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Contemporaneous notes

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"General file" from 2003



Contemporaneous notes, 2003

No idea why, but the "sent" box at my Yahoo email acount does not show any outgoing messages saved between May of 2002 and February of 2003.
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People are entering St. Mary's Cathedral for mass. From where I sit I can see them. I can see the front door at an angle, and back to the high central tower....

23 February, Kilkenny Ireland

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Money, a Poem About Killing — Turkey and Ireland complicit in U.S. war plans.

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J_,

...And I know, the answer seems to be simple. Talk to her. It must be exasperating to hear [about this.] I pray this part will end soon, and I will be able to regale you with the good news.

I really need to cross this barrier, whatever happens after.

— 28 February 2003, Kilkenny

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Contemporaneous notes 2003


March

It was some scene. Fairly intense, and it seemed to go on for a while. It started slow.

It escalated. I remember very little of it, only the emotion.

K_ said she wants me to leave the flat.

More....

— 3 March 2003

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At Brennan's [
on my birthday,] K_ and her new guy began to get very affectionate. Not notable initially; she's very affectionate with her friends. But it became notable.

I finally asked her if she was trying to make me jealous. It was just a straight question, clear and clean. She answered that no, Dave is just a really good friend of hers.

But it got worse. Let me remind you of the heavy significance of time and place. This was in my pub, the first time she has visited with me; and the first time she had met my friends; and on my birthday; and on the day that I had told her about my feelings for her.

She and Dave escalated their physical affections. I lost my cool.

Now, mind you, this wasn't the heaviest of pub rows. There have been worse. It was bad, though.

It started out simple. I told her that it bothered me. We could all see what was happening; it was played out split wide open for everybody. She and I got into several discussions, probably not worth having. Emotional. Amusement for some.

From a female perspective? Molly said there was a moment when I should have "kissed the head off her." But I don't know about that.

— 5 March 2003, Kilkenny

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My email inbox at Yahoo showed a couple of unread messages, though I couldn't see them. I scrolled back a couple of pages, and I found a message from Jose, my friend in Seville who owns
Cafe Levies, my favorite there.

His brother had shown him something I had written about Levies online. Isn't that phenomenal.

He'd written this in early January. I didn't discover it until just right now. I wrote Jose an email back, in my Spanish as he wrote to me in his English.

That was exciting to me. Imagine a friend contacting you for having read something you wrote about them on the internet. Crazy. Unexpected resumption of contact. And Jose is a very sound dude. This is good.

— 5 March 2003, Kilkenny

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J_ is still in the hospital, has been for a week now. He went to his doctor last Friday for some breathing troubles and she sent him to St. Luke's straightaway. He has bad athsma. It's chronic, of course, these bouts; he was in the hospital once before since I've known him, but this is taking longer.

I saw him last night. He was in good spirits. He had felt some chest pain, and went ahead and told them about it. They kept him in for some tests. Today, he had some x-rays, and we're waiting on the results of those.

Yesterday, I'd texted him to ask him if he wanted anything, that I was coming to visit. A while later, I was on a walk in the castle park when he sent back. He asked me to pick up some 'phone credit and some cigarettes. That was the first time I cried about him being in the hospital. It was about 5:30, and the park was closing, and I had the forested path to myself, and J_ had just asked me to buy him cigarettes.

I didn't do it, of course. I just told him I couldn't.

— 7 March 2003

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I went and visited with J_ for an hour or so. He is in great spirits, and he's optimistic about recovery and release. As it stands, he'll probably be in for the weekend. This is partly due the the fact that the hospital only keeps a skeleton crew for the weekend, and it is unlikely that there will be anybody around to process him out.

At home just now, I had a moment of peace in the kitchen with K_ and E_. I didn't speak with K_ nor even look at her; but believe me, this is progress.

We'll have to wait and see if K_ will ever want to speak to me again, and whether she's staying or going.

— 7 March 2003, Kilkenny

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We've not spoken....

I took a bit of a break on my two days off Monday and Tuesday, went to Cork.... It was a good trip for me, and I returned believing that things will work out.

Odd coincidence: I saw K_'s "friend" in Cork. Met each other in passing along a narrow laneway. We acknowledged each other discreetly--very strange.

J_ spent more than a week in the hospital, with lung problems. He got out on Monday. He's doing well, and that's a huge relief.

Maybe she's not worth it; that's hardly the point now, though. The fat's in the fire.

I've only to fold flowers across my chest and take comfort in the old wise belief that everything will work out. There's nothing that I can actually do, terms of action that I can take. Less is more, now. The less said, the sooner mended.

— 12 March 2003, Kilkenny

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I asked her if she was trying to make me jealous. No, she said; but their affectionate behavior increased, and I lost my head a bit. Wouldn't take a denial. My birthday, my pub, her meeting a couple of my good friends for the first time. Full of drink, I lost the head a bit. Not that bad; so my friends affirm.

K_ got enfuriated, and, I learned later, frightened. She tried to evict me the next day, but flatmate M_ stood by me, gently. I told K_ I wouldn't leave. She has decided to.

