Sunday, December 19, 2004

Peaks And Valleys

Some good news and some bad news came my way this past week. First, on Tuesday when I showed up for class, the head of the English department took me aside and asked, "Would you be (insert my full name here) by chance?" I said yes, very warily. I didn't know who he was when he asked. But he introduced himself and informed me that my exit essay had been chosen as the best out of all the students at my junior college, which is a little like saying that I was voted best looking man in a room full of hockey players. But I was still pleasantly surprised, especially considering that I didn't write the essay thinking that there was any kind of prize attached. He asked me to come back to school the next day to receive a prize for achieving this feat. I wavered, because Wednesday is not a school day for me and I was not interested in showing up for whatever "honor" was being bestowed on me...until he informed me of the $500 prize. Of course I was there with bells on the next day.

I walked into a room full of teachers. The English department had gathered in a room for their Christmas party, and this was the room I was told to come to when I got off work. It was a very humbling scene. All the teachers congratulated me one by one, some telling me that my essay was so good that they were passing it around to the other members of the faculty. Then I found out that the money was actually a scholarship in the name of a former English teacher at the college who died, and his sister, tears in her eyes, told everyone how much her brother meant to her and told me how proud he would be of my work. Then an empty envelope was given to me in the name of presentation, because the actual check had not been signed by the proper authorities. I said a couple of words, mostly how speechless and honored I was, then I shuffled back to my seat as if embarrassed by the attention. The check should be waiting for me when I come back after the Christmas--oops, winter--break. By the way, the essay was my answer to the question: "How does physical appearance affect how you look at yourself and how others look at you?" I had so much to say about that subject that I went through the five sheets of paper originally given to me and asked for one extra.

The award made me wonder where I would be if I had tried to attend college right out of high school. My grades were atrocious and my concentration was the same, so I honestly don't think I was ready for more school when I graduated high school. So I have been working at the same job for the last ten years while basically waiting to win Powerball so I wouldn't have to worry about education. But that never happened. Now that I have started school, it has been fun and rewarding. The three credits I received for passing English 101 may not seem like much, compared to the 60 I need for an associate's degree or the 120 I need for a bachelor's. But because I actually enjoyed the 17-week journey while I earned those, I am looking forward to what else I will learn while I pursue more credits. I will not be expecting more rewards for my writing, however. Perhaps I am a good enough writer where I will receive more accolades in the future. But for now, I need to enjoy the experience and make sure that I keep my concentration level high.

Speaking of that job I've had for ten years, that's the bad news. As you know if you read my previous post concerning what happened between me and "Karen," I have known that my position was being eliminated since October 2003. Friday morning, I learned that the end should be coming on January 7. Of course, me being the lazy fuck that I am, I have nothing lined up after I am let go. I have heard of receiving unemployment, but I know nothing about it. From what I hear, it won't pay nearly as much as what I'm making, not that I am making a lot now. This leaves me three options: Stay out here by myself and try to find work, get a roommate, or move back to my uncle's cramped house, where he, his wife, and their two teenage boys reside, in order to save money. I don't think I am moving back to my uncle's house; it's just too difficult to adjust to living with those many people after living alone for seven years. Plus, where would I host the houseguests with bags of dildos who blow me twenty minutes after meeting me? I don't think I want to look for a roommate; all the people I know I wouldn't want to live with, which leaves the rest of the world, who are all strangers. I don't deal with strangers well. Guess that leaves wasting my settlement check from my layoff on rent.

Notice how I did not consider moving in with "Jane" as an option. Yes, everything is still going well between us. We still talk every night, and usually every morning. But I have learned my lesson from Karen and "Sarah." I am not going to make plans to share a place with a woman until I feel like I really know her. This may take a few years of long-distance dating. Oh well. I'll be damned if I get screwed over again like those other women did to me. It's less than two weeks to the first meeting between me and Jane. I want this more than anything else in the world right now. We seem to be separated at birth, our personalities are so similar, and I absolutely cannot wait until we spend that weekend together to see how we mesh in real life, not just over the phone. But I will not expose my heart to Jane, no matter how much I think I am in love with her. It may not be fair to her, and it may hurt her that I seem to keep an air of distrust when dealing with her. But I swear the next woman to lie to me or let me treat them well all summer only to dump me because I don't apply clamps to her nipples and humiliate her, I don't know what I will do. I have to protect myself. No one else sure the fuck will.

Speaking of Sarah, she sent me a birthday card and wrote that she hopes I get all that I wish for. (My birthday is December 22.) It's taking all my self-control to not call her and curse her out. All that I wished for was one woman to treat me right and let me treat her right. And for several months she was okay with being that person. Then she started longing for those wonderful nights handcuffed on someone's kitchen floor with a ball gag in her mouth.

By the way, I heard that she is supposed to be moving up here to a suburb near me. I wonder what master she met that lives up this way? Stay tuned...

And if I don't get a chance to do it personally, happy holidays to all of you. I hope you all get what you wished for.

I'm going to go hang myself now or swallow some bleach or something...

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