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December 14, 1996, Saturday

Missions bore a remarkable similarity to those undertaken yesterday. There was a similar mix of success and frustration, and even less contact with the material world, and nearly all those that there were occurred with strangers. There was a brief period in the evening when I dealt with Tad and a few strange semi-mutant people, the girl among them being the sort, for my own well being, I really don't want to know very well. There's a whole culture of these people in Charlottesville and they seem to be drawn to me for some reason. At least they're for real, I'll give them that. "For-real-ness" was to become a hot commodity later in the evening.

She was so clean and so dignified.
You see, after a little web work at Comet, I went back to my house. In Ches' room a little candlelit dinner was happening. Present included several girls whom I did not know. While I munched on some leftovers, people smoked and one among the unfamiliar girls served as the principle contributor to the conversation. She was so clean and so dignified. But what did she have to talk about? Endless tales about her world travels. Each had a patina of pretense that rivaled the tale just preceding. It was unbearable for the likes of me. I wondered to myself what would happen if I busted out with a few of my hitch hiking stories. It would have been like farting at a funeral. It is, of course, possible to tell straight forward unpretentious travel stories. Nathan and Janine somehow manage to when talking about their stint in the Gambian Peace Corps. And the interstate travel tales of Erik Von Rippy never bear whatever taint may be present from his tortured artist pretenses. Unhappy with the conversation, I retreated to my room and read interesting passages from a diary I kept in early 1989, feeling rather impressed with myself.

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