Monday, August 30

on the phone he
says he loves her
but the words are meaning
less than a slight whisper of air,
the subdued

grey of winter
brown of autumn
and i hate
you ruined my life of spring.

she listens with a deaf
ear and makes vibrations with
tongue and cheek.

she doesn't understand that
concept that mystifies most,
anyway she asks the interpretor
what? what? no under
stand up, his chair
falls backwards
with a strangled scream

before she finally gets it
this thing that makes life unbear
able to survive all day and night,
despite the dark and cold and

hunger that she fights tooth and
nail, like the way she's strung across that
cross that bridge when we come to it,

Saturday, August 28

I got a little bit of reason for everything I've done...

I might just serenade the moonlight.


Aka Ask the Couch.

Our particular assessment of the foreskin is, whack it off at birth. It's more trouble than it's worth and all the research says circumcised men have a greater and more varied sex life.
Uh, I thought someone finally figured out what a load of shit that was? I guess I'm reading the wrong research. (Not to mention my own personal research being completely off-target. I think I need better regulations on my experiments. Yeah, that's it.)

Wednesday, August 25

what i'm writing while i'm procrastinating

In Kansas it was thundering loud and long, the kind of thunder that shakes houses and wakes the sleeping. In Brazil the moon was dim, shaded by translucent clouds. Perfect weather in both places.
Eben listened to the phone ring in between cracks of thunder. It was the middle of the night—two hours later in Brazil—and he expected to wait a couple of rings. It took five rings, but the voice on the other end was surprisingly fresh. “Hello.”
“Hello, Mr. Wiggin.” Eben smiled. “How are you?”
“Is this urgent?”
Silence. One, two, three, wait. Eben counted seconds off in his head. Peter gave in first. “What can I do for you?”
“I have a proposition.”
Peter did not sound particularly interested as he replied, “Yes?”
“You aren’t the smartest little boy in the world. Or the meanest. We never got to play games, did we, Peter?”
This disconcerted Peter a little, which was obvious from the change in his breathing. “That’s classified information, stranger.”
Short laugh, like nothing was funny. “Russian military movement is also classified, but we both know that. Your phone number is classified. Your identity was, too, for awhile, but I knew.”
“I suspect you’re bluffing.”
“Mr. Wiggin, I’m surprised it took you so long to figure it out. The nets, I mean. I’ve been doing it since I was eight. Longer than you and better, because no one ever knew my identity.”
“And who’s nominated for the hegemony?”
Eben laughed, for real this time, because Peter had let his arrogance get in the way. “Games, Peter. A test of wit. Forty-two games, to be exact, you pick the first one.”
“Forty-two is an even number.”
“I have no doubt there will be a winner.”
Lightning struck then, half a block away, severing the phone line that connected Eben to the would-be Hegemon. Didn’t matter. They’d talk face to face in two days.

The flight was long and boring. Eben had brought reading material, but his eyes could see and memorize while his mind concentrated on other things—except there was nothing to think about. Except Peter. What to expect? Eben had seen vids, newscasts, interviews, stock photos. But he imagined Peter smaller in person, his words softer and less rehearsed. He imagined Peter in jeans instead of pressed suit-pants.
Even imagining was getting boring. Eben folded his legs under himself and looked out the window. The sky was clear and below him he saw cities, villages, crops, pastures pass by. They were high enough up that even going 500 miles an hour things going by did so slowly.
He pulled out his desk and read, again, Peter Wiggin’s personal corrospondance over the last few days. Except there was something new—a request for information about one Eben Kaplan, resident of 611 River Drive in Kansas City, Kansas. In Peter’s signature telegraphic-style, he finished the memo with, “Dangerous?”
Eben smiled. He had rattled Peter. It was a lot easier than he expected.

