This story is about a lonely and maladjusted guy who obsesses, totally and
without just cause, over someone on the net. There are a few things that need
to be said by way of introduction in order for this story to make sense. Parts
of it will not make sense otherwise.
This web personality's personal web site mentioned something about where she
got a particular tattoo, which I remarked upon:
- It really is entirely fiction. I promise. I'm really not a wacko stalker
type. This story was written purely for fun as an exercise in that part
of the literary spirit that thrives on exploring the darker side of
humanity. That said, there's really nothing that's especially creepy in
- "The Ave" is the local nickname for "University Way" which is the street
that runs North/South next to the University of Washington, and on which
everyone hangs out because there's a ton of cool shops and restaurants and
so forth. I'm sure your college area has such a street near it as well.
- This story was originally written about and for a real web personality who
writes for one of my favorite web sites. I sent her some fan mail, she
replied, and the conversation ended up leading to this story.
- Her name, her employer's name, name of the web site, and certain other
identifying details have been changed at her request. She was not
comfortable with public access to this story otherwise, and I respect
that. To that end, I don't actually know anyone named "Sue Folier", any
web sites called "Dismay", nor any businesses with the domain name
"Blivet.com". (Of course, with the net being the way it is, those last
two facts could become true even though they're not as I write this) If
you know someone by that name, this story is not about her, I
swear. I actually wrote this story several months ago, but
didn't post it then because it took me until now to get around to
changing all the names and stuff.
> > if i were the wacko stalker type i could spin some elaborate fantasies
> > over the fact that you got your tattoo not far from where i live and how
> > you're this totally hip web person whose stuff I really enjoy. but i'll
> > leave that for someone else.
to which she replied:
> if only i received such elaborate ramblings! instead, i get "hey babe
> yuor hot wnat to meet me in #horny_losers ?" *sigh* (not that i'm looking
> for love, but i always enjoy a good extrapolation.)
So I decided not to leave it for someone else after all and to write up such an
"extrapolation" for Sue's entertainment. This seems only fair, since Sue has
given so much enjoyment to so many through her contributions to "Dismay". The
story came out so well, though, that I thought it was worth putting up on my
web site. I got Sue's permission to do so if I changed the names and stuff.
That's cool, since you never know who will read your stuff when you put it on
the web, and I hardly want to incite anyone to pester or stalk the real Sue.
Finally, this story is written as a series of journal entries, from the
maladjusted guy's point of view. I set the story in Seattle, where I live,
because that's easier than making someplace up. So here's the story
1:30 P.M. It's Monday afternoon on an Autumn day in Seattle, and here I am
again walking the streets looking for love I probably won't find. And it's
raining. What else would it be doing? It has to get us all mentally prepared
for the next six months of 4:30 P.M. sunsets, gray skies, and soggy feet.
Maybe we'll be lucky, though, and yet get some Indian Summer this month. Today
I'm walking in the University district. Well, actually at the moment I'm
sitting on a bus-bench, writing in my journal. I'll be walking some more soon,
I promise. There are lots of cute college babes around here; maybe I'll meet
one. Yeah, and maybe it'll stop raining.
2:30 P.M. I've been all the way down the Ave. and back up now and have I said
a word to anyone? Of course not. That would take guts. On the walk down I
stopped in the University Bookstore because there are always tons of babes in
there. Book babes, mmmm. There was this one girl looking for a psych
textbook. She was amazing. Well, actually I suppose most people wouls say she
was sort of plain looking but I thought she was amazing. She had the librarian
look, and she did it very well. Double mmmm. Large-lensed glasses with thin
calico frames, mahogany hair twisted behind her head and held up with those
chopstick things. What do women call those? I don't know. A tantalizingly
smooth and creamy looking neck that would be totally hidden if her hair were
down. And a high-necked cream colored blouse with those little round cloth
covered buttons that go through little loops rather than through buttonholes,
underneath a dark red pant-suit. She looked, well, deliciously repressed. I
could just see that under her studious, focused, hard working exterior was a
fun-loving hellion just waiting to get out and warm her nipples in the sun. Of
course she'll have to wait till Summer to try that...
Of course, I ducked off to some other aisle after about five seconds. I didn't
want her to catch me admiring her. She's probably a psych major or something
and would have me totally figured out in another five seconds. She'd probably
call security and have me thrown out or arrested or something. Oh well; can't
win them all. Of course, it would be nice to win at least one, sometime.