— 12 March 2003, Kilkenny

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Yesterday was a turning point, and a good one.

Everybody on the perimeter is being good to me, and there's a good will in the air. She's planning to move out, and to be flat out about it, the other flatmate M_ is delighted. She sort of ran with it, in a passive way. Let us work it out, and she's right too. Kristina had said that she'd leave if I didn't and I think for the time being, she's not able to back down from that of her own accord.

Yesterday was good for me amongst my friends. I went up to Brennan's to meet G_, who'd texted me. This was early, about nine. When I got there, Gi_ was in. Gi_ has been out of town; a couple of months ago the cops had paid a visit to his flat when he wasn't there. Immigration.

It was great to see Gi_. And, fantastically, his being there gathered people who have not all been together for some time. Romanians Mi_, B_, and Gi_ himself; the Croatian Z_ and her French R_; and the Irish [list of 8 names.]

This was a great occasion, joyful and festive. I had a disposable camera in my jacket pocket that I'd bought in Cork to take some pictures for Mom. I took numerous photos of my friends. We even got us all gathered for a couple of group shots. It was excellent. A really good time, and I got photos of all of my good friends and all but two who are amongst our group. L_ and K_ weren't there. I got a good picture of L_ the other night at J_'s; and K_, well.... Not back yet.

I'd seen Mi_ on High Street when I'd just gotten off work at 3:30. She'd acted squirmy, and I'd told her she acted like she was just waiting for me to go away. Relax, Mykei, I'm just your friend, I'd said. No, you're not. I told her well if you're not my friend then there's no point standing around talking to you. She smiled at that as I left.

At Brennan's I told her I was sorry I was rude, that I'd been fighting with my head chef all day. She understood. I told her she was a little rude herself, and she said she was just being honest.

...It was a happy time....

That whole occasion left me feeling really good. The homecoming, the photos — that camera was an important part of the festivity, and I'm excited about some of the pictures too; the togetherness of so many of us including my four best friends here....

— 14 March 2003, Kilkenny

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My friends have been fantastically supportive, and I'm really kind of coming out smelling like roses, even having stumbled arsewise into what could be classically called a bad situation.

K_ is not speaking to me; I don't really give a fuck. She's actually gone beyond that point where it's too much to bear, into the realm where it really just doesn't matter. We're obviously dealing with a person of deep problems, and they're not all innocent issues of mental stability. She's malevolent. So fuck her. What's she going to do; keep ignoring me for another two weeks. I'll cope with it.

— 16 March 2003, Kilkenny

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Mi_ told me in the afternoon that we're not friends. And she's right. We've known each other for a year and a half, and we have friends in common. But we're not friends ourselves.

That evening, I was sitting at the corner of the bar in the pool room at Brennan's, talking with Mo_. Mi_ sat on a stool behind my right shoulder, talking with G_ and B_. I saw her look at me adoringly. I know what I saw. She knew I'd seen her. She liked the way I was treating her--not as a friend.

— 17 March 2003, Kilkenny

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Today is Saint Patrick's Day. Tonight, we drink.

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By the way, I don't want to talk about the war—yes, the biggest story of the moment.

My friend Gi_ came and saw the place today, and met M_. Simultaneously, a woman named C_ was here. C_ is a friend of K_. That's fine, but not fine. I saw the two of them on the street yesterday and they ignored me in tandem. This was perfect opportunity for me to stick my spoke in with C_, and I mentioned it today. She denied that she'd seen me, and I didn't push the point. Worth mentioning. I've had enough being ignored in my own house, and besides that—what I didn't say—I just want to be shut of K_ and all that is associated with her. She hasn't been good to me. We have mutual friends, and that's one thing. But C_ living here—not on. M_ doesn't like the idea either. For one thing, C_ is American like ourselves. A bit much. She's got a goofy boyfriend, too... etc. etc.

Last Thursday, Gi_ showed back up. Man, that was a special night. I got pictures of it, too. A joyful occasion. I had some interaction with Mi_ that evening that was sweet to my mind. I'll tell you about it some other time, assuming that it is a story that comes to bear telling.

Work's going well. They get a laugh out of my insubordination. Fuck it; I do good work. We have a laugh. I cook the traditional Irish breakfasts for lodgers in the small hotel attached; I bake bread rolls for lunch and dinner; and I prep for lunch, sometimes doing the starters for lunch service. I dislike that part, but am getting used to it.

I got an email from Jose, the owner of Cafe Levies. His brother had found a page that I wrote about that establishment—found it via a search engine. Cool, huh?

— 20 March 2003, Kilkenny

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I quit
Zuni, and I'm glad of it. Allan, one of the owners, grabbed my shoulder in a fit of anger last Saturday morning at the tail end of a stressed-out breakfast. I wasn't being polite to him, I admit; certainly not deferential. Pissed off, he asked me if I wanted to leave and let him do it. I was ambivalent about the suggestion—apathetic, really. That really pissed him off, and he grabbed me and told me to get back there and finish those breakfasts. I went and got dressed in that moment. Said goodbye to Eddie, the dishwasher, and that was it.