Upon arrival in Brazil, Eben switched to Portuguese mode. It was one language of many he spoke; he couldn’t count them all on two hands. Sometimes there wasn’t much to do for a genius except learn new languages. He had several Ph.D.s in foreign languages as well as interpretor certificates in three of them.
His accent was flawless, and as he checked into the hotel the receptionist asked him if he was in the process of moving. In his own signature style, he said nothing. Her chatter soon ceased and she handed him the appropriate forms in terse silence.
Eben dropped some things off in his room, but kept his desk tucked under his arm, no matter how unwieldy it was. This was probably not the time to get things stolen. It was mid-afternoon, right about fiesta hour—though it didn’t exist in actuality anywhere in the world. Too many things to get done, too many people to see, to spend an afternoon napping and eating.
Which reminded Eben that he was hungry.
At a small family-owned (wow, they still exist? he thought) café, he ordered foods he didn’t recognize and asked a local if they knew were Peter Wiggin was living. “Pensa América.”
Eben didn’t show his surprise. There wasn’t much of it to show, anyway. Apparently only people in-the-know knew that Peter wasn’t living in Greensboro anymore—hadn’t been for at least a year—but Eben knew just about everything, short of if Peter wore boxers or briefs.
As he was eating, he logged on to his desk and called up a triple-passworded file. Peter Wiggin’s location. He realized with an internal grin how one-tracked he’d been lately, how stalkerish. “Dangerous?” Peter had asked, and if Eben hadn’t known himself, he would’ve answered with an affirmative. He wasn’t obsessing, he told himself. Just keeping track of things. If Peter couldn’t handle hegemony, it was better to never let him have it. That’s all Eben was doing.

A short walk later and he was at Peter’s house. It was quaint, with no visible security system, and there certainly weren’t any in Peter’s bank statement. Eben figured Peter had done the same thing he would’ve: install it himself. Fool-proof.
Eben pulled out a device he had put together and turned it on. It redirected the security system’s attention to nonexistent movement in the vicinity for thirty seconds—plenty of time for Eben to stroll up to the front door and walk in, unnoticed.
Peter noticed. Something Eben didn’t expect: Peter, in boxers and white ankle socks, splayed on the couch and staring at the ceiling. Until the door opened.
Well, that answers the boxers or briefs question, Eben thought, just as Peter thought, Oh, look, an assassin. He did not get up.
Eben took a seat in the recliner across from the couch. Peter sighed. After five minutes: “Kill me or something already, eh?”
Eben curled his legs under him. It was clear Peter didn’t have any urge to attack him physically, so why be so tense? “I never said anything about killing. Just games.”
“Lesser things have killed a man.”
Peter looked at him, something he hadn’t done since he first walked in the door. “I expected you to look differently.”
Eben, quick: “I expected you to wear briefs, if anything.”
“I didn’t,” Peter said, “expect you to be contemplating my underwear.”
“Non-assassins contemplate all things, Mr. Wiggin.”
“And seem to have very extensive access to very protected areas, how did you manage that?”
“Computers are infallible at whatever you program them to do—they are only machines. What many people forget these days is that they can be reprogrammed, if you know how.”
“No one can reprogram security systems so complex—“
“You may not be able to reprogram that kind of code.”
“If you were smarter than me they would have taken you to Battle School, regardless of how ‘mean’ you may be.”
“Yes, well, that’s why I refer to Battle School as BS.”
Peter, despite his depression, couldn’t help laughing. “I was too concerned about not getting in to think of how ridiculous it was.”
“And jealous?”
“You can’t know things I don’t send through the nets. Stop fishing.”
“Fishing is only useless when you don’t catch anything.”
Peter was quiet for a long time after that. I don’t feel anything, he reminded himself. I am the person that Valentine and Ender always believed I was: powerful, terrible, a killer. Like the buggers.
Of course, a small voice said, the buggers turned out to not be like that at all.
“About the games,” he said.
Eben smiled.

Peter chose Risk. “World Domination,” he read on the box, “I need the practice.”
Eben watched his hands as he set it up. “I assumed we’d be playing on our desks.”
“With you, the master programmer? I don’t think so.”
Eben smiled for the second time in his life. “I have honor, Mr. Wiggin.”
“What is honor to you and I and what is honor to other people are two very different concepts. I’m sure you knew that.”
It was midnight, August 24, and Peter was in only boxers again. Despite his career in sitting around, playing with his desk, he had a surprisingly fit body. Not ripped, but not flabby. The hint of the abdominal six flexed under browned skin as he reached across the board to place pieces. Eben did not watch. He was sizing up the game, coming up with hundreds of strategies in less than hundreds of seconds.
Eben crossed his legs. He knew it was the most childish thing about him, preferring that position, but he liked people to underestimate him. Peter moved first. They played in silence for awhile, neither one gaining or losing much.
And so the game went in silence. Every night, midnight until one of them was too tired to stay awake any longer (usually Peter—he spent the days writing and working his way even more surely into the public conscience, while Eben slept off the night before), every night until the game was finished nearly 14 nights later. Eben won.
Peter stared at the board for a long, long time. It had been going badly for a couple nights, looking worse and worse for his troops as they shrunk and shrunk—but to lose? He had never expected it could actually happen. He finally let his eyes rise to meet Eben’s. “Congratulations,” he said.
Eben nodded. “One down.”
“I hope the others go faster,” Peter started,
“Or you’ll be hegemon before we’re done,” Eben finished.

