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02.23.02 1:36 a.m.

What a man thinks of himself, that is what determines, or rather indicates, his fate.


  - Henry David Thoreau  




Retractions and Whatnot
Sarah knew exactly what she was doing when she gave her virginity to Tom. She was fond of the boy for quite a long time, though having The Sex with him made the fondness purely friendly. Still, she thinks it was an excellent first time, given that she currently regards it and him fondly. Many do not regard their loss of innocence in so pleasant of terms, as she reminded me.
Having The Sex with Jeremy was also a good decision, though I had no idea who Jeremy was before she informed me tonight that she had The Sex with him. Evidently, they were continuing a relationship that began in kindergarten, which is sweet if you don't think it is twisted. However, as he was kind of having a relationship of sorts (I think) with Sarah's roommate Sarah, The Sex happened only once. However, as this is her story and I do not wish to offend her further with my tongue-in-cheek sense of humor about the situation, I will allow her to correct me where I have made errors.
The crux of this matter really is that she is a wonderful person and doesn't want people to think otherwise because one of her best friends and admirers sometimes lets passion and misplaced protective feelings get in the way of the unabashed truth. All truth is subjective, of course. As such, I demand you all regard her as she evinces in the conversations she and I share. An amazing evolving soul whom I have loved ceaselessly for nearly five years.

I Am the Very Model
I spend a few restless, sleepless nights of realizing that my advisor's poor advisement had cancelled my chances of graduating on time. As such, a semester and a half of credits would be sacrificed to the bureaucratic gods of new educational standards for teachers. Bollocks to that.
I have decided, as of last Tuesday, that I don't want to teach high school students. As you all know, a big part of this was that I didn't much like the secondary education department at New Paltz and it looked like a lot more interaction with such entities would be necessary to get my degree. Afterward, I would have to deal with this same type of cognitively impaired at my future teaching job (I know they are everywhere, but possible not in this concentration. Pun intended).
Also, and most importantly, I didn't feel as fulfilled as I should have. I was in no way content with becoming a high school English teacher once I started myself on this track. If one is doing what one is intended to be doing, they do not mind the effort necessary. I tell you honestly that I could sit and write papers all day on any subject given me. I maintain this website, which would be hellish to some. Yet I enjoy it, willing putting hours of my day to it.
So, I will soon be an English major, which isn't quite as useless as I had been led to believe. In the library today, I checked the list of jobs one can get with a BA in English. Stockbroker was on that list. There were so many jobs that called for English majors owing to the verbal and logistical skills supposedly inherent in one who would follow major to completion. Cool beans!
After I get my BA, I am going to try to get my Masters in English (hopefully through a fellowship, as then I would get a chance to teach while learning). Then, I want to teach college English. I say this decision and I smile. I figure it can't be that wrong then.
I wrote to Dave concerning my decision, as he has been down this road. I also consulted (if one can consider guerilla advisement "consulting") Jim, who is a TA at New Paltz and my associate from Summer Scholars '98. He had exactly been down this road, as he was currently pursuing a Masters from New Paltz in English. He told me that I would have to (get to!) teach freshman composition at New Paltz and would thus get free tuition and a couple hundred dollars a week. And an office! You have no idea how much I love the concept of my own office. I could live happily in a monastic cell (with internet connection) so long as it was called my office... Now you know my weakness. I can't possibly let you live.
My life seems to be on a track that makes me a lot happier and takes quite a bit of weight off my shoulders. And, you know, leaves me more time to write to you.

Kate
I do not hate Kate. I thought I would, I really did. Emily does, and I don't blame her one whit for that.
Okay, that's not wholly honest. I didn't think I would hate Kate. I don't think I could. Resent the stuffing out of her, certainly. And I do resent how she has treated me in the past and the complications she has thrown into my life. But, in rereading entries from December 2000 and January 2001, I see that this is currently Kate's modus operandi and it is not her intention to be cruel. This is not to say I do not blame her as much as I did before. But I understand her actions in a subtle way that eludes proper explanation (which isn't to say I won't try).
Perhaps most importantly, she and I have had a few (very few) online conversations where I was frank to the point of seeming rudeness to her. She responded, to my secret joy, in an understanding fashion. I told her how I felt about what had happened, how she upset me, how I wanted to scream at her sometimes, and she understood. She didn't merely say she did, she actually understood. It felt like she was actually taking my genuine feelings into careful consideration as she would someone important to her. I felt important to her as she took some hits to the ego rather than allowing the situation to escalate. As such, I let my guard down and was more honest with her. It saved a friendship I frankly thought doomed.
This isn't to say I am going to be hanging out with her any time soon. I'm not an idiot. Things happened that couldn't be taken back and, thankfully, stopped before getting any more dangerous. They happened, though. I don't feel wholly safe in her company, still. I feel significantly less hostile toward her though. Emily, dear heart, is hostile enough for the both of us.
As I told Dave recently, I feel this situation resolved itself in the best way possible, given the circumstances.

