Friday 30th January 2004

like lowercase thunder

No tornadoes. No thunder and lightning. No blizzard.

Not even a respectable drop of rain.

Just wind and dust and dust.

The "storms" this unspeakably lame college town brews up are just obnoxious.


posted by antimAtt @ 13.47 (gmt+0000)
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Thursday 29th January 2004

x-me

I am a SUPERHERO

my SUPERPOWER is MAKING A LATE-NIGHT OMELETTE WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE

my SIDEKICK is SCRAPING-THE-PAN-IN-MATT'S-WAKE BOY


posted by antimAtt @ 22.56 (gmt+0000)
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Tuesday 27th January 2004

steve der vergerte Deutsche / wenn steve Deutsches sprach

I have translator.dictionary.com to thank for this one.

"JESUS CHRIST SIE ESEL! ES GAB KEINE "BEREINIGUNG"! ES GAB "DIE DATENBANK ZUSAMMENSTIESS VOLLSTONDIG UND STEVE VERBRACHTE DREI UNDANKBARE TAGE SIE EIGENHONDIG UMBAUEND" ABER ES GAB KEINE GROSSE-AUSLASSUNG ODER JEDEN MAGLICHEN ANDEREN UNSINN! ICH KANN NICHT IHNEN GLAUBEN VOLKER! ICH HOFFE DAS DIESE DUMME UNWAHRHEIT DAUERHAFT JETZT ZERSTREUT WIRD."

-steve (would make an excellent angry German)


posted by antimAtt @ 21.22 (gmt+0000)
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a day in the death of my friends

"we are for each other:then
laugh,leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

and death i think is no parenthesis"
-e.e. cummings



When I heard his voice on the other end of the line, I was expecting to hear "We're pregnant," or "I'm in town and I'm stopping by," or "Have you heard the Dean Scream?" At very least I was expecting to hear something to put a smile on my face.

I certainly wasn't expecting to hear "Katie and I both have AIDS."

I'm going to die, Matt.

I sat in the desk front of you, Matt, in Mr. Smith's first grade class, and we passed forbidden notes when he had his back turned.

I typed at the computer next to you, Matt, back when monitors had two colors (green and off) and neither of us could type the alphabet without making some sort of error.

I was there, Matt, the first time we met my wife, even though we were eight and didn't know the future.

I was there, Matt, in the baseball field behind the school on the first day of summer when she kissed you instead of me. I'm jealous that you were her first kiss.

I was there, Matt, in school during the first Gulf war, drawing battleships and derogatory pictures of Iraqis with you when we were instead supposed to be reading about South America or whatever.

I was there, Matt, at your high school graduation, because by then we had moved apart and were going to different schools and I had graduated a week before you had and could thus make the trip.

I answered the phone, Matt, when you called us to announce your engagement.

This Tim that you know, Matt, is going to die.



For the life of me I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. For me, in this tunnel, there is no light. There's a long darkness, and at the end, despair.

And then it hits me: I've been here before.

Two years ago my best friend died in a car accident. Nathan was not killed; he died. He fell asleep at the wheel on a rural road, woke up, and overcorrected. Top-heavy car flips. The end.

I'm coming to the point and it is this: Nathan died, Tim was killed. The virus is reprogramming Tim's body to die.

Not that Tim deserves this, you understand. Tim does not fool around behind his wife's back, either with women or men. Tim does not inject illicit drugs into his body.

No. Instead, Tim blows his knee out playing baseball and needs invasive surgery to fix it. Tim is a hemophiliac and bleeds too much on the operating table. Tim requires a transfusion, and draws the one-in-a-million chance of getting unknowingly infected blood. He jokes: "Some people win the lottery. My luck is somewhat worse."

And even though I was closer to Nathan than I ever was to Tim (Nathan was honestly no-fooling my BEST FRIEND, typed in all capitals, thought in italics), I cried with Tim so much harder than I ever cried about Nathan. I weep even more for Tim because Tim's wife is dying, too. I weep more for Tim because Nathan never knew he was dead. Tim has known for some time now. And now I know that Tim is dead, but somehow I can still see him alive and moving and I can hear him make fart noises with his mouth to annoy his wife and I can help him make chocolate chip cookies and I can take apart an engine with him in the freezing Portland day and have a beer with him in the freezing Portland evening. I can do all these things, but I also know that Tim is dead and my brain cannot understand these two immiscible realities. So I cry, and I cry and I can't stop.



Tim has HIV. Tim will die young, beside his beautiful wife. Tim knows he is dying. Tim has come to terms with his mortality. And Tim is being more mature about this than anyone involved.

I swear to God, I am never answering the phone again. Not ever again. As soon as history repeats itself once, the first time, it will want to do it over and over and who knows where it will stop.

e.e. cummings thinks that death is no parenthesis. Perhaps. But Tim at least has a great mental ellipsis ahead of him.

I will never be able to sleep again.



Once again, dear sweet hatelife, thank you for letting me cry on your collective shoulder.



-mAtt.


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Thursday 22nd January 2004

When I was little, my best friend got cancer and had to leave school for a year for treatment. He got better. He came back to school. We grew up. We graduated. He moved away and got married.

He just learned he has AIDS. So does his wife.

I thought I was getting used to this whole "harsh reality" thing, but I guess not. I guess fucking not. Shit upon shit upon shit.

I'm leaving now. If nothing else, I'll catch you on the flip side.



-

"Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part."


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Wednesday 21st January 2004

conventional wisdom

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you; cry and THE WHOLE WORLD TAKES IT AS A SIGN TO JUMP ON YOUR TIRED LITTLE BODY AND STAB YOU IN THE BACK AND SPIT IN THE FACE OF EVERYTHING YOU LOVE AND CHERISH AND CALL YOU VILE JUVENILE NAMES AND TO HELL WITH HOW YOU FEEL AND LET THAT BE A LESSON FOR YOUR TEARS!


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Tuesday 20th January 2004

feel my pain

I have a disease. Its name is hunger. And the only prescription is … MORE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH.

(chomp chomp chomp)

mmm. sammitch.



My eye is officially purple and yellow and large. Over the course of the last few days, at least fifteen people, after seeing it and giving me a disgusted look, asked me what happened.

Now, the first thing they teach you in a writing class is "Show, don't tell." (A guy named William Harmon said that, and he was right.) After all, my audience is intelligent; why should I not treat them as such? They deserve to be given the opportunity to draw their own conclusions instead of being spoon-fed my own. So I did not give this response:

"Well, [friend's name], I got elbowed in the face."

Rather, I gave this response:

"Well, [friend's name], [I elbow friend in the face]."

And you know what? I'd estimate that over 90% of those friends left the conversation with a clear, complete, and accurate idea of precisely how I came to have a black eye. And 90% is a figure that you just can't beat. Unless your figure happens to be above 90%, which only happens about 10% of the time. If you're dealing with a random unweighted distribution of elements between 0% and 100% with a sufficiently large sample size. Subject to Student's t-test and chi-square analysis for validity of the data.

It's true: writing really is a beautiful thing.


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