K + R Carousel: Spring Semester Junior Year through Fall Semester Senior Year

Spring Semester Junior Year

45 minutes and counting.... (30 Mar 1995)

45 minutes 'til I can legally imbibe. Yowza.

My life's a study in chaos right now. Every time I close my eyes I feel emotionally dizzy. Everything happening it once, little things that wouldn't mean much individually but together... the housing screw-up, classes, the eaton job slipping into overdrive, being caught in a power struggle between my aunt and my step-cousin, realizations that I've lost a set of feelings for the Russian Romance that I'm not sure I can get back and that my English major won't help to explain to her, feeling a gulp in my chest watching you from a distance, getting back from a trip to Cleveland and feeling the space between my friends and I, and watching Marnie's hand casually rest on the guy who's caught her heart strings as she reads over his shoulder, leaving me wondering if and how she can fall out of love with such grace. I'm kind of a mess.

Why am I telling you this? That's another thing that bothers me, I'm not all sure.

Hope you're coping ok...

coping as well as i can.
your glance over your shoulder did not go unnoticed. i have spies everywhere...
sorry things are emotionally odd, but then, aren't they always?

"Double integral is also the shape of lovers curled asleep." Pynchon

One of the few references to the Russian Romance.

And if I thought real hard, I probably could have figured out why I was "telling R this".

quote (9 Apr 1995)

Toni Morrison:
Paul D sits down in the rocking chair and examines the quilt patched in carnival colors. His hands are limp between his knees. There are too many things to feel about this woman. His head hurts. Suddenly he remembers Sixo trying to describe what he felt about the Thirty-Mile Woman. "She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind."

I feel like you gather and give the pieces back to me, even when you don't try to.

But I've learned something this past week, the hurt of being loved by someone you don't love back, the slippery resentment towards someone trying to seduce you when that's not what you want. That hit me in a way I didn't expect, made me wonder about some of the people I love.

Listen: please come to my concert Tuesday, and stop by for a bit after? It should be a good concert, and my room is as comfortable a place as it ever was. Even more so, maybe. Though whatever you decide about this invitaion, please write and tell me or call, don't let the silence speak for you; it is a tired, stammering orator, tired and a little woozy, and I can never make out what it has to say.


Re: Apology (25 Apr 1995)

Also, I'm sorry for making you feel uncomfortable.

it's not discomfort, it's embarrasment. the sort that happens when someone is making a fool out of themselves and you don't know how to tell them.

The Following Summer

Re: hey beautiful (17 Jun 1995)

Hi Rosetta
How are things?

Life's ok here. Work continues to bungle along, made happier by my net connection. On my way to a staff meeting I saw Wally- I hadn't seen him with a beard before. Frankly, he reminds me of the guy from the old Joy of Sex book. Oh well.

I got a letter from Veronika this morning, the first in a while, since she just got back to school. She's having a pretty bad time of things, it's kind of keeping her from her school work, but she says it's ok 'cause the German system is set up so it only matters that everything's finished by the end. Still, I worry.

Since there's no one else here tonight, I dragged a cd player into the bathroom, lit some candles and took a long warm bath. Listened to Sarah Vaughn Sings Soulfully. Thought of a lot of things to write to people, but when I got downstairs in a towel I realized I had said it all before.

Are you still around on-campus? Or was this part of the 'non-state' thingy? (Very Zen, in a way, though I'm not sure if it was meant to be.)

Kiss me and I'll kiss you back
Love's something that's everywhere
And I should write Baci's.


my state was mostly pms and a stomach bug, both of which, mercifully, are gone. i spent friday afternoon with wally, had an interesting time. we argued, amicably, had good pizza, no beer. might have softened us up. surprisingly enough, the big revelation of the weekend was that i think i'm finally getting over him. perhaps i'm really just getting over the idea of needing a man. not to say i don't want that sort of person in my life, i just am becoming more patient about finding him. there's someone i'm "working on" now who i want to get into bed but don't want to commit to. unfortunately, he's that "commitment" type. i hate that, sometimes!

at any rate, i'm in my "let's *use* men" mode, don't take anything i say without a keg of salt.


sorry for not talking -- i was in the middle of a newsgroup. addictive things...

yeah, i could use a male body right now...


Guess it was time for another spin of the carousel.

Re: safe to ignore previous (2 Jul 1995)

it's safe to ignore my previous letter, I guess you figured that out.

It's weird- at first I get annoyed at not having a goodnight kiss, and then I get annoyed at my annoyance. Meta-annoyance. Guys who really want to be nice guys get into situations like that a lot. Which is one of the reasons I like Garrison Keillor, 'cause he can condense those feelings into words. See, sometimes we're torn, we really are. On the one hand we *want* to be the 'safe' person, the sanity restoring guy a woman can go to after too much chaos and strife, the 'perfect gentlemen,' (and not just because we hope it will give us better chances later on..) On the other hand, well, we don't. We grow tired of being passionless, enthusiasm spent on something as unsensuous as C compilers, for cryin' out loud. We get fantasies from here to Chicago. We look at the person who we're "just snuggling" with on the couch, and we notice the way their limbs drape so easy and comfortably over our own, the angles beautiful (it wasn't just a line tonight , honest) and we sense *possibility*, the stored-up energy of it all...

