K + R Carousel: Fall 1996 through Winter 1997

Fall and Winter 1996-1997

ring finger, right hand (9 Sep 1996)

Banged my hand, a little while later I noticed a small twinge on the last knuckle of my right ring finger, the finger I broke right before junior year. A long time ago; a little before we re-established contact for the first time.

Life throws us, marks us, and there's not much we can do to prevent that.

Is that beauty or tragedy? Or both? And why are the two so closely related?

What do you think?

        s           ,        e            k

You can just barely write with a pen when you break that finger. Broke it playing Capture the Flag after an Uncle's funeral with my younger cousins...guess my family hasn't quite worked out that whole mourning thing.

Re: Coca-Cola (21 Sep 1996)

Coca-Cola is now running a promotion and all the pulltabs on are shiney red instead of the usual tin-gray. Given my association with soda pulltabs, I keep thinking it's some odd sexual-attention-grabbing coloration, like a peacock's feathers.

sQ callbacks went well. This'll be the year that decides if the group has legs or if it was just Erica's pet project...

Join me in mulling over the world's problems through the steam of a hot mug of tea?

sorry i haven't written or called... it seems like i get the chance to log on infrequently -- when i have the time there always seem to be better things to do...

call me when you're up and we'll see what today holds.


Soda can pulltabs! Back in my teenagehood, they were an odd symbol of sexual desire...if you gave one to someone, and it had the little tab inside intact (not always easy to pull take of the tab without breaking it) it was a symbol of a certain willingness...

The previous "Long rambling letter redux part 2" mentions a different pulltab incident, where she purposefully left one behind in my room, hidden in plain site with the Russian Chick watching. (The Russian Chick and I weren't going together at that point, but still it seemed a little daring.)

"laundry" (25 Sep 1996)

"I once read a poem that started 'Oh, let there be nothing but laundry!'" he says to his roommate as they wait for their clothes to dry.

"Laundry taps into forces that are larger than you'd guess," he continues, "some weird mysticism, cycles of struggle and rebirth, childhood associations of warm clothes and maternal affection, cultural archetypes of single socks..."

He stops, and wonders what brought on this train of thought as his roommate looks on, visibly amused. He remembers: years ago doing laundry in a dorm basement his then beloved explained how it's not the dryer that eats socks, but the washer. People unwittingly abandon socks to to a soggy fate though carefully scrutinizng the dryer for any wayward strays. He's worked, struggled, to grow past that romance, but layers of emotional insulation are washed away by the smell of soap, the intimate feel of hot clothes still damp in the dryer.

Was it the power of laundry that made an odd household hint sing like the hymns of 1000 years, or her?

The poem is Love Calls Us to the Things of this World, except the line comes near the end, of the piece, not at the start. I ran into that poem on a practice test for the English AP.

(19 Oct 1996)

i'm appalled at the sheer volume.

At this point, I assembled the first html version of this archive, and shared it with "r".

Looking back... it's a very weird thing to do. Here in 2022 I'm still trying to work out what I've learned from it, how I've changed, a few ways I haven't.

"i'm appalled at the sheer volume." is a very correct response.

Re: g'morning (20 Oct 1996)

got email from erica, oxfam on the 31st, and i'm taking a few vacation days, so it'll be cool to hang out without feeling i need to go to bed and work the next day... :)

Would you want to take a daytrip sometime? I think I've managed to rack up a few personal days that i haven't used. I'm not sure where to go, but maybe something Autumn-in-New-Englandy?

i enjoyed the talk -- i know i work better with spoken words when having that kind of talk, tho' the silent chats were good, too.

Errm- I think I parsed that last sentence ok, but I'm not sure :->

I think not expressing what people're really thinking is one of the worst things for any kind of relationship. I think you see parts of that too, like in the car when I asked if you were getting too many puppy-dog vibes from me, and you said you didn't think so but weren't sure if it was me acting differently or your perception changing after having made clear what you weren't looking for right now. (and to think I was just now teasing you for that 'enjoyed the talk' sentence)

Still, I enjoy your physical presence a lot as well, it's- soothing? I guess that's the best word I can think of.

