This morning, Judith told me she'd had a dream, but she called it a premonition, which sounds more serious but actually isn't. In her dream, I'd received a kiss-off letter from Sarah-Katherine. It wasn't a mean letter, but it was definitely goodbye.

It's weird that Judith is dreaming about Sarah-Katherine, and weirder that she told me that particular dream, but who among us isn't weird?

Anyway, it's a dream — or premonition — that didn't come true. Instead, a very nice letter from Sarah-Katherine came in today's mail.

In too many ways to detail again (see last month's issue), Sarah-Katherine is the best thing that's happened to me in the past, oh, 37 years or so. I haven't had many real relationships with many sane women, and I'm self-aware enough to know that I'd probably swoon for any dame that smiled at me and held my hand. Sarah-Katherine isn't just any dame, though. We click, I think, in ways I rarely click with anyone.

Of course, there's some truth to Judith's premonition. Sarah-Katherine will "Dear John" me sooner or later, because that's what women do.

When she dumps me, I'll keep bumbling along. Been dumped before, and I'm not a slash-my-wrists guy; suicide is far too exciting for a dull dude like me.

Nah, I'll just go back to my natural state — being alone. I'm good at it. Way better at being alone than at being with anyone else.

♦ ♦ ♦

BARTed into the city to have breakfast with Mark Hetts, who writes the Mr Handyperson zine and newspaper column. You know and Mark knows that I abhor anything social, and last week I'd actually weaseled out of a tentative lunch with him ("It's too hot and sweaty").

Today wasn't hot and sweaty, I didn't weasel, and we met and dined in splendor at The Cove on Castro Street. We had omelets, coffee, and conversation, and all of it was good.

I like Mark. He's a nice guy, and we have some psychosis in common. We could pass for brothers, too — we're both big white guys with beards and minimal hair on top, we could both stand to lose some weight, and we're both not trying to slim down.

Memo to Mark: If I fall into my normal hermit habits and don't call again within a few weeks, please remind me. Breakfast together was fun, and I'd like to do it again.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

While I was in San Francisco and only a few blocks away, there was a work-related errand to run. Remember that lady in March, who'd hired me to clean her garage, but then slept in instead? I'd been there at the agreed upon time, my wage is $5 per hour, and my minimum for any job is four hours. So she owed me twenty dollars, but she'd refused to pay.

Well, that debt has now been forgiven, because I'm a magnanimous man. And also because it'll cost more than twenty bucks to replace both windows in her garage door.

From Pathetic Life #15
Monday, August 14, 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.


  1. I wanted to give you words of encouragement, premonitions don't exist and your girl isn't going to drop you, but all this happened in the 1990s and she did dump you, right?

    1. I didn't dump her, but I did decide against moving to New York City, where she wanted to live. Maybe that came across as being dumped. After that she moved to NYC, and I never heard from her again. Or at least, that's how I remember things ending.

    2. If she perceived that as being dumped then what can you do? NYC isn't nearly as fun as people make out in movies or in history books. It's terrific for people with jobs in the media. But for someone who just wants to live quietly and not pay a premium to do so, then NYC is a disaster. It's even worse these days because there is barely anything left in Manhattan to see or do, outside of museums and expensive Broadway plays. Brooklyn is supposedly where the culture is, but it's way too expensive, too twenty-something, too hip to be interesting. Even Patti Smith said you won't find artists living there anymore but look to smaller, downtrodden spots like Detroit or Poughkeepsie (I think that's pushing it) if you wish to live cheap and be an artist.

      How sad that there was a misunderstanding. Unless she was really only wanting to use you so she could move with somebody. (Though I'm sure a part of you screams USE ME! GO AHEAD! I'LL USE YOU, TOO!! WE'RE EVEN!) Well, even you said, you ended up with someone much better suited for you in Stephanie. I still hope you hear from Sarah, if that's what you want and I think you do. Cheers -- Arden.

    3. It's been so long I can't remember why I said no, but I think it had to do more with the "friends with benefits" thing than the price of New York City. You're right, though, that most of the culture of NYC is for snooty people with fat wallets. Or at least, so it seems from a distance.

      Stephanie was the best woman who ever was or ever could be, at least for me. I'll miss her every moment I'm alive.

      As for Sarah-Katherine, I'd just like to hear that she's still alive, but I haven't found a trace of her. If she's mad at me, I hope she'll forgive me, and if she ever stumbles across this page, I'd just like to say "Sorry," and "Please write," and "No, I'm not looking to get into your pants. I'm too old for such shenanigans."

      But I'd add, "Unless you insist."


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