I had a run-in with M_ last Monday night. At Morrison's, a late bar, with herself, G_, and our friend Kalman, I got stuck into her talking about some things been in the background for a while. She told me I'm not her type, and she told me that she's still with K_. She also railed at me for what my country is doing in Iraq. She was quite racist about it—if you'd call American a race.

K_'s leaving soon. End of the month. She's not speaking to me—not formally. She has been answering matters in polite one-word sentences.

28 March 2003, Kilkenny

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K_ left [the flat] today. Our last conversation, after a month of silent treatment:

Me: "This is it, isn't it? It's finally over."

Her: "Fuck off."

— 31 March 2003, Kilkenny

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...kind of wrecking my head trying to figure out how to get to America on vacation. It's a good idea....

— 14 April 2003

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...Feelings [between myself and Mi_] have eased up remarkably well; I never tried to take back what I said about wanting to kiss her and all that, and there's no sense of trouble between us....

— 15 April 2003, Kilkenny

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E_,

I haven't been to meetings [of "The Truth," a small Christian sect] for a very long time. I hadn't been, for a several years, in 1993, when my brother showed me a book called "Has the Truth Set You Free?" Not a great book, if you'll pardon my opinion--but I was intrigued that the bibliography had a great number of references to one book.

So I looked for that book, "Secret Sect," by Douglas and Helen Parker. It helped me a lot. I just wanted to read more about how the church had an origin. That was deeply comforting to me.... It was good to read about dry factual matters, and to let it sink in that The Truth, in fact, had an origin.

Anyhow, that's probably enough about me. You're the first person who's emailed me about that part of my website. Thanks.

— 16 April 2003, Kilkenny

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In her follow-up letter, which I appreciated and all, she was going on just fine, but then, of course,
the Bible rears its ugly head. Something about the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel she's been studying, and Ireland has a part in that history....

Nutty. But no more nutty than most of the shit that people believe....

— 17 April 2003, Kilkenny

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On Tuesday G_—he's a friend of mine since early Kilkenny days—and myself drove to Limerick to work with several others. We hoovered blinds in a Revenue office. People were working and all. I had to stand on two desks and one printer table in the process of cleaning. It was crazy.

I'm having a good time working on web-pages lately. Mostly back-of-the-house stuff. Making tools and improving others—text HTML templates, MS Word macros—and generally writing without concern for how it fits in, and seeing how it fits in. Again, lot of work that's not immediately apparent online.

The concept of home page is troubling to me; I don't like the way mine presents, or what its purpose is exactly. These pages can't really be indexed, so it's not really an index. I don't know. It's hard to work on it when I don't know what I want it to do.

— 1 May 2003

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Bush declares victory
in Iraq 2 May 2003 Battleship Ronald Reagan. Er, I mean, Abraham Lincoln.

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A great part of what I am trying to do is to get pages to work between them, and to take advantage of the unique possibilities of writing with text links. It's a long, slow process. I can't say that the best work that I can do has gotten onto these pages.

One impediment that I face is the mere fact of the great number of years that I have spent writing for no-one, keeping it all in my notebooks. It's sinking in that people are seeing my work, and this is important. But the conviction that what I want to do is worthwhile is slow in coming.

...

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...I told her I hope she never stops speaking to me again. That it was my fault, of course. We stood shoulder to shoulder for a few minutes at one point. Ah, and her hands on my back when she passed behind me — very refreshing.

M_'s not happy. I can't blame her. She doesn't sleep well, her job is not a good one, and she hangs out with those of our friends who drink heavily. Good people, but a dissipative life, to be honest between you and me.

She doesn't know if she's coming back. She said it depends on who pisses her off. Cryptic, female, I don't know if she meant here or there.... She said she wants to travel. She wants to go to Spain. She didn't talk about her boyfriend, and never does.
...

I worked a few hours today, G_ and I, cleaning windows at the housing estate Clongowan. This evening, we're going up with his friend C_ to do a deep-clean at the kitchen of St. Luke's hospital.

— 27 May 2003, Kilkenny

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I saw M_ last night. She spurned me, she got up and walked away refusing to speak to me, last night at Morrison's about 2 a.m. Middle of our group of friends; nobody batted an eye. G_, her cousin and good friend, told me it's okay. It's all okay. She's upset that her holiday home is delayed two weeks.

And I don't believe that part of it for a second. And that's where I'm out on a limb.
...

This is hard to write about. I'm lying down between paragraphs.

I downloaded and watched "Bowling for Columbine," on your tip. Excellent film. Brilliant. Of course, I'm an easy mark for anybody hawking a critical view of American culture. Dissent is so critical and so central to the American spirit, and so godawfully rare these here days. Horrifying. It's nice to get an acerbic point of view.

My favorite line: Marilyn Manson, asked what he would tell the kids of Columbine, said "I wouldn't tell them anything; I'd listen to what they had to say. And that's what no-one did."

— 3 June 2003, Kilkenny

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I had a
macabre dream....

— 17 December 2003

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