"Just being friends" seems like the kiss of death: "Why can't friends kiss?" we think, even as we nod our solemn consent with the person, with the *friend*, we're agreeing with, "Why can't they *feel*?"

well, i kiss many friends, but sometimes that gets me into trouble. i've found it easier to keep that sort of thing to a minimum...

I don't want to go against your sanity. Still, I think back to the easy grace that happened last September, and mourn its loss. Your kiss and your touch, can make me shiver like none other.


But I know you've heard all this before, that you've seen it all and found that all the broken communications, all the misunderstandings and desperate explanations that seem to always be the baggage for that kind of physicalness just aren't worth it. But I still have hopes that it doesn't have to be that way. Do I have any evidence for that? No, it's just a feeling. After all, last September you came back to my little room twice, maybe three times, and I acted like an idiot for months after. But I would say that that was a response to other things, the way the communication just totally died out, me not really understanding your response to my preferred medium e-mail, or your stress that school brings on.

(And then there's the side of me that says, if the physical isn't tied into all that meaning the way I claim it isn't, if it is good but not truly important, then why am I writing so much about it? Well, the usual reasons, I guess.)


I have a theory. Maybe it's just a hodge-podge of hopeful euphamisms that justify me basically doing whatever the hell I want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, but at least it's a theory I could consistently live with as a principle. (Also, maybe I've spouted all this at you before...) I think the division between friendship and love is ridiculous and often painful. It's like the Louis Armstrong line: "I see friends shaking hands/ saying 'how do you do?'/ they're really saying/ 'I love you'/ and I think to myself/ What a wonderful world". That's what it's all about, a spectrum of the same thing, the joy two people can have being around each other. That's not to say there isn't something different between a physical relationship and a non-physical one, but too much of an emphasis is placed on that difference by lots of people, including, at the moment, me, which goes on to prove the futility of writing about this stuff.

Oh well.

I'd love to take the opportunity to teach you more about Visual Basic and C, if you'd let me. (At least I write better programs than I do poems-) I promise I'll keep my clamor for a kiss to a dull murmur- but I still think there's a spark there that has the potential for real beauty, if only you'd let it...

i think you're right, in some ways. i look at you and see the sort of person i respect and admire, the sort of person i might like to make a permanent part of my existience, but there's something that's *not* there as well. i can't really tell you what it is; it's too hard to put into words. i guess the one thing that attracts me more to some people than to others is an ability to make me feel safe and loved. i know you think you might be able to do that, and perhaps it's true, but i don't have the insight to discuss it right now. suffice it to say i've found it more easily elsewhere.

I guess I'll just pretend I have "Don't Speak...Don't...Don't Speak...Don't- Speak.." slapped all over the end of this letter, that way I can pretend you're so bowled over by the beauty of my prose (heh) that words just wouldn't do it justice. (Though secretly, I would be happy if you wrote back and told me what was on your mind, or called, or anything. I can't believe you're so pessimistic about e-mail. Those times you cut loose, summers ago, they were amazing- you write superbly, when you let yourself. ("My *taste* is superb- my *eyes* are exquisite...")) (sign of a computer geek: carefully nested paranthesis, and never putting the puncuation inside a quoted "word".)

Anyways. Let me show you that computer stuff. I'll be on good behavior, and I'm happy to just be around you- you're funny and beautiful and I have that masochistic streak anyway.

Talk to me?

i'll most happily let you teach me visual basic. perhaps some kahlua and ice cream would come in handy...

i won't let you hope that anything will come of this. i like your company, especially when we can sit closely enough to feel companionable, but please don't- speak.


this isn't as long as i'd have liked it to be, but my thoughts have all fled before your stunning prose! ;)

I think I made trying to overcome that "suffice it to say i've found it more easily elsewhere" an obstacle to struggle against. Looking back from 2022, I think it reflects a problem I've had in a lot of relationships.

