Monday, February 25, 2002

Finally had to tear myself away from this computer and get going. The dump run was non-eventful even though I was sporting my brand new yellow dump sticker that NOBODY NOTICED. Nothing at the "Good Stuff" table worth looking at 'cept for an interesting old beer sign that might look good on the wall someplace in the livingroom . . . .then again it might not. I'll check in again next week.

The Neanderthal's at Cricenti's are back at it again. First, I get this teenybopper-prepubescent checkout girl who looks as though she has never been so bored in all of her sixteen years. She mouths the words "Hello" by rote as I read the voice bubble above her head that says, "I hate this job."

Once again, Mr. Anderson of Alexandria has selected an item from the store which is not price marked and which will not scan correctly.... "PRICE CHECK!" The teenpube says, as she curls her mouth downward whilst chewing bubblegum in such a manner to project her hatred of me for holding up the line that is no doubt the only excitement she has seen all day.

Cricenti's hires from two age groups: 1) THE VERY, VERY YOUNG AND IMMATURE. 2) THE VERY, VERY OLD AND SENILE. The price check "boy" who obviously forgot his walker and seeing eye dog, took my item and vanished for the next . . . . . five? ten? minutes. Meanwhile, the teenpube snapped and popped her gum while looking into the empty void of space (obviously a very familiar place for her).

As a customer in this predicament you have several choices: 1) Act totally embarrassed and try to focus on anything in the store that isn't staring back at you like you are an imbecile. 2) Act the goody, goody and laugh nervously and apologize to everyone around including the teenpube. 3) Act annoyed and downright pissed because AFTERALL this is NOT your damn fault anyway. 4) Make smartassed, passive-aggressive little remarks to the teenpube like, "Hey! You've got quite the zit going on there on your chin! Wow! I never seen one that big before!" or start in on the lady behind you with, "My mom used to have a dress like that before she went to Diet Workshop." Just keep your mouth shut if it's a guy cause they've been through all this before and most have cursed under their breath, "Why the hell didn't my wife do this." (single males like myself are exempt from this statement of blame).

I picked #3 today.

Washed my truck at Ferguson's. I'm a regular now and the guys nod at me acknowledging my presence like I'm cool or something. One of the guys scrubbing the hood said, "Nice color, I like this," and I could feel my face flush a bit as my chest expanded. Trucks are cool. Four-wheel drive trucks are the ultimate in machocool. I own a four-wheel drive machocool truck with a nice color. Three more punches and I get a free wash.

Did the library thing. God I love that place. The furniture is better than mine and it just feels so homey there. The girls in the tight pants are a nice bonus too. I checked out a total of six books. Damn. Some kinda record. The guy says to me, "May I help you?" (like I needed help) . . . so, I take my brand new Lamson library card out and toss it at him with that knowing grin (this guy doesn't know I'm a member) and suddenly his face changes . . . . recognition washes over him as he stands straighter and he smiles once he realizes that I AM A LAMSON LIBRARY CARD HOLDER. The bastard will never be the same.

Stopped by to visit Louie. Louie is our resident neighborhood Italian. He tried to give me a bottle of coke and a bottle of olive oil when I left. I had to wave him off. He's a good guy. We talked about a grave mistake I had recently made regarding a sweet girl from Keene. He asks about her often. So I left to go home and call her . . . . -Jeeem-

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Just spent most of my morning perusing my usual blog sites to see what is up. I've been slacking lately, partly due to the relationship I was involved in and just not being in tune with myself. Spent a good while on Chris Allen's site: The Black Telescope. A very interesting blend of musicians who not only play music but also travel and write. I have asked Chris if I can come visit him in Belfast but truthfully, I am like a kid in a candy shop right now, in search of a place to go.

I've got about a grand and it's burning a hole in my pocket. Bangkok is an option, although Pim's mum is sick so I'd be on my own. Thought about Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Panama, Caracas, Rangoon, London, Dublin and a host of others but want that money to s-t-r-e-t-c-h as far as it can go. Perhaps I should exercise the novel idea of saving for a better trip. Hummmmm........ Naw! Screw it! I'm gonna go SOMEWHERE.

I made a pact with myself last year. I said I'd travel the HELL OUT of the U.S. every year, if only for a week. So, the skys the limit. Stay tuned fellow bloggers to see where the hell I end up.