Though right now at *this* moment I'm about as physically happy as I'm going to be alone, sitting in my big nest chair, listening to the Proclaimers, and wearing this really big and really soft sweatshirt IDD gave me. I don't like wearing it during the day, it's a little cumbersome, but right now with no t-shirt underneath it's the most comfortable thing in the world, very soft and warm cotton. Plus my new Gap socks, it's a really good way to spend a Sunday morning, inside away from the cold rain...

Sorry about the double e-mail, I wanted to see if i could catch you with the first one before you went offline.

I think that for a while I should let you make the phone calls, which isn't always the easiest thing for me to wait for. But it seems it might be an important part of your space right now.

I like talking with you.


ps It's weird, this cd has a song "Come On Nature" but the way they say it it sounds just like "Come On Nietchze". That hits me as a tremendously funny idea for an Irish folk song...

ps (coffee bean musing) (20 Oct 1996)

Eating a chocolate covered coffee bean made me realize that atomic fireballs make much better 'metaphors for life', because with the coffee beans you end up with

"once you get past the stuff that's sweet, it's really dark and bitter and keeps you up at night."

and that's more cynical than I think life actually is.

Later, I turned this into an illustration on my then new blog:

Re: Forwarded mail.... (21 Oct 1996)

I reread this and hope that my words will touch you, and want you to also believe this: just like I don't think that touch is touch is touch, but rather it speaks of something more, I don't think my ability to touch you through writing ("you write too well") is coincidental... I think for whatever reason I have a better view of something that you're seeing only the shadow of now.

Do you believe this?

It's a strange day when it dawns on you that Truth & Beauty don't always go hand in hand.

Sometimes they can, though, just like an unknown double integral can resolve itself to something familiar and comfortable.

I've been thinking about Arthur and Me, and Kyle, and different ways of dealing with the world. You said Arthur is intellectual, that you're not attracted to people who aren't. I would guess people with Arthur's point of view see the world, think about the world, see that it's pretty messed up, and figure that the best way of not getting ensarled by it is to not play the games it sets up. People with my point of view see the world, see it's messed up, but realize it's much more complex and big then it might first seem, that there's room to play its games but to distance yourself from that, to follow some of the patterns but to question them, and to think. The danger with the first style is that it can be tough to establish a solid future on that. The danger with the second is you forget to protect your center, that too much of the outside world creeps in, you get some money and become republican or worse. Kyle is vaguely in between but off the line: art tries to create a world for itself, and does some things really well but ends up with its own set of problems.

Here's something I wrote. i don't know if I've ever shown it to you, if so sorry for bringing it twice.


"In the steam of hot cider you can find nature. You know?" she smiles at me over her blue mug, the smile's an invitation, playful and sly.

This is the woman I love, I think to myself. I must win her. Maybe I already have. Maybe I never will.

I reach across the table and take her hand from where it is resting on the mug. I kiss the back of her hand, then the inside of her slender wrist. She lets me. I linger, holding my lips to her pulse, feel the rhythm of the solar system against my lips.

She cups my cheek in her hand. her hand still radiates the heat of the cider.

"You love too much," she murmurs, "You think of love as a friend. Love could hit you up for money, talk about you behind your back, stand you up when you most need its company, and you would chalk it up to fate, to the weave of poor fortune. Never to the cruelties and indifference of love itself."

What can you do, when you are in love with a woman like that?


i don't think the woman is you, but she might be talking to me.


Re: what you write (27 Oct 1996)


Pitt was---mmm, draining. The show went well, and the crowd ate up my goof breakdown/solo in Skip To My Lu. The traveling was long, and the party afterwards wasn't so hot (some of the female Qs were uncomfortable 'cause too many too drunk Pitt Glee Club Members seemed to be looking for action--) There were a lot of little disasters-- trouble with Avis Car Rental, getting seperated and lost, an unfindable hotel, few hours of sleep, arriving barely an hour before the show, the scaryish lame party, Erica getting a speeding ticket on the way back... but none of it ruined the trip. It'll be interesting to see if it bonds the group or if we've seen to much of each other lately for our own good....

But the moon on the way home was *incredible*- huge and wonderfully orange, like a candy at arms reach that you could pluck out of the sky and eat, an orange coating on a piece of the most magnificent rich dark chocolate, ever--

I wanted to come stomping on your porch, but by the time I would've arrived the moon was higher, clear + beautiful but a little ordinary.