Near the end, I'm quoting "Bullets Over Broadway", a Woody Allen flick we had seen together, and that happened to be on HBO just as I was compiling all this. The "don't speak" line in it is pretty funny, a tool use by the aging starlet to make it sound like the emotion is too much for words, when really she just doesn't want to hear what he has to say.

last thought (4 Aug 1995)

Remember, you said you'd write me... :->

One thought I have from time to time- sometimes I feel like I'd like to be able to start all over again with you, and so I'd begin by asking,

"Have you ever been in love?"...

take care

On the very first meeting of the English class we took together Freshman year (the only class we shared at school) I manage to finagle myself into the same interview subgroup as her, and "interview" her. "Have you ever been in love" was one the first questions I asked...I wonder if its hidden agenda was obvious then.

tapioca (14 Aug 1995)

i was at the supermarket, not because i wanted to be, but because my mother needed laundry detergent. "buy something on sale." sometimes the grocery store is magical, romantic. not that i'd even consider picking someone up in the beacon st. star, but romantic thoughts do tend to occupy my mind while i'm perusing pastrami in the deli section. also in the deli section is tapioca. tapioca pudding, ready made. i'd never noticed it there before, surprising because good tapioca is one of my vices. so i bought some and i'm eating it. the tapiocas aren't quite as large or firm as i really like, but still they feel good on my tongue, good going down. if some man had come up to me in the grocery store while i'd had that tapioca in my hands and mentioned to me that the pudding was decent but that the tapioca wasn't as large or firm as he really liked, i think he would've had to wheel me through the checkout line in a shopping cart.

Jeez I love this story.

Re: morning (from k to tRC, 22 Aug 1995)

'cause of some traces of jetlag, plus I was over at Rosetta's last night and didn't get back til 12:30, which probably wasn't too clever.

So what have you come to with Rosetta?

I don't know. We kiss. She's given suggestions that there might be a little more than kissing, were we not in her apartment with her mom down the hall. I'm not sure what to make of it, or if this is actually good for me or not. But remember when you asked if it was ok for you to ask if it was okay for dreamy eyed young Russian chick to follow her feelings before knowing she's ready to settle with someone who doesn't give her those same feelings? It's kind of like that, but without the safe someone to settle with.

Ville lummiarre, Ville d'amour....

There is a story which sais that God wanted to create paradise on Earth. So he created Paris. But then he decided to balance it out with other not so great places and created Parisiens...We'll see.

And Julius Caesar called it "Mud City of Parias"

There's also a cute story where God creates Scotland: he makes the people clever and inventive, and the land beautiful: majestic mountains, flowing streams full of leaping salmon, etc etc. Finally, an Angel says "dont'ya think yer being a wee bit generous wi' the Scotts?" and God says "But wait to you see who their neighbors are!" (This traditionally alot of aminosity between the imperial English and the proud but less strong militarily Scottish)


This is a note to the Russian Chick. For a long while, I was better at staying friends with her than any of my other ex-romances. (Now oddly R herself might hold that title, though that was definitely not true the first time I asssmbled this correspondence.)

The "dreamy young Russian Chick" line is an interesting insight into what she and I had.

hey boo'ful (31 Aug 1995)

How do you feel?

I guess you would've gone to the doctors by the time you read this. Stop by, or whatever, and tell me about it--

Anyway- about last night... it was great and beautiful. I'm always knocked over by the level of touch we can have with each other, the uncommon ability to make touch something elegant, and eloquent. Both in giving and receiving. I envy your ability to verbalize that when we're together- for some reason I always clam up, just when I mean to say how wonderful your touching me feels. (Maybe that's another thing I liked about our old style 'silent coversations'- like e-mail versus phone, I always feel more skillfull typing than talking.) And the view *was* magnificent- both outside your room, and then later, inside, when I was less concerned with the geography...

You said what we have now is really neat, or something like that last night, and I agree. I think our relationship can now be rooted in good, healthy mature stuff, even if we don't always understand it, or each other, completely. I hope it survives a semester full of stress and under-the-weatherness. (For which you know I'll be smarting with guilt over, and will therefore make any other efforts by me when you were unwell (i.e. hunting for the perfect herbal tea at the commons while Rosetta was at the Arena Board with the sniffles) look pale by comparisson.)

Hope to see you soon, the sooner the better...

"Would not a rose, by any other name, have so many &#$^ thorns????"

Oy...that summer I got mono from a brief summer fling. (Which would go on to make a questionable 2 week, 3,000 mile bus tour of England with my family even worse.) Before realizing it, I must have been together with R. again, and was worried I had given it to her...that's not what happened though.

Fall Semester Senior Year

latenight thoughts (8 Sep 1995)

As the clock begins to reach 1:30am, and the Win95 install gage hovers around the 65% mark, one begins to reask the old question about the relationship between Computer and Man: Who's serving who here? And one's brain tends to drift towards happier times, namely a few hours ago, and that same brain has a habit of getting filled with rather lustful ideas and memories.

Rosetta, this past week or two has been absolutely wonderful. I cringe at using such a uninspiring word, but it's the only one I can think of right now. (In fact, I just checked with the Microsoft Word 6.0 Thesaurus, and it doesn't have any better ideas. Stupid computer.) Being with you, being close to you, it adds a sense of, I dunno, roundness, completion, to everything.

I know all life is subject to change, including this, and my life isn't going to come crashing down if something goes wrong between us. Still, life feels more balanced with you than without you, and I hope It stays.

