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peak:

Today was the first weekday in a month that I've been able to do absolutely nothing without guilt.


valley:

I did do nothing.


noise:

Dixie Chicks' Fly CD


sustenance:

Mac & Cheese.


thoughts:

Zoe is in town and hopefully, I'll get the chance to hang out with her tonight.


365:

August 9: "The Gradute," adult sleeping patterns and compliments, oh my!


thursday, august 9th

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Quote Du Jour:
"Dreams last so long Even after you're gone I know, that you love me And soon you will see You were meant for me And I was meant for you ." - (Jewel, "You Were Meant For Me")


Sometime in the last week of July, I stumbled across a Yahoo! personal ad from a girl in Oakdale. In the ad, she mentioned something about enjoying receiving random IMs, so I sent one her way. The IM sparked a lengthy chat that I thoroughly enjoyed. That in and of itself was a rarity and I took it as a good sign of some sort. We chatted again the next night and again had what I decided was a fairly good conversation. In our second conversation, we both expressed a love for a local park in Oakdale. We agreed to meet in person Friday night and go play in the park.

After arriving in Oakdale Friday afternoon, I ran some errands and stopped by the campus newspaper office to play with Photoshop for a while. I logged onto AIM and before long, Haley was online. We tried to work up a plan for the evening. I had planned to go to the park with her and leave it at that... She, on the other hand, suggested dinner. I agreed.

During our chat, she asked me what must be the standard, "are you an axe murderer?" question. I replied with what must be the standard, "no" answer and she gave me directions to her house. We decided to meet around six and, lucky for me, I didn't miss the mark by much. Actually, I think I was on time. My friends would be amazed.

We had seen pictures of each other... and had even heard each other's voice via .wavs on AIM... yet, meeting someone for the first time when you are the only two people involved can be quite awkward. We'd only known each other for a week or so online, so there was no real comfort level established before we met. Slowly, though, as our conversation progressed... my nerves, at least, settled.

While sitting in her living room, we heard what sounded like breaks locking up and some sort of crash. We hopped up and ran to the window but the only thing we saw was an old, beat up dump truck rolling down the street. As soon as I saw it, I was close to dismissing the noise as coming from the truck... but then we heard yelling that could only be coming from someone that was pissed as hell that her car had been hit. I told Haley that I really needed to check it out.

I climbed in the truck and drove down a block to the east before I could see the accident one more block to the north. I pulled up and because there were no emergency-type folks there, I accessed the situation. Three vehicles involved. At least two drivers were injured and one was extremely pissed off. The only person with a cell phone was yelling into it and so I called 911. I've heard stories about crazy 911 callers and it felt good to be able to provide pertinent information calmly and clearly. I directed traffic long enough to let a truck and trailer through the scene before I made my exit. The state police were on scene and I don't want to do someone else's job. During the time I was at the accident, Haley had walked down to check things out. I apoligized by saying, "this is what I do" and went back to her house. It was long long before our stomachs grumbled and we headed to dinner.

We ate at a restaurant that specializes in various forms of dead cow and grilled chicken. It's also has buckets o' peanuts for your consumption while you wait. It's not four-star... but the beer is always cold and the food is always good. On the way out after dinner, we both remarked at how pretty the night was. It's been warm in my part of the world (probably your part, too) but the air was almost cool. I thought about heading the park, but she drove to her house instead. We got there, talked a bit and about 10:30, I made a comment about going to the park. I was tired... and if she had said no, I would have been cool with it but she slipped on some pants and off we went.

She seemed as though we were going to appease me and that worried me, but my opinion changed once we got there. We took a walk, played around the fountain, balanced and walked along a brick retaining wall and climbed upon a big piece of art to talk. There's a tunnel through a hill in the park and I love to stand in the middle because of the depth and echo it adds to your voice. I usually pretend to be a PA announcer in a big league park and announce my turn at bat (Friday was no different). After I stopped playing around, I witnessed for myself one of Haley's talents. She can sing. Like an angel.

She sang a bit of opera, a verse of Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me" and a little bit of "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin. It was dark in the tunnel... and I could only see her silhouette. I stood there and just smiled... feeling lucky to be there. The tunnel carries your voice through parts of the park and I thought how cool it would have been to be there some other night -- before I'd met Haley -- and to hear her voice carry through the night air.

Finally, we decided that the small bugs of the night were causing us trouble and left for her house. When we got out of her car in her driveway, we walked over to my truck and the awkwardness that had been there hours before returned. This wasn't a date, was it? This was two people just getting together at the early stages of friendship. Why should it be awkward? I think we were going to shake hands... but we were sort of close, anyway, and I did that whole one arm hug sort of thing. She said, "oh, you're going hug me, huh?" I'm not sure what that meant. We exchanged pleasantries and she told me something along the lines of "see you next time."

copyright © 2001-02, Thomas Fletcher. all rights reserved.