Monday, August 23

Can't sleep.

Hate it.

Blogger tells me this is the 101st entry, maybe I should celebrate? (Ain't nothing until you get to 500-something.)

I'm feeling like a drunk tonight, as in maybe I should become one. So many calories though. When they invent Vodka One, I'm there. (Just kidding. I don't think I like vodka. I don't even know.)

Went to IHOP, ate a lot of pancakes, purged until it hurt. I'm surprised John didn't say anything, because isn't it always obvious?

I really wish I could sleep.

Friday, August 20

Playing with the layout. It's distracting, I know, so I'll try something else later. (if Libby's still around: recognize it? ;) Recycling is good, I hear.)

I'm a member of the community [anti_feminism on lj] you're talking about, and while I whole-heartedly agree/accept gender equality, I'm against radical feminists- the women who lead the movement. That's the reason I'm a part of the community, and while you as an individual probably don't have a hidden agenda- a lot of leading feminists do.
Because it's usually a really good idea to a) assume that people have hidden agendas that you know nothing about and b) be against an entire group because of a few weirdos.

If I thought that way, I would be anti-feminist, anti-Christian, anti-religion, anti-man, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-straight, anti-white, anti-black, anti-.....oh, that list will never end.

I wonder if they see the irony? They are saying that feminism is baseless while giving a base to it by discriminating against women who seek equality.

(Alas, a Blog pointed me to the anti-feminist craziness.)

And another nice tidbit from anti_feminism:

I'm a chicka, but I think women just need to realize men with always be the dominant sex and stop complaining.

Wednesday, August 18

So I'll go ahead and plug another site. I was looking at my own and going, "wt[Sam Hill] is all this [stuff] doing [sitting] around on my [...] site?!!" (Hey, someone told me I cuss too much. Blame it on Toby.) Anyway I'm about to clean up some links that I don't visit anymore and all that. So before I do it, go visit Gay Penguin for America because I laugh everytime he updates, which isn't often enough for me to really care that much, but it's still worthwhile.

Gay Penguin walks away from loud, scary people, as well as any natural predator, such as the terrorist Leopard Seal, which eats penguins alive because it "hates freedom".

Those damn leopard seals and their freedom-hating!

(I will not comment on the punctuational error. Seriously. I will control myself. I will I will I will.)

Two posts in five minutes. I think I deserve another gold star!

i am special

This gold star is clearly proof of my psuedo-intelligence.

I don't want to tell you where it came from because then everyone will want one, but I'll tell you anyway.

See Keith. See Keith say smart things. Learn much. Kill Bush. Wax on, wax off.

Tuesday, August 17

He catches me touching myself in the shower. He laughs and says, "Glad to have you back." He joins me and we make love like we haven't in weeks (which we haven't) and afterwards I am shaking too hard to stand so he holds me and even though the water is warm and he is warm I am cold to the bone, which isn't too far to go. He presses his cheek in my hair and says he loves me more than once.

Monday, August 16

Women (and men who act like them) have this habit of, when things are going pretty good between all parties involved, saying something really shitty and BAM. There it is.

No, this isn't only about who you think it is. Depending on who you are, it isn't about who you think it is.

It's probably all just me. But really, this is one of those things like: how stupid can the general public really be? Don't call an anorectic fat; don't brag about how much weight you've lost (especially if it's of questionable nature as well); don't talk about your great new diet and how much weight you're about to lose. Just don't even go there.

Maybe it's just because the closest friends of mine are happy being whatever shape they are (like I'm in a proper mindset to label it) and eat whatever the hell they want and can then say without being a hypocrite, Eat! Don't worry about it! You're perfect! No one cares!

In the real world people care and I'm not as sheltered as I should be. So as long as the first ad I see is a weight-loss one, I'll be in the competition. As long as people who 'care' are talking about how small their clothes are, mine will be smaller and as long as you are telling me how much goddamned weight you've lost, I'll lose more. Not so hard to understand, is it? Anorectics are a bitchy bunch. All the estrogen.

