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12.02.01 1:04 a.m.

She never mentions the word addiction
In certain company

Yes, she'll tell you she's an orphan
After you meet her family

She paints her eyes black as night now
Pulls those shades down tight

Yeah she gives a smile when the pain comes
The pain gonna make everything alright

 -Black Crowes  

This Entry Features: oversized, leopard-print, rhinestone sunglasses. Far too many lyrics. The sun. Enormous penises. Eileen. Kate. M. Crocodile Terminator. The secret of Hitler's tomb. Hands.

I Should Be Committed
I feel quite hideous because I do not feel that I love Emily as much as I should. I do not display the passion that I do with Sarah, for example.
This is all Katie's fault, you know (Emily says this is what she has maintained all along). Not Kate's fault, though. Yesterday, my mother found a picture that Kate had taken when she was in Texas a few years ago. This exquisite elf in oversized, leopard-print, rhinestone sunglasses. Balancing her grace and beauty with this divinely inspired silliness. I realized anew the depth of my love for this nymph.
I considered Emily and the flame seemed different. Less scorching. Not as sharp. Emily is beautiful to me, and I do love her immensely, but I feel treacherous to so love another yet share my bed with her.
I am a cad. It is not only Katie who reaches out from my past to torment me. There are days when Sarah, dear belle, encompasses me. I feel that Sarah adds elements to my life I could not otherwise possess. We joked for years that we were happily married in another dimension, but I swear, truly, that something inside of me belongs to her.
Sarah moved into her own apartment recently. I knew she was planning on it soon, but one day I called her private line and she was not there. I was informed by a man that I assume was her father, that Sarah was gone. She had no phone and no access to the on-line realms. I know that I haven't seen her in years, but this is the first time I've honestly felt cut off from this siren.
What sort of boyfriend can I possibly be if I can so confess such emotion? I feel this quagmire is swallowing me, yet I still have the electricity jumping through my center. What chance can I give Emily?
When I loved Katie and was so bonded to her, I still loved Sarah with this startling strength. I had no illusions, I know and knew I was enamored of her. I admitted this very thing to Sarah from the very beginning of my relationship with Katie. Remember, I had fallen for Sarah and her singing just a month before and had tried to kiss her. I still craved that kiss, one I never got.
I wish I could give some definitive answer, but we both know I cannot. Even were I single, I think I would make no move to change my state. I would not be with Sarah, for fear that a romantic relationship would detract my love for her. Katie? She is no more. Of course, she exists somewhere in that shell, but I think Kate has done too much to her and had too much done to her that she will not appear again. Katie is not even vaguely a player. Were she, I would suffer from the greater conundrum of having to daily experience a girl I adore but do not want to be with.
When I was with Katie, we would both get and admit crushes on other people. We thought it was healthy and it actually prevented a lot more jealousy that it caused. I can think of maybe two people that Katie ended up being jealous of, though she insisted that it was because they were bitchy to her as a result of their liking me in a more than friendly manner. I admit to having been the jealous type in the past, but that passed when I began dating Emily. I decided that if she thought someone else could make her happier than she was with me, I would not stand in the way. This, perhaps, is a truer love that the consuming one I knew with Katie. I was jealous if Kate was hanging out with Stevehen and I was given to a lack of trust. Actually, my jealousy became a gauge for my level of friendship with males. If I could genuinely trust them alone in a room with a naked Katie, I knew they were real friends. As such, there were and are few male best friends. Though, actually, I suppose this is equally the fault of Jen leaving me for Nick. Anyway, I am healthier with M, as I do not propagate my thought with such vileness.

caught in between all you wish for and all you seen
The other day, while in the mall, M and I stopped in to see Eileen. I had not seen the lass in what seems like months, though I hope that isn't true.
She looked quite well. She looked demure and mysterious. I want to compare her to a priestess of Artemis or something equally mythic, but I fear you won't believe my prose if I tell you everyone I care about is fantastical. Shhhh! Love makes them so. All fairies, elves, and goddesses.
She was, I think, greatly surprised to see me at the end of her day. I enjoy surprising people. It was odd to see her at first, since I had been thinking about her a lot and she is almost always not there when I rarely stop by.
We smiled and spoke of idle things I cannot recall now. I remember looking at her hands and eyes a lot and admiring them. Eileen once told me that the worst thing she had ever seen were her grandmother's hands at her funeral. She remembered them being beautiful, but they were just wrong as she lay there. Her relatives compared them to Eileen's hands. They are beautiful.
This brief visit refreshed my longing for Eileen. Now I wish to spend far more time in her company, and I think she needs that. I may be arrogant and hopeful, but I like to think all of my friends need to spend time with me.

