Maybe it's the hotcake syrup talking, but today sucks. The temperature is approximately -infinity and the metropolis I call home hasn't had power for going on twelve hours. It is so cold [how cold is it?] that the Diet Dr. Pepper in my bedroom has turned to Diet Dr. Pepper icee--and not the good kind that AJE used to get at that gas station. The bad kind, the kind that tastes watered down and anemic and depressed. [that wasn't very funny.] (I don't live to amuse you.)

At the current moment, the present time, this exact second, I'm sitting in the Gilman McDonald's. They have heat. For the first time in my life, I payed for temporary Internet access only to stare at an empty e-mail inbox and an iChat list with lots of red dots and the word "Away" staring me in the face, provoking me like a damned Diet Dr. Pepper icee. And not the good kind, either.

Let's play a game, I say to myself. Let's see how long it takes me to stop staring at "Away" and start doing something productive.

I would participate, but I don't like these storts of competitions with myself. They wouldn't be so bad if the cards weren't so stacked against me that it was impossible to win.


More so, I would participate if my participation didn't imply weakness, which it almost inevitably does. Feeling weak isn't my "thing." Confused, yes. Frustrated (AJE style), sometimes. Weak? Not so much. Perhaps a self-esteem issue here and there might project an aura of weakness. It's not so much weakness, though, as a self-evaluation of my shortcomings--with the knowledge that I have the ability to "fix" most of them. Granted, I'm often the harshest critic of mysef--and you of yourself, and you of yourself, etc. But I don't feel weak, often.

Well, no more "Away." It took only 47 minutes, and I'm pretty sure I stared the entire time.

Is that weakness or strength, self-control or self-immolation?


It felt something like this:

My tongue is in my fingertips and it abhors the keyboard's bitter zest. It's not possible to say how I feel or how I think you feel. I can't imagine because I haven't experienced. This isn't so much a conversation as a dance and not even a good kind of dance, having recently learned that there is such a thing, where at least one of the participants actually enjoys the movement. It was, more so, a dance of avoidance--a dance where the purpose was, in fact, to avoid moving too abruptly, to carefully step away from each other and on to more important ritualistic dances, to elevate the discourse such that it ceases. Because it's impossible to comprehend this rhythm. Because the tempo is much too fast to feel this remarkably slow. And because it's not a fad. Or the chicken dance. Or the electric slide.

And that's why I won't type, "I'm sorry..."


You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him realize that the water is actually a metaphor for free will and that the horse, itself, isn't actually a horse but a symbol for man.

You can never lead a man on, but you can't stop him from leading himself on.

You can show no interest in a man, but you can't stop him from imagining interest.

You can lead a horse to a certain conclusion, but you can't make him accept that conclusion--no matter how self-evident.

You can lead, but you can't make.

You can, but you can't.

You, but you.

You, you

You can lead a lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink his own reflection.

(Why do you continue to lead this horse, anyway?)

(Oh, that's right, you're not. I already forgot.)


This is not poetry.