My Peter to your Paul and Mary,


Jeez, I remember that night. Installing Win95 from floppies was a really bad idea, and this e-mail captures some of the surrealness of that evening, after having spent time with her for a bit.

Absolute geek note: odd to think how before this, I must've been only using DOS and Win3.1.

Weird how central computers have been to life, including this whole romance.

Re: dinner etc. (26 Sep 1995)

sorry, but i don't have a life until the weekend after this one... yeah, it sucks, but whatcha gonna do? been listening to tubas in the moonlight, tho'...

Ok. If you do ever get any life back, let me know if you're willing to share a little of it with me?

Hope you like the mix- I listened to it a few times, it seems a pretty good balance, better than the one right before it maybe. I like the attitude in "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah" and some of the drum work. For some reason I've really been getting into song and prose lines about regret for accidently hurting people.

I also really like the Commitments song "I can't stand the rain" Interesting contrast to "I wish it would rain" At first the Commitments album didn't seem very good, but a lot of the songs started to grow on me.

I just got your mail. You're right, you and the Russian Chick together makes me a little awkward. Though for some reason I'm always fascinated by how different relations of mine relate to each other. I like it when they like each other. Does that make any sense?

(I also feel a little weird being around you and G., not able to be quite at ease.)


I hope your program and rehersal go beautifully. And honest, CS faculty *adore* people who break problems into nice, neat little discrete functions. Honest.

My function-call to your return();

Through the twilight,
I can hear the humming
Of a melancholy tune.
For the memories that still linger,
I thank you Mr. Moon.
And, although I've never smiled,
Winter, summer, autumn too,
Now here's one tune to remind me
why I feel so blue...
Tubas in the Moonlight
Playing for me all night
Tell me what I want to hear...
Am I only dreamin'?
Am I only schemin?
Stars above me,
shining brightly...
Why can't she be
sitting here beside me?
Tubas in the moonlight
Will bring my loved one home

--Dave Gannett / Bonzo Dog Band , "Tubas in the Moonlight", on a mixtape I made for her. I made a lot of mixtapes for her, spent a lot of time and thought on the mixes as well as the covers. See the movie "High Fidelity" for more on how important mixtapes can be...

Re: your mail (5 Oct 1995)


don't think i'm not sometimes sitting in class or yom kippur services thinking of your teeth scraping my shoulder. when i have time for you you'll have it. until then, please be patient. when i have other things to take care of your temptings are a cruel tease.


If you're not keeping track, the last few e-mails were at the start of our Senior year.

This shoulder theme...a shared reference to a little lovebite that once happened, it gains in significance.

Re: Thursday (10 Oct 1995)

Not to press my meager supply of luck, but would you have the time for a W.Allen flick or some such post-dinner entertainment on Thursday? ("some such" to be defined exlusively by imagination and inclination--)

  My mouth and lips to your shoulder,
     then drawn deliberately and slowly to your neck,
       then up and across, to the side of your face,
        your earlobe drawn in, warmly and softly held between teeth
          like a secret,

my goodness, i don't think i can answer no to such an invitation... ;) r

(11 Oct 1995)

Aww, Rosetta...write me back sometime? Let me know not all my messages are being shattered into thousands of ones and zeros before they even get to you..

I'm feeling left out, left behind. I know the Thursday cancelation was just one of those things. I know life's way too hectic. I know we had some times before schedules got so bad that were really beautiful. I know I worry too much. I even know that I'm sort of a luxury item.

It's not so easy, you know,
being a luxury item
when you once had hopes
of becoming a staple.

[sorry. I thought of that 'verse' a few days ago and its been in my head ever since. Unfortunately, staple is the only word that would fit. Kind of like earlobe]

But I don't know if anything's going to stop this semester from being a repeat of last semester. That's what my fear has always been. From our conversations a month ago I was more optimistic, hoping for, for- I don't know, I guess I was just hoping.

It's so tough to hear from you, unless I happen to be talking to you directly. I've grown used to it, I guess, but not quite (obviously), and I don't know if its just a facet of your relationship with me, or with lots of other people as well. But you almost never hit the 'r'eply key, even when I was just hoping for a "Yeah I heard the pep band Tuesday. Pretty off key, but lively as hell" or a random "Hi."

And when I do see you, it's usually with someone else there, and I never know if their presence is usually a matter of choice, or convenience. I wonder just how far is it between uphill and down with all of that? I guess I wonder alot about you, and yours, and all I can do for now is wonder.

Is it because our time together slides its way so smoothly into seduction? If that's the case, part of it is because I find so few minutes and hours with you that I want to get to the level of communication that only touch provides in that amont of time. (Oh yeah, the "horny as a bedbug" and "Rosetta making my toes curl more than anyone else ever" bits enter into it too, but I'm not quite the sex maniac I make myself out to be. I'm capable of being around you and accomplishing the mundane neccesities of life, school work and quiet conversation and whatever. Honest. Like tonight, I was actually planning work, not trying to cram would've-been- Thursday into Wednesday, scouts honor.)