Still 30 pounds to go.

Sitting in a chair with my feet on the desk, striped socks normally halfway to my knees but pooled at my ankle after a day of sleeping. When I hold my leg like this he stares at the curve of knee bones. When I stand up the muscles in my calf flex and change under light skin and he is watching. When I run my leg along my inner thigh he pretends like he isn't. Boxers are black and leave red marks below my bellybutton, elastic too tight. Want to fix that?

This is some of the stupidest shit I've ever heard.

Please, woo me with romance novels. I will be incredibly impressed with your cheesy dialogue choices and windswept golden hair. Not to mention sex that is unrealistic and scarily clean.

I've read Palahniuk's (what was that weird word they used? oh, yeah) entire oeuvre. I have also skimmed romance novels with a raised eyebrow. I'll tell you a secret: weird-ass Fertility Hollis seduction is much more likely to work on me than a Harlequin.

Call me and say, "Fuck love. Say something to get me off." I will laugh at you. But for entertainment's sake, I might do it anyway. (We both know it's easy enough.)

Call me and say, "If I'm ever going to do it, this just seems like a good time to kill myself."

Call me and say, "You're not obsese. You're not a whale, but you're too fat for me."

Call me and say, "I called because I wanted to get you off. Tell me what you want me to do. Make me do something terrible."

"Shit," she says. "That's the one I knew you'd pick all along."

Sunday, August 15

i hate you i hate you i hate you i hate you i hate you

Friday, August 13

It's day three -- three up, three down, but I expected to be down five at least. That's the unpredictability of the human body for you. (Oh, who am I kidding? Totally predictable. Dehydrated and that bit. The body is a machine and acts accordingly; it does what it is programmed to do when it is programmed to do it.)

Chugging water and tomorrow it'll be another two gone.

Already that flat stomach where it almost feels hard to breathe because there's not enough room to inhale. Admittedly that is just my delusions and has nothing to do with my ability to breathe or the imagined flatness of my stomach, but if wishes were horses...

Am I still disoriented?

We're going out tonight so he can kick my ass in pool. I can ask him to help me which gives him an excuse to touch my ass, him watching me slide long fingers up and down the stick and licking my lips in psuedo-concentration. His body is a machine, too.

Thursday, August 12

disjointed thoughts

I. This kid is so much like me it's kind of weird. I called him a kid, even though the person I am during this post is younger than him.

(What did I just say?)

II. I think my boyfriend has tapes of us doing things. You know. "Things." This bothers me a lot less than it should, so blame yaoi-loving hentai girls.

III. These are not the normal kind of disjointed thoughts. These are the disoriented thoughts of a crazed person on day two of no food. Capiche?

IV. One two three four I would kill for some pie right now.

V. (Edit) Blogger apparently doesn't like my html link skills. Funny, that's how they've been doing it for years, but Blogger wants to go and change the rules. Fine then. Be that way.

P.S. If you guys were any good at references, which you aren't, you would know that I spelled Altairian wrong.

So this has been an absolutely wonderful morning.

Note sarcasm.

I get up. It's fairly imperative that I go get horse food this morning. It's not that they will starve to death or anything, but it needs to happen. My horse is cranky because I haven't grained her in a few days; boarders are starting to complain; etc, etc. I'm dressed, hardcore in black jeans and green Chuck Taylors, and walking out the door late (late, you see, because I had to get there and back before a certain time). Just like a horror movie, what I see stops me dead in my tracks.

Fucking flat tire.


That is not fucking normal to have to fill up your tires every three days and then they go flat anyway!

When Toby gets back from work I am taking money from my bank account and getting four new tires, leaving me with exactly $3.38 to my name. It'll buy me a gallon of gas and enough left over for a McChicken, if I was still eating.

Wednesday, August 11

I weighed myself for the first time in a long time.

I know it's dumb, but I did it anyway.

