Hi. Just, you know, hello okay? There is no way to start talking. It’s been so long really. Since we’ve really talked, anyway, if we’ve sort of communicated in the middle. It feels like you and I are completely different people. We are, huh? My life is an entirely different book – and a different genre – from the guy that you knew. The impression you have of me now is regrettable, but whatever, you still know me well enough to know the difference. It feels different. You’re changing too – well yeah, everybody is – and it’s kind of sad to think about missing out on it.
As I write this, I’m lying next to Kim in our bed. She’s softly snoring, dreaming of Tim Burton landscapes and figures. I imagine. I have the monitor turned off so as not to bother her. Slowly and precariously typing each keystroke on a keyboard tilted sideways across my pillow. My neighbors are listening to Radiohead – “Motion Picture Soundtrack” plays soft and muffled through the wall – the blowing of the fan by the window is adding some rather nice distortion, and making the hairs on the cat’s back dance. There are nine LED’s emitting points of red, green, yellow and orange light in the murky blackness. The only other source of light reflecting from streetlamps, off of a windshield, and onto my ceiling. The neighbor’s dog isn’t barking yet. It’s 4:50am
I figure if you can picture me where I am, you’ll have it easier remembering me.
I’m sorry I didn’t respond again for so long. It’s hard with something like this because whatever you write is probably going to be based more on emotion than anything, and when you’re worried or defensive about something you’re not going to say absolutely all that you really mean or have to say. I said something very stupid to you at a sushi bar, and I’m sorry. Not “you’re a freak,” I don’t think that was so bad, because you know the tone I meant to say it in. But your reaction to that put me on the defensive, I got angry, and said, “freak out about it” the second time. I did mean to offend you that time.
The reason I did finally decide to write back again is because of a smell when I was trying to sleep. I didn’t know what it was and I couldn’t sleep for the next hour and I didn’t know why. I got up, went outside, had a cigarette, and tried again. I still had this strange feeling or sensation over me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I thought about it, and it dawned on me that I was smelling construction paper. Kim had bought some and was cutting it into strips earlier. And when I realized what it was it made sense that this made me think of you in your dorm room.
If you need it, grab a break about here. This will only get much longer.
Okay so, chapter two or something.
I remember when I met you. Before that even, the AIM conversations. You were in Ontario, and I was getting antsy waiting to meet you. You were sort of enigmatic at first, but you let me know a few choice things, and I remember thinking that we would probably wind up buying a boat together and living in it on Tuesdays. I sent you Sarah Slean and you sent me back something in Japanese that I pretended to like but didn’t really understand. When I saw your profile on OK Cupid I knew you would be different.
I remember getting ready to go see you and my dad asking me where I was going. “Zoë’s,” I said, because I didn’t want to have a conversation about this new girl from the Internet and all that. I was nervous anyway – I changed my shirt, took a shower, and changed my shirt again. It was a long bus ride. I rode the same train every day to work, and got on the B-Line every night to see Zoë or go to the Hollywood, so that was pretty okay. As soon as I passed McDonald street though I was basically in panic mode. I worried about my hair; that’s the one thing I ever worry about in regards to appearance. I used to have very long hair, and I was teased for it a lot, so I will probably always be a little self-conscious about my hair.
Anyhow, when I finally arrived at the bus loop I just sort of stood there for a while in a daze. I was completely lost at this moment. I decided on walking with the nearest sidewalk in the general direction of the most brightly lit buildings. You had told me to cut across the field, but people busy worrying about their hair don’t remember directions very well. I wound up taking a longer route before I got kind of lucky and saw a Subway logo. You had told me to meet you at the SUB, and I had no fucking idea what that was so I assumed it was weird lingo for the Subway on campus. But I wasn’t sure, and by now I was terrified, so I just sat outside writing in my journal and smoking a lot of cigarettes hoping you would make yourself seen in some way. And then I saw you through the windows, standing near a counter on the far side of the room. I didn’t even notice the cat ears, I just knew that had to be you, so I butted out my smoke and walked over with a nervous hello.
