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2003-04-28 - 10:10 p.m.

I got my paper on Whitman done an hour before class and I have no idea if it's any good or not. I'm just glad it's done, away from me, out there.

Taught my last class of the semester this morning. Had the students organize their writing folders. Writing folders. Manilla sheets that hold everything they've written this semester. Together, the 22 of them weigh about seven pounds. I can't believe this is the best we can do in the 21st century. Writing folders.

So I've still got some work to do for my grad classes. A final on Chaucer, a final on 19th century American literature, 22 papers and finals to grade, and two of my own stories to revise. I'm going to do the fun stuff first and revise. The rest of it can blow me.

Deb's phone call this morning at 10:30 woke me up. I slept on the couch last night, living room lights blazing. Never meant to fall asleep there. But I did. I regretted, almost immediately, not taking the phone call. I called back after class but got her voice mail. Hi. I'm in love with you but you live 800 miles away. I'll just have to be content with that. It'd be funny if it wasn't me.

The old black guy at the 7-Eleven makes me laugh every time. He's probably the jolliest man I've ever met. He's nothing but smiles and I never get a feel for what he's really like on the inside. Today, he said that ``People are losing their heads because the stuff they want isn't out here.'' He motioned toward the chips in front of the hot dog machine, but I don't know what he was talking about. I paid for my cigarettes and wished him a good night. He did the same and welcomed the next guy who came through the doors. ``Hey, how you doin' tonight?'' I wonder how many times he's said that in his life.

I sweated for the first time in a long time today. It felt nice, the sweat drying on my forehead, once I got inside.

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