Thursday, August 5

why i love kale

Sailors G a m e: Part of me still believes that emotional attachments are equal to weakness.
hazeltwinkle24: hmmmm where does that come from
Sailors G a m e: That comes from the part of my life-story where everyone I loved died and I was left with nothing but debilitating grief.
Sailors G a m e: But they always skip that part in the slanderous biographies.
hazeltwinkle24: so you like control in life?
Sailors G a m e: Control is essential in my life.
Sailors G a m e: If I were not a conquerer I would have been killed long ago.
Sailors G a m e: There is one person in this world I have come to trust (which Is kind of strange, considering at one point both of us believed I was trying to kill him). He has a ridiculous amount of money, but his power comes from his compassion.
Sailors G a m e: People love him and serve him because he loved and served them first.
hazeltwinkle24: how sweet to hear
Sailors G a m e: He's also the only person I know who doesn't abuse the power he has been given. He might not even know he has it.
hazeltwinkle24: and that to me is the reason he has such respect
hazeltwinkle24: something money can't buy
Sailors G a m e: Yes.
Sailors G a m e: He is my opposite, I suppose. Next to me, he looks all the better, and next to him, I look all the worse. Maybe by ourselves we would just be two men, one nicer than the other?
hazeltwinkle24: sounds like you wish you were more like him in ways
Sailors G a m e: Everyone wishes they were more like him.
Sailors G a m e: He's happy. Who doesn't want that?
hazeltwinkle24: very true
Sailors G a m e: There are those in life who bring up every emotion you didn't know you had. Jealousy, fear, weakness, compassion...but most of all it's love. And you hate that you love them, because you wish you were them (or maybe you imagine that you are so much like them that it is narcisstic to love them). Zeke is that man. Jesus was one of those men.

(Maybe I should've titled this post 'why i love zeke,' but I really don't all that much.)

Wednesday, August 4

what i'm reading since i'm not writing

Once you were rodeo, you were always rodeo. You got injured and kept riding. You got injured more and kept riding. Tex knew men who rode in constant pain, even with the high-dollar pain medication they were given. And if it got too bad for you to ride anymore (was there such a thing?) then you started your own rodeo grounds, taught lessons, bred horses, trained, something. You didn’t just say goodbye to the saddles and ponies and cows and move to the city and turn into some mini-van driving suburbanite.

By 1969, a study reported in The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf showed that 80% of high school girls felt themselves to be overweight. In another survey, done by Glamour magazine in 1984, 45% of the underweight women polled thought they were too fat. The numbers are always changing, but not positively: over fifty percent of the ten-to-thirteen year olds surveyed felt they were fat. A third of those were on diets—in elementary school....Not many people realize the physical effects of anorexia nervosa. 20% of anorectics will die from the disease. If women are 52% of the population, and 7% of those have an eating disorder, that amounts to aporximately 109 thousand women dying; society’s “collateral damage.”


"If you were to want to do something that you don’t want other people to see, here is the place.”
Avi blinked. “Sir,” he said, “I’m not sure what you’re implying, but I don’t think I like it.”
Juan laughed. It was a strange sound to hear coming from this serious man. “You know, I was in love once, too.”
Avi forced a laugh and shook his head. “I knew I wouldn’t like what you were implying.”
Juan dropped into a thoughtful silence, and they continued walking. The trail begin it’s circle to meet back up with the start. “Avi, I hope you remember that we aren’t enemies. Because if what your friend said is right—“
“All due respect, he’s never wrong.”
“—if your friend is right, we might be in for some trouble. All of us. And that means that the two of us will need to know where both our allies and our nemeses are.”
“I’ll remember,” he said. And, snidely, “I’ll remember about the woods, too.”
Yeah, right.


“Hey, dollface, wake up.” A foot nudged his ribs sharply. “Come on, you’re a wimp. You ain’t hurt.”
Tyler was awake, but he couldn’t seem to move. I’m paralyzed, he thought groggily. The food nudged him hard enough to be considered a kick and Tyler yelped. “You aren’t paralyzed, stupid.”
Tyler opened his eyes and saw the whisper of a silhouette.
“Fuckin idiot, get up. Get up!”
Tyler was kicked swiftly again, but he didn’t see anybody. “Ok! Ok!” He got up, his eyes following the glimmer around the room. Jesus, hallucinations.
The voice laughed suddenly; a rough, barking laugh that was more a façade than anything. “You can’t even see me. That bitch been chasing you around all this time and you don’t even know it.” A glacial feeling was spreading over Tyler’s ribcage where he’d been kicked; he began to shiver slightly. “Anyway,” the voice continued, “you better be glad I saved your ass, otherwise you’d be just a little glimmer now too.”
The glimmer’s face came into focus enough for Tyler to see the smirk it held. He. This glimmer was male, with a strong jawline and short tousled hair. Tyler felt exposed the way it—he—seemed to read his thoughts.
“I guess since you’ve got shit for brains I better be sticking around to make sure that bitch don’t come back with bigger guns next time. So let’s get aquainted. You’re Tyler, I’m Ryan, blah blah blah, I’d shake your hand but you’re being a pussy and I don’t want to make you cry or anything.”Tyler thought, dazedly, that he must be in shock. Maybe he suffered a concussion. Maybe he’d die right here, at the hands of this—what? Glimmer? Is that the scientific term for it? Tyler asked himself. His head ached something horrible, and all he wanted to do was drift away, even if it meant surviving the falling dream again. It was better than this confusion, it was better than hallucinations, at least it could be recognized as a dream, it was better than standing here swaying with dizziness, it was better—better—