Would That I Were That Glove
My relationship with M feels more secure than it ever had before. Last night, she spent the night (as is our fashion on days that are spelled with letters.) We played our current video game Final Fantasy III mostly. It is such low-key fun to play video games with the one you love, especially those that require strategy. Anyway, after she fell asleep, I entertained myself by reading her face like it was encoded in Braille. Tracing the curves of her lips and eyes, sliding down her nose, feeling her cheeks yield to my touch, allowed me to feel like I was discovering her on a new level. There were no lights, so my eyes were giving me sporadic hallucinations of her visage. It was decidedly and pleasantly sensual.
It was falling in love with her all over again. It was happening upon a storybook princess cursed by a spindle. It was needed.

Gotta Be Going to That Malt Shop in the Sky
Thursday, while I was trying to be on time to class, I saw Emily talking to a boy. Not any boy, in fact, but Bible Boy, pruriently pathetic pursuer of precociously pretty persons. I, being the sensible sort, interceded in a welcomed fashion.
M informed me that BB was just going on (and on and on...) about Buffy and Angel.. Evidently, his wrestling buddies say he looks just like David Boreanaz, the actor who portrays Angel on television. This is nothing to be proud of, though I think he erroneously presumed such would pique the passions of previously peered at people. We chatted a bit, while I scanned his behavior for psychological tags. Given the conversation we shared, I would say that he is prone to slight bouts of fantasy (he mentioned the paranormal in immensely positive terms that irked me), he wants very badly to be liked and accepted by people (such as the boyfriend of the girl her is yearning for), he is insecure in social situations (he was fairly awkward around me), he is fairly suggestible (I mentioned a season one episode of Buffy when she reveals of fear of being abandon by her father, buried alive, and turned into a vampire stating that two out of the three had already happened in the course of the series. For the rest of the conversation, he insisted Buffy was going to turn into a vampire and what the series would be like once this happened), and he builds people and situations up in his head (Everything about Emily is perfect to him. She is a bloody genius because she knows a shocking amount about religion. She is so cool because she is Pagan. She is brilliant and she is cool, to me, but because she actually has proven herself to be. Being a religious studies major and Pagan does not make one intelligent or cool. In fact, it can mean quite the opposite). Overall, I do not like him but I do not overtly dislike him. He would be tolerable if he would stop trying to pursue a girl that has made it clear is quite in love with another man.
Ah, but the excitement does not end there. While we were speaking, Emily noticed that the girl the nearby EMTs were wheeling into their vehicle was Beauty School Drop-Out, her roommate. This is, perhaps, where M and I differ. Had I seen my disagreeable roommate being taken away by an ambulance, I would express concern but assume that it isn't my place to interfere (Ironically, I would hop right in the ambulance for an interesting stranger because it would be a noteworthy experience). M, deciding against attending class for the rest of the day, jumped in to take care of BSDO. The EMTs let her, not exactly showing concern that an attractive stranger was going with them.
I went about my day, after escaping the clingy clutches of BB. As this excitement had caused me to miss a good chunk of my first class, I decided to wait in the English department for someone to assist me in changing my major. So I sat, patiently, tittering over Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (which I was going to inform any concerned professors was the intellectual equivalent of pixy stix, though it actually is surprisingly nourishing in places). However, I got a strange page using Emily's code before I could be asked or advised. Drat.
I called the number, which turned out to be the hospital to which BSDO was taken. The campus escorts refused to drive and get BSDO and M, and their parents were not able. As such, I was asked to don my shining armor (also known as the dirty purple Grape Ape) and rescue them from Kingston. After filling up the Grape Ape's gas tank and getting treats for the both of them, I headed up. It was a long process, as I had never been to Kingston on my own before. I was not totally happy making this my first time.
Eventually, I found the place by following the huge blue hospital signs. Funny how simple. BSDO was serious drugged up (severe asthma attack was the culprit) and Emily was furious. The doctor would not give her a note excusing her from her missed classes because "it wasn't like she needed to be there." So M, justifiably, ranted at him. She had also misplaced the claddaugh ring I had given her, though I told her this was not a huge deal (it was later to be mysteriously found in her bedroom).
I gave them their treats, though this didn't prevent BSDO from bitching that I should take some time to clean my car out. I restrained the urge to point out a fault or two of hers, or perhaps just suggest we dose her with more medicine. M managed to get us back to New Paltz in about half as much time as it took me to get to the hospital. How very useful she is.



Soon in Xenology: I fill you in about Dances With Bunnies, my psych teacher. I try to make Scarf Girl my friend or at least learn her name. The strangeness of the library. JM and the dinner.



last watched: The Amityville Horror
reading: When I Was Five I Killed Myself, Howard Buten
listening: America Town, Five For Fighting
wanting: more that $150 in my New Orleans fund, currently.
interesting thought: discovering of one's self and environment is a process that occurs even in sleep.
moment of zen: waking M with my caresses.
someday I must: get a fellowship.

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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