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01.21.01 1:04 a.m.

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

 -Rainer Maria Rilke 

NOTE: This entry was created on 3/17/01 from a letter written to Dave.
Interpersonal relationships are so terribly confusing. I think I shall simply have to begin having relationships with imaginary beings and inanimate objects. They are a great deal more consistent.
So, where to begin? Thursday will do nicely, I think. After Dave's class, I dashed off to Kate's house that was just a few minutes away. She was greatly happy to see me. Over the course of several hours, we told each other all of our sundry stories. All the time being with two inches of the other person (if not touching), grinning madly, and gazing at one another. I was happy.
After dinner, I started kissing her again. It was very nice. She was teasing me that I was horrible, but she was cooing. She wouldn't let me kiss her lips, but everything else seemed fair game. I asked if I could kiss her stomach. She rolled onto her back and I began kissing.
The next few lines run the risk of sounding like a penthouse forum letter. I tried to put these things delicately to others and my meaning baffled them. So do duly warned. As I was kissing her stomach, I put my hand on her stomach as well. After I nipped at her stomach playfully, she shifted and my hand slipped. And she was exceedingly happy that is had. And shifted more so. And ending up having her first orgasm since we broke up. But, despite that I had my hand in her pants, she wouldn't kiss me. So I felt a trifle... used?
Afterward, I asked her to please kiss me, if only on he forehead or cheek, to justify what I had just done. So she gentle kissed my lips. And I was happy. So we sat up and held one another. I hugged her tightly and she thought that I was crying. So she began to cry. And I ended up crying honestly and telling her that, should she ever want to, I would be very willing to have sex with her and that I was ashamed of that.
I have previously and assuredly proclaimed that I was never, ever going to make love to someone whom I was not completely in love with and with whom I was in a mutually monogamous, long term relationship. It was one of those deep-seated convictions, like how I cannot smoke or do drugs, so it confused me that I could without being securely in a relationship. She seemed to understand.
In parting, we kissed on the lips once again, but I did not feel hopeful like the last time we kissed. To me, nothing had changed, but I had behaved kind of sluttishly. On the phone later, she insisted that she had no problem with what we had done (and I was worried that she would) but that she did want me just to be her friend. I wasn't expecting she would want to be with me and I did not do what I did to trick her into a relationship, but I didn't want to be told that I should only be a friend after giving her pleasure. Let me have the pink clouds for a little bit.
Of course, the pink clouds also were dissipated when I looked at her poetry site (she sent me the link) and I saw the following stanza at the end of one of her poems:

"I realize (and am glad)
(having recently gotten out of a relationship)
I no longer have to believe in love."