'Cause I remember how we drank time together
On Friday, I hung out with Kate. I had hoped to attend a cheap, supposed rock climbing/pizza event that would benefit the Red Cross, however she was feeling less than active. After some cajoling on her part and a lack of other activities, I agreed to hang out with her at her apartment. As I think I have explained, I prefer to spend time with Kate on neutral territory. While her apartment can be benign, it can also be... less than ideal. Nonetheless, I did not want her to see me as a negligent friend.
Initially, we mostly sat and talked of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings and if the sea is boil hot and whether pigs have wings. And about the benefits of larger sized Cheez-its, of which she so graciously gave me a handful so that I could sing their praised in an honest fashion. It was decidedly comfortable and pleasant. I was joyful, as it is great to enjoy her company.
Her flatmate Jeff came in and wished to watch a political and bloody film for class, so Kate suggested we retreat to her bedroom. I don't think I have spent much time in there since she moved in. It is a cute place. She has kitten paper dolls I gave her sent up on one of their shelves. It is like an innocent, little kid, literati, and kitsch-oriented punk were sharing the same living quarters. Which, I suppose, suits Kate quite well.
She seemed a little awkward around me several times. I think she was afraid to be too close to me, that I would see some need to kiss her or be inappropriate. Much as the scent of the soap/shampoo/oil/body-chemistry she uses does rouse parts of me, I wasn't particularly interested. Good company and sharp girl, but not my girl.
Perhaps the nicest part of the evening, Kate read to me from a few books. It was nice to sit back and analyze her voice. Let it pervade the air, vowels hanging like squeaky party balloons. It was the kind of intimacy I wish to share with Kate. When she reads to me, she never becomes the character. She is always Kate. Maybe Kate using an accent or trying to lower her voice, but the same girl.
Another noteworthy bit in the evening, her flatmate burst in to show us a bit of his video. It featured a historian becoming flustered and angry when the reporter asked why America was in Vietnam. He railed that that was such a stupid question and really simply, but couldn't and wouldn't answer. Jeff said this was because America's entry into the war was motivated entirely by people trying to get Nixon reelected, alluding to the Pentagon Papers. See, children, real history is fun.
Returning to Kate's room, she decided that she should begin on her writing for class and told me that I was being forced to read Edward Albee's The Zoo Story, because I got irked at my class for not understanding Absurdism. Kate and her literary domination. Kate frequently broke away from her script wherein an OCD man get fired, then becomes convinced that he is a conglomerate of Crocodile Dundee and The Terminator (The only line of dialogue I heard was, "Good day, mate. I'm the Terminator!"), to tell me about her hideous teacher who seems obsessed with knowing more than his students in every subject. I welcomed the interruptions, as I think it enhances any Absurdist reading. By the way, Kate insists that the script she is writing does not suck like the black hole that will one day engulf our planet. I am reserving judgment until I actually read it. I have liked some of her other writing, I am hoping this one is of the same quality.
Emily eventually showed up to Kate's apartment, where we ended up eating hot dogs (Kate and me) and personifying our hands and their enormous penises (middle fingers). M wanted to fly, however, so we made our goodbyes and left.

No room at the Holiday Inn, oh no
Yesterday, Emily talked me into going Christmas shopping with her. Well, technically, she just wanted to hang out very much and I suggested shopping. I didn't really mean that I would shop, though.
However, of course, I needed to do some holiday shopping and I had just gotten two paychecks. As such, it quickly became our mission to use as much of my newfound money as we reasonably could. Presents were pleasantly procured for my mother, father, brothers, Zack, Conor, Stevehen, Tina, and Kate. Presents still need to be purchased for Emily (more), Sarah (possibly, I still have her present from last year), Eileen (I'm not sure we are exchanging), Melissa (we are in talks about exchanging), and likely someone I have completely forgotten about (I'm sorry, I meant to remember you, but then a basketball hit my head and I got amnesia. P.S. this really happened to a kid in my middle school).
I also may have decided to give myself the present of a leather arm cuff, because I was wearing one of my older brother's hand-me-down shirts (I worked on Saturday) and it was infesting my soul with Gap fleas. Only leather goods from Hot Topic would kill them.
At the food court, Emily revealed to me what had been bothering her all day (she was a little short). She said that the night before at Kate's got to her, especially the anthropomorphized hands. At one point, I was doing a can-can with my fore- and middle finger. Emily asked if I was aware the penis (middle finger) was doing the can-can. I stated immediately, "If your penis was as happy as mine, it would dance too." Of course, an immediate and silly remark. According to Emily, this caused her to look at Kate as Katie. To indeed see her as my ex-girlfriend. And to allow herself the vague recognition that at one point, Kate knew my body. Kate's hands enjoyed me, not Emily's. This made her uncomfortable, which lessened the chances that M and Kate will hang out anytime soon. I suppose it wasn't very great a chance anyway.

Holocaust Revisionism
The mystery of Nazi girl has been solved! It turns out that she is a member of a minority sorority and this is one of the many acts they subject the pledges to. I think she either got accepted or failed out, because I no longer see her. Perhaps she was assimilated and no longer exists as a separate entity.

Soon in Xenology: I hang out with Zack and Melissa. Perhaps not at the same time. I see the inside of Sarah's apartment. I grow older.

last watched: Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood
reading: The Embrace: A True Vampire Story Aphrodite Jones
listening: "She Talks To Angels" from Greatest Hits 1990-1999 by the Black Crowes
wanting: capital enough to give what I wish to give.
interesting thought: Charisma can be far more crucial than intelligence.
moment of zen: reading a non-fiction book about vampires on a balmy November day
someday I must: hone my addiction.

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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