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02.25.01 12:54 a.m.

"...Did I ever tell you I could read feet?"

-  Jesus (no, trust me on this one, it's Jesus)

Another day, another dollar, another brick in the wall.
Wait, it's night.
And I'm not getting paid.
And were I getting paid, it would not be for masonry or writing songs for Pink Floyd. Let's start again.
I have been thinking excessively. About love mostly (pretend you are shocked, please?).
I suppose it is only fair to bring you up to speed, so you can see how biased I am and how everything I am saying is primarily influenced by my current life experiences. Though anyone who tells you they are truly writing anything of depth objectively is trying to sell you something. All I really want you to buy is that I am interesting enough to read occasionally and perhaps know. For the low, low price of your continued attention.
Here is the situation, as I see it, at this very moment. As I do not have clearance to use names (as in, I am not close enough to say, "Oh, I plastered your name all over the internet and you are mad? Um... forgive me?") I shall use terribly clever pseudonyms. If I later get the okay, I will state their names in an entry. Until then, they shall be referred to as CG and Irish Bird (If you know my thought pattern at all, you should have no trouble figuring them out based upon the titles I have awarded them in lieu of names).
Anyway, I was slightly moping early this week on having lost out on a chance for true romance with Miss Eileen. I wasn't crushed to pieces, ala Kate or the betrayal of Nick and Jen (these will be slowly covered, I am sure. Just not here and now), but slightly sad. Fate (either the force or my Jungian deity) propelled me into the Dutchess lounge on Wednesday. And what to my wondering eyes should appear but Marco nee Zacky and his adorable dear. Veronica (the verse cannot bear the foot. It is lame).
I lamented, as I am wont to do (perhaps too much), that I would greatly like to have a relationship as sound and wonderful as theirs seems. They queried the location in physical space and in my heart of Eileen. I informed them, albeit in shorthand ("She, who gave me a book of Pablo Neruda's love poems that smells delightfully of tea, claims she is too shallow for me. I'll live."), that she and I were no more than friends. They chit-chatted and decided that Irish Bird and I would be an ideal couple. Listing her virtues: she wears whatever she pleases, she works in a soup kitchen, she has blonde hair to here (Veronica signals to her shoulder, though I expect she means to Irish Bird's shoulder, not her own), svelte, cute, etc. In fact, they made the pronouncement that is like thwacking Fate (the Jungian deity, not the force) on the shoulder (her shoulder, you understand, not another's) and telling her to attack. They said we'd be perfect for one another. Oi! After I made the ever deep proclamation "Hook me up!" they insisted that I was already friends with her.
I blinked slowly, my mind searching its terabyte of information on various females. It drew a blank when I added in the words "That I am friends with." Then I added a wild card in that space. Slowly, like a magnet drawing a piece of rusty iron off the bed of the Loch Ness, I realized of whom they spoke.
Irish Bird (whose full name I did not know until this juncture) was hardly a friend, though at one point I would have liked her to have been, before I so obviously forgot who she was.
Flash back three month: I had encountered her one morning last semester in the lobby of Hudson Hall, while I was patiently waiting for the elevator. Here Fate (I have decided that my deity is capitalized and the force is lowercased) tapped me on the forehead with her Two by Four of Awareness. To my left I saw this girl, dress to the T's in appeal (at least to me. Possibly only to me). I remember standing by the elevator for far too long (I know it opened and close once and I was more than slightly aware I was making myself late to class) struggling for some way to approach her. I hadn't really had to flirt much before then (Kei aside, which is another story for another time. She required truth and caring, but not flirting.)
About to give up hope, I heard her friend say that she had just obtained a new white car. Irish Bird said she did not like white cars. Fate handed me an index card that read, "You do not like white cars? Are you a car racist?" This seemed amusing to her and we spoke from the bottom of Hudson Hall to the blood drive occurring in Dutchess Hall. I thought things had gone well enough that I could venture to give the lass my phone number. I thought that this is what was done in polite circles.
Evidently not.
As far as I can tell, she thought exceedingly lowly of me for giving her my number based upon so little knowledge. To wit, I was later informed that she found me scary. Isn't that dreadful? Of course, I left her alone because, well, I'm not scary and figured any attempt to prove that would backfire in a less than comedic way. Heck, I forgot who she was except once making a sad face over the badly ripped page in my notebook.
Yet two people, who I frankly consider in my upper echelon of humanity, feel that she and I would be perfect together. I am fairly sure there is a Greek tragedy that begins or ends this way. Possibly both. Because I like to keep Fate amused and both Veronica (who I suddenly want to call Ronnie, but won't) and Zack (who I call Zack) claim Irish Bird thinks highly of me, I asked Veronica to mention me to her and see her reaction. I will, of course, keep you posted on any late-breaking events.
Now back to the real world. Or at least a remarkable facsimile (Csim is a great word, though Xen is cuter. I'll bet I'm spelling it wrong).
The story of CG thus far. She sits next to me in one of my classes. And she is very appealing. Differently so than Irish Bird, you understand, and perhaps not equally. But I respect her greatly, as she is the only other person to regularly and correctly answer in class. She also has a pleasantly twisted sense of humor, which she demonstrates with me often. I have been mildly attracted to her since class began this semester and it has only grown. So I felt the need to explore it after Eileen rejected me. (Not because she rejected me. That would be spiteful and petty and I am positively horrible at being either.)
Mustering all of my mustard and courage (well, I had no mustard. Who thinks to carry mustard in these situations?), I walked over to her after class. Well, after she queried our professor (Dave), in depth, about the nature and nuances of the essay questions that would be on the test that was rapidly approaching. Once she was sated with his answers, she turned to put her books into her tiny bag (it must be like a clown car in girl's purses...). Go-time, as they so oft say on television.
So, I gently asked what her plans were for the weekend. Studying and imbibing were her answers. I assumed the two cancelled each other out karmically, so I continued with my line of questioning. Well, line is only technically correct, as it is the distance between two points. My next and final question of this round was, "Would you like to go for coffee this weekend?"
Understand, please, that I had every intention of being shot down. I had practically rehearsed my escape. I was ready. The coach had pulled me off the bench for the next event in the rejection triathlon (wow, I used a sport analogy. I get to keep my Y chromosome). I was stretched, I had my Gatorade (official sponsor of the Rejection Olympics), I was going for the gold.
And CG had to go and ruin it by accepting my proposed date. So I gave her my phone number and e-mail address so that she could arrange it for when she was available. I didn't want to hold her up or not give her an out. I do believe in giving people outs, should they need to use them.
Right now, it is 2:23 on what some like to call Sunday morning but sensible people (the ones that went to bed 2 hours ago) call Saturday night. I have not been called. I have not seen a letter in my in-box. Maybe I can still salvage and get the silver? Maybe she will actually want to see me? Maybe I was on-line writing this for you when she was trying to call? Maybe I should go to bed? Yes, I think I shall.

reading : Another Roadside Attraction, Tom Robbins,
listening: Fiona Apple : Tidal
wanting: to smell coffee being sipped by a particularly intriguing gold maned femme fatale.
interesting thought: You are judging me.

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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