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7:07 p.m. - November 05, 2003
I've packed the materials away and placed them by the door, pledged today not to touch them past 1:00 and so far I've kept my word. An elusive quest for perfection, to surpass perfection - that is what drives me far more often than I'd like to admit. Nothing more than ego gratification covering up a deep fear that my presentations, my research, my delivery, aren't up to par and simply not good enough for the participants' time, money, or interest. I guess this means I don't think I'm good enough for anything or anyone, for that matter. How do these things begin? End?


I love my grandmother. She sent me a birthday card, mentioned she's happy I'm coming for Thanksgiving. Was thinking today about how much I dread her passing, how she's the only one in my (very small) family with whom I readily identify: Quiet, shy, bookish, dry sense of humor. Her fondness for chocolate chip cookies, lasagne, homemade bread. Her distaste for Californians, by which she means anybody who exhibits flashiness, is loud, drives fast, builds houses far too big for their needs, criminals, delinquents, despoilers of the environment. When I protest, she says I'm a native Washintonian at heart and if that's not enough, then all that tuition I paid for at the alma mater buys me the title. Then she'll throw back her head and laugh the same way I do when I'm being silly. My first book is dedicated to my parents, the second to my grandmother. She would be upset were I to recognize her first, I know, but I worry she may not be here when the second is published. But you know, she's sharp, bright, in reasonably good health and if I have any say in the matter, she'll remain for a long while to come.


Tonight began selecting the poems I'll read at The Event. One hour, 10 minutes, half an hour (or more) question - answer, discussion. I'm working on reading slowly, though wondering if reciting from memory would be better (any opinions?). Worrying about feeling too exposed and vulnerable - same reasons why I canceled the last one and went into hibernation after the poetry book was released - and I tell myself it's just a reading before strangers, no big deal. I've shared some with Twids and Lorster and value their opinions, but I'm still uncertain. I see this as a big step towards something, though unsure what.


I would very much like to take a walk with someone and talk about the guy from when I was a kid, and have my words dissipate in the cold. That's what I want tonight.


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