I'm reading a beautiful set of short stories "We Find Ourselves in Moontown" by Jay Gummerman. In one of them the main character is watching a rerun of "The Fugitive":

I turn the set back on and close my eyes. "I want to understand you," a woman is saying to The Fugitive. "You will in time," The Fugitive tells her. "May I use your car?"

Call? Could we see each other soon, besides across the gap between audience and entertainers?


"Pitt" was an sQ trip to Pittsburgh. My beloved Honda went 100 mph on rainslick Pennsylvania roads trying to keep up with the other car (we were running late.) Later I decided that if the other driver was adopted into an Native American tribe, his new name would be "Dances with Trucks".

I love that Fugitive quote.

Re: Concert (29 Oct 1996)

Concert's at 9. There's a party at Erica's afterwards--
would you want to go? I could give you a lift home, or not,
or whatever--

i was hoping there would be so i could socialize more and not have to be satisfied with just watching the show.


(29 Oct 1996)

"There's more too the body then we know."

She's kneeling over me, drawing her hands across my limbs, my torso.

"The mind just isn't big enough to hold all that we know. all that we feel. The body acts as a chemical library. People who do Shiatsu Massage know this, and use it."

I have no clothes on but here I am not naked.

"I want to reawaken that sense in you. I think an import part of the soul rests here--" she rests her hand on where my hipbone juts out, between my thigh and my belly "--right at the focus of the body."

It feels as if her hand, held closed right above me, is dropping fine, warm sand over me. She remains there, then moves her mouth over the skin. It is as if her warm breath and mouth are melting that sand, melting it and molding it as a cast of my hip.

My mind stretches back, I am receiving impressions that are half there and half not there-- it is as if the half-life of a memory of a dream has been extended tenfold, and I need never mourn my deam's passing again.

She stretches out over me, her body stretched over me, her hip pressed again mine, and I can feel her dream memory too.

Re: think of a title for me? (29 Oct 1996)

In the following exchanges I'm commenting on prose pieces R. had written and asked for feedback on, kind of workshopping them.

the first time i "met" you, years after the fact, i wondered that the attraction i felt did not rip me in two.


after weeks of analysis i still cannot determine why i want to wrap my fingers around yours and walk in the autumn dust. no calculations of your height or weight or eyeglass perscription reveals your soul to me. your birthdate cross referenced with mine divided by the phase of the moon on the day we met shows no predestination. we are not "star crossed."

Move the autumn dust and give the reader more of the numbers, or keep the dust there but add more to it to balance the equations.

all this does nothing for my irrational hormones.

does nothing to appease my irrational hormones (maybe)

they want you to love me, to feed me books and let me feed you mine. i want to watch two people on a small television screen kiss and be able to put my hand on yours because i know we are feeling the same joy.

The books are good. The hand is good too but not from a literary standpoint-- more details about the tv show?

i want to work with you, fight with you, cry at the cheezy parts of movies, argue the merit of a mathematical proof, plan a game, plan a

kirk, i don't think this is going where i want it to. i'm going to try again right now. if there's something in this that you like, will you tell me about it?

I'm giving you literary criticism- and from my Blenderish standpoint I like this a lot. From a personal standpoint I like it a lot as well. The idea of finding something steady and, well, normal in the sense of being viable and stable is important to me, of building something that doesn't crik-crack like ice in warm water when stress levels rise...

Re: edited (29 Oct 1996)

early this morning i got out of bed and thought of you. i pulled on a pair of drawstring pants and a sweatshirt, brushed my teeth and pulled on the baseball cap i wear to keep the hair out of my eyes. my sneakers felt comfortable and ready for anything

the air outside was dry as only october air is, evaporating the moisture from my mouth as i streched my legs on the front stairs and thought of you. i started off at a trot, trying to keep my breathing even and slow, setting an easy pace. the sun was warm, but not enough to keep off the chill.

feeling the rhythm start and settle i though of you and how it would feel to set our own pace.

i pushed myself to go faster, to strech every sinew as i tried not to think of you. i needed to make my body ache from the strain so it would not ache from thoughts. the memory of your scent mixed with the dust that drifted upwards from the dry leaves i trampled, stinging my eyes with emotion i could not control, crumbling into ash.

my legs could not go further but i pushed them to, thinking of you. i found myself pounding towards my home, finishing some unconcious lap, some circular movement which sent me to my door to collapse with trembling legs. i hurt from the strain, legs and arms and raw throat and lungs and heart, especially heart.

this morning i thought of you and could not stop running.