For a while I just followed you around, soaking you up and thinking of a dozen witty fragments before each sentence I would let out. I mean, I was honestly afraid of you at first. I watched you play some DDR, and for some reason really liked that. I’d never seen DDR before, so it was an interesting introduction to Kitty. I’m not really sure what we did then, but eventually we were on route for your dorm room. You were hopping across the crosswalks and I asked you why. I kept asking you things, “why do you do this particular thing in this way?” And you kept answering with things that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but made you – as you skipped and bounded along ahead of me – into something very beautiful.
I remember being in your dorm room for a while trying to reason you into playing Truth or Dare, because part of me still thought I had to see your tits as I didn’t know what else to do with a girl from the Internet. Soon though, we left your room and headed back for the SUB. The walks to and from Totem were really the highlights of my night in a way – I was certainly more comfortable looking at the ground than making eye contact. I think the thing we’re best at is walking together and looking at the ground. I’m not comfortable in silence with a lot of people.
Back at the SUB, outside, we were talking about random crap and walking in circles around benches. I don’t know who or what was leading the conversation – I noticed the skylights in the courtyard there and we talked about how many episodes there were of Buffy involving similar skylights (three) – but it didn’t matter. You said you liked my bag, so I gave it to you, and for some reason walked off to hide behind one of those skylights. When I looked up, you were gone. “Great, she’s stolen my fucking bag.” I really didn’t know if you were coming back, I figured I probably said something stupid and that would be that. It felt like an hour before we were sitting at a table pretending to represent some cause. I pitched my ridiculous speech to a couple of people and by the time we were done there it was too late for me to get home, so we went back to your dorm.
At the time I didn’t know that you didn’t normally let people into your room, let alone to spend the night. I didn’t think it was a big deal at all. I was past trying to get laid by now, so we wound up just falling asleep together. After the kind of shit I had been going through, that was one hell of a cuddle, and looking back on it now I have no idea how it worked out that way.
I guess this is chapter three, then.
From that start we’ve had ups and downs. It’s all kind of foggy though. There was some confusion for a while concerning whether I was your boyfriend or not. I can’t explain or even remember most of that. The romantic and sexual moments that happened, didn’t happen, almost happened, and could have happened. It doesn’t matter now of course, but it was all very important. Between those moments, we had movies and Safeways, Granville a bunch of times, random bus folk, and more Granville I guess. Nothing we did meant anything, but it was all very important. I still wondered if I was your boyfriend yet. And then you went to Idaho for a minute and when you got back I was in love with somebody else.
I guess things haven’t been the same since. We still saw each other, with and without Kim, and we still had the same kind of fun. There was Staples and McDonalds, some Granville, Pizza and Zim. Slightly less memorable, a lot less frequent. I don’t know what or why. I think it’s stupid that dynamics between people can change for reasons that nobody is aware of – I mean it’s just not fair.
Relationships change because you force or let them, of course, but sometimes you’re powerless anyhow. There was that one day that ended with me calling Kim, then you, and then Kim again in tears. Aside from that, it was the best day I’ve ever spent with you, interlaced with sadness and introspective speeches, it was all in all worth the effort of showing up. For the fudge alone, for real. When you were crying on the street, I didn’t know what to do. I said, “Can I hug you?” and you shouted, “Yes!” So I did, and so we stayed until security made us leave. I think I finally understood you for a moment.
I miss you. The reason we’re not seeing each other is something that amounts to a misunderstanding, so fuck it. It’s not got anything to do with Kim, either. When you say I’m whipped, we’ll just have to disagree, because I would never categorize my relationship with Kim as a “chore.” I do work at it, but it’s the sort of way that you work at playing a video game more than cleaning the bathroom. She does a lot for me, I do what I can for her, we share a life, and it’s really nice. I still have plenty of time for other people, if you want.
I refuse to be forgotten and I still want to get joint custody of a goose. I love you, I respect you, and I want to see you soon. I’ve added you on my new Journal and I’ll be waiting for your response to this letter.