Uptown Rantz

Don't Wanna Be No Uptown Fool

What Was Your Chuck Berry Moment?

Cheney lives in the type of place where you’d always expect there to be left over Chinese food in the fridge and lots of Diet Pepsi. There’s not. I opened the refrigerator to see a carton of eggs, a packet of tortilla shells, Brita water filter, three green apples and assorted jars of almost empty condiments with that crusty stuff around the lids. I put the 12-pack of Coors bottles on the bottom shelf, grabbed two and walked into the living area of her studio.

“Ever had a Chuck Berry moment?” I asked, handing Cheney one of the bottles.

“I met Chuck Berry once, you know, when I was interning at Nylon Magazine,” Cheney bragged and took the gum from her mouth, sticking it to the side of the bottle. “I showed up to work and he was waiting to meet with one of the photographers about a shoot. He was by himself. That was my Chuck Berry moment.”

I sat down on Cheney’s unmade bed – the only furniture in her studio. No frame, just a box spring and a mattress. “That’s not what I meant. And how can you have a desk but no chair for it?”

“I had a chair for it but it gave me f’ing writer’s block, so I threw it away. What’s a Chuck Berry moment then?” She tilted her head back to take a beer swig and maintained eye contact with me, waiting for an answer with her legs dangling from her desk, swinging back and forth.

I reclined on her bed, which smelled like perfume, holding the beer on my chest. “Keith Richards described the moment he saw Chuck Berry on television for the first time as his life going from black-and-white to Technicolor.  He knew from that point on what he was going to do with his life. I wish I had that one striking moment of vocational clarity.”

I stared at the ceiling and began peeling the label from the bottle, searching my memory bank for a Chuck Berry moment. I had nothing.

“Jesus…that would be nice,” Cheney sighed, stared at the floor and played with the crucifix pendant hanging from her neck – no doubt searching her memory bank for a Chuck Berry moment. She had nothing.

“My Sinful Thoughts”


CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW

This was one of the first e-mails we exchanged through our personal, non-work e-mail accounts, and I guess it led to everything that eventually happened. Prior to this, she was just a cute, married friend at work who smiled every time she saw me. Then in this e-mail she tells me that she’s attracted to me.

In one of the previous e-mails, I suggested getting together at a cool bar near her house for a drink sometime. She replied that it would not be a good idea for her, and I thought it was because she didn’t drink. She clarified the reason in this response. And I didn’t think it was weird that she Googled me or checked out my MySpace page (remember those?). I was quite flattered, in fact.

It did strike me, however, that she told me she was attracted to me in this e-mail. To tell me I’m attractive would have been one thing, but for her to say she’s attracted to me and that something might happen if we went out for drinks was another thing entirely. Her marriage was just over 1-year old at this point, and this e-mail completely altered the way we related to each other.

Being the other man in an extra-marital affair was not something I anticipated ever happening to me – not even close. But the door was now open and I walked right through it.

Dick Nabber Died

“Dick Nabber died,” Melissa announced as if it was a normal way to begin a conversation.

Melissa sells pharmaceuticals and she is great at it. She decided that she wanted to work for a different company and did what you’re supposed to do when looking for a job, but what few people actually do. She called hiring managers, waited outside offices to meet with people she didn’t schedule a meeting with, created a brochure of her experience and accomplishments and stayed up ‘til two or three in the morning making flowcharts of people she should network with.

She’s the extrovert to my introvert, and I wish I possessed her swagger. She has the confidence of a young Mick Jagger on The Ed Sullivan Show, the presence of Freddie Mercury at Live Aid and all the sincerity of a Dashboard Confessional record.

Melissa K.

Melissa got the better job she wanted and now has to sit out six months on a non-compete before starting. She spends an hour on the treadmill every day while watching re-runs of The Gilmore Girls. I once again came home to the whirr-whirr of the treadmill belt whirring from the basement. I walked down the steps with the aid of the new guardrail that wasn’t there yesterday…a by-product of her free time.

I saw her newly blond ponytail bouncing around about as she kept a steady pace, watching mother and daughter Gilmore cleverly quip in a way that absolutely no one quips in real life, even if they are genuinely clever.

“Who’s Dick Nabber?” I plopped down on her brown couch that she insisted on moving into my house even though it’s two apartments old.

“Dick…Neiber,” she clarified. I had to filter out her words in-between her panting and her 7.0 mph paces on the treadmill. It was like trying to talk to someone who is treading water.

