protested that we were not very different and I liked the differences that we had. I also asked just how we are different. She said that we like to do different things. I asked for an example, she could not provide one.
From here, it ballooned into that she felt trapped and stifled by the relationship. I asked if it was something I did that made her feel this way. She insisted that it was not, that this was simply how she felt. She would not look up at me, simply cry into her knees. I told her that I would go upstairs and let her think for ten minutes about what she wanted to do. At the end of ten minutes, I tossed down some tissues (because she had none) and they landed on her head.
She came upstairs and said that she didn't want to be in a relationship but that she still wanted to be my best friend. Thus, she wished to go rent movies. I acquiesced, thinking that I could woo her back and she would regret her words. So we rented an obscure French film (The City of Lost Children) and a Hitchcock film that was shot impressively (Rope).
We came back to her house and watched "City of Lost Children." I tried to be sweet, caring and not overly affectionate. She acted affronted when I accidentally touched her knee, when a few hours ago she would have done nearly anything for me. This did not make me happy.
Immediately after the film ended, she asked me to go home. She started crying, because she thought I looked so sad.
When I got home, I started crying. I definitely did not want to make her cry more, so I was trying to be a brave little toaster while around her.
I called a few people, and ended up talking to Alison (I think) until 4 in the morning. So at... 6 in the morning, I woke up. I could not get back to sleep. I was near obsessed. You know what it is like when you are half awake and something very serious is on you mind? Well, it was so bad that I got up, disassembled my several non-working cordless phones and made a working one. Then I called Kate at 7 to tell her how sad she was making me. She told me that she could not talk, as she was completely asleep. So I told her I understood and hung up. I still could not get to sleep and did not want to overdue it on pills (sleeping pills rarely work on me, other medicines help.)
I ended up going on-line, writing e-mail, taking a shower and going back to sleep at 9. Then I slept until 12:30, I think. I talked with Kate, she apologized for not talking to me when I called at 7 and we spoke a bit. She asked me if I would like to see "Rope" with her, JB (her roommate), and Virginia. I told her that I would like that very, very much.
She also told me how wonderful, sweet, caring, attractive, etc. I was and how much she loved me. Certainly not the words of just a friend.
So, I got up there a little before six. I had hoped that I would have enough time to get there before anyone else showed up, so we could talk. Sadly, I was there for a precious few minutes before they arrived. Now, bear in mind, I had no idea Kate had mentioned any of what had occurred to JB and Virginia. They certainly behaved no different then they normally do around us, certainly not how you would behave in such a situation. So, I was very sad and it was hard to be around Kate. So I would go off to the living room and read a bit until I could handle the social interaction that was required of me. I decided to call up my friends Tina and Stevehen (who are a couple and mutual friends of Kate and me) and inviting them to join us, which they said they would do around nine.
So, after dinner, we all went downstairs to watch Rope. Again, I would occasionally, involuntarily, try to kiss Kate on the cheek, to touch her hand, or hug her. My brain felt she was acting like a girlfriend, so it was okay to show her that I loved her. This was met with her writhing away from my hand, which depressed me further. Still, bear in mind, I had no idea that Kate's friends knew she had left me.
On schedule near nine, Stevehen and Tina came in. They both knew that Kate broke up with me, because I told Tina earlier on the phone. Stevehen was very sad, because Kate and I are the reason that he had the courage to ask Tina out. So he very much wanted us to get back together.
After the movie ended, Kate had to drive her friends back to New Paltz. As I hugged Virginia goodbye, she asked why I was sad all night. I told her Kate had broken up with me. She told me that she knew, that Kate had told her. I was SHOCKED. I wanted to figure out when she told her and why. I wanted details! Virginia would not comply and left with Kate.
So Stevehen, Tina, and I were left at Kate's house and told to expect her back within an hour. While Kate was gone, I filled Tina and Stevehen in on what I knew and what I was going through. They were sad for me, of course, and said they hoped Kate would decide to be with me again. When Katie came back, I excused myself to get something to eat.
While I was gone (maybe three minutes) evidently they talked to Kate and she talked to them, as I knew they would. When I went back downstairs, Stevehen nearly 180ed on his previous statements and just told me to calm down and leave Katie alone. I confronted Kate with this after they left and she said she had no idea why they said that. She was being honest. Through this whole thing, I'm pretty sure Kate is being mostly honest.
Pretty soon after Tina and Stevehen left, she stated that I should leave as well. It was very hard, as I left something in her house and had to come back and get it. Just as I was about to leave, I got paged and had to call my house. We were both barely containing our welling tears by then.
When I got into my car, I just starting wailing and couldn't stop. My entire soul was in such complete pain that there was no other way to deal with it. I wailed and drove for five minutes. The moon actually made me wail louder. I occurred to me that Kate might genuinely not want to be with me anymore and I might never be her boyfriend again. Up to this point, I pretty much assumed that this was a phase and she would want me back very soon.
When I got home, I called her to let her know that I was safe and alive. I also told her about how I was feeling, about the wailing, so on. She told me that I had to find someone else to talk to about all of the pain and problems she was giving me, because she couldn't listen to me.
Today, I was not planning on seeing Kate. I was going to see Alison up at New Paltz and try to be happy. So I talked to Kate for a few hours, about existentialism and Dave Matthews Band. Fun stuff. We were getting along splendidly. Though I don't state it, when I talk to her other times before, we also discuss friendly stuff. It's not all wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was a very pleasant conversation on the whole and it gave me new found hope that the relationship would heal, even if I didn't fully know what was going on in the world.
Then Virginia called. Some background would be appropriate here. Virginia was a fairly calm girl throughout high school. So now she is trying to be as wild as possible to make up for her "lost years."
Well, she was nearly gloating and said she was glad Kate wasn't with me anymore. She began to say that it was good I wasn't in such a serious relationship until I stopped her and she admitted that I am very confident, self-assured, and knew what I wanted in life. She also added "and you want Kate." But she was saying that she hopes Kate goes off and fucks lots of guys and parties a lot more because I have been holding her back. Which isn't true, I don't hold her back, and let her experience life. And she said that even though Kate stated that I made her life so much better and I helped her get off a lot of drugs and have the ambition to go to college, she and JB advised Kate not to be with me. But you get the gist of the conversation here. JB's was similar, though more caring and kind to me. But these two horribly relationship-negative people are who Kate is discussing our relationship with. And they are potentially fucking her over to justify their aimless lifestyles and because they feel that if Kate doesn't go to a party because I am up there, then they cannot go (Kate=car and tolls). So they could certainly see getting rid of me as a boon to their social lives. I don't want to speculate too far, as I have no hard evidence. But my gut says that this is at least part of what is happening.
And though a lot of my friends are badmouthing Kate now, I do love her so much that I can hardly stand it. As I told Kate, she is not the main course of my life, but she is a spice that makes everything taste so much better. In other words, I like my life and I will lead it with or without her. But I'd rather spend it with her and I think it would be better for her to have me in her life. Right now, I feel very emotionally confused because she is talking to me like I am her boyfriend (telling me how much she loves me) but treating me as not even a very good friend. So now you have the story, at least mine.

reading: nothing
listening: sound hurts too muchwanting: my one true love
interesting thought: I cannot possibly think right now.

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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