This evening I think of you and try to think of how to stop myself from running after, how to acknowledge that my heart and guts depend on you sometime wanting to run towards me, not away.

[I just reread that: I didn't mean to say that I can do more than hope the you in your story has something to do with me, but something about running is between us)

I remember being surprised that I could sprint faster than you (I had a miserable time of running the mile in middle school.) That line about finding a pace really struck me: it carmelized a thought I've been having about you being one of the very few people I've felt I could find a pace with on a lot of levels: emotionally, intellectually, physically, and in some strange but not unimportant ways, socially, and sometimes even goofily.

Tonight has been a good night for communication, I think. I'll be thinking about this at sQ.


Re: errf (1 Nov 1996)

I keep forgetting when you don't have something to say you don't :->

But it's good. I got sleep and a shower (with lots o' shampoo, my hair was pretty vertical this morning) and now I'm ready to deal with the world on somewhat more equal terms. My boxers are now on the *inside*.

Smile at me, babe.


:) :) :) :)
i hope you can function at work on so little sleep!

i'm always smiling, sometimes it just doesn't translate over email...


The line about boxes and hair have to do with my halloween costume. I dressed "wacky" but then had a placard proclaiming me to be a piece of modern art.

Don't quite remember all the details of the lack of sleep...

Re: actually (8 Nov 1996)

sunday before 3?

maybe we could see an early show of something, or just shop.

Yeah, we could do that.

Saw the Russian Chick tonight. Can't see her without thinking of the Paul Simon line "I met my old lover/on the street last night". Had a cigarette with her but it was ok because it was clove, and I (honest) don't really inhale. It's really unfortunate cigarettes are so nasty and do such smelly things to you and your clothes, because there is a social grace associated with them. And the old photographer found he couldn't imitate the shots he had taken of jazz greats in the 30s + 40s because the smoke isn't there to carress the light....

I only smoke when I see tRC, and that only because of having history with her. She's stil lovestruck with the guy from the Netherlands, who'll she's flying to see in 5 weeks, but she's worried she'll set up impossible to meet expectations about the reunion.

I've been thinking a lot lately. I realize that I wish I was more mature in certain situations. If I didn't believe that thinking about + understanding problems can usually lead to their being solved I would be a little depressed. I have trouble analyzing things, too willing to accept things at face value, I seek the center of attention too much, I worry too much about some people's opinions and not enough about others. But I'm getting better in a lot of ways, like learning to immediately relax when I feel myself getting irrationally angry at situations, like people driving like idiots: I'm learning that a momentary irritation is just that, that time will quickly wash the memory away, that very little is meant as a personal offence to me, so why get upset now?

I guess I'm going through an introspective time, hopefully I won't get lost in my own navel.

I'm realizing I'm probably not as interested in sex as I think I am, or even as much as you think I am. I do crave touch, and have a lot of the usual instincts, but I crave good touch. If I put up with so-so touch it's usually for the feelings (both kinds) of the person I'm with.

A nuzzle of yours makes me feel a lot better than more intense touch with someone else.

I remember once freshman year touching you, but not using my mouth, when finally you asked me to bring my mouth to your breast. Your reaction to that release after a long buildup was amazing, you're one of the most responsive lovers I've had. (Or, ummm, not had :-) But the difference is that you're responsive... I dunno, with grace I guess I could say. With you touch has elegance, an expression of its own.

I hope I'm not making you upset by reminiscing out loud to you about that. I guess I'm still a little dazed by your describing how little appeal sex had for you at this point in your life. Thinking of you without touch is like Jupiter without is moons: almost everything is still there, but something important is gone.

Isn't it odd that we have 9 planets? Not 1 or 2, or 1000s, but 9? In just a few places matter decided to gather and make Venus, Saturn.

Sorry, it's late... maybe I'm a little giddy from clove fumes

I've been thinking about making the main page of the Blender an article or a prose bit or a poem that would change weekly, try to make a dynamic part of the web, worth the regular click...