I said I was willing to wait, but it was the uncertainty that was killing me, and that's as true as it ever was.

I'm sorry- I wasn't expecting this to be so long. I didn't mean to be so melancholy. I would have preferred to call you, but I didn't want to bug you when you were homeworking...

Please let me know about this weekend? I just talked to Mama Mia, and remembered that Friday is the music department Parents' Concert. My moms NYC-bound pretty soon after the football game Saturday, though, so would then be a possibility? The idea of being able to spend hours with you, from dinner 'til bedtime, touching and talking, letting tomorrow take care of itself (and incidently, homework- or what on earth else are Sundays good for?) laughing with the knowledge of being two people capable of entertaining each other as only two young nubile hungry people-with-a- history can, well, that's really something, y'know? (With or without W. Allen flick.) So much better than the thoughts of seeing you sucked away by a twisting cloud of CS-15 and papers needing grading and starchy Carmichael dinner--

Talk to me.
Talk to me?
Talk to me...

my sound to your fury

PS a poem, this one person (whose name I knew 'cause she was in Wired magazine, doing some neat encryption-in-Mac-Graphics-Files stuff...) sent me this sonnet that, well, you'll see--

Summer Sonnet

I could compare you to a summer day -
No! Summer's beautiful, but full of doubt,
He smiles sweetly, but he'll never stay,
And Summer's cash is always running out.
He laughs with me, then he turns and burns,
He's cold for weeks, then he'll change his mind -
Fair? No, unfair! Unaware of my concerns,
Gorgeous? Sure, but stupid, random, blind.
Dear, when you say you'll stay, you always will,
And when you change, you always give a reason,
You're too fierce for time or death to kill!
How could I compare you to a season?
You will shine, as constant as a star,
When this poem is forgotten; most poems are.

--Romana Machado, 6/28/95

Well, I guess it was 'cause of:

here i am, i'm here
in my mind -- and yours, it seems.
don't hold me too dear,
many dreams
are unrealized.

life goes on in cambridge, massachusetts, usa, earth -- grass grows,
bananas rot, one runs out of tissues and cash. cats shed.

Thu Jun 10 22:36:23 1993

(I was cleaning out old Allegro files, having gotten a stern "5-meg" warning. ) I have no idea why your comment on summer cash should stick with me all this time, but it was the first thing I thought of when I read the poem.

I'm getting desperate again.

That's a kickbutt poem, a take off on Shakespeare's Summer Sonnet.

The Usual Post-Mortem Letter (14 Oct 1995)

Hey Rosetta...

I'm glad I called. It felt good to get that stuff out, and to hear some of what you're thinking and what your having to go through.

I'm sorry for sounding like I or anyone have any 'claim' to your time. They don't, I don't.

I forget things, like the way you're having to get through CompSci 15 without the benefit of a chummy relationship with Prof.Couch, and running smack into the reason I took as few math classes as possible...

But of course I miss you. I miss being stuck in around the edges, studying in the Campus Center, tucking you in right before bedtime. Little-ish things.

I guess I was kind of churned by the way Thursday worked out. I was looking to it as some kind of beautiful perfect reconciliation, and otherwise being my typical besotted self. And while it might've beautiful, nothing's perfect. The moons waning now, you know. Still, I really missed that Thursday. Especially when prospects for an evening of what Thursday could have been look so dim. (And as romantic as a crowded football game with a tuba wrapped around me is, it lacks that certain je ne sais quoi)

Hey- think about this- that was the exact same field we were lying on our backs on looking at stars so long ago, you and me and Eva.

"Can I get some hits? I need those hits! Hit me!"
        BUP-bummm BUP-bummmmm BAP!
    -James Brown and his horn section, "The Payback"

I'm still dying to know what you would say to me in a note of the same scope as the one I sent you.

Tell me you'll do this one thing: if you ever realize that something's changed, that even if you had as much free time as you wanted that you wouldn't want to spend more evenings with me, either because of something i am or because of something someone else has become to you, that you'll tell me. If you promise you'd tell me, not hope that I'd figure it out for myself, I can be calm and know that it's not true. I've never had feelings for anyone as long as I've had them for you; I've never known anyone who can touch me the way that you do. Not knowing if I've lost contact you for good is something that's always been on my mind.

(also, you're right, a very little e-mail will go a very long way in making me less stressy and whiney.)

I sometimes get the urge to write you the most erotic stuff, like rec.arts.erotica kind of stuff, but the good r.a.e. stuff, not the cheesy "9 inches plunging" kind of stuff.

