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August 19 1998, Wednesday


fter I returned from the University of Michigan's Angell Hall at around 6pm, I had a little fight with Kim over what I said about her yesterday, that she's wasteful. It seemed like a minor thing to say at the time, but I guess it must have struck a nerve, because she was really rather angry when she first saw me, so much so that Sophie the Miniature Schnauzer was being overly friendly as a compensative act. Animals are never clueless about these things. I didn't really want to deal with the situation (I was emotionally unprepared), so I went outside and lay down in the front seat of my Dodge Dart, hidden from view. The sun was hot but the air was cool and windy, so with two windows open for cross-ventilation, I was nearly comfortable enough to drift off to sleep. When I heard Kim driving off to who knows where (the accent of road rage in her acceleration), I got up and went upstairs again, preparing myself a vodkatea and curling myself around the AAA Roadmap, a source of security despite its lack of elevational information.

Kim returned shortly, having gone out to pick up a foreign flick on videotape. We argued a little about the subject of my account of her alleged wastefulness, she wanting me to cite examples, and me unwilling to do so. In the end I conceded that she wasn't wasteful so much as extravagant, going out too much and buying the most expensive of possible purchases. In terms of how she maintains her kitchen, though, she's actually not as wasteful as I implied yesterday. When she doesn't finish her plate of food, she usually puts it into a container and away in the refrigerator, where it stands a good chance of being revisited.

Apologies for dwelling on this subject, but in this case it's important to set the record straight so as to avoid more trauma at the hands of observer-observed feedback. Again I told Kim I'd rather she wouldn't read my musings, but she insists she has the right. Not long ago she'd told me that I could write whatever I wanted, that she didn't want to censor me, but people's behaviour towards my musing are constantly in a state of flux. For example, Matt Rogers is now reading the musings again but refraining from commenting on the things he reads, thereby blocking feedback nastiness at the observer to observed leg of the feedback triangle. That is plenty good enough.

The movie Kim rented, Ma Vie En Rose, was set in French suburbia and was about the life and times of a little seven year old boy who is convinced he should actually be a girl. The colours were all very bright, the suburbia look just like America, and several imaginative "fantasy" sequences reminded me of a better-done, watchable Mr. Rogers "Land of Make Believe." (As a kid, I always changed the channel whenever Mr. Rogers sent his confounded train to "The Land of Make Believe.") But the movie lacked something. The plot was too narrowly focused on this little boy and his one sex role confusion without delving much into the people and subplots that surrounded him. Kim and I weren't paying any attention by the end. When I was naked and vulnerable, she started smacking me semi-seriously on the ass, claiming it punishment for "strike one" - my cramming her into this latest offensive musings stereotype.


ntil their smoke and fire-damaged house is thoroughly cleaned, Kim's Mother and Stepfather, Chuck, are staying at Webers, the fancy roadside inn in western Ann Arbor. Their stay is being paid entirely by insurance, so they're living it up in the nicest suite in the Inn. Mother has extended an open invitation to Kim to come over any time to take advantage of the extravagance. As Kim puts it, "it's just like Monopoly money that's getting spent." (I'm certain she used the passive voice.)

In the evening we headed over to Webers to partake of the insurance-financed hedonism. Up in their fourth-floor suite, Mother and Chuck were sipping iced tea and watching Lolita on cable teevee. Gushing in her usual elementary-school-teacher manner, Mother showed us around the suite: first to the bedroom with its vast three-pillow bed, then to the bathroom with its integral whirlpool tub, then to the balcony with its majestic view of the surrounding parking lot.

Kim ordered us both Bloody Marys to be delivered down to the edge of the swimming pool, and then we changed into swimming clothes and headed on down. There was a tight astro-turf-covered spiral iron staircase leading directly downward to a large roofed communal space that included a swimming pool. The communal space was lined on all sides by fancy Weber's suites, all connected vertically by astroturf iron staircases.

It was past 10pm, but the pool was full of young teenagers busy swimming, splashing, yelling and striving to impress one another. Since it was a mixed group of boys and girls, there was plenty of palpable sexual tension wafting on the air and swimming through the water. Surely the situation reeked of possibilities for these kids, the kind that realistically can never be realized, the kind that will serve only to flavour their fantasy lives for years to come. I know; I have been in their position. I'll never forget when I was 13, paddling around an obscure Quebec lake completely unsupervised with the daughter of my Dad's scientific colleague. She wasn't especially attractive, but she stripped down to her underwear at one point and jumped into the water.

Kim and I retreated to the hot tub, clearly marked "ADULTS ONLY." We were laughing at the antics of the kids, one of who ran by and randomly blasted us with a squirt gun. Eventually a hotel staffer came down and told the kids they had to quiet down, since their noise was disturbing registered guests.

Kim and I ordered another round of Bloody Marys and chatted with Kim's mother, who joined us for awhile. She's been kind of weird to me ever since admitting to Kim that she's concerned I might be an atheist. A couple chubby hairy guys climbed into the hot tub for awhile and then disappeared into the sauna. The idea that wiry grey body hair is unattractive was refreshed in my mind.

All the little teenage girls were led by their mothers off to bed, though one of them stood for a long time in the window of her parents' suite, exchanging nonverbal signals with the Casanova of the teenage boys. He stood at one end of the pool for a long time, pathetically trying to get the girl to open the door and come out onto the balcony. Love makes fools of us all, though I hesitate to call this love.

When there were only two teenage boys remaining in the pool, Kim and I jumped in and socialized with them a bit. Kim is good at socializing with just anyone, and was soon taking up various challenges issued by Casanova to do water tricks. I tried to do a few things but ended up mostly having water up my nose.

When hotel authorities finally shooed us away and closed down the swimming pool for the night, Kim and I headed back to her place.

one year ago
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