The breakup is two days old now. The heart is recovering rapidly as I did not allow myself to fall in love again, my big cinderblock and brick barrier working as planned. My suspiciousness is well tuned. This was not right for me. I could feel it in my bones but gave it the old college try anyway. The wallet is still smoking a bit though. I'm such a cheapskate . . . er, uh frugal! Frugal is the word I think . . . yeah, yeah, that's the ticket!

Am I to go through life without a mate? Would that be acceptable? I'm not going to end up like May Sarton for crissakes. I want to travel and meet people and do weird shit like ride a platypus. Can one ride platypi? I'd ride one if you could. My memories of Mindanao are still fairly fresh and if it weren't for the unrest down there right now, I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Trouble is I listen to too many people. People here in the U.S. freak out about travel to Asia. My office mate Wanda calls the countries I am interested in, "Harsh Countries." She says, "Jim's going to a HARSH country again!" The U.K. isn't harsh in her book. Neither is the Carribean. Naw . . . let's go to Suriname! How bout the Honduras? I can speak a leetle Spanish. Muy pokito el speako Espanolo.

Well, I'm rambling here. Too much coffee again. None of my European friends are inviting me over to see them. Probably read too much of my blogging and are very afraid. The hell with you guys. Dominique (Common name that it is in Canada) hasn't even offered to put me up in her flat with her dog who barks at people who have middle eastern accents and break their keys off in their locks at ungodly hours of the morning (sounds pretty suspicious to me). Besides, I'd probably only get hit by a car in Montreal while crossing the street in traffic.

Ah....well, being the free man I am now, I've decided today to: A) Grow my beard back. B) Pick up my laundry and my dry cleaned tie (toothpaste) C) Grab up my books, diskette, rough draft of my research proposal and go to Lamson Library at PSC (my home away from home) D) Treat myself to some greasy tidbit in the great PSC college town. WHOOPIE! PARTY! God, am I getting old or what?

Send all salutations, flowers, gifts, and hate mail to: Jeeem

Saturday, February 23, 2002

Have you read, "Dominique Goes on a Job Interview," lately? It's a good read and very detailed but it leaves you hanging. Did she actually take the damn job or not? Last I remember she was crying on a park bench. Perhaps I've missed something.

Dominique mentions wondering about who she will marry when she was a little girl. I used to wonder that stuff when I was a little boy. I'd be daydreaming somewhere and would think to myself, "I wonder where in the world my wife is right now?" I never got into that funky astrology stuff. I'm a Leo so I'm exempt from having to correctly pair with another astrological figure as we Leo's naturally can fit into any astrological sign simply by willing ourselves to do so.

If I had been able to look into the future back then while daydreaming as a little boy, I would have been horrified. You see, I have this powerful fear.... It's called abandonment. It is not a normal fear I don't think and it rules me to no end. I can't seem to get rid of it and it has become my albatross to bear.

Maybe I will try Dominique's Apple Twist Theory. She obviously gave up too early. I'm gonna just go down to Cricenti's and hang around the fruit counter all day till I get it right. I just got done with Statistics so I'll twist off something like fifty thousand Apple Stems and take a random sample of the letters I come up with, reject my null hypothesis and do a Chi square. I'll come up with a wife if it kills me. (unless I get busted for fruit assault - a class A felony in the U.S. "eh?") -Jeeem-
Welcome back to Dave Emberton (Alias The Daily Dave), whose raving fans got the best of him. -Jeeem-
Oooooh Mark .... I'm jealous.

Ireland huh? (Jim strolls out to Mark's Land Rover and kneels down, peering into the passenger window)

"Take me with you," he says to Mark and Sarah.

"I can make Guacamole and I have a canopener on my keychain"
Wwhoo Boy! Somebody stop the world from spinning!

I did it again folks. Yep mousecateers, ole Jeeem got into another whirlwind romance that was not good for him. You'd think I'd learn from my mistakes. Oh well. I managed to dig myself out of it and feel like somebody lifted a big stone off my shoulders. Just got off the phone with Guiness Book of World Records and seems I need to get in (and out of) at least thirty more relationships before they'll send one of their people out to interview me. Guess I better get busy.

My laptop fried. I'm talking cooked. I plugged the thing in, powered it up and it froze and wouldn't shut down. Couldn't even turn the thing off. Smelled the pungent odor of plastic melting and then it just made a sick beep sound and petered out completely. First thing in my mind was, "Is the damn thing still under warranty?" Well, naturally it was/is as I've only had the damn thing for two months. So, I got on the phone to Dell support.