“Oh, I thought you said Dick Nabber”

“I did. He was…the old gay man who lived…near my parents when I was growing up. He…was a member of the country club…where I waited tables in high school. We…all called him Dick Nabber…get it? Some called him Dick Nibbler, but I preferred…Nabber.”

“Yeah, I get it,” I stared at the ceiling thinking about the Tyson chicken strips in the freezer and Coronas in the refrigerator. Dinner.

“All us wait staff…were high school kids. When we poured him coffee and cream he would say… ““I was so poor growing up that if…we wanted cream for coffee…we had to jack off a dog.”” He was saying this to high school kids!”

“Corrupting minors with images of beastiality. How nice.” I fixated on her body from the couch. She wore a white Nike sports bra and pink Under Armour running shorts. A lone trail of perspiration ran down her back between the bottom of her bra and the top of her shorts. It collected in a small patch of wet fabric on her boy shorts visible through the Under Armours. I always loved the fact that she made it through her late teens and early 20’s without a tattoo – not even one on the ankle or a tramp stamp.

I got up to pick up the floating bookshelf that fell to the floor next to the television.

“I’ll fix that…I fixed it myself yesterday,” Melissa said, now walking on the treadmill in the cool down phase of her workout.

“And I’m picking it up off the floor. You did a good job fixing it.” When she moved in, I unpacked one of her boxes that contained an electric drill, electric sander and a plumbing wrench. I owned none of those things. Without a dad in her life growing up, her mom taught her and her sister how to change the oil in a car and how to change a tire. I can’t do either of those things.

I started to walk upstairs to pre-heat the oven for my chicken strips. As I reached for the freezer handle, a voice no longer out of breath shouted, “Don’t eat anything! We’re going to Lurcat tonight – my treat. And no calling Cheney. Just the two of us. I’ve missed you this week.”

Cheney’s Abortion

“I gotta quit doing fucked up shit,” Cheney grogged. Her voice was whispery, and she looked like how I feel when I take Nyquil and don’t get a full eight-hours sleep.

“People have one-nighters all the time,” I assured her while moving my eyes around her hospital room. She had a private room that was probably four-stars by hospital Zagat’s standards. Her adjustable bed looked comfortable, as she reached up to turn off the fluorescent light attached to the wall above her head. There was a caramel colored couch underneath the almost floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the Crosstown. A blue accent wall opposite her bed had a three-tier bookshelf against it that was empty until I put the flowers I brought her on it.

“I think the nurses at that desk outside thought I was your irresponsible condom-less boyfriend.” I sat down on the desk chair next to her bed and propped my cap toe shoes on the foot of her bed.

Cheney half-smiled, “He was condom-less and irresponsible alright, but not my boyfriend…just a bartender who looked really cute one night, and he had nice teeth. But I guess I’m just as irresponsible for not taking my pill every day,” she shrugged.

“Did he at least pay for the procedure? Or help pay for it?”

“He’s a bartender who still has roommates,” she said while looking at me and raising one eyebrow.  I assumed that answer was supposed to indirectly tell me that he didn’t have the money to pay.

“How’s work going?” she asked to change the subject.

“It’s going well,” I said. “I had lunch last week in the downtown Barnes & Noble. I was eating my over-priced Panini in a window seat while a homeless woman sat on the sidewalk leaning against a streetlight with an empty collection cup next to her. Our eyes met a couple of times. I felt guilty.”

Telling someone who just had a living being ripped from inside her that you feel guilty about something, anything, is preposterous…borderline ignorant. I apologetically raised my eyebrows and gave a half-smile realizing my mistake. Cheney did the exact same thing back…apology accepted.

“You survived Amanda’s wedding day? I thought about you.”

“I did. Morgan and Bishop came to town. Bishop was sad he didn’t get to see you. It only made his crush on you stronger and…”

“This is the worst thing I’ve ever done,” she interrupted while staring at the small flat screen hanging from the ceiling in the corner. It was as if she made the confession to the bald dude from Ghost Hunters, who was talking to the camera bathed in night vision.

I’ve spent plenty of drinks listening to Cheney tell me about her days as a club kid in Manhattan…the LSD lollipops, glow sticking, lesbian makeouts and 3-day sleep binges. She moved to the Midwest to get away from all that and just write. She landed in Minneapolis with a trust fund and a Blackberry filled with the names of a dozen editors in New York who agreed to accept her stuff on spec. When she told me those stories, it was with a strange sense of accomplishment and never any regret.