Anyway. call me sometime so we can play that what and wherefore of Sunday, or e-mail back with a suggestion--


(Paul Simon's The Late Great Johnny Ace is ending right now. That song has one of the most beautiful endings ever, good to end an email that's rambled to and fro to)

I think I was finally learning something, and it shows in this e-mail.

Re: your mail 27 Nov 1996)

It's mornings like this morning, with the sun glinting off the pristine snow; the morning very still, all the troubles of the world muffled under that white blanket; an invigorating chill teasing at my face that I have to think: what the HELL was I thinking by not taking that job offer in San Francisco???

Then I remember the earthquakes, and I feel a little better.

i'll move to san francisco with you in a few years.

Oh yeah, I had received a job offer to move to SF right before I graduated. That was 1996, at the start of the boom...

Her response is kind of odd, but touching.

Re: your mail (29 Nov 1996)


i could really use a good kirk hug. soon?


Re: hugs (2 Dec 1996)

I like the hugs. I especially like the full body hugs; many cultures buy into ideas about bodies having energy fields, and I can't help but think that hugging like that lets those fields mingle and play. I still have theories that your body and my body have something to say to each other, and a hug can be part of that conversation.


like, "talk to me, baby!"      ;)

story (17 Dec 1996)

"Do you know why there's friction?" he asks, shifting his balance off her to support himself on one elbow.


"Why there's friction" he repeats.

"To stop us from actually sliding *off* each other just then?"

He laughs, draws one hand across her stomach, wubbadas a breast. "When two objects touch, they blend. Atomically. The molecules mix, the friction comes in because the molecules don't want to be seperated." He lightly catches one of her nipples between two fingers, presses against the areola, "when two lovers touch, hold hands, any skin against skin, they're coming together, becoming a single thing..."

They draw together, kiss, breathing in each other's breath. She pushes his shoulders down, throws a leg across him, sits over him. "It's more than that, sweet darling," she says, swaying slightly-- "Heizenberg and the study of the quantum show us that the observer cannot help but change the observed, if only by a very little bit... when you gaze at me, the very act of gazing at me causes me to be altered--"

She leans over, lets her breasts brush over his chest. She takes his earlobe into her mouth, softly and warmly. "--and I love that" she whispers into his ear, presses his body into hers.


wow. sex is a good thing. :)

Re: your mail (20 Dec 1996)

Come shopping with me Saturday or Monday? Dylan's away 'til Christmas Day, we can make ourselves a giant meal with different types of pasta and garlic bread and maybe fresh salad with wine or a couple beers after...

I need to go to a toy store, a computer store, and maybe somewhere where i can get some of those chocolate oranges to give on Wednesday-



Re: your mail (21 Dec 1996)

Touching you is like a poem.

(That's a too easy, overly bon-mot statement until you really think about it, and you think the listener thinks about it: I'm pretty bad at writing poet, but I did learn that poetry doesn't happen when you try to set its agenda; it needs to follow its own course. And when it does, it can be absolutely breathtaking. So:

        Touching you is like a poem.)

it was good. like warm cats curled together.

Re: your mail (22 Dec 1996)

Hmmmm-- diamond seems to be down. And I couldn't get to allegro for most of the day...

I read "Diamond Age" today. It's been too long since I've sat and devoured a book from start to finish like that. It was good, though a little too lesson-book-like at points (there's a word I'm look for there) and some parts seemed a little confused at time. The tie-in w/ the teacher being the skater from "Snow Crash" (at least that's what I think it was) was cute.

I bought a carton of egg nog-- maybe a trip to get some Kahlua is in order? Plus I found a small jar of diced garlic I already bought, that plus some french or italian bread from still warm from the grocery store down the way:

    A book of Stephenson's underneath the Bough,
    A cart of egg nog, a loaf of garlic bread, and Thou
    After some shopping in the Wilderness--
    A tilt of head, a nuance of touch, and *Yow!*

[bad poet? me?]

how clever! (he was a mathematician as well as a poet, you know...)
yes, let's do garlic bread soon, but garlic out of a jar might not cut it... i'm going over to joan's this afternoon, maybe we could do some shopping tomorrow? are you working tomorrow? i just can't remember...

