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2006-08-19 - 12:45 a.m.

Drinking scotch. I bought a bottle two weeks ago and it's three-quarters gone, three quarters warm drunk and three-quarters dry mouth and hangover in the morning that feels like a dream that I dreamt too good, too fiercely.

We went to a play tonight. My girlfriend went to college with the playwright. The play was mostly about the playwright and her. It was strange and awkward and funny and kind of exhilarating, being that close to something so live, so electric. The character based on her is called Jenny/Fantasy Jenny. The main character's autobiographical and the story is, too, mostly. He had a big crush on my girlfriend and there's some near-sex and lots of the main character doubting himself and airing his neuroses. When the play got to the scenes that were closest to what really happened, she laughed loudly, when no one else was laughing, at inside jokes that had found the end product. The City Paper described the character based on her as a "sexual predator," and my actual girlfriend, sleeping right now in her bed, dreaming of the rollercoasters we're going to ride tomorrow, did not like that.

She read one of my essays aloud before she fell asleep. She liked it okay, but just okay, and I think I need to learn how to take criticism better. This is not a new thought. I've known this. Not just criticism, or even rejection, but just honesty. Hearing the unvarnished truth without taking it too much to heart is a skill I don't yet have.

Last night, we watched our friends on their TV show, on The Food Network. It's called "Ace of Cakes." The main guy's a friend from college. I didn't know what to make of him back then, when he was a hockey-playing loud guy, obviously a smart dude, head shaved and chin goateed. He was on the Today show this morning. The number two guy on the show is my roommate. He was funny, for sure, dry and deadpan and the subtle highlight of the show, if a half-hour reality show can have a subtle highlight. Last night, sitting on the bakery floor, we drank warm Miller Lite from the Royal Farms up the street and ate cupcakes. Later, we smoked cigarettes out front, on the corner, and neighborhood kids drove by and shouted at us to get off the corner and go home. Some of us passed around a joint and everyone said they were hungry and I acted silly and made some of my friends laugh. And later, we did go home, and in the morning, throat raw from the Camels and the laughing, I went to work and did my job and my boss wrote me a nice note and then I drove back home, music loud, the air through the two windows louder, and during it all kept thinking of whatever's bigger, the elusive thing that sometimes gets me worried, sometimes keeps me singing.

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