Have any of you experienced this? Un-freakin' real. Here's how it goes:

"Welcome to Dell Customer and Technical Support. If you know your party's 5 digit extension, please enter it now. If you are calling in regards to a Dell Optima system, please press the number one. If you are calling about an Inspiron portable system, please press two." and so on and so forth. I was on the phone for three days trying to get a human being. When I finally got one, it went something like this.....

"Hello, Dell Customer Support, Marie speaking, how may I help you?"
*three or four second pause* "Hello?"
"Is this a REAL person I'm talking to?"
"Yes. My name is Marie. How may I help you?"
"Oh, Thank God Marie. I am so glad to finally get a human being! Can I tell you that Marie was my mother's name?"
"Oh. Well, that's nice. How may I help you this morning?"
"Marie, I'm sorry. My name is Jim. Jim Anderson. I am so relieved to talk to you Marie."
"That's good. How may I help you Mr. Anderson"
"Please call me Jim, Marie."
"Okay Jim. How may I help you?"

This banter went on for a bit until I told her what my problem was. First off, I did not have the laptop in my possession (big mistake) and found that I was talking to the wrong department. I would have to speak with Technical Service.....

"Please Marie. Don't leave me!"
"I will need to transfer you to Technical Service Mr. Anderson . . er, uh, Jim."
"Thank you Marie. It was nice talking to you. I hope I get to talk to you again Marie . . . er, uh, goodbye Marie"
"Goodbye Jim"

*Jim enters the Abyss of cable silence and elevator music*

"Thank you for waiting. All service personnel are busy with other customers. Please stay on the line and the next available technician will be with you promptly."

I wonder if I broke some sort of Guiness Book of World Records for hearing that recording.

Finally I got Manuel. Manuel was young. I could hear his youngness in his voice. The starched shirts had not gotten to him yet. I immediately played on his sympathy but alas, I did not have my Service Tag number nor my Express Service Code with me.

"I am so sorry Jim. I really cannot help you without those numbers."

I bid him goodbye and told him that I would remember him fondly.

Two days later the issues was resolved. I talked to a guy named Eric (with a "C") who told me they would send out a replacement unit as soon as one was built. Probably three to five weeks.

I have Manuel and Marie's extension numbers and plan on keeping in touch with them. Perhaps I will send them a picture of myself.


Saturday, February 16, 2002

Almost forgot.....

I called the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, DC for the umteenth time yesterday. You see, it was closed from the 11th to the 14th in celebration of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. So, here is the dialog (complete with my imagination):

"Herro, Vianamese Imbassi"

"Hi. My name is Jim Anderson. My full name is Leonard J. Anderson. I sent my passport to you on the 8th for an entry visa and I need to cancel it as my trip to Asia was cancelled"

(imagine this little brown guy holding the phone and covering it with his hand, talking to his colleagues in the office) "It's thaat dam Amelican again."

"Ohkaay. You tell me name again."


"Annersan?" (giggling while holding phone)

"No. A-N-D-E-R-S-O-N"

"Tha's wha I said. Annersan." (more giggling)

You see, these guys speak perfect English. They are just sick of me calling and everytime I hang up, they all make fun of me. I just know it.

Stay tuned for the plight of Jim Annersan's "Return of the passport." -Jeeem-
Whew! What a whirlwind couple of days.

That subject of love thing? Well, here it is: I find that if the woman I am with is very loving and pursues me with a vengence, I retreat. If she plays coy and teases me, not fully giving of her love, I chase after her with all the gusto I can muster. I often wonder if there is a happy medium. Possibly not. I wonder if I will remain single for the rest of my life. Will I be in my fifties and still dating? God, I hope not. That's gross.

Currently I am in deep procrastination. I have a paper due and need to study for my mid-term. I hate this crap. I don't know why I do this to myself every time, but I always do. So, today it's the library at Plymouth State. All those little nymphs running around with their low slung jeans and long beautiful hair, full breasts and pouting lips. Most of them could be my daughter. There ought to be a law. Can't a guy study in peace? I'm such a male.

So, the latest in the works is a trip to London. A Eurail pass and a lot of ingenuity. My lady is planning on going with me. Ought to be interesting. The Griswalds go to Europe.

