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2005-07-27 - 10:45 p.m.

I been thinkin' about the doorbell
When you gonna ring it?
When you gonna ring it?

Seems so many of the White Stripes' songs are about longing. But the music always makes them less sad and more like a party, sitting there thinkin' about the doorbell, wondering when you gonna ring it. The anticipation. Same goes for "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground." I love that song, too. "Shiny tops and soda pops when I hear your lips make a sound."

I remember when I started grad school, not knowing anybody, The New Yorker and the WB channel my company, I used to watch whatever movie was on Saturday nights, no matter. One I remember is "Notting Hill." This is a weird thought, or maybe it's the thought of someone who revels in feeling down, but I was kind of jealous of the Hugh Grant character during the scene when Julia Roberts' boyfriend (Alec Baldwin?) comes back and the Hugh Grant guy has to play-act like he's the bellhop. Anyway, later, he's walking home, feeling shitty, and of course it's raining hard and he's all English and drenched, hair floppy and the scene where if he smoked he'd pull out his pack of Camels and find them soaked, ruined. But I remember sitting there, on my $100 Salvation Army pull-out couch, being jealous of this character for feeling so deeply, jilted and disappointed but just straight bummed. I don't feel that way any more, and so I can't express the feeling like I once could, but I was jealous of that state he was in. Kind of like how I used to be the smallest bit jealous of people who'd had someone close to them die. This is perverse, I know, but I used to long for that feeling. Maybe I just wanted the kind looks and the attention in a juvenile way.

I had air-conditioned luxury for a few months, because my upstairs neighbors didn't have room for this mammoth 60,000 btu unit or something, but they just made room and so I just helped them switch their shitty one for the nice one I was using. And I'd been running it and so as we took it up their winding stairs, the water inside sloshed all down my jeans and into my sneakers. I have wet feet and it hasn't rained here in weeks, it seems.

The girl I was seeing in Baltimore, one night she was telling me she'd gone into a little store or bookstore maybe, and she said the smell in there reminded her of me. I asked her to describe the smell and she said "cigarettes and humidity."

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