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2007-06-06 - 12:39 a.m.

This morning, on the way out of my girlfriend's apartment building, I passed one of her neighbors who was sitting on the front steps. It was about nine o' clock, and just beautiful out. He's got long dreads and was drinking a cup of 7-Eleven coffee. He was watching the traffic go by.

"Nice morning to sit on the stoop," I said.

"Yeah," he said. "I do this every morning. Sometimes."

Five minutes later, at a red light, I was watching a police car pull up beside an SUV with its windows down. The cop, a black lady, waved her hand. I thought: I wonder if that's her friend, in the SUV. And then the SUV pulled ahead and I saw that she was waving at a little white girl, about four years old. The little girl turned and kept waving, even when her car had pulled way ahead.

I've been offered a one-semester writer-in-residence thing at a school about three and a half hours from here. I'd teach a class and give a couple of readings and generally act as a mentor to the students there. They'd pay me a modest amount of money--a small stipend--and a living allowance. I wouldn't lose any money, basically. And it's a good deal and would look good and, when I wasn't teaching, could write. But, man, I'm torn up over it. To turn it down would break my heart, because I think I was their first choice (they offered me the gig seven hours or something after the phone interview) and because it's feels like a fairly prestigious thing. But I'd have to leave a town I love, go to a town where I know no one, and all that. I always agonize over decisions like these. I truly don't know what I'm going to do. It's a good problem to have, I suppose, but that doesn't make the decision any easier to make. Really, what I'd like to do is to quit my job for two or three months, write, and then either get this job back or get another. I'm reasonably sure I could get another job like the current one with little trouble. Back and forth, back and forth, all day.

My girlfriend turns 27 tomorrow (today). On Saturday, we're having dinner and beer and then seeing J. Roddy Walston and the Business at the Ottobar. She loves them and I think they're great. They're one of the most fun rock bands I've ever seen. Rock and roll and beers and smokes and shouting in the ear that makes for smiles.

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