But this was different. This was all regret and nothing else. It was hard for me to comfort her, and she doesn’t have any close girlfriends to offer female empathy.  I imagine some night in the near or distant future, while the two of us are having one of our all night drinking and music listening marathons, she will discuss the guilt and what-ifs of this whole situation. But not now.

“Are you keeping this from your parents?”

“Fuck. Yeah,” she took her eyes off the cute girl from Ghost Hunters with glasses whose breasts got mysteriously larger since season one. “The administrator of my trust promised me she would list this as something else on the monthly accounting…like a urinary tract infection or something, I don’t know. My parents rarely look at those accountings anyway.”

“What time are they releasing you tomorrow?”

“The nurse said I could leave as early as 6 a.m.”

“Okay. I’ll be back tomorrow to pick you up at six.”

“Thanks.”

 

 

Here Comes My Girl

“Can I throw out this dusty sneaker for fuck’s sake?!”

Melissa has her fake pissed-off voice and her genuine pissed-off voice. The question about the Adidas sneaker fell somewhere in-between the two.

She meant the Adidas Rod Laver resting in the corner of my bedroom. It’s taken up permanent residence there because, despite my searches, I cannot locate its right-footed counterpart. So there it sits, looking like a misbehaved elementary school kid sentenced to stand in the corner as punishment. The only thing missing is the needle-nosed dunce cap.

Last I checked, a new pair goes for about $60.00 on Zappos, but then there’s the breaking-in period and I don’t have the dedication for that right now. If I’m patient, the Prodigal Shoe will find its way home when it’s ready.

“Nooooooo!” I yelled from the basement where I was playing the table-top Ms. Pac Man machine –Amanda and I once had make-up sex on it. The floor is so thin that there was no need for Melissa to shout the one stair level that separates us.

“So you just want it to sit here and collect more dust and cobwebs? There’s a spider living in it!”

“Yeeeeeeeesssss!”

Melissa was cleaning because Bishop and Morgan are in town from Austin and they were due here in a few minutes. Despite our offer, they opted to stay in an apartment near the Bryant Lake Bowl because it’s near the apartment where Bob Stinson died.

She knows they’re like brothers to me and I think she was more than a little nervous about meeting them. Two nights ago, she was looking at all the pictures in my old scrapbook…the three of us in little league…at each other’s birthday parties…standing next to Bishop’s hospital bed after he broke his leg skateboarding in second grade…posing with Morgan’s Ford Bronco that we spent our 16th summer refurbishing…at high school keggers…UT graduation day…my brother’s funeral.

Their weekend trip to Minneapolis coincided with Amanda’s weekend wedding. The fact that Bishop and Morgan got together and decided that they needed to visit on this, of all weekends, is touching and embarrassing. But they witnessed the months where telling me not to think about Amanda was like telling me not to blink…no matter how hard I tried, I had to do it thousands of times daily.

But now it’s just after 5pm and the opening notes of “Here Comes the Bride” are likely bellowing from the church organ as the aisles of heads swivel to the sanctuary entrance. Amanda stands there in a dress that should be anything but white, hoping her fine hair that she constantly complained about stays curly at least long enough for the best man’s toast.

And here I sit in my living room with my two oldest buds and the only girl that matters, watching the UT football home opener. Melissa’s ponytail sticks out from behind a “Hook ‘em Horns” baseball cap as she stands in the kitchen, holding a bottle of Budweiser laughing at Morgan’s Dane Cook impression…the over-annunciation, the exaggerated stepping, the crouching, the lack of any punchlines whatsoever. It is quite funny.

Melissa has thick, naturally curly hair and she told me on our second date that she wants Tom Petty’s Here Comes My Girl playing through the church p.a. system, as she begins her walk in a dress that I want to be the whitest of white.

“I Pissed His Trust Away Today”

* e-mail from Allison – click to view larger (I redacted her husband’s name)

Commentary:

The image is an e-mail Allison sent me right after our first heavy make-out session. That make-out ended-up being the gateway to our affair.

We were embroiled in a marital affair typical of a Lifetime Movie of the Week starring Judith Light. Allison was married, so for her it was an extra-marital affair. For me, it was just a single guy doing things you shouldn’t do with a married woman.

