9:45 a.m. - February 19, 2005
We parted only after she extracted my personal email address (I've heard from others you have a tertiary system: Never respond to emails sent to this address; periodically respond to those sent to a second; a guaranteed response to those sent to the third. Write down this address here) and hugged again (Jason, you call this a hug? Try again!). One of my most favorite people I enjoy being around because she willingly - and unknowingly - violates all the little rules and protocols with which I keep my distance from people, always ready to tut-tut and say I am acting too American when I try to pull away or maintain that distance.
What I like most is that there is no veneer: What you see is what you get. If more people were like that, I'd feel infinitely more comfortable, but that also entails displacing my own. There is a certain luxury and safety in bluntness, isn't there? The need for guesswork is somewhat abated, none of the fakey-fakey social cues to interpret rightly or wrongly, no room for my mind to assume the worst of everything.
It's been a week of people and conversation, a good week.