I didn't like it.

Reguarding the last entry: which I posted only an hour or so ago.

I didn't like it. So I took it down.

I hope you don't mind.

In other news: I got a phone call today.

*tap tap tap*

*pause, mute speakers*

"Yeah, come on in?"

Mother in doorway: "Uh, it's [your Ex-Girlfriend of 16 months.]"

me [bizarre, confused, "why?" expression]: uhhh. . . ok.

For the record, this marks the first time we've spoken since August, when she said "see you later" and I said "probably not." And the last time we exchanged commentary on an instant messenger service a few weeks ago, one of her last comments was "[That last time] I got tired of trying to pretend that your presence wasn't making me want to shoot myself in the face...

So I snap myself from my confused reverie and pick up the phone.


"Hey, I'm putting together a portfolio for Huntingdon, and I'm looking for some photographs of myself. And I was wondering if I could have some of the ones I gave you back?"

I briefly wonder whether she knows that I kept many of them up long after we broke up, and is simply weirded out enough by it that she has decided to screw up her courage and try to get them away from me. Then I realize that's silly, and even if she does, what does it matter? I can give her some of the pictures I have. One of the ones she liked best I always thought was pretty poor anyway.

"Uh, sure. . .well, wait. . ."

I draw out the pause.

"I think most of them are boxed up and buried. . . in the workshop."

[worried pause]. "In Macon?"

"Oh, no, here, but underneath 5 feet of other stuff. I couldn't dig them out if I wanted to, I don't know where they are. Oh, but wait, I might have a couple here left in the room."

I have a box where I file paperwork, like a single-drawer filing cabinet. 4 or 5 years of my life, professional, academic and personal, have wound up in there in various forms.

I chat about school, and why all my stuff is in the workshop (I'm remodeling my bedroom into an office for my parents after I move out again this summer) and other unimportant things while I'm thumbing past "Bank stuff" and "JEEP" to get to a divider marked "Nostalgia" and pull out a manila folder on which my nearly illegible handwriting spells out "The women I have loved."

If I have any pictures of her easily accessible, they are in here, with the pictures, writings, and miscelany of two others whom I once adored.

"Oh, wait, maybe I have one or two after all."

"Oh, good."

I can tell she's a little relieved, but she's hoping for more. She'd like my copy of the graduation picture. Tough shit, I tell myself, I like the graduation picture.

"A yeah, here's the one of you on the bench" that I always thought made you look bad "and the one of you with the girls in Destin." you remember the Destin trip, right? The one where I spelled out "I love my Kawaii Girl!" on the sand in letters that could be read from the 14th floor where all of us were staying? It was a long time ago.

But what is left unsaid between the words is more than plentiful, and I doubt she thinks back in enough detail to remember that.

"I don't have the graduation one here. I'm sorry, I know you'd probably like that one too."

She tries to make up some bullshit about not being able to get copies of that one without going back to the printer where she had them taken. I hold to my excuse that they are buried and I don't know where. She can always get her parents' copy (larger and in better condition anyway) and get it copied. I don't really care.

"Oh, yeah. Ok. I'm coming up this weekend, and I'd like to start on it"

Of course you would. You're probably already pushing the due-date. I doubt you'll get it done in time. You never were good about that. Too much like me. "Yeah, of course."

"but I don't want to drive all the way out there to your place. . ."

"No, there's no reason for that. You can just come pick them up at work."

"Oh, yeah, where do you work?"

I start to give her directions, then realize I'd rather keep control than be surprised at some random time by a ghost I'm trying to ignore.

"Wait, why don't I just drop them off at your parents' place? I'll be right around the corner tutoring someone on Tuesday. It'll be easier." Plus I don't have to see you and try to act normal, or lie.

"Oh, yeah, that's a good idea."

"Ok. I'll do that then. No problem. Take care of yourself."



Of course I didn't mention the black-and-whites I have of her that would probably be far more fitting for huntingdon. Especially the profile I'm so proud of that reminds me so much of the picture Mandy gave me so very long ago. But I've only got a couple of that one and I don't even know where the negatives are. It's not really my problem whether she gets into this new school or not, I don't have access to a darkroom to develop more, and I'm not giving her my originals.

I have learned to say no. And I've learned to watch out for myself all of a sudden. It occurs to me that it's funny what a sudden, cataclysmic failure to believe in humanity will do for your survival instincts. Should I be glad of this, I wonder?

In other news, I invited Kid to see Stomp with me in Columbus in February. I wonder if she'll accept?

Monday, January 24, 2005


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