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Monday May 15, 2000, 10:54

Weather does wonders for one's outlook on life. I walked out the door this morning expecting another scorcher as I had been awoken by the sun beating down on my head, my lack of shades bothering me once again, though probably not enough to actually motivate me to go buy anything.

When I walked out the door, however, I was greeted by a cool breeze. "Just kidding," the world said to me. And I smiled. Standard fare for me, jeans and a tshirt and a long sleeved black shirt was just enough. A slight chill ran through my body, just enough to be invigorating. Nature's equivalent of a cold shower.

I would do that when working in the theatre. After having been locked in the space for days at a time, eyes focused on one scene, one set, the lighting board, my plot, brain collapsed into a little pile of mush, I would pick myself up and walk outside. The air would be cold. The wind would be harsh. And I would feel the dirt and the oil and the sweat of days just getting blown off of me, through my clothes out of my hair off of my skin.

The sun was shining. Still is for that matter. And for as much as I don't like the summer. I mean, I don't like wearing shorts, I don't like being hot, and all that, I love the sun. As much as I'm a night person, being awake when the rest of the world is asleep, finding inspiration in the moon rising up over the city, the sounds of the silence of the night, I love the sun. It's a reminder of what a great thing it is to be alive.

I'm getting my pants hemmed, finally. I think they've been sitting in my closet for about two months now. A five minute operation consisting of strip, wear, pin, strip, wear and I've been waiting months. Am I really so averse to change?

Bah. This is where I talk about what a fantastic weekend I had, and nobody can stop me. Well, execpt for myself. Which will be the next section after this one. Let's see if we can spot the transition. But don't worry. It'll end on a good note. I promise.

Friday night. I was all fidgety. What the? I had to get out of the city. Too much of the same, not enough of the thing that I wanted to call living. That I was used to. Not enough of that life where I would wake up excited to be doing the things that I was doing. There must be somewhere that I could go. Something that I could do on a Friday night in a fairly large city on the east coast of this here United States thing that would make me happy.

Ah yes. The suburbs.

Arrangements were made for a visit out to see Simone. In the burbs. What? The commuter rail. Oh yes. Haven't done that since my days in New York, going from my parents' house to the city and back again while trying to arrange otyher living situations for myself (or having them arranged for me - something of the sort).

I was working, but I thought I was on time. Plenty of time. Oh yes, plenty of time for me to try to transfer from one subway to another on the same line to go two additional stops. Plenty of time for me to go running into the station only to have the conductor tell me that yes indeed the 9:40 train left at exactly 9:40. "Well what time is it now?!" I asked, as if asking him, and complaining that nothing ever leaves on time, could bring the train back into the station.

"9:42."

And the next one wasn't for another hour, which was fine, I guess, but slightly irritating. I punced the metal pillar for emphasis on my way back into the termial from the platform. One hour to kill.

Lots of words were written about the man sitting next to me in the terminal, slobbering over his apple. Crunch. Slurp slurps drool. Crunch. Slurp slupr drool. That's gross. Really gross. The yellow pad containing those words is now sitting to my left. I will type them in at some point in the future, but for now they're just for me. And whomever would like to sneak into my Manhattan Portage brown shoulder bag that my cousin gave me in San Francisco to go looking for my yellow pad containing said words.

Many words were also written about the train itself, a seemingly bastard child of the Metronorth and New Jersey Transit commuter trains. But it took me away from the city and into the suburbs, where the air smelled different and where I could relive my high school years. Or live the high school years I never had.

She picked me up at the train station. We went to Wendy's and got chicken sandwiches. We parked in the parking lot of an office building down the street from the elementary school. We ate our sandwiches and fed each other french fries. We took a walk to the school and swung on the swings. I was too tall for the swings and my feet kept hitting the dirt. She pumped higher and higher and seemed to touch the sky. We walked across the field and ended up in a mud. My shoes got wet. We held hands until that got a bit weird. We played on the climbing structure. I emptied my pockets so my knife lighter pen wallet change wouldn't fall out. I kicked my feet up over my head and got sand in my eyes. We lay down on the sidewalk and looked at the stars and she told me how she used to have glow in the dark stars arranged in constallations in her bedroom. Saggitarius (i think) was in the far corner of the room and had to be charged before turning out the lights because the lamp didn't light that part of the room.

She taught me how to drive stick. She was very patient with me, even though I kept on asking questions and finally I just decided to hell with it and started driving. And stalled out. But got the hang of it by the end of the night.