I have 3 days to take off, and it looks like my manager is convinced that the Jan 1 deadline isn't quite as tight as it once was. So I have to take those days soon, or lose them, so monday's good as any other time--

ps, i think i need some time to digest friday night, please don't over analyze my silence?

Me? Do a thing like that?

I'm kidding. But I'm much better at not stressing about stuff like that than I used to be. It'd be nice to hear what you come up with though, and I want to be around if you think talking would aid your digestion...
(hmmm, that didn't come out quite right) I've learned not to look too much into things. You seem to be more comfortable with taking things at face value, as they happen, and that's not such a bad way to be. All in all: I'm happier when we're in contact than when we're not.

not over-analytically,

I have strong memories of Christmas Day 1996 as being really amazing. After the morning's festivities, we talked on the phone or by e-mail and she invited me over, and told me I kick ass for being able to make it on that notice. (At first I thought she had seen my awesome parking job on her crowded cambridge street when I set off a car alarm.)

(10 Jan 1997)

i've been thinking of you too much.

Like I said before: I'm in no hurry to get back on the merry-go-round of Rosetta and Kirk, but often it's good just being in the amusment park.

My mom gave me half my Birthday gift early, a shirt and a *great* book, "The Illustrated Woody Allen Reader" It has all these wonderful snippets, from his stories and his movies and his monologues, divided by topic. The Romance section has a lot of blender-bait, I think.

It's very hard to get your head and heart to work together
in life. In my case, they're not even friendly.
            -Crimes and Misdemeanors

Anyway, I'll see you tomorrow babe--


tonight (18 Jan 1997)

let me know?

missing your touch, too,

The subject line "tonight" was such a good invitation.

Re: your mail (26 Jan 1997)

That was kind of nice,
and the ocean is kind of wet.



silly kirk...    :)

Re: your mail (30 Jan 1997)

strep test: negative!

Felt a little iffy this morning but better by afternoon.

I'll try not to over-sQ tonight

Hope you're making a stunningly graceful recovery from yesterday's work oddness...

listening to Peter Gabriel's Kiss That Frog, and all i can think of is "What happened to the Golden Ball?"

have i told you lately how much i love you?

Did she have strep? Or did I have a sore throat? I don't recall.

"What happened to the Golden Ball" is a reference to "Still Life with Woodpecker" by Tom Robbins...a book everyone should read.

(8 Feb 1997)

warm kisses and warm blankets.
warm kirk.

thank you for today. i felt so warm and coddled...    :)

Based on some old file timestamps I think this was a day we spent watching the movie "What Happened Was" at my apartment... growing up and away from on-campus life.

(10 Feb 1997)

sQ got official recognition from the Comitte for Student Life, which is good news though I'm not surehow it relates to "Senate Approval"...

Other news is I think the Blender got mentioned in the LA Times as a good Valentine's Day Site.

Driving home I thougt of three questions springing from our conversation over Wine and Rolos--
"*Do* I know what I'm getting myself into?", "Does she?", and "Does it matter?"

The answers I came up with were Probably, Probably Not, and Maybe, but I'm not telling in what order. Right now I'm feeling content, and that's enough.

"How do you make love stay? Take love out onto a distant hilltop on a cloudless light. When love falls asleep, replace love's glasses with glow in the dark stars spelling "This Is It". As Love starts to stir, swap the original glasses back. Love will stay."

(Ok, I'm no Tom Robbins, and yes, I forgot to bring the book back. My quarter. Maybe I'll try before sQ tomorrow--)


I do like that attempt to do Tom Robbins in the penultimate paragraph.

(12 Feb 1997)

don't tire yourself -- everything will turn out fine in the end.

love you, babe.

Everything did turn out find in the end, though not in the way I would have hoped when I read this. I kind of wish I had ended things (the carousel, this archive) on this but I didn't.

(23 Feb 1997)

Driving home I think I pinpointed one of the bigger differnces between you and I... it's how each of our hormones tell us to react to the following (hypothetical (of course (not))) situation:

you find someone. The touch is some of the best ever. So is the conversation, and the space where there's no conversation. You enjoy each other's way of thinking very much, and both people are good at being there when the other person needs them. There's a lot of comfort to be found in each other's company. In short, really good best friends. but there's something missing, some spark or other, some random je ne sais what, irritating in its absence.