I’m ashamed of the person I was, and I often wonder if, three years from now, I’ll be ashamed of the person I was in February of 2003. Will I look back on myself starving and always saying no to Falcon and wish to bury that part of myself away to never be found? Is this the kind of thing I’ll hide from people later? The person I am bears no resemblance to the person I was in high-school. I don’t even look the same anymore. Maybe the girls at the high-school reunion would look at me and not remember that they gave me their virginity (or I took it from them, depending on how angry you want to be at me for it).


“You’ve got to be an idiot, hanging around here,” Zeke hissed.
Kale whispered, “No one recognizes me. They’ve all forgotten.”
“I haven’t.”
“Kill me then.” His eyes seemed too big for his face, doe eyes, but it wasn’t fear that made them that way. His eyelashes were fluttery and blonde, giving him away as a fake brunette. “Or are you bit…?”
Zeke laughed. “You’d be bit.” He shoved him against the brick wall, hard, then stepped back. “Except you aren’t the only one hiding from old legacies. You tell anyone who I am, I’ll tell who you are; they won’t be as merciful as I would be.”
Kale smiled and raised his voice so the onlookers could here. “Sorry about the misunderstanding,” he said, offering his hand. “Name’s Kegan Aaronson.”


After checking the entire house for burglars and ghosts, he stood in the entranceway and stripped off his outerwear that never did keep him warm. He got smaller and smaller as each layer came off, and the pile on the floor got taller and taller until he was just a skinny punky-looking kid standing over a lump of coats and sweaters. The blue had advanced from only his fingertips to halfway up his fingers. He moved each of his limbs to find all of them tingling and numb.
He’d already done the house check and the numb check, so now it was time for the fat check. His wrists looked the same as they always did (sharp bone on the outside reaching for the tendons jutting out in his hand); he felt his collarbones and they were still there, all right, but not any more than usual, either. He pressed on his chest and found only the unyielding sternum and ribs (he didn’t believe it, though, because when he watched Pirates of the Caribbean he looked on jealously as Johnny Depp’s skin sunk in between his chest bones, and he looked nothing like that). He lifted his shirt to see a stomach, distended from the binging, but it still didn’t manage to go much farther outwards than his hipbones. He ran his fingers over the instrument of his ribs, counting in his head, and was relieved to find they were all there—none had disappeared under fat in the last few hours since he last felt them.


April 19: the final day to back out of the Walk. It came and went with the country collectively holding its breath for their beloved sons and boyfriends. Neither James nor Damien mentioned the Walk or the date. They saw each other that day, and had a rare moment alone—under the willow tree in James’ back yard, they sat against the trunk and kissed. James put his hands in Damien’s hair and said for the first time, “I love you.”
Damien smiled. “I love you too,” he said.
“I promise, I promise I’ll come home to you. I’ll come home and you can have anything you want. We can get a house in Montana just like you’ve always wanted, we can be together and it won’t matter.”
Damien swallowed thickly.
“What, D? What is it?”
“There won’t be anyone to come home to,” he said.
James blinked. “Are you…leaving me?”
Blue eyes hit the ground uncomfortably. “I—I’m in it, too,” he said. “Prime.”
“What? What the fuck did you do?” “I took the test,” he said, “and I passed.”
“Jesus, Damien! Why would you do that?”
“To be with you.”
“There’s only one winner, D! There’s only one winner! One of us is going to die!”
“At least I’ll die with you,” Damien whispered.
“No! You can’t kill yourself for the sake of romance.”
“I just did.”
“You can still back out, go use the phone right now and call—“
“It’s 1:30. You have to call by noon.”
“It’s only an hour, D, they’ll understand.”
Damien shook his head. “No, they won’t. And I won’t anyway.”
“D! Please!”
“Together we can walk down everyone else. And then when it’s just the two of us, then I’ll just sit down and rest—and you can kiss me—and then you’ll win. And have everything that you want so badly.”
“Damien,” James moaned. It was a rough, primal sound of despair.

