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02.12.02 1:05 a.m.

And Jesus said: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you ...

 -Luke 6:27-38  

I'm Sorry To Be Lost
I have to make this quick, to inform you, as much as I can. You need to know, because this will effect the plotline in the journal and on the website.
I could be coy, but this is not the time for that. So, I will cut to the crux of this. Kate and I kissed. Note that I am giving myself equal sin in this matter, because frankly I feel as much at fault.
I was hanging out with Kate in her apartment, as she had beseeched me to do. Actually, I highly pondered just staying home and writing, but I figured that was a lame reason to blow someone off (though Kate of all people would understand). Going to Kate's might mean dealing with her drunkenness when it was far past amusement or coming home reeking of smoke.
We were hanging out, though she was more interested in the hermaphroditic, alcoholic rat than in me. Not a problem, really, the rat was cute. Owing to her lack of interaction with me, I ended up speaking with Stevehen about the asinine Spiderman comic that was put out after September 11th.
Eventually my time to hang out was just about up. I got up to gather my things and Kate started wheedling that I had just gotten there and hadn't spent much time with her. I think she may have actually told me that she missed me. I didn't really know she wanted one-on-one interaction, but I saw no harm. She is a nice girl, I justified, and tends to be fun to be around when she isn't trying to be something other than she is. She was being charming and funny that night, so I stayed my exit for a little longer.
She asked me to go into her bedroom to read her first philosophy essay. I am not much for philosophy, as I know little of it. Yet she insisted. This is where a sensible man realizes he is being set up. Entering the spider's parlor, if you will.
After a spell of talking and listening to music, I ended up getting kissed while giving her a hug. Kind of passionately, as I felt the tiny bud of her tongue encircling my mouth. Not wholly against my will as that would require my ever thinking about this situation as a logical possibility, but certainly not with my thinking will.
As you know, I am with Emily. While it isn't always happy, it was getting a lot better. We had resolved to be 80% friend and 20% lovers. I was good with this, M was good with this, Kate evidently thought that meant I was single (at least this is what she said to me). Though, even after informing her that I was not single and she could not kiss me, she kissed me. I asked her why she was kissing me, because communication is important and I wanted to not have to hate her, and she informed me that she liked me and expressed interest in dating me. I told her, again, that I was with M and did not wish to cheat on her. I was too stupefied by the whole situation to do much otherwise. Vygotsky said that, in times of shock and trauma, people drop one cognitive level. As such, I kept voicing my thoughts because I didn't know how else to behave.
Finally, I got Kate to understand that this shouldn't have happened and I was not happy that it had. She suggested we take Red Pills, ala The Matrix, and forget it had. Then she tried to kiss me again, insisting the pills were not activated until the end of the night.
When I got home, I threw up because I felt like (I am stealing this from Melissa, because it is germane) a heroin addict who had smoked opium. I was disgusted with myself for letting this happen, for not getting my wits about me quicker. I should say that my physical catharsis rather took care of any Red Pills in my system.
The day after this happened, I told M the story. She already knew, through precognition or cleverly piecing my morose state together with the fact that I had seen Kate, basically what had happened. She insists she isn't mad at me, though I am mad at myself. Even were I single, I would not want to get drawn back into something with Kate. I love her, but she is not someone the least bit healthy with me right now. Melissa or Sarah suggested Kate was just lonely, as Valentine's Day is quick approaching, and using me as a familiar target for affection. I am not wholly writing this theory off. I also believe, with some foundation, that Kate was planning this. We were hanging out in her room and JB came in and asked seriously, "am I interrupting something?" I looked incredulously at her, seeing that there was nothing to interrupt. I even asked Kate why she said this, and she gave me an ambiguous syllable. That this could have been premeditated, that she was planning on seducing me, bothers me. It adds to my being objectified, something I loathe.
Sarah suggested that I was a very strange twenty-one year old, as I had two attractive girls interested in me and this was a source of pain and angst. That I cared that someone else had done something so little as kissing me. I explained that was because I had morals and didn't want to see anyone get hurt. When I left Kate's that night, I turned back and asked her if this hurt her, despite that this was her choice. Even though she had complicated my life more than she knows, I wanted her to be okay. I am a sap.
M is worried that, in my penitent state, I am going to break up with her to punish myself. I sometimes think I should ask for a break just to get my head together and because I feel she deserves better than to be in this sort of a situation. I'd rather not leave her though. Our relationship is solid. She is also, completely unfoundedly (of course), worried that I shall take some grave actions to quit myself of perceived sins against her and against myself. I'm more or less just feeling very bad. Beyond that and trying to right this situation, there is nothing else I will do.
So, I spoke to Kate on the phone tonight, asking her why in hell she kissed me. If she was trying to be with me or what have you. She basically stated that I was a warm body that didn't seem terribly objecting. I admit, this hurt me. I didn't want her to say she craved my company, as then I would have to inform her that such a thing couldn't be. (I had all the scenarios worked out in my head.) Even if I were single, as I covered, Kate is an unhealthy person for me to be with. But at least I wouldn't be the one hurting if she had confessed adoration. If she had tried this because she was in love with me, that would be a whole other story. It would have been a crime of passion and far more forgivable. But it was merely idle lust. She said she doesn't, personally, feel bad for what occurred, though she is sorry I am in pain because of it. She also said that, even if she were going to acknowledge that I was already in a relationship, she likely wouldn't have stopped. This I saw as very disrespectful, though honest. She valued her ephemeral pleasure over my long term happiness.
I know, I know, I am acting surprised when this has always been her modus operandi. Melissa said, and I am inclined to agree, that underneath at all, she is hurting me so she won't hurt herself. She is using me because she feels something for me, but still using me. Despite the fact that I am in an intimate relationship. It's nearly preoperational in its disregard for the perspectives of others about whom she professes to care.
I know she is a human being, inclined to make mistakes. I know, I only let myself get into this situation with her because I care so damned much for who she really is under the self-imposed artifice of a college stereotype and I miss the close relationship (as in, friendship) we once had. I don't even much fault her for being a drunkard and chain-smoking, as this is the last time most people really live in such excess. I am heartily opposed to being used to appease her sense of manipulative, anonymous eroticism however. This has long been my stance toward my friends. Do whatsoever pleases you so long as you remain interesting, don't die, and don't involve me against my wishes.
After much crying on my part, I came to the conclusion that I may need a moratorium in my relationship with Kate. Who she is at her core is a person I love, but I can't deal with all that currently goes along with that. We both need to mature, though her more than me (hey, I am allowed to make a judgment call here, I'm the hurt one). When I told her this, she agreed that I was likely right. At the very least, and here too I had her agreement, that we cannot ever again be alone in a room together. There is a severe lack of trust and it will take a long time to heal that. I know that she wanted far more than to just kiss me and that is difficult for me to know and not cry.
So, this is the developing situation. I am doing better today. I was able to get a few hours of sleep last night and eat real food, which is an improvement. I know that I am putting off telling you things that I want to, but life gets in the way.

Soon in Xenology: I tell you of my near scary mission to make Scarf Girl and Radio Goth my associates. I tell you my displeasure with orbs being ghosts, except when they are. I fill you in about Dances With Bunnies, my psych teacher. I make some decision about Kate and end up tearful either way. I see Eileen. M and I have a nice Valentine's Day.

last watched: Not much for watching, too much is going on.
reading: The Indigo Children, Lee Carroll
listening: Undertow, Tool
wanting: my chest to stop aching.
interesting thought: Torches long extinguished can still burn you.
moment of zen: losing all hope.
someday I must: forgive Kate and myself for that night.

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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