I took notice of her right away on her first day of work…a cute brown-haired woman with an even cuter little body. I also saw the wedding ring. The work e-mails during the day turned into e-mails on our personal Yahoo accounts at night. The coffee breaks at work turned into coffee at Plan B in Uptown and beers at the Turf Club.

We went to movies (held hands at Juno), talked late nights on the phone (her talking from her basement away from her husband), had pet names (I called her “hun,”she called me “sweets”), went to dinners (she didn’t have a joint checking account so she paid sometimes) and logged quality time on my old red futon couch (she felt amazing in and out of her sweaters).

She fell in love with me…the e-mails, cards and old-school love letters she would give me at work went on and on about her falling in love with me, and falling out of love with her husband. I wasn’t in a relationship at that time and more than a little lonely. I had this adorable woman throwing all her love at me, emotionally and physically, and it was hard to turn it away.

I felt momentary stabs of guilt when I would catch myself thinking that my girlfriend is married and it didn’t seem weird. The absurdity of it all would hit me and I would pull back my emotions from it. Then she would come over to my apartment on Humboldt, smile at me, take off her shirt before the door was even closed behind her and the guilt was gone – replaced by that tight little dancer’s body on top of mine.

She would arrive home from my place late and her husband would already be asleep. Lying there in fear that her husband would smell another man on her – a late night shower would be too suspicious – she would cry convinced she’s married to the wrong person.

But there’s periods that all people go through when they think they’ll never be loved. This past winter was one of those periods for me, and knowing Amanda was engaged made it even worse. I would read Allison’s love letters over and over while the snow piled up against my windows and the wine piled up in my liver. Her letters helped.

Zuzana Stays and a Votive Candle

Melissa calls it softcore porn…she found the bodyrock.tv bookmark on my browser. Zuzana…a goddess. I’m sure there are guys who watch her workout videos for the wrong reasons…watching the videos like the Warren Commission watching the Zapruder film, pausing frame-by-frame for something they may have missed the first 1000 times.

I found her one night while searching for body-weight workouts on Youtube. It was too cold to go to the gym, and going to Lifetime Fitness these days means about a 50/50 chance of running into Amanda and seeing how she’s gotten shorter and wider. Staying home with Zuzana made me stronger and faster.

Each of Zuzana’s videos begins with a familiar, “Hey guys,” or, “Hi body rockers,” in Zuzana’s eastern European accent where every syllable is sharply annunciated.  Her workouts use minimal equipment and are filled with spandex, sweat and Zuzana’s heaving chest. If the sweat froze in her abs, she would have perfectly square sweat ice-cubes.

We’re on our way to Melissa’s storage facility on a summer night when the humidity sticks to you like Saran Wrap. I tell her Zuzana stays in my bookmarks…not negotiable.

Going up the elevator to Melissa’s 4’ x 4’ storage unit, and the cement floors make it unusually cool inside among the maze of metal-padlocked doors.  She wants to get one thing…a candle. I said we were just at Target, why didn’t she buy one there?

And she told me this story:

When Melissa was 11-years-old, her grandmother gave her a small votive candle with red wax surrounded by glass that’s slightly burnt on the inside. It was one day after they buried her grandpa.

Fearing he would never find his life-partner, Melissa’s grandpa stopped by a neighborhood Catholic Church every day, put 25 cents in the rusty tin offering box and lit one votive candle to represent the hope that God would send him the woman he was supposed to marry. It was always the same candle…the corner candle in the bottom right-hand row.

The day after Melissa’s grandmother accepted his proposal, he stopped by the church and told the parish priest how God had answered his prayer. The priest gladly handed him the candle and he rushed to give it to his new fiancé. Melissa’s grandmother told her that tiny candle meant more to her than her wedding ring.

So that’s the candle we leave the storage facility with. On the way home in the car, Melissa cups it with both hands like holding a tiny bird that can’t fly.

“Have You Ever Cheated on Someone You’ve Dated?”

“Have you ever cheated on someone you’ve dated?” Melissa asks and then stares at me, awaiting an answer and ideally an honest one. The answer to this question needs to come quick, lacking hesitation and heavy on conviction. Melissa is aware enough to notice any give-away gesture indicating a lie…a, “no,” followed by my quickly changing the subject or a, “no,” while my eyes quickly dart away from hers or a, “no,” while my eyes stay fixated on the television. If she had asked me while I was driving, I could say, “no,” while keeping my eyes on the road as an excuse.