The rest of the walk was less eventful. There were some nice looking goth-waif
chicks, as always, hanging out on the corners with their "spare change?" loser
boyfriends. You know, the ones with the powdered-white faces, jet black hair,
and blood red lipstick. The girls; not the boyfriends. The boyfriends seem to
be in a perpetual quest to advance the art of slobbiness. Of course, they were
smoking. And they were probably ditching high school at the time too. Jesus,
is everybody that dumb in high school? I don't remember being that dumb. Of
course, I wasn't cool enough in high school to have done stuff like smoke and
cut class. Even if I'd wanted to I probably wouldn't have been deemed worthy
of cutting class to hang with the likes of people like that.
So now I'm back at the bus stop, waiting to catch "le metro", and wishing there
were somewhere around here I could go for a nice hot chocolate. But this is
Seattle. It's coffee around here, bucko, or get your sorry ass out of town. I
guess I'll just go home and have some Top Ramen. I wonder if that's the same
stuff as what they call "pot noodles" in England. Maybe that's more like
Cup-O-Noodles. It pisses me off that they seem to have stopped making the
vegetarian Cup-O-Noodles. I liked them. Oh well, that's what I get for
self-selecting myself into a minority group.
7:02 P.M. I just can't face Alex Trebek right now so I'm writing. I'd go
whine to my housemate Stan but he'd just make fun of me. He'd probably say
something like "You should try looking on the net, man! You'll never find
Ms. Right walking down the street. The net's crawling with babes!" Yeah,
right. I see the pie-charts in USA Today. I know he's full of it. Of course,
it is fun to respond with deadpanned lines like "You mean like AOL? I hear they
have lots of chat rooms and stuff for swapping porno pics!" It's fun to watch
the muscles on the side of his neck tense up at mention of the unholy AOL.
I don't know where I got it into my head that I was destined to meet my
soulmate just walking down the street. Somewhere, though, I did. I know that
it doesn't make a lot of sense but I can't help it. I just have this belief
that someday, just like in the movies, it'll happen that way. I'll be walking
along, probably muttering to myself, and Ms. Right and I will just bump into
eachother or something. There will be an awkward moment while we
re-combobulate ourselves, and then our eyes will happen to meet and we'll both
say nothing for a moment and then, for once, I'll actually have the moxie to
say something like "Um, I really don't ask random women on the street this, but
would you like to go out sometime?". And she'll smile a little bit and then
catch herself smiling and, a little embarassed, will turn away for a moment to
compose herself and then she'll turn back to me and say "yes, that would be
nice" and she will be smiling again but she won't stop. And so the next
evening or maybe a couple of anxious days after that we'll go out for Italian
food or something and we'll have a wonderfully magnetic time and then
everything will be perfect forever. Like I said, it doesn't make a lot of
sense, but I believe it anyway. I hope I'm right. Or maybe I'll believe it
until I find myself still walking the streets alone at 40.
10:32 P.M. Again, this was not a day for Alex Trebek. But I wasn't writing at
7:00 because Stan was home. He finally got his PC hooked up to the net so he
was showing off his web browser and stuff. He showed me some pretty cool web
sites. There was this one that catalogs like the entire web and where you can
search for just about any damn thing you want. Of course, it gives back a lot
of pretty poor matches but it's still impressive. And there was this one 3-D
VR sort of place that was like a virtual town where you could walk around and
see icons for other people walking around too. That one is really cool. You
could stop and talk to other people, even. Now I'm thinking that if I ever do
get into the whole internet thing that maybe Stan and I will both be right.
Maybe I'll meet Ms. Right on the street, but in cyberspace. That would be fine
with me. I may have to give it a try sometime.
10:00 A.M. Rise and shine, bucko. Gotta write down that dream before you
forget it. OK: I just woke up from this dream that had Stan's sister Valorie
in it. Sadly, it wasn't *that* sort of dream. Val's hot, though, and I sure
wouldn't kick her out of bed. No doubt, though, Stan's told her all about what
a loser I am, and it's not like he'd let me date his sister anyway. So in this
dream I was a reporter for that "Beyond 2000" show that's on the Discovery
Channel. I had the Aussie accent and everything. I was doing this story on
manufacturing processes and I was touring this industrial plant where other
industrial places go to have machines made that they need to make stuff. It
was very meta. So I was being guided around by some corporate mouthpiece and
we came upon Val who was showing off some new machine she'd just designed for a
client. Apparantly, the client needed to be able to bake bread. Big bread.