And the difference is what our hormones tell us to do. Mine want to take the best touch and all that other stuff, and see if that can't be the flint rock for that spark. But you (I guess I'm guessing, describing how things look from my nest chair here) get WanderLust, your hormones putting aside what you and I are when it's more convenient because of the chance that you'll find that now and forever spark as soon as you're thrown into that next relationship.

I guess we're both looking for something, the same thing, but just have different feelings about where that's likely to be found. And that can be so very tough, and I don't always understand why our touch has to be on such a hit and miss basis.

It's not a terrible status quo, because we both get each other's friendship in the meantime, and that means an awful lot, I think to both of us. (and I'm gambling a tiny bit that we can acknowledge this hormone tension/difference without risking what we do have; compared to some of the other gambles I've been taking, it's pretty minor)

I just reread Jake + Lydia. There's supposedly a litmus test, come back to your stuff after a year and see if you still like it. I still think it's good, though there are a lot of rough edges that I can see now that I couldn't before.

Call me, tonight if you read this then, otherwise we'll probably talk during work sometime.

peacefully yours

Jake and Lydia was a story I wrote in college.

(14 Mar 1997)

is this the merry go round? no, not quite;
i think our friendship is right now strong
enough to keep us off that;
still there are cycles.

i don't begrudge anyone any part of you,
but how can i not miss your kiss?

(or the other question: how do you feel about mine?
why for you does desire shift and shimmer,
condense and glimmer?)

see you tonight. let's barbecue an ewok for luck.

rhythmically yours

This was the night of the Return of the Jedi rerelease. hence the ewok reference.

That was an odd set of times. She was falling for the guy she ended up married to, so I got to sit with her other friend in the crowded cinema, and they stood together in the back.

(17 Mar 1997)

heh-- turned on Cybil, it's one I saw at your house, where Cybil sings "RESPECT" at Tina's highschool reunion. Wow, can she do the pony...

Anyway, it's dinners like that that remind me why I think talking is so important; I didn't realize how two dimensional my feelings about touch looked from your point of view. I learned before that when I drop lines on you like "I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve" it upsets things; I guess I drifted to saying I miss your touch when I meant I miss what the touch represents.

I guess I get anxious because of how you stress not to expect too much even when we are touching and when we are what that touch can mean. There's a potential between us I think we both feel; and that's what I don't want to lose in a flurry of miscommunication and wanderlust. A somday potential to be comforting and enveloping without being suffocating, to have everything each person needs without needing each person to need it. (Read it again, I think the grammar works out :-> ) Anyways, I'm not convinced I'm going to find that someday-potential with anyone as well as I find it in you and me & you+me. That's what a lot of it comes down to. It's not meant to pressure, not meant to expect, but there is a little shmear of hope. I know it might be a weird winding road to get there; I even know we may never arrive there. Getting there is half the fun, being friends first is a big part of that; (is it the friends part that could set us apart?)

Tell me what you're thinking; what you're saying when you say Kirk and Rosetta; what bothers you, what captivates you...

Come bowl with me,

hey babe (22 Mar 1997)

hey babe

sorry i let the day end in such a way. sometime i might learn to stop asking questions, sometime you might be more willing to answer?

I guess I'm wondering about what keeps our friendship together despite this tension; I haven't learned to stop hoping that whatever's the basis for that can be the start of a love right up there with coughdrops, almost.

I rented "Annie Hall" and "Sex, Lies, and Videotape". For whatever reason they're not due back til Wednesday. Would either of them interest you Monday or Wednesday? (like we were saying, sometimes the best bet for someone to watch a video with is each other-- we can make garlic bread, or have hummus and pita, or pizza with eggplant and Pete's Wicked Ale)

    The lady of the porcelain department
    Smiles at the world through a set of false teeth.
    She is business-like and keeps a pencil in her hair

    But behind her sharpened eyes take flight
    The summer evenings in the park
    And heated nights in second story dance halls.

    Man's life is powerless and brief and dark
    It is not possible for me to make her happy.
            --T.S. Eliot


And here's where I ended it last time, and where I'll end it now.

That's a good poem. I found it very relevant, except maybe for the false teeth line.

R and I are still close friends, and actually live a few blocks from each other. She is my official tax preparer and has helped with manage my family trust.