That killed me where I sat. I just started weeping. My mother walked over, read the poem, and said "Well, she probably wrote that a while ago." Still, that hurt me more than she can know.
I saw her again Saturday. Maybe I'm ridiculous, I don't really know. She was less elated to see me, though still measurable happy. But she didn't want me to touch her. At all. Even playfully. I know, I know, she was worried that it would happen again and she is confused. But it just kind of hurt after the events of Thursday. And she asked me to give her my credit card number so she could switch the EZPass I use (and she gave me when she went to New Paltz originally) over to my account and if I could please give her $25 to cover the bills for it since we broke up. I tell you, I could have burst out crying right then. I also asked why she still wears my claddaugh ring. She said, "Why do you wear yours?" My answer "Because I love you immensely."
"I wear mine because I love you."
My foolish question, "Then why would you want to be with anyone else?"
Her shrewish reply, "Well, I love me mom too. It doesn't mean anything." But I held the tears back.
We ended up talking a little bit about all of my problems, Kate included. She wouldn't talk much about relational issues. But she did want to know why I was sad (which heavily involved relational issues). So I tried to talk. And I walked over and hugged her, and she gave me real hugs without an ounce of self-consciousness. She also said that, in greeting and parting, I could kiss her on the cheeks.
I just don't know. Well, I know she is very confused, which I suppose is important to remember. At six, she decided it was too icy for me to stay at her house much longer, so she suggested I go home, which I did. Around eight, she called me because she wanted to know if I wanted to talk about my problems anymore. So I began talking. She cried, "No, not about me! The other stuff." I wasn't much upset about anything else at the time, though I tried to scrape up a loneliness issue or two so she would feel justified in having called. We ended up talking at a frantic and furious pace, very happily, about hundreds of subjects (breadth and depth!) for hours. Damn it, she was cooing again! And laughing at my jokes. (At one point, I said, pertaining to her, that I am as patient as a leopard. Then questioned aloud if leopards are patient. I rescinded having the patience of a leopard for the patience of a tree sloth. She burst out laughing for a minute and then purred how adorable I was.) Generally sounding exactly like the person I want to be with. Then she had to go write a paper for class, and that is the end of the current Kate saga.
Oh, but this entry isn't over. "What?" You may ask. "He said he was done talking about Kate, and that is pretty much all he talks about." Okay, see, here's the thing. Ummm... okay... *sigh* a few years ago, I used to work at the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum. Okay place, but they wouldn't let me play with the little kids. Well, a few months before a quit, they hired this girl (and I do mean girl literally as she was all of 14, to my ever manly 17) that I befriended and helped out.
Then I quit, but would occasionally talk to this girl online. Flash ahead, oh, I don't know.... until a few weeks ago. I ended up talking to her (we will call her "Eileen," as that is in fact her name) online at great depth. Frankly, I was unaware the girl could speak at depth. In fact, she tended to speak effortlessly like Sarah and Kate did (I asked her if I should not be honest with her and she replied, "Eggshells are painful to walk on, my dear, and you cannot carry me").
"Oh, dear" you are thinking "I see where this is going." Wish I could say differently but cannot. So, into the wee hours of the morning today, I may have made some allusions that she is more than slightly interesting to me. Actually, I believe my exact phrasing was along the lines of:

ME: I'm not allowed to be attracted to anyone younger than you. I find it creepy how [my best friend Conor's 13 year old sister] looks. (This was in context, really)
HER: lol, u'r allowed to be attracted to people younger than me. unless they are 10, that's just weird
ME: Nope, you are the youngest person I am allowed to be attracted to.
HER: age is just a number though, what if u met a really intelligent 14 year old who was wise beyond her years and very beautiful? would you still see the number 14 everytime u talked to her?
ME: No. But I would not allow myself to be flirtatious with her. I would transfer it into protectiveness. Normally I would see a 16 year old as far too young to be interested in, but I find you amazing

(I know, she doesn't sound very old there. She really is quite amazing, though)
She was not adverse. So, over the next few hours of speaking, I am fairly sure I proposed and accepted a lunch date tomorrow. She is fully aware of how much and what I feel for Kate, even what I have told you in this entry. But I am not warning Eileen away, like I have done with everyone else interested in me. She certainly knows the entire situation. I just felt and she agreed that we should actually see each other in person to see how these feelings manifest.
I'm going to go on a date with a 16 year old. Granted she'll be 17 in month, and 25 the day after. She certainly doesn't feel like a 16 year old in my mind. She feels like... she doesn't have an age. Just like my closest friends don't have ages to me, because their maturity and mental abilities can not be so chronologically charted.
Okay, I'm not serious. The age honestly doesn't bother me. Maybe it should, but it doesn't. What does bother me is that I have thought about it carefully, and I could kiss this girl and not double over vomiting. Sarah is the only other exception, and I haven't seen her in years. In case it matters, Katie is at least aware that I think very, very highly of Eileen (I compared her to Sarah!) and caught on that she is one of the girls that cared about me too much to try to get between Kate and me.
Except... Eileen never said that. I just presumed. She is certainly apprehensive, knowing my feelings for Katie. And I haven't the slightest clue what to do. What I will do is see Eileen tomorrow. And... well, that about as far as I have gotten. Maybe this is nothing. Maybe I should go to sleep.

reading: Witching Hour
listening: my mother sleep seven feet away
Clarity interesting thought: The heart is a very strong muscle.

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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