It was the high school experience that I never actually had, but always used to think about. I might have had something similar in college at one point, but college didn't involve cars and walks to elementary schools. College was a city, albeit a small one. The suburbs just smell different.

Not that I particularly want to live there again, but they'll always give me that sense of growing up and going home. The generic north east united states suburb. Yeah, that one.

A restless night, in a bed that was not my own, in a house that was entirely too dark and quiet. Am I really becoming a city person? Or have I been one all along? Getting up and moving well into the afternoon after a much needed night's sleep, and off to the climbing gym where I, for the first time in five years, tied myself to a rope and attempted to climb up a wall. There is a rant to be made somewhere around here about what it's like to climb, but I would feel like a fool trying to even explain it. It's not my thing, see?

My thing. My thing is theatre. It was theatre. I haven't been in a theatre for about a year. Not really. Not hardcore like. I did a production of jesus christ superstar a year ago. A year ago pretty much now. And I helped catherine out with some shows in New York. Other than that though? Nothing really.

And so when I talk to Simone, and she tells me about playing cards or climbing or playing ultimate, and she flings around terms that indicate that yes indeed she does these things, she knows how to do these things, and she is good at these things.

I get insanely jealous of people. For example, I have no desire to play ultimate, but I get this pain when I hear Simone talking about it. Not because of frisbee, because really, I don't think I could deal, but the mere idea that she has this thing that she does, which helps define who she is and what she does and all that.

I want that.

I had that. I used to throw around theatre terms because that's what I did. That's who I was. I was good at it (though I'd like to believe that I am still good at it) and it was me. It wasn't a part of me. It was me.

I miss it. I miss the theatre, the smell, the rush of standing on top of a ladder, fingers barely gracing the edge of a pipe, a leko in one hand, the wench in the one on the pipe, blanacing gingerly raising the instrument up over my head and finally locking it down. I miss sitting for hours at a time adjusting one light so as to get the. perfect. look.

Those pictures of superstar up there. I did that show. That cross of light? I did that. That was a fucking rush. I did it, and people came up to me after the show and told me that it was amazing. Told me that it was the best thing they'd ever seen. Told me that they were going to miss me. When I left.

I left.

You know how they say "And I never looked back?"

I look back every day. Nobody comes up to me now, sitting at my desk for nine hours a day, and tells me that the demo that I built the other day was the most incredible thing that they've ever seen. That the technical doc that I wrote made them cry. Nobody tells me these things because nobody really cares.

That really hurts.

I want my thing back. I want to get it back.

Catherine keeps telling me to move back to New York. Eric tells me to move back to New York. I tell myself that too. But I'm starting to build a life for me here. I can't just up and leave now.

I can't. It's quite strange. But I'm starting to have some sort of a life here. Spending time with Simone these days is amazing. I can talk to her. We're both assholes in similar ways. We hate math and think stupid people should get the fuck out of the way. And then we're so different in many ways. It's all a bunch of extremes. "Get out of my head!" she says when we're totally on with each other. I have a new friend here. Someone who actually understand me, understands the ways in which I'm totally messed up. There's something very comforting about that.

And yesterday, spending time with Channing and Brian. Pulling out the college ID to save three dollars on admission to a museum and going to an Irish bad for a chicken caesar salad wrap with mashed potatos. No beer for me thanks. And walking to Harvard Square to sit with the little punk kids with their bottles of "soda" and their cigarettes and thei torn shirts and short skirts. We sat there and talked about girls and I stared up at the clock on top of the building in front of me and watched the hours tick by.

Sitting there in that pit was comforting for me. Being next to this community. This group of people with whom I share basically nothing. But being there and watching them interact, in their way, was a reminder that there are in fact people out in the world. Sometimes I need to get told that. I forget.

A girl looked at me and asked if she could put her hand on my head as she climbed up onto the level above me, next to the subway stop. Sure, I told her, and she did. I turned to Channing. "Isn't it nice to be useful?" he asked.

Actually, it was.

12:31

the calendar by the window is fluttering. it's nice. it makes it feel like there's someone else in the office.

14:32

four+ months ago i said this

here's to no expectations for the next year.

i've learned that it's much more enjoyable to take life as it comes along, chew it up, swish it around a bit to get it really juicy, and then decide whether to spit it out and move on, or to swallow it and let it do whatever it will with you.

I don't think I've been keeping my resolution.

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