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Saturday, Aug. 17, 2002 - 9:06 p.m.

Errands in the Monsoon

I suppose I should update more if I don't want sporadic single-digit-visit days.

I meant to yesterday, actually, but when I returned home from my errands in the Monsoon, the carpet around each of the three open windows in the living room was soggy. And the modem, which lies on the floor between the couch and one of the windows, was a tad wet, too. I figured it wasn't a good idea to run a phone line and other electrical things through the modem with drops of water on it as it sat on the wet carpet. So I unplugged the power cord, the phone cord, and the ethernet cord and draped them over the couch to dry. I put the modem on an upsidedown plastic crate in such a way that any water that might have seeped into the important ports might seep back out with the help of a little gravity. It didn't look like any water got inside, but I thought I'd just be careful.

I'd gone out to see Casey at work and have her sign the letter to the Bitch, the ex-roommate who has disappeared from the tri-state area, it seems. She said on July 22 that she was fed up with Lori and if Lori wasn't moving out, she was. Bitch also said she was going on vacation. When she returned on July 28, she said she'd "start packing." When Casey and I returned from Austin Powers on the 28th, her bedroom was empty and she returned within an hour with her mom and brother and took the rest of her stuff. Some of her last word to me were, "I'll stop by on Wednesday to pay the bills," or something to that effect.

Haven't seen her since.

We can't call her because she cancelled her cell phone plan. We can't call or e-mail her at work because she was fired. This we found out yesterday when I called and asked to speak with her. But the woman I spoke with assured me that a letter sent to the company would be forwarded to her. Not thinking she'd try to skip out on the bills (and with Lori's curtains, which she took from the living room along with her own; whether this was intentional or not we are not sure), I didn't remember to ask for a forwarding address or phone number. But we're not giving in. I sent a letter certified mail to her former employer, and I intend to do it by sending it to our own apartment, because she had her mail forwarded. We will find her.

Anyway, after seeing Casey, I headed for the bank while the rain started falling. By the time I got to the branch on the main street of Cliffside Park, it was raining pretty hard. I jumped from the car and walked beneath the awnings of several other storefronts to the bank and literally jumped a foot in the air when a bolt of lightning hit only one town over and the thunder cracked as if a gun had been fired across the street.

From the bank I descended the hill driving slower than the water rushing down and went to Target. I sat in the parking lot while the Monsoon passed over. After maybe 10 minutes, it was down to a drizzle. Inside the store, I could still hear the thunder outside. By the time I finished shopping, the rain had stopped, the sun was out, and the heat and humidity had returned. Eerily, though, the dark clouds still hung over Manhattan across the river and the George Washington Bridge only a few miles north. Even the northern part of Edgewater, it seemed, was still engulfed in a downpour.

One last stop at the post office, and then I was home. While I made lunch (or ate it, or picked my nose or something -- I can't figure out how I missed the call) the woman with whom I interviewed on Tuesday called to set up a second one on this coming Tuesday. "I don't know what I was doing at 4:20," I said later to Casey. "I know what you were doing at 4:20," Casey said. "Well, my voicemail said she called at 4:18," I clarified. Whatever; somehow, I missed it.

But the point is I'm going back for a second interview. And here goes my mind again, racing ahead. I must curb my thoughts. I will expand upon them should the opportunity arise.

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