Really big bread, in strange shapes. So Val had come up with this system where
there was a big teflon coated mold in the desired bread shape, and you poured
flour and water and baking soda or whatever into it (the baking soda was
important, because I remember that it was specifically not a yeast bread
process. No rising), and then these humongous electric mixer things came down
and mixed up all the ingredients into a batter. Then the whole thing went into
the oven and the batter cooked into bread. There's probably some deep
significance to that dream, but I'll be damned if I know what it is. Maybe if
I went back to the bookstore there would be a cute psych major in the textbook
section who could tell me. Anyway.
I know I haven't written since Monday and now it's Saturday and I feel guilty
for neglecting my journal. I should just blame my high school senior year
English teacher for getting me into this habit to begin with. Of course I
enjoy it journal writing a lot more now that I know nobody's going to read this
stuff. If I wrote down half the things back then that I do now, I'm sure my
parents would have heard about it straight away and I'd have been in therapy
quicker than you can say 'Sybil'. I haven't written because the rain just got
worse all week and so I didn't feel like going out much, and so there wasn't
much to write. But, luck of the ages, today it's sunny and Saturday at the
same time. I'm going to go walk aroung Pike's Place today. Maybe pick up a
nice Amerasian girl. They have such nice skin, and usually their boobs aren't
too big either. Speaking of large boobs, there was a--get this--Pamela
Anderson movie on sin-a-max last night that was a total "Die Hard" rip off,
except that it completely sucked. I didn't watch the whole thing, but it
seemed to be purely an excuse to have Pamela Anderson in a movie and to show us
her tits. That woman has truly scary breasts. I can only imagine that they
have to be uncomfortable to carry around all day. They really are too large.
They make her head look freakishly small by comparison. But who knows; maybe
her head is freakishly small and that makes her chest look bigger. It's not
like I was there to measure. Oh! Wow! I just remembered another dream from
last night. Well, more of a vignette, really. Too short to have any plot.
Somehow Pamela and I were in bed together. I had my head on her chest, resting
on one breast and playing with the other. It had sort of a coarse texture to
it unlike what I imagine real breasts feel like. (Well, unless I
subconsciously remember some sort of breast-texture data from my nursing days
in infancy then I'm just imagining.) We were chatting and I asked her "So I'll
bet most guys ask, don't they?" "Ask what?" she asked. She was just as bad an
actress in the dream as in the movie. There was this one scene where she and
some kid were hiding under an office desk from the bad guys and she was trying
to get the kid not to be scared. The kid did a much more believable job than
she did. Anyway, I answered "Ask whether they're real." because of course I
really do wonder whether or not they're real. The dream ended before she
answered, though, which makes sense because I have no idea whether or not
they're real. Like I said; it's a good thing I self-censored my journal in
high school. Of course, now it's sort of a shame, too, because it would be
interesting to go back and see what my state of mind was really like then, but
all I have is an edited-for-television version of it tucked into my
Oh yeah; I mentioned to Stan my theory that maybe we're both right about how
I'll meet ms. Right. So of course now that I say maybe I will try to
meet women on-line, he's all acting like it'll never work. I swear he's just
purposely being difficult sometimes. He said "Yeah, and I'll bet you if you do
find Ms. Right on-line that you'll have to go thousands of miles to meet her."
I hope he didn't jinx it or anything. What a pessimist.
1:15 P.M. I'm sitting at a little lunch place in Pike's Place now. I hardly
need say it, but of course I have not picked up any cute Amerasian babes. To
be honest, I don't suppose I was really expecting I would. Still, though, the
trip hasn't been a complete loss. On the way here from the bus stop I was
walking down Pike street and saw another way excellent looking babe. She was
on the other side of the street, but still. She and her friends (a guy and a
girl; the guy was probably her boyfriend or something. The good ones are
always taken...) were just coming out of that tattoo place. She was walking
funny but I didn't see a bandage on her leg or anything so maybe she'd just
gotten a tattoo on her butt or something. I think, actually, that if she
hadn't been with those other people I might have actually gone over and talked
to her. For real even. Man, she was divine. Again, I don't think that you'd
ever see her walking down the gangway with Iman or anything, but I thought she
was pretty as a peach. I think I've always had a weird sense of beauty,
though. I might not have asked her out, but I'd have at least asked her what
she got inked into her flesh. I'll have to come down here some more; maybe
I'll see her sometime when she's not with other people. Maybe not, though.
