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2007-08-26 - 5:53 p.m.

I've been busy. It's been two weeks, it seems, of last-minute Baltimore friend time, which has been good for the soul. But I'm leaving tonight for Altoona, Pa., for a three-month writer thing, which is great, too. But right now I'm sad because my girlfriend was crying as of twenty minutes ago and she's not a big crier. It's one of the tougher moments, as she and I knew it would be, but knowing that it'll get a little easier doesn't make it any easier right now.

I'm spending a week at my parents' house, an hour and a half away from Altoona, for this first week. My cottage (the landlady insists on calling it that, so I do, too) won't be ready until the first of September. It's fully furnished, which is nice. No pets and no smoking. It's got all the furniture I'll need for three months and even sheets and blankets, though I've got to wonder about that. For life, I printed out a dozen of my favorite photos and will tack them to the walls. And then I'll make coffee and turn on one of the two TVs every now and then and it'll be all right. No internet, which is something I need. I spend too much time online.

I hope to have something finished when this gig is up. Mid-December. I teach a class three times a week and give some readings and it'll go fast, I think. We'll talk every night and since it's only three hours from Baltimore, I'll come back every other weekend or so. Bachelor's party in Vegas in late October. I think she'll visit once or twice. I love her, of course, and I'll miss her.

I'll make iced tea, too, in emptied-out apple juice containers. I'll fill it with water and put eight or ten tea bags in the top and screw on the lid really tight and set the whole thing out on the porch or wherever it's sunniest. And with each glass, I'll love her a little more, I think. That's how I'll set it up. That's how I'll measure it.

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