Thursday, February 19, 2004

The truth is, I'm just impatient and a little greedy.

In the past six weeks I’ve had visits from Jeff, The Republican, Devon, Kati and Michael. And every single time one of my friends was in Atlanta to hang out, it was bitterly cold. I’m not lying about the nice weather; it’s 65 degrees today and we’ll get even warmer tomorrow. I feel so bad that it was cold when all of these people visited. Kati and Michael especially suffered; after long dark months in Chicago, they came to town just last weekend…right in the middle of the coldest temperatures Atlanta’s likely to have all year.

I didn’t get to hang with Kati and Michael as much as I would have liked, but then they were busy on a working retreat. They were also a good hour away from me, out near Stone Mountain. But I did get one fun Monday night in the Waffle House with Kati and Michael. Michael, as usual, did not eat. He sipped hot chocolate while Kati had pie and I ate dinner. I was exhausted beyond all belief after a week in South Carolina and a not-up-for-discussion trip to Nashville.

Kati and Michael look great. They were rested and Michael had changed, you could see it in his eyes and posture. He has some facial hair now, which fosters the type of look you expect from new professors trying to look older than their students. It works on him. Kati looked well but starved for the familiar. I wanted to put her in my rental car and drive her away from her current job for a bit. She was squirrelly like I am when I need to go on a long walk away from everything for awhile.

We couldn’t talk as long as I’d like, but we talked as long as I could without falling asleep in the Stone Mountain Waffle House. And that had to be enough. I am still pissed that my Christmas presents to them have been lost in the mail, because I put a lot of thought into their boxes and now those boxes are just gone, disappeared into the US mail system’s crazy maze of lost things. That or a postal carrier somewhere is having a little party with chocolates, Garam Marsala, pesto sauce, star anise and herbal teas.

We gossiped about as much as we could. Kati asked about Devon, Michael asked after The Republican. I need to go to Chicago. I also need to go to Boston, but Aral has a problem with e-mailing me back, so I suppose Chicago might be up first. Unless Aral needs help moving, in which case I’m off to Boston. I don’t know. I should buy lots of plane tickets: one for Skeet to get here from Nashville for his birthday, one for me to visit Chicago, one for my sister to Savannah, one for me to visit my aunt in Texas, one for my Grandmother to come visit, and then…I could give all the frequent flyer miles to The Republican. Because I am now an addict when it comes to The Republican’s attentions.

Love is another addiction, just like the copper-gold box of dark chocolates he gave me for Valentine’s day, or the monster shows we watched Sunday, curled in his living room under warm blankets. For Lent, I’m giving up on half my phone calls to him. Calling The Republican is like drinking; I want to do it, and it might make me a little giddy, but afterwards there’s a hollow knawing on my insides. I shouldn’t have. This is too much. I can’t handle the way this makes me feel. I don’t know how to deal. I hate dating more than anything in the entire world, and the only thing worse than dating is not dating at all. The masculine objects of my true affections always tear me up in a million little ways. This is at least the fourth time I’ve been through this; you’d think I’d learn by now. But I never do. I can’t help myself. They just…smell good. And now I’m off on a tangent.

The truth is, I need Spring. I need it more than anything in the whole world. So I called up Dust, who is the vernal equinox boy, and demanded he get on with it all ready. He sighed at me the way he does when I’m being unreasonable.

“Look, I’m working on it, OK? I figure if I concentrate real hard for the next four weeks, then it’ll be ready.”

That’s not soon enough. I want Spring and I want it NOW.

“Well, you’ll just have to wait.”

He was positively intractable on the point. The next four weeks will pass like syrup for me, as I wait and wait for the ice to break, for the sun to shine on me full time, for the bulbs to show me what they’ve been working on all year. This is torture.

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