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3:17 p.m. - May 30, 2003
Telephone queue, take a number and risk not getting served
On the telephone too often today:

1) Barbara-the-Editor caught me unawares given our scheduled discussions take place Thursday afternoons rather than Friday mornings when I am less cautious answering the telephone. Had I less an eye on the future and less capable of seeing long-term, Iíd whine When will this be over? though I know the only reply: When Book 6 is completed. And that isnít scheduled until 2006 or 2007. I am not fond of thinking this far ahead when it involves admitting that I am leashed and manacled, an elaborate drawback to my entrenched habit of forecasting and planning my future. The span between now and then looms like a nightmarish figure and without a doubt becomes heavier daily.

I do not know how to tell her that I donít want to finish the project. Unfortunately there exist realities called contracts and obligations and what I really want opposed to what I think I want when Iíve lost sight of what I want.

2) Carolyn from the agency, inquiring Do you work for us anymore? Have you joined the enemy? as if I would betray my principles. What Carolyn doesnít realize is that my principles are self-focused and so if the Other Agency pays more, then hell ya, Iíll work for them Ė and do, often. The San Francisco agency isnít where the heart is, simply a convenient place to rest my feet. Told Carolyn Iím taking some time to catch up on important things (sleep, staring out the window, walking a circuit around the interior and exterior of my house) and no worries, Iím fine. Penny-saving comes in handy.

3) Rob called from London, making this twice in a week. Urging me to visit sometime during the summer, take advantage of the company-paid-for flat, maybe stay for a week. Heís posted there for the next year and a half so why rush? The fool said heís worried about me, somethingís bothering him. What heís feeling is the intractable push from me. Sigh. I should be a better friend, listen to his worries about life. I wonder if the root of my apathy is jealousy; Iím jealous that his gay discovery is going along swimmingly. Reminds me that mineís rocky because Ė well, because of me. Itís on my conscience to tell him but not yet, though I wonder if he already knows. A few things heís said makes me wonder.

All in all, I need to grow up.

4) My brother called to inform me some chica read from my book of poetry a few nights ago and when my brother flashed his license to confirm blood relationship/last-name-sharing [editorís note: there are only 7 of us in this country, though there are some with a very similar name in Pennsylvania], she became excited. In the dirty way, as well, and he called to thank me for getting him laid.

It is an odd feeling though I shouldnít register surprise or discomfort; Iíve come across the poetry book in two stores though the book was released so long ago. I know there are people out there who have handled, own, or owned my book but this recognition isnít tangible. Itís foreign and makes me feel . . . weird. Of all things. I think I should feel proud or self-satisfied but itís neither of these qualities. Random words: shame, expectations, pleasure, wide-open.

Remember a few months ago when I backed out of the poetry reading? I feel partly ready to do something like that again; reading my poetry, I mean, not backing out of a commitment. Bad things do not happen when I allow people to know me, though nobody knows me wholly.

It is difficult and tiring to reach out and push away simultaneously. I figure I might as well re-try the reaching out bit this week. Iíve been down this week and no more! No more!

 

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