Closing up shop
- Wednesday, Aug. 02, 2006

It may be time for a change
- Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Entry in the air
- Friday, April 21, 2006

Still here
- Thursday, April 20, 2006

Music of the moment
- Wednesday, March 1, 2006



101 in 1001
American Road Trip, 1998


Dancing Brave
Fugging It Up
Kitty Sandwich
Mister Zero
Sideways Rain


My crew
Our host

Thursday, May 02, 2002 - 2:17 a.m.

Longest entry ever (and the deepest, too)

So many thoughts going through my head on the drive home, how could I not get them down? They're still with me now, as I sit and type, as I brushed my teeth, as I walked inside from the car. I thought of that opening line somewhere back on the Turnpike and now it's time to see where it leads. If I didn't sit down right now, 2:17 a.m., Thursday, May 2, in our dark living room, on Lori's computer, these thoughts and ideas and feelings might be lost to me forever.

I tried, once, to keep a diary. Freshman year of college, that first semester, those first few weeks, I wanted to write down everything that happened, everything I experienced, all that I went through, knowing that there would be landmark moments I'd want to look back upon. I was determined to write through it all, good and bad, and I went at it diligently through the first month. Then things began to turn sour, particularly in my high school relationship, and I eventually cut down the frequency with which I wrote, then the passion, then the act all together. I still have that file somewhere, named "life" on a disk in a drawer. I've come across it occassionally -- even once I opened it, I think, and read a few days' worth of entries -- but I've never gone through the whole thing. The breakup was too hard on me. I didn't handle it well, I wasn't happy with what was happening, and I'm still not happy with how I handled it, with how immature I was. But it's there, somewhere, on a disk.

Tonight on the drive home, I was swept up in thoughts of "back when ..." I didn't go all the way back to freshman year at Notre Dame, but I went back a few years. Dave Matthews Band's Crash was the CD in the car stereo in my alphabetical run through my music collection, and there are songs on there with memories forever linked to them. "Two Step" came on and I remembered last year's monsoon at Giants Stadium (it's an entry in this diary, but I'm writing as thoroughly and quickly as I can, so there will be no linking tonight). And though I can remember that night vividly, the song brings back memories of all the Dave shows I've seen, of that first one the summer after sophomore year up at Great Woods in Massachusetts. As my thoughts continued to swirl and I realized I'd have to come home and fire up the computer to write, I remembered those nights not long ago when I'd do that at home, my parents' home, on my computer, in my room. I'd be back from the ballpark, or the office, or a bar after the office, and I'd log on and type away, listening to one CD or another. I smiled at the memory and then remembered why it was so pleasant: Back then, a year ago, I'd have a little AOL IM box open somewhere on my screen and Casey would have one on hers and we'd chat away until the early morning hours. I stayed up until 4 or 5 a.m. more than once, even hearing the songs of the birds in the morning as light broke through the blinds one day. I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was covering baseball, enjoying the hell out of my job, developing new and interesting friendships online, and gauging my interest in someone I met at the ballpark (and gauging her interest in me).

Casey was thinking back to this time last year today, and it wasn't as pleasant. I knew some of what was going on, but not all because she didn't write it all -- precisely so I wouldn't read it, as I found out today. And that's all OK. I'm fine with it. But I realized tonight that I still have that immature high school jealousy bone in my body, the one that acts up for no rational reason despite what my head and my heart tell it. Is it just me, or does everyone experience this when their current girlfriend or boyfriend mentions The Ex, the Former Flame, the Old Crush?

(Incidentally, I was just admiring Heather yet again for her enjoyable and detailed entries and lamenting my lack of such lately while also respecting her for her ability to talk openly about her relationship knowing that Doug is aware of the diary, and here I am doing the same.)

I mean, it's not like I feel threatened by any of Casey's old boyfriends, nor am I jealous of any of them because the simple truth is that I have her and they don't. She wants me, not them. But why is it that reading about last year and Jason brought up a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach? I don't have any answers, only the thoughts I've come up with recently and over the years when these various little instances jump out and whack me across the head. Part of me wishes that it was me back then, that we knew each other and were together. When I met Casey, I wanted every experience together to be the first, not just the first with her, though I knew it wasn't possible. Short of that, I wanted to have some way to go back in time and catch up to her, to be on equal footing. She came into our relationship with more in her past, and I felt inferior.