Judging from past history I'd just wimp out if I ever did see her again and not
say anything. Someday, though, I know I won't wimp out. I just hope that I
don't get totally shot down when I do. Who knows how I'd take that. Well,
actually, I do. I know I probably wouldn't take it very well at
2:37 P.M. I can't believe I almost lost my journal. Shit. I haven't seen it
in over a month. I was sure it was gone but I just now found it wedged between
my night stand and the wall. I must have put it there some night so it would
be there in the morning in case I woke up with a memorable dream but knocked it
off in the middle of the night. That's all I can think of because I don't have
any pets and I don't have a girlfriend so it could only have been me. Unless
someone broke into my room while I was sleeping or something but how likely is
that? I guess I don't actually have anything to say at the moment except that
I'm glad I so glad I found it so I wanted to write something down right now. I
was so pissed about losing it that it's good to have it back. Now I just have
to get back into the habit of writing in it. Right now I'm going to put it
safely away in the top right drawer of my desk where nothing can happen to it
unless the apartment burns down.
11:20 P.M. Of course, out of sight is out of mind. Who knows how long it
would have been before I'd remembered to write something in my journal except
that I was browsing the web and I saw something that reminded me of something
that reminded me of my journal.
Anyway: I got "new in Dismay" e-mail today (Dismay is this cool web site
that will send you e-mail when they have something new to read), so just now I
went and read this depressing story about a guy remembering a friend of his
who had died after leading a short but troubled life. Still, though, what
I've seen in Dismay has always been interesting (if not always uplifting) so I
thought I'd poke around in the home pages of Dismay's writers. Get this, it's
just too much coincidence for me to take. One of their writers is this woman
named Sue Folier. I saw her picture on her web site and I knew, right away,
that I'd seen this woman somewhere before. I figured it was probably in one
of Stan's "Wired" magazines or something. But then I read this one page she
has about how she got a tattoo and my jaw just dropped when I read it. Get
this, she got her tattoo in Seattle, down at that place on Pike street! She
apparantly lives in the San Anselmo area now, by San Francisco, but wow! It
totally fits. The girl I saw was a blonde, about the same build, with two
friends. I looked up my old journal entries (well, not that old in terms of
pages. I really need to write more) and the timing is right and everything.
Sue got tattooed last month, which was when I saw that girl. Sue says she had
two friends with her, a man and a woman, just like that girl. I can hardly
believe that I actually saw Sue Folier. I read her resume sort of page, and
man, she's like web-famous and stuff. I should have gone and talked to her,
even with her friends there. At least now I know what she got tattooed on her
leg--it's a dragon. An Asian sort of dragon. It's kind of hard to tell in
the pictures on her web page, but that's what it looks like to me. For that
matter, I'm not 100% sure it was her I saw because the pictures are sort of
grainy and I didn't exactly see the girl coming out of the tattoo parlor close
up or anything. But still. It had to be her. Wow. My brush with fame. So
all that reminded me of my journal and it seemed like the perfect thing to
write down. I wonder if Sue ever visits the virtual city place. Probably
not. She probably doesn't have time for chat rooms.
4:45 P.M. I'm on the bus going home. It's hard to write on the bus because
it's too shaky but I'm bored. Sorry my handwriting sucks. I should get an
Apple Newton or something like that. Of course, it's not like I can afford a
Newton. And of course, I'd still have to do handwriting then, too. Maybe just
a nice normal laptop. Or maybe I can come up with an even more expensive
solution. Shit. I hate being poor. Ok, so I'm not actually poor. I have a
living-wage college student job, I live in a decent apartment, I have e-mail.
How poor could I be? But it's not like I don't have to watch every dollar that
comes in and out of my life. That gets really tiring sometimes. Oh well.
Someday I will graduate and get a real job somewhere (maybe out of this
rain-soaked cloud bastion, even), and start making some real money. Things
could really improve. Maybe having more dough will make me feel more secure,
which might make it easier to meet women. Or maybe not. I refuse to believe
that those Visa "maybe money can buy happiness" ads are correct, but
at the same time I do wish I had more of it. This smacks of logical
inconsistency. Too bad we weren't all born Vulcan instead of human.
Halloween is nigh upon us, and again I don't know what to go as. I'm such a
procrastinator. At least I have a Halloween party to go to this year. Of
course, it's at our apartment, and Stan's throwing it, so it's not like I
actually got invited or anything. More like I wouldn't be able to avoid it
even if I wanted to. Maybe I'll dye my hair. I've always wanted to do that.