But we’re not in the car, unfortunately. We’re sitting in my backyard on a calm, windless evening in plastic Adirondack-looking chairs. There are no distractions to rob my attention away from Melissa’s question – not even a mosquito to slap against my arm.

It needs to be a resounding, “NO,” on par with the way instructors teach women to yell it in self-defense classes as the guy in the ridiculously-padded suit mock attacks them, which comes in handy if a man with limited mobility ever attacks a woman in real-life.

With every past girlfriend, a “no” would be an honest answer from me…until now. I hesitate to tell the truth because I can’t pass it off as a mistake made five or ten years ago. It was only two years ago that I cheated on Amanda. It’s not like I was unprepared for Melissa’s question. Next to the how many women have you been with question, it’s a relationship inevitability.

Amanda had just gotten out of the hospital where she spent three days with pancreatitis. She was going to come over and then wake-up early to meet-up with her parents. My cell phone vibrated.

Text from Kim: do you want me to come see you?

My phone call to Amanda: Hey, it would make more sense if you stayed at your place tonight since you have to be up early tomorrow, don’t you think?

Amanda: But I want to see you…(she said it in a whiny, baby voice)

Me: I want to see you too, sweetie, but it’s late and you know how finding parking is in Uptown at this hour. I’m just going to go to the gym, anyway. Come over tomorrow afternoon when your parents leave, though.

Amanda: Okay…I’ll be over tomorrow. Bye.

Me: Bye

My text to Kim: sure, how soon can you be over?

Kim came over and we had a lot of fun that night and more in the morning. Kim knew I had a girlfriend, so she had no problem being out the door right after she took a shower. I opened every window in my apartment to rid it of Kim’s perfume as quickly as possible. I never believed that one could smell like sex, but I took an extra-long shower regardless. I threw the sheets in the laundry, flipped the mattress and vacuumed the bedroom carpet for some reason. As far as I was concerned, this was a crime scene…move along, move along…nothing to see here.

Amanda came over and after three days of not seeing me, she was more than willing to make-up for it. It’s the first and only time in my life that I felt like a sociopath. The blatant lie of telling her I was going to the gym came so effortlessly. The actual act of infidelity was completely unaccompanied by even the tiniest sliver of guilt or remorse – even to this day. In fact, I remain quite impressed by having sex with two different girls within a 24-hour span.

I tell Melissa all of the above and you know what? She already knew about it. Shortly after it happened, I told my good friend, Jeanine (Melissa’s sister) about what I had done. And being sisters, Jeanine told Melissa…Melissa only asked me to see if I would lie about it.

p.s. – Kim fully approved this post. She even sent me the picture of her you see here. On the chance that Amanda reads this, it’ll be fresh news to her.

Kim J.

It Doesn’t Matter

“So you don’t feel anything about Amanda’s upcoming wedding?” The question comes as a surprise as I sit on the couch with my laptop, alternating my eyes between the monitor and the TV. Melissa is in the kitchen on the other side of the wall. Except for the wedding question, she’s been quiet for the last 10 minutes while making herself an omelet for dinner.

“I mean, it was your most recent long-term relationship before we met.” She washes the dishes right after she dirties them. She had to shout the last question over the running hot water.

The freelance blogging is still bringing in a little over a grand a month. It’s decent cash for writing 26 blog posts per week while sitting on my IKEA couch listening to/watching the Music Choice Alternative Channel. It reminds me of watching VH1’s Pop-Up Video in the 1990’s. Musical tidbits about the group or artist flash in plain text as the song plays. It’s hard not to take in the arguably useful alterna-rock information as I work.

Kim (from Matt and Kim) attended Penn State for one year on a track scholarship.

The Lemonheads were a Boston Trio that formed in the mid-80’s.

“I mean, it’s got to be a little weird that she’s going to marry the guy she began dating right after you.” Melissa is saying, “I mean,” before each question. She never does that, so I don’t know why she’s doing that now. It’s how Angela, Ricky and Brian Krakow spoke in My So Called Life episodes.

The Killers worked with a gospel choir for two songs on Hot Fuss.

At times, the freelance blog work can be mundane, but it’s been a god-send in the loneliest and most depressed periods of the past year. The work kept me on a deadline and forced me to write when there were times I didn’t think I could.

Adam Ant’s mother used to clean Paul McCartney’s house.