Haven't read any postings lately on the other sites, except Peter's. I find myself reading Peter's postings over and over and over and sometimes still not getting it. Must be that European way of thinking. He's much more well-read than I. Can't seem to get on Dominique's site and Dave is still stagnant. Guess I've read more than I would admit to.

Well, it's a cold day in town. I begin disliking the winter greatly right about this time of year. Only a couple more months to slog through. Hopefully I'll be the hell out of Dodge in April for two glorious weeks. England, Scotland, Ireland (maybe), France, Italy and maybe a dash of Spain. Can't wait. -Jeeem-

Monday, February 11, 2002

Well, it's official. The Bangkok trip is cancelled. Talk about last minute stuff. Pim's mum is very, very sick and she could not possibly focus on the Vietnam trip and enjoy herself so this is for the best. My prayers are with her, her family and her mother.

I don't have time to blog this morning but I had a brainstorm this morning about myself, regarding the subject of love. I have my mini recorder in my hand though and will tape my thoughts on the way to work. We are in the midst of an ice storm here and this always has a tendency to depress me, which is what I am feeling now. The old dopamine levels are plummeting. Save that half tab Peter and send it to me via post! LOL.

Sometimes I wish I could turn off the thoughts, but it's what keeps me who I am. I've been accused of being too deep but I wonder if there is such a thing or if it's just shallow people's excuse to avoid any depth. Dominique says her mom accused her of talking too much..... well, my father used to say, "You got diarrhea of the mouth son."

I'll leave you with that visual. Stay tuned. -Jeeem-

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Those English folks...blokes I guess you call them, use some pretty weird terms. Weird if you're a South western mexican-indian Texan living in New England. Peter of Naked Blog is talking about all sorts of mouse-rollers and quids (is that like calamari?) and the like. Guess I better brush up on my english terms if I'm gonna travel there and try and understand those bloody blokes. Jeez, I better be careful using some of these terms as I don't know what's a flaming slam and what isn't.

Hey! Youse guys should chill an stan up wit the hommies. Don be talkin' no jive shit an jammin me up now. Stone col mo fo's. Brits should learn how ta talk right and not all crazy an shit. Heck, up here in New England you can travel two hundred miles and hear dialects that ya don't even understand. Mainiacs are the worst. Boston accents like "Paaak da caw in Haaavaad yaaaad fa a quaaaata" are not as bad as you think when ya got so many different cultures in one inner city. I always have trouble when I take the T from Wellington station into Boston and can't understand the Metro guys behind the bulletproof glass. "Aighty sens maaaan. Yo gots ta puut da cown in da slats maaan." Holy crap. The worlds a meltin' pot maaan! -Jeeem-
Well, for those of you who are reading this stuff, in case you don't know it, my girl and I are back together. First we were, then we weren't and now we are again. Ain't love grand? You see, it was the kid thing. The two girls were freakin' out that I was stealin' some of their time with mom. When I disappeared, the little darlings wanted to know where I had gone.

"How come Jim doesn't come around anymore?" they asked.
"Cause I broke up with him," the mother says.
"Why? He was nice!" the little darlings said.
"Cause you girls didn't treat him nice," the mother says.
"What? We liked him!" the little darlings say.

Go figure. Now I finally understand why I didn't have children. They don't come with manuals and I wouldn't have read the damn manuals anyway. So, here we are... dating again but giving the little darlings space. The youngest only loves me for my laptop anyway. Meanwhile, mom and I are doing quite well, thank you.

We have found a place of refuge. It is a small cafe that has couches in it, serves expresso and imported coffee and has a small menu in case you're hungry. We've been spending hours in that place. The people are nice and the atmosphere is relaxing. Time to ourselves. I love this spot cause lately my life has gotten hectic again.

The hecticness (is that a word?) stems from this trip planning of mine. Looks like everything is going to be switching gears in mid-stream now. Got home Friday night to an e-mail from my friend in Bangkok who says her mum is very, very sick. Cancer has invaded her abdomen and the doctors don't think she will last but only a few months. Pimpavee wants me to come still, but I think that is out of her guilt for having to change our plans. I assured her that was not a worry and that all would work out.

I have learned some things from my correspondence and travel to Asia. Not that I am an experienced traveller yet, but at least I understand the culture better than I used to. Asian people place their elders in very, very high regard. You don't see nursing homes or retirement communities on every street corner like you do here in the U.S. We place more emphasis on our children here I think. Not that it is bad or good, just different. I wonder how other cultures are. Pim's parents are at home and she works her fingers to the bone to take care of them and nurse them while they are ill. Both her parents are very elderly.

