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Mildly mentally ill

It was early for the mail to be in, but on my way to work this morning I chanced it, stopped at the maildrop, twisted my key in the box, and found a letter from Sarah-Katherine.

Joy? Possibly, but it took me a while to screw up my nerve and open it.

After trading some letters, we finally met when I was in Seattle last month, but I hadn't heard from her since we kissed goodbye on her porch ten days ago. In that time I'd sent her a zine, a letter, a post card, and written another letter not yet sent because maybe it's too mushy.

Yeah, I've got it bad.

Finally, what the hell, I ripped open her envelope, read it while walking to the bus stop, and… hey, Sarah-Katherine still likes me! She says some sweet things… tee hee… gosh, am I blushing behind my beard? Joy!

Oh, enough already — typing so much joy is making me ill, and it must be making you nauseous reading it.

And then all day at the shop, I was exactly the kind of character I can't stand — happy-go-lucky, whistling, attaching deep meaning to the schmaltzy songs on the radio. I offered LeeAnn an unsolicited testimonial about the high-quality cleaning products she had me scrubbing with.

When she had me slip into that silly cape and skirt to pass out the shop's flyers, I altered my normal sidewalk spiel from "Colorful clothes, exotic gifts — upstairs!" to "Free drugs, naked boys — upstairs!" And more folks than usual climbed up the stairs, but LeeAnn said several of them asked where the naked boys were.

Of course, no matter what I say, almost nobody takes the damned flyers any more, but at least they smiled, allowing me to share my joy with the world. Two gay men flirted with me, and one of them kissed me on the lips, and it was joy. I had to say, "Sorry, no tongues," but I said it politely, not wanting to lessen the joy.

Sarah-Katherine likes me, woo-hoo, and it's amazing what that does to me. Only ecological concerns and the lack of a jackknife kept me from carving DH+SK into every tree on my long walk home.

I wrote back to her as soon as I got to the apartment. Sent two letters, actually — the mushy one I'd written but hesitated to mail, and a more mellow letter, answering today's letter, and inviting her to fly down to San Francisco any time she needs an escape from the clouds over Seattle. I promised her, San Francisco's clouds are much nicer.

Infatuation is a mild form of mental illness, like being manic, only more fun. So I'm mildly mentally ill, and I'll recover, but tonight I'm sinking into it like an overstuffed sofa.

The management of this zine apologizes for the cheerful nature of the above entry. Now that I know where I stand with Sarah-Katherine — further away than I'd like, but close enough to hold hands — I pledge, dear reader, to lay off the giddiness and hearts and arrows and happiness, and return to the grumpy brooding you pay $3 a month to read.

From Pathetic Life #13
Thursday, June 1, 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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