I could get it bleached and then dyed smurf-blue and go as a popsicle. People
probably wouldn't get it, though. I could dye it green and dress all in orange
and go as a carrot. That sounds like a better costume except that I don't
really want to have green hair. Well, I still have about two and a half days
to decide. Stan's having the party Friday night, even though Halloween is
Thursday. Probably a wise move, except that we'll spend most of Saturday
cleaning the apartment.
1:30 P.M. Yup. It's Saturday, uh, afternoon and the place is a mess. I
honestly don't want to get out of bed and face the disaster that is our living
room. Oh well. I knew this would happen. It would be ok, except that I can't
say that I really had a great time last night. This always happens to me at
parties. Everybody there either came with someone or is friends with someone
besides me. They all have a great time drinking beer and talking to each
other, while I wander around looking for a conversation to join. God dammit,
I'm so pathetic sometimes. Maybe I should just pack it in and go to Tibet. Be
a Buddhist and take a vow of silence. Then people would think it was cool that
I didn't talk to them, instead of thinking I was just a lame wallflower. Of
course, that wouldn't change the fact that I'd still be a lame wallflower.
Anyway, I should get up and shower. I told Stan that I'd go rent a carpet
cleaner machine if he'd pick up the junk and do the dishes.
10:42 P.M. On a whim I sent e-mail to Sue Folier. I told her about how I saw
her on Pike street back in September walking out of the tattoo place. She's so
cool. I wonder if she'll write me back? She probably gets tons of mail from
lonely guys like me who just want to hit on her because she has pictures on her
web page. I think her pieces in Dismay are just great. At least she doesn't
put provocative pictures up there. I have seen a home page or two where some
woman complains about how men are pigs and all she ever gets is lame pick up
lines in e-mail, but then the picture she has up there is her high school
senior picture (those are always super made-up and glitzy, you know) or some
picture of her and her friends on the beach or something. Well duh, babe! Of
course you get e-mail like that. If you're gonna put it on display, it's gonna
get looked at. Cope already. Anyway, I hope she does mail me back. It's so
much easier to talk in e-mail than in real life. I guess it's a lot like this
journal, actually. In both places, I can say what I want to say and take as
long as I like to say it and nobody interrupts me while I'm saying it. So much
more polite than in real life. Of course, e-mail has it beat over a journal
because you can actually get responses to e-mail. Then again, it's a lot
easier to carry a journal around than a computer. Life is full of trade
12:20 P.M. I'm at school checking my e-mail, and no way! Sue Folier did mail
me back. She has such a cool name, and she seems really nice, too. She
doesn't seem to believe that I really saw her when she was in Seattle, though.
But I did! I can't help it if what she put on her tattoo page is more or less
what I saw. She probably thinks I just read that page and made it all up or
something. But I didn't. Why would I make up something like that? It's not
like I'd use it as a pick up line. "Hey, baby, I saw you get that tattoo..."
Yeah, right. I mean, we live several hundred miles away, why would I make
something like that up. Sigh.
7:00 P.M. I know I haven't written in a while. I don't know what to do. You
know usually I write when I'm out babe-watching, but lately I haven't felt like
it. Maybe something's wrong with me. Bob Dole lost the elections, so I should
be happy, right? I should feel like going out. Maybe it's just the weather.
It's too damn cold and all the women are all bundled up so you can hardly see
what they're like. No, that's not it. To be honest, it's Sue (and if I can't
be honest in my journal then I'm really messed up). I can't stop
thinking about how unlikely it is that I'd happen to see her walk out of that
tattoo place. And how unlikely it is that she would happen to be a web
personality. And how unlikely it is that I'd happen to find her web site so
that I could actually get in touch with her after all. And how amazingly
unlikely it is that all three of those things would happen. It just seems like
too much coincidence. I sent her mail saying how it really was true that I'd
seen her and asked if she'd like to get together in a chat room sometime. But
that was almost a week ago and I haven't heard back. She's probably totally
convinced that I'm some freakazoid who just wants to know more about her so I
can fantasize about her while whacking off or something. I don't know what to
do about it. I should probably just let it go, but I don't want to let it go.