I was showing my mom my homepage and the blender (mom always read the wrong things- it's strange watching your mom read a sex scene you've written, and having her suggest 'underclothes' would be a better word for 'underwear,' and her being absolutely right.) She really liked the fireball metaphor of life: Life is like an atomic fire ball candy: once you get past the stuff that hurts it's pretty sweet. I had forgotten about it.

Ok, ok- Don't stress. Life is beautiful, you are too.
Nothing'll happen this semester that you can't survive.
You're someone who knows to watch out for herself.
Sometimes I dream of your breasts and the curve of your back.
I still have a calendar for you.
Chocolate, chocolate, sex and chocolate.

That field reference is strange, some odd night freshman year we spent with her stepsister on the otherwise deserted football field..I was a little surprised I could beat her in a footrace. And we look at stars, with her head on my stomach. One of those times I might've forgotten without a record like this. (Now I'm generally better at keeping journals and things.)

that on poem (15 Oct 1995)

One poem I mentioned a while back:

The autumn leaves are falling like rain.
Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
And you, you are a thousand miles away,
There are always two cups at my table.
-Author Unknown, dated from the T'ang Dynasty

(15 Oct 1995)

your words touch me more than you know. i'll write soon.

On Wooden Swords and Oversized Shirts (22 Oct 1995)

I got to thinking on my way back from your place, thinking about the wooden sword. It's not just fear of looking silly on campus that keeps it there, you probably knew that but I didn't really realize that until tonight. It's a token, and I guess an important one for by subconscious. Even for the weeks that I can't be a part of your life, the sword is, even if it's looking kind of sad and forlorn. The same thing went for the Banana Republic T-shirt, even though you said it was pretty much too big to wear. (Which is why I like the way the big blue shirt made its way so smoothly into your wardrobe, a little chunk of your life.)

It's a bit stupid, and romantic, and stupidly romantic, but then again so am I, and I have the http: to prove it.

Besides, there's always the somewhat more utilitarian consideration that I'll get to see you at least once more when you finally insist I take the damn sword back.
Here's to the hope of those seven hours,
Kiss + Smirk = Kirk

PS my mom gave me a bag of fireball candies for halloween. Yum.

I had some goofy wooden swords, probably from "Medieval Times". R. borrowed one for an a cappella skit, and it got left in her room for a long time.

The "seven hours" references a misheard line of hers, where she thought we might be able to find the time to spend "several" hours together... I thought she said "seven".

Re: your mail (13 Nov 1995)

I have a just cleaned room, a fridge full of Sam Adams and an urge to rent and watch "The Commitments" Are you all booked before thanksgiving?

Guess that's a yes.

I know, you haven't got time for all this crap. The more I think about it the more I see how much your schedule must suck like armegeddon but still, I wish I could be higher up on your list of procrastination activities. Hell, I just wish I knew what the hell I should make of it all.

kirk, relax, i still think about you!
ask me about time closer to thanksgiving and i'll see what i can do.


For dramatic effect I was sort of quoting my original text as if she had e-mailed back.

Re: "all together now' (20 Nov 1995)

Do you want to get together later tonight or Monday night or Tuesday to think about the A Cappella's page and maybe then talk? I was kind of, I dunno, unsettled that you had forgotten that we had said there was stuff to talk about.

Talk soon?

I still listen and touch and kiss and feel as well as I ever did.
My window still hopes. My mind still wanders.
There's too much I'm not seeing.

i haven't forgotten!
i'm just not sure of, well, what you want out of us...


Senior year, I had a kind of basement single, with a window right at ground level. I set up a $5 radio shack doorbell, since there was a back entrance I could open up for visitors, a lot more easily than coming to the main door with its phone.

What I wanted out of "us"? Then? Everything, obviously...

Long rambling letter redux, part1 (22 Nov 1995)

Sorry. I wasn't originally planning to write another one of these, but maybe it's time. I had a lot of things I come to the surface when I thought I was going to be able to spend time, pizza, Sam Adams with you, and if I don't get some of them out they might start to burn in me over the break-- You said you wanted to write me back a longer letter before, maybe sometime during the holiday you can find the time to answer.

So my biggest worry in September, that this fall was going to fall like autumn junior year came to pass, a begining full of wonder and beauty ends up with no supporting middle, just a sad sort of end.

I didn't know why it happens this way, though I'm working on some of my infamous theories to figure it out--

You edit me out of your life without comment, without much of anything. You said you were too busy, which was probably true, your schedule was absolutely stupifying. But it felt like there was so much potential between us, built up like that giant spark generator at the Science Museum- I don't understand why it all just stopped, or how it could just slip away.

Those times seemed so beautiful, so absolutely good, and right. You act like they never were at all. I don't understand.

I feel like I was just wiped clean out of your life. The time you invited Zack to join you up in your room for studying- I don't know. I guess what stings is that you never found time like that for me, ever, even when your awful schedule got less all-consuming, even after all that happened at the end of the summer, even after walking with you, and talking about a concept of us, and you sounding like you saw as much potential and beauty as I did.