Sunday, August 1

I'm not sure what idiot decided I was mature enough to handle ventures such as Wal-Mart, because every time I prove them wrong.

It was going to be a quick trip. The necessities: milk, bread, toothbrush, sugar cubes, and a couple 12-packs of diet cherry coke (that should last me about a week). I'm calm and collected walking in. I see fruit. Ok, I say to myself, I could probably enjoy some bananas with my Rice Krispies in the morning. So, like the responsible adult I am, I pick out some bananas. Toby looks over my shoulder. "Those are a little green," he says, and picks out a different bunch. Ok, I say to myself, I can deal with being corrected by a guy who probably has eaten fruit three times in his life.

I check out apple prices. I wonder if I could get some rotten apples, you know the ones they have in a back room somewhere, really cheap. I'm only feeding them to my horses, after all. I skip over them because why would I spend $2.49 for a pound of apples when I can get 50 pounds of grain for $7.99? Horses like grain better anyway.

Everything's good and under control so far.

We pass by the condom/tampon aisle. I giggle over the boxes labeled "magnum" of both products. Toby rolls his eyes and says, "You've never used a condom in your life." Neither have you, I say, and he rolls his eyes again in a classic "I might be wrong but I'm still right" gesture.

Coke time. I panic, as usual, because I can't find my variety at first. (They always, always, always hide the Diet Cherry Coke and there's only ever two or three boxes of it anyway. Apparently Diet Vanilla is much more popular.) During my panic I'm thinking, I am so not ready to drink regular but I can't go without my Cherry! I sign, Shit fuck shit, and then I find it. False alarm; crisis averted.

I then spend ten minutes in the coffee aisle because Toby wants Yuban, and I don't know what the hell that means and he has wondered off to develop some pictures. Up and down, scanning rows and rows of shiny coffee cans, but no Yuban. What is wrong with Folgers, anyway? It's the best part of waking up. It's an American institution. When he comes back I say, No Yuban. He rolls his eyes and grabs Maxwell House.

All the way over to the school supplies, I am trying to get him to tell me what is so bad about Folgers. I tell him it's the best part of waking up, it's an American institution, it's the inspiration for terrible Pep Club diddies all over the country, it now comes in plastic containers with screw-top lids--that, my friends, is progress! He is not talking, probably too busy counting down the seconds until his next smoke. Or maybe just counting to ten and breathing deep to keep from killing me.

I don't buy a notebook, because I wanted one with some fun stuff on it (it is back to school time, after all, and there should be cartoon notebooks everywhere) but they are all out. I haven't written in a long time anyway.

Another five minutes looking through the toothbrush choices. There is quite a wide array. I usually prefer to let someone else buy my toothbrush so I don't have to make a decision, but I was there and so were the toothbrushes. After much deliberation, similar to that of a hung jury on a celebrity's rape trial where half of them are fans and half aren't, I choose. Yu-Gi-Oh. I probably just picked it so I could go "Yu-Gi-Oh! Yu-Gi-Oh! YU-GI-OH!" a lot. Try it. It's really fun.

I also bought three boxes of sugar cubes, a gallon of skim milk, and a new shirt. On the way home I drive, he shifts, at stoplights he bites my ear. I try my best to frown and be pouty (he only rolled his eyes at me five million times in an hour), but his breath is warm and tickles my sunburned skin.

the vacation low-down:

good ball 66% of the time. got repeatedly cruised by a player's brother, jeremy from road rules (mtv lies about the "what makes him tick: women" bullshit), and toby (surprise surprise)...not to mention 100 teams of 16U/14U softball girls. denver weather in summer is awesome. i never wanted to leave. tourist attractions sucked. the rockies killed the dodgers in one of the most unlikely games since the royals had that one-game winning streak last season. my favorite softball player didn't do shit at bat, but made some absolutely amazing plays in center, short, and second (utility player, anyone?). sunburned legs. two new shot glasses.

oh, did i forget to mention the 1.8 million dollars?