2002-09-30 - 1:28 a.m.

1. i’ve grown a little sick of making first impressions with people all the time, out here in college-land. so i just ate pasta salad and napped on kaiser’s shoulder and hoped my silence wasn’t taken the wrong way.

2. i think i know what fred means when he says he talks about missing tall buildings. skylines are made to be missed, these days.

3. maybe fountains like being bubbled?

4. oh! then nick ruined my minor chess-winning streak with an accidental checkmate. so yes, it’s true, i can only absorb the chess-winning power of the earth when i’m in illinois.

5. jacob gave me cuttings from some of his plants and that felt verynice because i don’t know him very well. right now they’re sitting in my old Yoli soda bottle alongside some wilty-looking cuttings that sandy gave me.

6. let’s see … i saw Spirited Away the next morning, with sandy. there were all these little kids in the audience, and i imagine them growing older and having small memories of “this one old movie with little flying paper things that stick to your clothes.” so one day they’ll think of it again, hunt down its name on the internet, and then rewatch it in order to experience it again. it’s that kind of movie.

7. in the open air trash of Milwaukee, i picked up an anton chekhov collection. in Chicago, we found a pile of fancy cards that all had super romantic messages in them about 10 year anniversaries and the like.

8. the Amtrak was sold out tonight, so i ended up sitting around the greyhound bus station. the girl in front of me in line for food ordered a “Chicago Dog” and i thought to myself “that’s fucking brilliant, to serve Chicago-style hot dogs at a bus station.” it is slightly less genius to actually order one.

9. the four hour bus ride was filled with david sedaris and worrying that maybe my fish died. i thought it would be odd if my plants were to die from my two-day absence, or maybe find my roommate floating dead at the top of our dorm.

reading the name "sedaris" is like clicking a mental link that sends me to andrew and dan, who i think strangely often on for people i'll probably never meet. in my head, they are Luku and Dirtnerdluv anyhow, the way Usama is sort of Redox to me even though i have met him before diaryland. he is a gallant fellow whom i'd like to visit strange cities with (to make them familiar).

we stopped by little towns on the way back to urbana. at one of them, i stepped out to get an iced tea from a vending machine a little ways away, and it was like i left this tiny protective bubble surrounding the bus. there was a fresh dark expanse in between the bus station and the little well-lit vending machine, and i had to step in and out of their little circles of light. i wondered what i would do if the bus were to just abandon me as my iced tea fell out of the machine. i couldn’t remember what they ended up doing when the bus abandoned one of the kids on The Wonder Years. i think he hitchhiked, or something.

i read about sedaris’ hitchhiking adventures, not to mention his greyhound bus adventures (and everything else). they all struck me as very sad. i laughed out loud, sometimes, but it was all still very sad. i got a wee bit melancholy after he wrote the lady working at the apple packing plant who said “you’d be surprised, the years have a way of adding up” and he wrote “i was sure they did, but couldn’t they add up to something more than this?”

i started thinking “what the fuck am i doing, going to college?” because it really is just as aimless as going around refinishing furniture or polishing jade, a lot of the time.

10. i reopened my eyes and was surprised at how much darker it was that way.

11. i guess the best material object i got this weekend is a polaroid picture of jacob’s neighbors. we were getting in the car when we spotted this little blonde girl in a pink dress picking on her even litter sister, also blonde and in a pink dress (and a cape made out of a blanket). she was prodding her with this gigantic stick. It looked very disturbing. the littler girl ran off crying (with her cape flying in the wind) and so her big sister started stick-fighting with her other pink-dressed sister (the Jan to her Marcia in terms of size).

it was JUST LIKE watching Sarumon fight with Gandalf, i swear.

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