I asked you to tell me if it everything was over, and it probably is and you never did. It looks like you've found another. And you find time to visit him.

You said you would never let yourself have the same relationship twice, and I guess

[my doorbell just rang for no reason at all, got stuck because of the cold or something. fate has the potential to be kind of cruel, when I'm writing a letter like this and I think you might be downhill.]

and I guess you decided to stick to your guns.

I don't know. I don't know what happened. I don't know what failed to happen. I made a point of not trying to force my way into your life, not changing dining halls, not stopping by, not starting any foolish romantic games like flowers and notes, not trying to seduce you with words; I knew you can sometimes be protective of your time and space. I don't know if I could I have done something that would have brought me nearer to you. Could I have? Why were you so silent? Was there any question about how I felt? What happened this September, why did all visits stop?

Do I mean anything to you?

Nights like tonight kill me, just like that Thursday killed me.

I long to talk with you. I long to touch you. I long for your company.

Now it looks like I may never have any of that.

I know it's not fair for me to blame you for finding someone else. I know it doesn't even make sense for me to make sentences like that last one. But you have always been so silent, so deadly silent. Your silence let me have hope when I guess there wasn't any.

But now what I start to realize is I never meant as much to you as a hundred other people do in your life. Maybe it was always like this, but I'm really slow to admit to myself.

Why do I harp on Sam Adams so much? Yeesh. Though then it was a very hip beer.

Kind of a melancholy little note, part 1 of 2 I guess...

Long rambling letter redux part 2(22 Nov 1995)

Fall of our freshman year-

full of the confusion of ourselves and our connections to our pasts. An english class, and a question:"have you ever been in love?" Both of us sure that the other made the first move towards physical contact. Holding hands in secret at the science museum. Ears nibbled with thoughts of eros. Passion in the lounge of Carmichael. Holding hands in secret in your moms car. Other relationships hanging over your head, guilt that the outsider not from your past will be seen as interloper to the people you need most. A would-be sweet prince in a black hat- hats make people look sincere? Your mom saying hang on to this one, he's pretty smart. That incredible green sleep shirt, pulled against your breasts. Annoyance of roommates. You never wanting to stay over to sleep. Lighting and crew and herbal teas and an under the weather Rosetta. Silent conversations by laptop. Dinners together, and a pile of unfinished crosswords. A breakup, a reconciliation, more confusion. A blizzard, a phone call, the word "no". Another half reconciliation. A cold sore, a flood of mistrust, an ending. A chocolate orange, a tin robot.


Me finding Marnie. A summer in Cleveland. Borrowing friends accounts for e-mail, telnet connections that broke in minutes. Letters about the sounds by the sea, e-mail of tissues and cash running short. More letters. A word: "enough". A question, enough of that letter, or should the pining end? A long pause, like a long drawn-in breath, "yes". You finding Wally. Finding something, somethings, that you never have never found me, a relationship with elements I wouldn't understand, a willingness to be unique to each other that I never met with, a throwing away of a box of love tokens because you had love, the Real Thing, then and possibly forever, one that might weather the storms. A breakup, the return of toothbrushes. Electrons gather dust. Questioning of a sexuality. K., and S., and bottles thrown out to sea.

Fall of our Junior year

an invitation, pizza and beer. an acceptance. singles. a return of the silent conversation, the wonder of a big nest chair. What would have to happen for us to touch again? I'd have to be brave enough to reach out, you would have to brave enough to accept. I was. You were. *We* were. For a time. Walking through leaves 'neath October Skies. A question- would we be able to keep this kind of contact? You seemed touched at the question, answered yes. and then- distance. Schedule madness? Waiting in the hallway of Eaton, just to see you, frustration, confusion. A Russian chick, also unwilling to part with the person of her past, anxiety about him, about my feelings for you. Too anxious just to talk with you, willing to run to see you. You crossing Professors Row when the space got too tight.


Another summer. Seeing each other at the campus center, a group I wasn't part of, that you weren't happy in, you magnificant in summer tank tops and shorts, stunning. A movie, Woody Allen, the atheist, comic god. A new laptop, no silent conversation. A long walk to a bus, a questioning and loss of that good night kiss. Invitations, tv filling the heavy wet summer air with electric blue light. Spooning? Watching you sleep. Kahlua, ice cream. More invitations. Walks to Harvard Square. Time in your room. A reconnection, a kiss. Another. A suspicous parent. Some joy. Letters typed on office time, the description of a feeling that it was natural and no surprise, my delight at you breaking the silence. New singles. Mono. Moving in.