Still, though, if she won't answer my e-mail, there isn't a lot I can do about
3:34 P.M. I was right what I said back on September 7. I didn't take it very
well. My hands are shaking so bad that I might as well be on the bus for as
illegible as this entry is, but I'm sitting in a perfectly stationary cafe on
the Ave. I was walking up the Ave. to get some lunch between classes when I
passed by that punk-stuff and sex-toy shop called "Off the Wall". This woman
walked out of it and I damn near swallowed my tongue because at a glance she
looked just like Sue. She wasn't, but the resemblance was pretty amazing.
The same mid-neck length blonde hair, same skin tone, and a similar sort of
face. She was wearing a leather jacket over a white t-shirt and jeans.
Actually, I think now that her hair was bleached blonde, not natural.
Anyway, I just knew, right away, that it was a sign and that I had to do
something about it right then before I could really think about it because if I
stopped to think about it I'd never do anything. So I nerved myself up, walked
up to her, and actually talked. I said "Hi, you don't know me but I'm a
reasonably nice guy. Would you like to go get some coffee or something?" I
know I don't drink coffee, but I could always order tea, right? She just
looked at me for a second like I was from Mars or something, then brought one
hand up, and as she did, formed her thumb and forefinger into a big 'L', which
she placed upon my forehead. Then with near godlike disdain she said "Tch.
Loser!" and shoved me away. I was just so stunned that I actually fell down on
my ass on the sidewalk. What a bitch! It's not like I said "Hey foxy mama!
Wanna come over to my place and get busy?" or anything like that. And then, to
make matters worse, some grungy little shithead thrasher kid who couldn't have
been more than 14 cruises along on his skateboard and laughs "what a dweeb" on
his way by. Fuck me, man.
So now I'm in the cafe, trying like hell to calm down but it's hard because my
butt hurts and I have way too much adrenaline in my bloodstream and my hands
are shaking harder than I can ever remember them shaking, but I am glad for
having my journal in my backpack today. I know that if I just keep writing
long enough that I will calm down eventually, although I think I'm going to be
pretty pissed about this for quite a while. Talk about getting shot down. She
could at least have been civil about it. I mean, "No, thanks" would have been
just fine. I'd have said, "Oh well. Ok." and been out of her life forever.
She's no doubt laughing it up even now. She probably got a big kick out of
pushing down the sissy boy. She'll be telling her friends about this for the
rest of the week. And her friends will laugh about it too and say how cool she
is for being so tough and macho and not one of them will stop for a nanosecond
to think about how maybe I was on the level and maybe I was actually a nice guy
or to think about how what she did makes me feel.
I just can't win. It was a sign, clear as day. How could it not be? If I
hadn't done anything about it, I'd be writing instead about how lame I am for
letting opportunities pass me by. But I did something about it and look what
happened. Damn damn fuck and damn. Well, what's that thing they say about "If
your're gonna go down, go down big?" well, I'd hate to imagine going down
bigger. It could only have been worse if she'd perhaps pulled a gun out of her
jacket and blown me away. Except maybe not even then because at least I'd be
dead instead of wallowing in misery. Maybe it's karma. Maybe I was the
world's biggest jerk womanizer asshole in a previous life and I'm paying for it
now. Maybe I deserve it. Still, it had to be a sign. I just misread it
somehow. Maybe if I'm lucky (yeah, right) I'll have a meaningful dream about
it tonight. Sometimes that happens. I may not know much, but I do know to pay
attention to my dreams. It's pretty obvious when a dream is trying to tell me
something. Usually I end up waking up straight from the dream with it in my
mind clear as if it had just happened. Oh, great. Now my pen is running out
of ink. What else can go wrong? Bye for now.
5:57 P.M. I'm much calmer now and I have a new pen. When I left the cafe I
stopped at Kinkos (and what the hell is with that ad campaign of theirs? "the
new way to office?" Since when is "office" a verb?) and bought the nicest
rolling-ball liquid ink pen I could find. It even fits just perfect into the
hollow place between the binding on this journal and the paper. So now I'm
home with a nice cup of cocoa (whoever invented the concept of "comfort food"
should get some sort of a prize. Maybe the nobel prize for self-pity. Sheesh,
am I in an acerbic mood or what?) sitting on my bed trying to convince myself
that I'm not, in fact, a total dweeb loser. This may take some time. After
the old pen crapped out on me I sat in the cafe for a while until I felt like
going. Maybe a half hour or so. Then I walked home. But the good news, if a
silver lining is to be ripped kicking and bleeding out of this whole sorry
incident, is that I think I know what the sign meant. It didn't mean I was
supposed to ask the ice bitch from hell out. It meant I was supposed to
realize that if there's a Ms. Right on the net for me, it's gotta be Sue. Now
I just have to figure out what to do about it. Maybe that will come
to me in a dream...
