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She saw the rest of me

There's ample time to think when you're pacing the sidewalk, handing out flyers for a second-hand shop. Wearing a skirt and saying, "Delightful shop upstairs," a thousand times a day doesn't take all my minimal mind's puny powers, so there are other thoughts.

Since visiting Seattle and meeting Sarah-Katherine last week, I've been thinking what a fool I'd be to let her become a memory. Or only a pen-pal again.

I've written her a letter, sure, and got a short one from her since returning, but are letters all I want? We clicked 2½ nights out of 3 in Seattle, and it's been a long time, maybe never, since anything clicked like that.

There have been a few women in my pathetic life, some of them intelligent, some with something interesting to talk about, some who made me laugh, think, wonder. Sarah-Katherine is all that, and I knew it from her letters before we met.

In person, she's like her letters only more so — capable of deep thoughts and dumb jokes, sometimes in the same moment. She's genuinely interesting, and I'm curious tonight, to know what's going on in her head and in her life. She'll tell me in her letters, but I'd rather hear it in her voice across a table, sharing breakfast and coffee.

That's a surprise. I always choose solitude, being a hermit, having no friends and no romance, because being by myself is better than being with someone else. Anyone else. Almost anyone else.

Sarah-Katherine read the zine, which is most of me, and when we were together she saw the rest of me. Very few people see that. The rest of me always stays hidden, because people aren't interested, or they'd be offended, or they'd laugh when I'm being serious and tell me to seek psychiatric help when I'm joking. Most people are only frustration wrapped in skin, and I live as a hermit to keep them away.

Sarah-Katherine wasn't most people. There's very little 'most people' in her at all.

After our third and probably final date, we said goodbye without a word about any future. Realistically, our future is trading letters until we lose interest, or lose track of each other's addresses.

Seems like a sucky future to me, but it's pointless to daydream of anything more, ain't it? I'm too plain, too dull, too old for her. She has friends and a social life in Seattle, while I have neither in San Francisco, so our few hours together must've meant more to me than to her. We had three nice evenings, says my sane side. Now let her go.

I never much follow my sane side's advice, though. If I did I'd be a long ways from San Francisco, and there wouldn't be a zine, and I wouldn't be writing at all, and I'd be miserable or dead, instead of confused and infatuated.

When I think of Sarah-Katherine, there's a smile on my face. That's the only certainty in all this.

If the feeling isn't mutual, so be it. If seeing me three times is enough, I'll fade away politely. It would be double-damned dumb, though, if I didn't at least tell her what I'm thinking, so... as soon as I figure out what I'm thinking I'll let her know right away.

From Pathetic Life #12
Sunday, May 28, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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