Fall of our Senior Year

No kissing for now, but touch, lots of it. Visits. The enacting of a position of touch found in a dream. Talk. Potential for more, and more- talk of making love, talk of being held. Lilac-scented skin cream. So much seeming beautiful, so very beautiful. Standing together in front of a mirror. A fall festival, sitting together and comfortable. The start of classes. Bad schedules, insane. Never seeing each other. My hope that we would. Moons going by, my continued hope. Fiction written, musicians, comments from you. A fear of the fall falling like the autumn before. Gerry, angry at so much, except for you. So many people willing to be so much for you, people who wore black hats with more sincerity than even me freshman year. The distance between uphill and downhill seeming very great. A movie, henry & june, I thought it was so important for us to see, you sitting on my white chair leaning back, allowing me to touch you. (soon after, the white chair, worn from its exertion, became a footrest) Exhanges of can tops, once secret, in front of the Russian Chick. A napkin, an alien now saying 'take me to your bed or lose me forever" A dinner with friends- Several (did she say Seven?) hours. Another caught remark, "haven't had a boyfriend for years" "tell me about it" you said, and I ached, wondering what I couldn't be. Never finding those several hours. Never making up a Thursday night cancelled by a rehersal. Concern, e-mail, one way, always e-mail. Loss. A brunch, a loss of words.

And now-

A dinner with a third. You finding someone else? One you mentioned as admired from a distance a long time ago? I don't know. A cancellation of Tuesday night to write a computer program. Finding you downhill more and more, but not to visit me- so rarely, it seems you would ever come to visit me, even during the times we both seemd to feel some of the same potential. That potential still felt here, but- not there? Questioning everything we ever were- real wonder. Wishing I knew why I could never get through to you- thinking there is something I can't provide for you, trying to find it. A memory of a rule: "never having the same relationship twice": wondering if we ever had that relationship at all.... Miles Davis cover of Round Midnight now on the CD, after two of Enigma. Starting a huge long, rambling, letter, then making it electron dust, then this. Remembering you saying you wish I wasn't so prose-ally gifted. Thinking that it really hasn't helped. I've lost you, maybe never had that part of you in the first place, but still feeling its loss acutely. And always wondering, what happened, and what didn't happen. Hoping against hope that these words will find a way into your head, and resonate. Hoping somehow I could be a part of your life again- hoping I could be *that* part of your life, hopng that this history we've shared meant as much to you as it does to me. Thinking that this would make an interesting piece for the fiction class if it weren't for all the incriminating details. Tough to make that stuff up.

Remembering you saying you wish you had the time to write me, to tell me what you were feelng, hoping you can get that time over the long weekend.

Longing for you so much, so much. Touch, conversation, warmth, your eyes, your lips, your thoughts, your feelings.


Good night, Beautiful.

A pretty complete chronolgy of the "story so far". I changed some details and used it for a Fiction class.

I had forgotten about the black hat I wore freshman year. Made me look even more like the main Nazi from Indiana Jones. There's a picture of me in that hat. It was the 90s, Fedoras etc weren't quite as reviled.

usual post-mortem ramble. (23 Dec 1995)

Luckily, the zipper of my coat broke on my way home, so I spent time fiddling with that, and didn't spend *too* much time racking my brain.

I thought it was kind of funny, and sad, how much you weigh on my mind, when we never were that much to begin with, you never acting as if you could find that 'ineffable something' in me. I always felt like I was more of a... passing fancy, I guess. And now, with the end of school fast approaching, I'm unlikely to ever even be that again. That hits me, maybe even more than all the other end-of-school landmarks.

Your touch, your kiss, your beauty, your conversation, even the way you would seem to find reasurrance in my scent, I'm going to spend a long time looking for their equals.

But I wish you and him well, and hope you find "love, the actual thing, now and, possibly, forever"

Is that unfair quoting old un-love letters back at someone?

Still, it hurt when you cut me off without a word why.
It hurts when I realize I may never be kissed by you again.
Hurts when we never found that ineffable something.

She says ''Maybe these emotions are
As near to love as love will ever be''
So I agree

Then the moon breaks
She takes the corner that's all she takes
She moves on

yours in ineffable somethings and passing fancies,


ps I just looked at the price on the back of my little notebook. Only $2.50 from Pier-one. Nyah.

pps I was going to end with my usual "write back?" but then I realized I wasn't even sure what I was hoping to hear. I'd still love to hear from you anyway, let me know if you think of something...

ppps ...maybe to wish me luck with the german chick?

pppps and don't you dare just write a one liner "good luck with the german chick"!!!

ppppps I'm being silly. Write whatever the hell you want.

pppppps I've missed you.

The German chick Veronika! (deep in the postscripts.) She came to visit it me over Near Years, 1995-1996, in NYC. (We went to the heart of Times Square for the ball drop.) That was strange. Though I had longed for her for some years, by the time she re-admits to feelings for me and comes to visit, I'm over her.

I'm quoting a Paul Simon song below, from Rhythm of the Saints, the "She moves on" paragraphs.