“I mean, when my ex got engaged, he didn’t even have the balls to tell me when I ran into him. I found out from a mutual friend’s Facebook wall.” I ran into Amanda and saw the so-so engagement ring on her short, baby carrot-shaped finger. If it weren’t for the ring, I doubt she would’ve told me either.

The Strokes made their debut at The Spiral in New York City.

“I mean, you two dated for so long that marriage had to come-up a few times, right?” I decide that the, “I means,” are something Melissa probably does when she’s nervous. She’s afraid of what my answers might be. We’ve been together only a short time now, so the nervous speech pattern is a new discovery for me. And the question makes me realize that she didn’t read the entry below even though she said she did.

The Ting Tings took their name from Katie White’s Chinese co-worker.

“HEY! Are you going to answer even one of my questions?” I figured she would just think that I fell asleep. I guess the rapid tapping of my HP keyboard is louder than I thought.

Jack Johnson formed Brushfire Records in 2002.

“It feels like when an NCAA basketball team makes a decent and unexpected run to the Sweet 16 in March. But the following year, an NCAA investigation reveals that the team violated multiple NCAA rules. As part of the team’s punishment, the previous season’s achievement is wiped from the record books as if it never happened. The team still remembers its accomplishment, but it’s now insignificant.” Melissa sits next to me on the IKEA.

Inspiral Carpet’s first album was Planecrash, released in 1988.

“That’s how I feel about her engagement. That it erases a period of my past that I still remember, but it’s insignificant now. It doesn’t matter.”

Sleigh Bells’ Derek Miller was a founding member of Florida metalcore band Poison the Well.

Random Journal Entry from June 15, 2008

Pictured here are my journals – 13 journals in all. The first entry is 1/8/97 and continues to the present. Jim Carroll’s The Basketball Diaries started me on my journaling path while I was living in Cambridge, England in the summer of 1997.

I bought the skull and bones journal pictured here on ebay. It has that thick parchment paper and a real leather cover. Even though it’s unlined, I managed to keep the writing from being too slanted. Here is a random entry that I typed out for easier reading.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stuck in this fuckin’ rut!! Feel like there’s no way out except for suicide. I have been thinking about suicide a lot lately. Not like this since I was at that shitty Roseville job. Killing myself would be such an escape from the ever-present disappointment, self-hatred, hopelessness and fear that my daily life has become. Pointless. Why try living anymore?

I’ve got to do something. Send out more resumes. Fish for opportunities. I’m not living anymore. I stopped progressing about five years ago. I’m on the way down now.

I’ll never marry Amanda, so I don’t know what I’m doing. Another thing that has stalled. But my entire life has stopped. I feel like I’m dead now anyway. Why not just make it formal? What my life is now is not living. People progress – I stall. Nowhere. Hate me!!

Embarrassed of every aspect of my life. Home, car, job, relationship, money. I HAVE NOTHING!! Nothing to live for.

Mistakes and bad choices have ruined me. Fucked me forever!!

When are you going to buy a house? NEVER!!

I am so fuckin’ scared!! This will never get better. In this apt. forever. I’ll never get a real job and make real money. Panic sets in all the time. I shouldn’t want to kill myself, but I think about it – serious thoughts.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Commentary – Looking back at this, I would like to say it was just melodrama. In reality, it was someone kept down by a constant cloud of depression. It was a common thread through so many journal entries of mine at the time. It was a person thinking that microwave popcorn dinners and having to choose between trash bags and toilet paper at Target was his fate (toilet paper always, always won). I would grab a handful of those little white plastic bags at the checkout and use those as trash bags. It required having to carry little loads of garbage to the alley multiple times daily.

At the time, I was working some random contract position that some random staffing agency got me. It may have been Thomson Reuters…in fact it was. I was working at TR when I met Amanda (see third paragraph of entry). We had been dating for about six weeks at the time of this entry, and not even constant female companionship and morning sex before work could get me out from under that black cloud of negativity.

I was still driving my rusty 1995 Mitsubishi with the long crack in the windshield. That crack made the windows frost on the inside too when it got cold. I’d have to use the ice scraper on the inside and end up with ice shavings all over my dashboard. Note that even though Amanda was my girlfriend, I wrote that I’m embarrassed of my relationship.

I was living in a tiny, old apartment in Uptown at the time. Amanda hated it. She always had to circle the block multiple times to find a parking spot and would enter my apartment in a shitty mood because of it. I eventually got out of that apartment and bought my house.

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