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2006-08-23 - 2:17 p.m.

I spend about four nights a week at my girlfriend's place, three nights at my apartment. Life is much different depending on where I'm sleeping:

1. All available surfaces in my bedroom are covered in, just, stuff: literary journals that I've leafed through, rubber bands, empty water bottles from when it was 100 degrees for two weeks in a row, loose CDs, felt-tip markers for addressing big envelopes, books that I haven't read, elastic hair bands (?), pennies and nickels, pairs of clean socks, those motherfucking subscription cards that fall out of the New Yorker (always four per issue!), my wallet, keys, caps for empty water bottles, and twelve kinds of official mail that I never open and is the least attractive correspondence addressed to me.

2. I smoke many more cigarettes at my place than I do at hers. I fill up ashtrays at my place, but smoke only one or two a night at her place.

3. I, apparently, leave toothpaste in her sink and sometimes clean it up. I didn't know I did this, but she insists that I do. I also sometimes do her dishes. I also leave "little messes."

4. At my place, I eat frozen pot pies, frozen pizzas, sandwiches made out of whatever I can find, and many different kinds of Chinese food and Subway brand sandwiches. Another fact is that I do, actually, like to cook. I think I'm a, like, seven-out-of-ten sort of cook. I get by all right. At her place, last night, I made butter-and-seasoning-blackened chicken legs and also garlic-and-parmesan mashed redskin potatoes. My parents did it this way: my mom took care of the day-to-day cooking and my dad did the special business like Mexican food and gazpacho and elaborate breakfasts twice a month with orange marmelade on the toast.

5. At my place, I wake up with more headaches and with more dryness in my mouth. At her place, I wake up with dog hair sometimes threaded through the gaps in my eyelashes and with a pretty girl next to me.

6. I drink cold water at her place. My place does not do cold water. My roommates, for some reason, insist on keeping the water pitcher out on the kitchen island. I don't know. Old habits dying hard, maybe. I'd like to get rid of about eighteen jars of mustard and jelly and coconut soy peanut something and instead jam that water pitcher in the fridge because there is absolutely nothing wrong with cold water, all the time, up in your face, I'd like some right now.

7. I wonder why we like cold water so much? You'd think cold water when it's not cold outside is a relatively recent thing. Other than water that comes from a mountain, or deep underground and from a cold place, in the style of Busch beer from the mid- to late-nineteen-eighties.

8. I can't get enough of the new Futureheads album. Some bands, out of the thousands and millions, feel more right than all the rest. A friend also has got me listening to John Vanderslice. So far, he's strange and intense and playful.

9. And her apartment is much smaller and not made of concrete both above and below and is therefore cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and generally smells better. Hers=smells like herbs and things. Mine=smells like beer and curry, maybe?

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