11:47 P.M. I have just gotten out of bed to write one thing. I have decided
to make this my Sue journal and not just a general journal. Not that it
changes much anyway, because comparatively speaking, anyway, there really isn't
anything going on in my life that's worth writing about otherwise. So from now
on, it's no news but Sue news!
8:15 A.M. Ok, our first official Sue news. How exciting. Ha ha. I have
decided to get an e-mail and web account with some local ISP. This way, I'll
have a different e-mail address to write from, and so Sue won't know it's me.
I just won't mention tattoos or Pike street or anything. Perhaps a fresh start
is all I need. I will do this today. Hopefully, I'll soon be corresponding
with mademoiselle Folier again! That is exciting.
4:00 P.M. The people at InterAccess (the ISP I chose) said my account would be
all set up today for dial-ip so I can get e-mail and web service. I didn't
have time this morning to set up Stan's computer so I could try it out, so I've
had to wait all day until getting home to try it. It works, I'm happy to say,
but getting it set up wasn't as easy as it ought to have been. Interaccess
gave me a disk with some software on it and a sheet of instructions for
configuring PPP on Win95. It wasn't too bad except for this one place where
their instructions didn't tell me the right IP number for the DNS server so it
was messed up because it was trying to use the one Stan had it set up for but
apparantly InterAccess has some sort of packet filtering going on that prevents
me from using another name server besides theirs. So I had to call them up and
actually talk to a human being to figure out what was up. How low
But anyway it works fine now and I sent a message off to Sue. I didn't
mention Seattle or her tattoo at all. I'm a little worried now that she'll
figure out my new address is in Seattle too because the other day Stan showed
me how to use "whois" on the University computers to find out where a site is
located. So she could figure out that InterAccess is in Seattle. But I'm not
too worried because what's she going to do, filter out all e-mail from
everyplace in the Seattle area just because of me? I don't think so. Anyway,
I didn't mention Seattle or tattoos at all though because why take chances? I
don't think I can afford another screw-up. I just made some smalltalk about
how a friend of me told me about Dismay and how I really like her stuff.
Hopefully I didn't sound like yet another lonely net guy, and hopefully she'll
7:00 P.M. The net really is better than Alex Trebek, especially when Sue
Folier sends you mail! Yay! She didn't say much, which isn't surprising,
because I didn't say much in the first place. I wrote her back asking how she
got to be such a well known web personality. Sometime I should just print out
all this e-mail and keep it with this journal, but Stan doesn't have a printer
and I can't access my new e-mail account from school. Oh well. For now I'll
just keep summarizing it.
5:15 P.M. So far so good. Sue wrote back and pointed me to the url for her
page where she has her resume type information. Of course I knew all that
stuff already but she doesn't know that. So now I can officially be aware that
she's in San Anselmo without it being suspicious. It's so easy to take on a
new persona on the web. Ooh! I just had a frightening thought. What if Sue is
made up? What if there really is no Sue Folier and she's just a concoction of
the people from Dismay? Of course, that would mean that probably their other
"writers" are too, and that would be a lot of work. Sue's probably real.
Besides, I saw her on Pike street. At least, the same person who's picture is
on that web page, anyway. So I know that person exists, anyway, even if maybe
her name isn't Sue Folier. That would be a bummer, though, because "Folier" is
such a cool name. Anyway, I've gotten sidetracked. My new persona is named
John Pearl. "John" told her that he's a process engineer working at a Digital
right now, and that he's thinking about taking a job his company has open
that's down in the S.F. area. I figured that picking Digital as a company is
pretty safe because Digital does have offices in Seattle, but it also has
offices in a lot of other places too. So I asked her how she likes S.F. And
whether it was hard to get used to when she moved there.
10:27 A.M. Hm. No mail from Sue in some time. She's probably just gone
somewhere for Thanksgiving. I hope she didn't get suspicious after my last
message. I had second thoughts after I sent it, but oh well it's not like with
regular mail where you just go to the mailbox and take it back if you change
your mind (well, unless the postperson has already collected it, of course).
4:46 P.M. Mail from Sue! I guess she was just gone for the holidays,
although she didn't mention it. She said that she loves San Anselmo and the
whole S.F. Bay area and that she took to it like a duck to water. I guess that
doesn't surprise me. Her web pages certainly give the impression of someone
who is open minded and accepting of others. I guess you pretty well have to
be to live there and be happy because it's right by San Francisco. I sent her
mail back saying that I was pretty sure I'd take the "job" because I didn't
have a family here or anything like that that would make moving problematic.
