one could die of stupidity, I'd have croaked a thousand
times. Thankfully, moronism is not fatal, and I've
lived to tell about my mishaps. This is one of the
worst.As I graduated high school, I had managed to
alienate most of my friends. I borrowed $250 from
Malia to pay library fines, and then couldn't pay
her back, so felt very guilty about hanging out with
her; Nate and Ethan, my former bandmates, had recoiled
in terror from the sadly non-punk direction my lifestyle
was going; and most of my other pals weren't really
all that close anyways. I had started to be friends
with people I'd never really hung out with before,
but not that often. I was planning to move out ofmy
mother's house and start a new life.
then Jenny called.
was one of the most depressing people I'd ever known;
exuding a complete disaffected entropy, she slept
through her life like I slept through my Physics class.
And she called me and asked me to go to a memorial
for the 51st anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
The perfect goth date.
met by the shores of Greenlake, floating paper lanterns
with Japanese writing painted on the sides; tiny points
of light floated off into the distance. I wore a tweed
coat and felt uncomfortable. She asked if she could
hug me, and I assented. I become very uncomfortable
when I was touched, in those days. A finger on the
arm would send me into a flinching paroxysm. It was
pretty sad and contributed greatly to no dates for
hugged me and I twitched away inside my tweed coat.
It was pretty sad. We went and waited for her mother
to come and pick her up, and I walked to the bus stop
and home, quiet and seething in the cool summer evening.
I went over to her house. We made out in the basement
with her parents upstairs. A dog was locked in a room
off of hers, scratching and yelping. I had never kissed
anyone before and it was a fairly inauspicious way
to begin a fairly inauspicious career. My timidity
irked her; it was here that I first concieved a usage
for the word "inept." I would use it constantly for
the next two weeks.
was throwing a going-away party for Nate at my mother's
house while she was out of town on a business trip.
I cooked jambalaya. Jenny helped; she was there to
give Nate his shirt, and had to leave at seven, when
the party started. Seven came and went, and nobody
showed. I lost it, freaked, started calling people's
homes, panicky at every continually-ringing phone,
unanswered. Jenny stood, watched. I finally reached
Ethan, at home."Nate told everybody not to come..."
and I threw the phone across the room, against the
wall, shattering the plastic case, bending the antenna,
and ending the conversation before Ethan's "...until
had sadly miscalculated twice. Once by not knowing
when to begin; and once for stopping too early. I
broke down and cried, hunching down against the wall.
I left with Jenny. We spent the night in Paul Edlefsen's
bed, her breath against my neck. Everything I had
was ruined. I stayed awake all night, breathing in
sync with her, barely holding on. I moved out, into
my attic room, rigged up a sad little new life for
myself, a life which Jenny was now a part of. Long,
weird, tearful conversations over the phone, pissing
off my new roommates. It was a mess, and I didn't
know how much messier it would get.
a girl says "I don't want to hurt you," it's going
to happen. Don't get all macho and bravadoesque. You
will get hurt. I did not know that.
had our first date. I took her to a gallery opening
of "outsider art" We rode the ferry to Bremerton and
back, hypnotized by black water. It was all very nice
and I took her up to the third floor and we had very
got bad. She brought Max over and made out with him
on my bed. She called me up, late at night, and asked,
if she didn't get to stay with this one guy tonight,
could she stay with me? I loaned her my house key.
She dropped it through my mail slot at 3AM. When I
opened the door, she was out of sight. I didn't wait