For the longest time, I would feel a sense of longing when thinking back on two of my more significant early relationships, High School Heather and College Colleen (there was only one Colleen, but I felt the aliterative adjective would help as a time reference). Though they'd both ended badly -- one to me, one by me -- there were days and nights I wanted to revisit, to have back, to enjoy again. HS Heather and I dated for, officially, two years, though in hindsight I considered it over when we left for college (it took her less than a month without me to realize that 23 with me were enough). I remember telling her during a horrendous and akward weekend visit to her school in North Carolina in October that it would take me at least two years to get over her. I must've announced to myself and various friends once a month for the next two years that I was finally over her. And yet, I wasn't. In fact, at this time last year, I don't think I was over her yet. It was about then that I sat down and began a new file on some computer disk that was to be "My Maggie Cassidy" (I believe I've written about this too). I'd just read Kerouac's Maggie Cassidy about a teenage crush and intended to go back over my days with HS Heather and write them out in my own memoir. I think I got two months into it when my friendship with Casey really started to take off and I soon lost interest.

And though Casey has done so much for me and means everything to me, there will still be times when I think back to the past, to past relationships. It's only natural, particularly with people like Casey and me who have such vivid memories with nearly every song that comes on the radio. But none of those from the past can come close to what I have now. All other torches have been extinguished, once and for all. I'm sure it goes both ways, yet here I am, uneasy at essentially nothing because a name from her past came up.

So from wanting to change the past comes the desire to make up for it in the future, or even the present (that is, the near future). We look back on old relationships and see where they went wrong, then vow never to make the same mistakes, never to do that to someone else, never let it happen to us again. I do not want to fail. I do not want to give her reason to say, "Where is this going? Will it ever change?" I've been having the same doubts about myself that she mentioned to me about herself tonight. Why haven't I been able to get a job? Will I be stuck at the paper forever? I think I can endure it as long as I need to, but can she? My biggest disappointment is letting her down. I should've found something by now. I should be working closer -- or in -- New York or north Jersey. I should have nights and weekends off, or at least be making more money.

Was it stupid for me to move up here? I took this apartment because Lori, a friend from college, had an opening. If I didn't come, she'd have to find someone else in short time or lose it, move back with the parents. I took it anticipating I'd find a new job and need a place closer to the city. Worst case, I'd commute back to the paper in the interim. Well, the interim has carried on into its sixth month. Looking back, I probably should've stayed under the parents' roof a little longer. Had I found a job, I could've commuted north until I found an apartment. The thing that upsets me the most is all the money I've wasted. All those rent checks, supermarket expenditures, gas fillups. A year's rent alone is $7,200 -- would I really have that much extra money had I not moved up here? I mean, right now, after six months' rent plus the security deposit, would there be an extra $5,000+ sitting in my checking account? Um, had I not moved here, would I be able to go out and get a ring? I don't know, it's all possible. But I guess the biggest thing is that it just goes down in my personal history as another learning experience, another mistake -- though not on that grand a level -- from which to take the good and take the bad and hope you don't get a stupid TV theme song stuck in your head.

In the shower yesterday, I figured if I stayed here through the lease's termination in November, I'd spend $3,600 in rent and get my $1,800 security deposit back (unless it was merely a $600 deposit and first and last months' rent, in which case I only have $3,000 left to pay). So, best case there, I'm out $1,800. If I leave, break the lease, that's $3,600 in rent I'm not paying, but $1,800 I'm not getting back. Out $1,800. But somehow that doesn't seem like it could be right to me. Am I wrong? Of course, there is the question of where I'd go. If I did leave, it would most likely (like 99 percent) be to move in with Casey, so I'd be paying rent somewhere, where they would need another security deposit, so I'd be out the $1,800 from here, plus the new deposit, plus the new rent. All this is assuming I just walk from Edgewater. There is also the possibility of a sublet, or even better, finding someone else to live here, perhaps even not forcing me to forfeit my security deposit. But that would all be contingent upon Lori and Betty feeling comfortable with it. And that, for the first time tonight, is a tangent I'd rather not explore at the moment.

So it seems this little 50-minute (and counting) exercise has served its purpose. I've gone through all the random thoughts that stayed with me through the drive home and now can't remember anything in particular I'd wanted to write down. There are little things here and there, little bits and thoughts and emotions I could explore, but I think I've covered the bulk of what's been on my mind. I can feel it, too; I feel the weight lifted from me for tonight, at least. I'll sleep easier, I know it. Driving home, walking in the door, my thoughts were frantic and scattered like the flying keys in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but I've grabbed the right ones, those that enabled me to open the doors that needed to be opened. There were quite a few rooms in the attic that is my mind that needed airing out.

I'm glad I sat down to do this. Actually, I'm proud I did, that I made it this far with such little regard for the time. I still may watch Ed, though I don't know if I'll finish it.

And I thank you, dear reader, for making it this far. It couldn't have been easy.

Most of all, I thank you, Casey. You are and always will be my greatest love, my best friend.

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