I thought that was a pretty smooth way to let her know that I'm available.
And then I asked her what housing prices were like there. I already know that
practically anywhere in California is expensive as hell but I needed something
to keep the dialog open and that seemed as good as anything.
I'm a little afraid, though, that "John" is getting a little out of hand. I
mean, now he's thinking about moving to California and here I am stuck at
school in Seattle. What if she says she'd like to meet him when he gets there?
What then? I can hardly say no to that, I mean really.
9:00 A.M. I am now officially late for class because I overslept but it
doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because I have Decided. I have decided to
let my alternate persona take the job in San Anselmo. Further, I have decided
that I'm sick of Seattle. Sick of the gray and the wet and the cold and the
rude bitches on the Ave. So when classes let out I'm packing all my shit and
moving to the Bay area. I have enough cash to rent a U-Haul for a couple of
days to drive down there. I can get one of those u-stor-it lockers to stash my
stuff until I get a place. It'll be perfect. I am going to take a shower, and
e-mail Sue to tell her that I'm taking the job and so I'll be off of e-mail for
a while. I'll tell her that I'll drop her a line when I get settled in down
there. Then I don't have to worry about maintaining the John Pearl persona
anymore, because I have a plan for when I get down there. But I don't want to
write it down just yet. I'll write it down as it goes along.
12:14 P.M. I am now officially done with my last final. Thank god for that.
I am headed to the registrar's office to withdraw from the hallowed halls of
the University of Washington. I'll probably have to stand in line for an hour
for the priveledge, too.
11:15 P.M. I am dead tired. So tired I can barely write. But I have my
U-Haul and everything I own is boxed up. Well, except for a couple of changes
of clothes, my mattress (how the heck would you box a mattress?) and this
journal. Tomorrow morning everything goes into the truck and I am out of here!
I will probably not write till I get to the bay area unless something goes
12:00 noon. Well it's been a busy morning. I got into town last night, but
too late to find a storage place. I did that this morning, and then turned in
the truck (which ended up costing me about 300 bucks. Ouch!). I now have less
cash than I thought because of the truck so I'm staying in one of those student
hostel places. Fortunately, I still have my U.W. student card which is still
current until the end of the year, anyway. Today I'm going to walk around and
see some sights. Tomorrow I will put the next step of my plan into action.
1:43 P.M. If I'd been thinking, I would have taken care of this part of my
plan while I was in Seattle. But it doesn't matter. I'm at one of those
internet cafe's now. This one is associated with that famous ISP "the Well".
A little poking around on the Sue's home page, a little bit of "whois" magic,
and a phone call to information and I now know where Sue works. Or rather, I
know where the business offices of Blivet.Com are--in downtown San Francisco.
And since Blivet's web site claims to have been written by and still maintained
by Sue herself, I'll bet I can find here there. Tomorrow morning is it,
journal. Tomorrow I will try and meet her.
9:00 A.M. Today is the day and boy am I nervous. I could hardly sleep last
night. I must have gone over in my head a million times what I'm going to say.
Here's how it's going to go. I am going to dress up, but not too much up.
Sue seems like a pretty casual person and I don't want to seem like a stuffed
shirt type. But I'll wear some ironed dockers and a sweater. Even San
Fransisco is cool in the winter time, I've learned. It's pretty, though. It
is a nice city, with the Christmas decorations up and all. I will leave the
hostel and catch a ride downtown. I will stop at a florist (I have already
looked up in the phone book which is the closest florist to Blivet's offices).
I will buy one perfect rose. Maybe a yellow rose. Red roses are so damn
cliche'. I will walk into the office and ask for Ms. Sue Folier, please. She
will be curious because she is not expecting a visitor. She will come to the
front desk. I will say "Hello. I'm John Pearl. We've talked in e-mail. I
wanted to thank you for your advice and opinions of San Fransisco and was
wondering if I could treat you to lunch?" I will give her the rose.
After that, journal, I don't know what will happen. No matter what happens,
though, this will be my last entry. I am leaving this journal hidden here at
the hostel when I check out. If things work out with Sue, then I can't risk
her ever finding this journal. If things don't work out, I don't think I will
be back at all. So wish me luck, journal. And thanks for listening.