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2005-08-26 - 4:22 p.m.

Driving in this morning, going south on Gay Street, I saw a little kid sandal. Just one of them, in the middle of the other, northbound lane. The sandal belonged to a seven-year-old, I'd say. I was sad about that for the rest of the drive.

And, also, I'm a prick. I turned down a job I'd already said yes to because another place offered me a lot more money last night. The guy called me "incredibly unprofessional." Then he said he hoped I "could live with myself." I feel like I just dumped somebody. And I'd never even met this particular guy. Anyway, I felt like shit about that pretty much all afternoon. This temp place wants to hire me to do scanning. That'd be the whole job. Scanning. I'm starting the job I did take the day after Labor Day. I get 23 days off a year. She said, "For those who don't plan on getting sick, you can take four weeks' worth of vacation."

The Russian girl leaves on Wednesday. This wasn't supposed to happen either, this sadness that this girl is leaving. I wasn't supposed to like her this much. But I want to tell her things all the time and then she's not there. I'd like to make fun of people and have her laugh at it. She has a great laugh. It's kind of a stoned, rapid, hehehe, crescendo-ish laugh. Sometimes she snorts. Her cheeks get red a lot. She fits perfectly when we hug.

I'm working on a plan to not be as scared, as edgy, as I sometimes am. Nervous, I guess. I was driving around today and I realized that's one of the things that's separated my brothers and me. I thought about how, before any kind of vacation or road trip as a kid, we'd stop by a McDonald's and get breakfast. We always got bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits and orange juices. My two brothers ate their sandwiches in, like, four seconds, but I'd always take a few bites and not finish the rest. They couldn't believe it back then, every time. So I guess I've always been on the nervous, twittery side of things. Which is not always a bad thing, when you try to do what I try to do.

My brother turns thirty-three on Sunday. That sounds like the age at which you should get a tattoo with that number. A "33" on your left chest, for example. I don't know why that is. Seems a pretty important age to me. At the peak of something. Effectiveness, maybe. Clarity?

I like my new truck. It fishtails when the road's wet. Feels like there's a high-pressure water hose gyrating out of control behind me when I take a wet turn too fast.

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