If the trip to Bangkok doesn't work out, I will still travel and now have asked my girl to get her passport. We will probably end up going to Europe, possibly to Paris or Venice or London...depending on prices. I know I'll end up somewhere, come heck or high water. Angie is busy with work lately but I'm sure she would welcome to weary travelers from the U.S., as might Peter in Leith or Chris in Belfast. I've often fantasized about traveling to Ireland and Scotland simply due to my old radio days when I spoke with so many people there and learned of my spot of Scottish ancestry. My girl is Finnish. Perhaps Finland is nice in April. Who knows.

Sent my passport off to the Vietnamese Embassy on Friday so if I cancel my plans I'll have to give them a ring and ask them to hold off on it. The poor guys practically know me on a first name basis as I have called them about five or six times asking stupid questions. Wonder if they make fun of the way we Westerners talk? Westerners are always mocking the Asian accent after a trip to the Chinese restaurant. I can just hear them.... "Well, golly gosh darn ya'all!" I wonder if any of them have watched Christmas Story and seen the last scene where the guys line up to sing Christmas carols.... "Dek da haws wit bows awf horry! Ta rahrah, rahrah, rah, rah, rah, rah." I always laugh my ass off when the guy cuts the head off that goose with that cleaver.

Well, I did it again. I got into the cookbooks again. I just wanted to come up with a simple, yet fancy recipe for chicken breast. Saw the Tandoori Chicken Breast recipe and took a glance at the ingredients. Garam Masala? What the hell? Ya gotta make the stuff too. Gotta make the ingredients to add to the ingredients. Hey, no big deal right? Yeah . . . . 3 tablespoons cardamom pods... damn, I'm fresh out of em! Two teaspoons fenugreek seeds.... wonder if that's a typo? Holy crap. Then, the peanut oil's gotta be either Asian or cold pressed domestic.

"Excuse me maa'm, do you have the domestic cold pressed peanut oil? I only see the warm pressed on the shelf."

I've given up. I will never make enough money to have a well-stocked kitchen. I'll just stick with my old, "Tried and True" recipes. The employees at the local supermarket are beginning to call me by my first name. Besides, it just doesn't matter anyway. I do have to go get some shampoo today though. Hummmmm, I wonder if I will get the Flex or something fancy like the Sensations blueberry mist or perhaps the Clariol free spirit herbal? Decisions, decisions. -Jeeem-

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Woo Hoo! Guess that red-headed French Blooded Canadian is at the keys again. Get a grip girl. Join an online group and get some therapy will ya? LOL. Speaking of groups, that's what I do for a living. I run groups every day, Monday through Friday and since we're being honest here, I gotta say I L-O-V-E Controversy with a capital "C." I have somewhat of a reputation at work as one who likes to start fires. A regular pyrogroupiac.

The trouble with controversy in group counseling is you gotta have guts. You gotta be able to run with the big dogs or you're gonna get pushed off the damn porch. My role in pyrogroupia is ensuring the campers play clean. Sometimes it gets heated but that's when people learn about themselves. Ya gotta be able to give honest feedback as well as take it. Getting nasty proves nothing except you are capable of taking the poison and expecting your enemy to die.

An individual I had the pleasure of working with about three years ago, from New Jersey, taught me a useful tool in controversial situations. You simply ask yourself three questions: 1) Is it kind? 2) Is it necessary? 3) Is it true? He added that if I couldn't say yes immediately to every one of them, I should keep my mouth shut.

Last night I kept my mouth shut in class.

The trouble with the internet, and online situations, is you are invisible. Just words on a screen. Like fiction, it's a license to lie if you want or be hurtful, or punch that cyber punching bag, or take out your frustrations on the keyboard. Whoever said those famous words, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me," was full of crap. When I was a radio operator, it was no different (except I wasn't sober then .... which was not good. Take my word for it) as I could "hide" behind my microphone and play out any darn ole fantasy I liked. I was labeled an "aggitator" on the bands and often felt I had to live up to that label, often breathing flammable fumes.

Did I say I was clean as the driven snow? No. I'm perfectly capable of an occasional slanderous remark and last I checked, I had both an ego AND some well oiled sarcasm. Mostly, I choose to simply grab my hat and leave.

What's an Aries with Leo rising?


Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Another excruciatingly boring evening at night school. I ended up leaving early.

You know them. Every class has one of them. Sometimes they are male, sometimes female.

This time it's a female.

You wonder what freakin' rock they climbed out from under. They tie up class by asking the stupidest questions imaginable. Yes, some questions ARE stupid.

This one . . . . (Alice I'll call her for the sake of personalization) is not only stupid, she is annoying and a true succupiner.

A succupiner is my term for a suck-up whiner. She complains about the book, complains about the lecture, whines about the clarity of the subject matter, whines about her project (that she has changed twice so far) and to make it all REALLY WORTH IT, she has that nasal, whiny voice.

Trouble with me is I always end up suddenly getting the insatiable urge to silence these people, put them in their place, humiliate them into some nether void of non-existence to never return.

My friend Amy just shoots me these looks in class, cautioning me to keep my cool. I walked out early tonight because I just couldn't listen to it anymore. Sometimes when I listen to people like that, I wonder why we can't just cull the herd. You know, take them out back and just shoot them or hit them in the head with a sledge hammer.

Ahhhh. Calm down James. I just get so frustrated when some blithering idiot like that ties up a class that I bothered to drive 25 miles to attend.

Patience and tolerance they say . . . . a virtue they say . . . . .

I say cull the herd.


Monday, February 04, 2002

Ah crap. So it looks like even Blogger is going the non-free route. Guess that old saying, "Nothing in life is free," is true. Decisions, decisions. Do I go Blogger Pro or not? Do I wait until Blogger is so expensive that I just abandon it? There's something about the logo. Something about the other members I have met and regularly correspond with. I am in a sad space now. I think I'll fork out the $35.00.

Today I ran out of fuel oil. The house is freezing. Electric heat just doesn't do the trick. It's not the same. Expensive as hell too. Funny how crap like this only happens on the coldest day of the year. Going to get an oil delivery tomorrow.

Decided on a research project. I'm going to propose an aggregate study of the geographical incidence of multiple DWI (driving while intoxicated) occurances in New Hampshire. We have a joke at work about the "cabbage patch," a section of New Hampshire where all the drinking problems seem to stem from. This gave me the idea for the study. Rocket science this is not. Who knows, maybe Jeanne Shaheen will fund the damn study and I'll make millions overnight. I could pay off my laptop.

I contemplated mentioning my HIV test a few weeks ago, but had second thoughts about getting a little too honest on this blog. Hey, what the hell. That was one of the scarriest things I ever did. It was negative (Thank God) but being that I had been negligent in the past, I was a trite worried about the whole thing. I was fine when I drove there to have it done and was even in good spirits while there. Fine until the woman began asking me those questions. Then doubt entered my mind. "Your past history is a bit worrisome but your risk factors more recently are low," she said.

Those words played in my head for two weeks. They ought to do something about that time factor. Probably they have it done in like three days but they want you to absolve all your sins so they make you wait for two weeks. I was a nervous wreck when I finally showed up at their door on my appointment date.

They give you this little "anonymous" blue card with a number sticker on it to present when you show up. I got there, my partner in tow, and the front door was locked. It was 5:45 p.m. and the card clearly stated 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Why was this happening to me? Was this God's punishment for a sexually active life? I could not POSSIBLY wait another week, let alone two.

My partner said, "Why don't we try around back?"

What a novel thought.....a back door. What a concept. Why hadn't I thought of that? Because I was already a basket case looking to soon lose the basket.

The door was open and the clinic was empty. We were the only ones.

"Hello? Please mark the option card and your reason for being here."

"Do you have your card?" (I did)

"Have a seat."

(enter Jim's crazy thoughts . . . . )

"Nobody is here. Why did she ask me to have a seat?"
"The test is positive."
"She would have told me to step into the office if it was negative."
"Her voice sounded rather gloomy I think."
"Please God, I'll be good . . . . I promise."

"Come on in (laughing). I shouldn't have told you to have a seat."

Laughing is good. I like laughing. Laughing is great.

"Your test is negative." (Deep, long sigh)

I really don't remember what she said next. I remember paying her. I remember walking out. It was as if my partner was not even there. I was there alone. I was in a haze. I promised God that I would be good and I plan on fulfilling that promise. I did not care for that experience.

As I walked out that door, I wondered how many individuals had walked out that door with different news than I had. I felt very, very fortunate and very, very grateful.

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