DW Story 1: Green glow.

This is the first story or part thereof.  I really don't know where any of this will go if any where.  I don't mind receiving feedback.  I have moderated comments enabled.  People may feel more comfortable sending e-mail.  When I ran my old website on Wordpress only a few people left comments.  Dozens sent e-mail.

Notes:  Haven't named the narrator.  He's known as XXXXX.


In bright green illuminating the room 4:00 the alarm clock.  Another night of poor sleep.  Another excuse to live underachieving.  I've been grinding my teeth.  My head is throbbing.  What was I doing with my life?  Twenty-nine.  Finishing a Ph.D. on minutiae three people on Earth may care about.  If they do care about it the odds are high they're odd ball assholes like me.  I feel so alone.

I look to her, beside me.  My beloved.  I stole so much from her.  Can you be held liable for a dark depressive episode?  I was happy.  I was ambitious.  Now I'm a papier mache version of that man.  She is beautiful.  She looks peaceful.  She is beautiful outside and inside.  She and I met at 22 years of age.  Just finishing college.  So much to look ahead.  It wasn't until I met her I felt again.  The others.

There were many before her.  The one that threw hot chocolate in my face (Hot Chocolate).  The one that wanted me to be her boyfriend before she broke up with her other boyfriend (Mme Backup).  There was the thirty-something undergraduate student I met in senior year (Tasha). I liked her.  I think I may have been an experiment to her.  Looking back on it as a thirty-something:  A twenty-something would practically be another species.  Nothing in common.

Don't misunderstand my experiences with these women.  I managed to connect with them for some unknown reason.  I'm average.  I'm not particularly smart.  I'm not handsome.  I'm not suave.  I'm not admirable.  But, with each of them, I seemed to know the protocol - how to proceed convincing them to teach me their ways.  I was a master at providing the stage at which they could be comfortable with me.  In exchange these women shaped me in their ways and took from me love I barely knew I had.  I owe them.  Despite the abject relationship failure they taught me and trained me for her coming.   I knew well enough because each one led me to Margret.

When we locked eyes in the hallway outside the library I heard nothing else.  I saw nothing else.  "I'm giving my senior thesis presentation on Wednesday.  You should come" - I vomited those words.  I thought that was a good idea.  When she said no I was angry with myself.  Of course.  Who would want to sit in the dark hearing undergraduate thesis seminars.  Nothing worse than hearing clueless students go on about things of which they know little.  In truth I was a marionette controlled by my thesis advisor.   How surprising that she relayed her intent to be out of town at the time of the presentation.

Out of your league.  I fucking hate baseball.

She was tall, elegant, pretty.  She had eyes that felt piercing.  I was a dog chasing a car.  If I had got her that day I wouldn't know what to do with her.

We met later in a coffee shop where her friend, a mutual acquaintance waited for her.
"Mag will be here shortly.  Join us"  my in.  I was gaining on the bumper of that car.

When she arrived her cheeks were red.  It was cold.  She wore an oversized wool hat, likely homemade.  I think I smiled the entire time she walked to our table.

"Hi XXXXX, how was that presentation?  I was visiting family back east.  I wish I could have seen you," Mag explained.

"It was OK.  I messed up a quesiton about the impact of the research on the use of marginal, saline water."  IDIOT.  No one cares get out of your head - flashed the words before my eyes.

"I love their hot chocolate, XXXXX can I get one for you?"

"No, ugh, yes.  Maybe the white chocolate."  IDIOT.  Say yes and sit down.  She would have left with her friend if she hadn't wanted you around.  Later I would have a social worker, two psychologists, a medical student, and a psychiatrist confirm that I had an anxiety disorder that distorted my perception of reality, consequences, and human-human interactions, however minor.

Anxiety has a way of changing the baseline of a situation.  If something is going your way you are elated.  The connection you have with that 'something' going your way is electric.  It is strong.  It was preordained.  Of course when it's not going your way or presents difficulty the normal person would use alternative strategies to achieve their goal.  Not so the anxious mind.  You will invent reasons why you will fail.  Why your predicament is doomed.  Long cough over the winter?  Your house has asbestos and you have mesothelioma.  Your friend told you they can't play Grand theft auto?  He's realized you're a loser and no longer wants to spend until 04:30 getting into 5 star police chases.

I am observant.  Mag and I took a plant physiology course together.  In the last month or so she no longer darts out of class and digs out her cell phone.  That suggests there is no longer a someone she needs to touch base with before she goes home.

I imagine those conversations sometimes:
"Class is done, be home in 20 minutes."
"Good be home soon.  Can't wait to tell you about my day and have lacklustre sex"
"That sounds great."
Simultaneously: "I love you!"

My anxiety is turning to anger.  I have likely been staring into space like a murderous psychopath. The overly sweet hot chocolate is too sweet in my stomach.  My intestines are revolting.  That gurgling.    How loud is the gurgling?  The counter girl can probably hear it.  I feel gasses shifting in my guts.  I have five minutes before I have an episode of diarrhea.  IDIOT say something an leave.  No one leads to a first date by shitting their pants.  Maybe Christian Bale could.

I'm likely sweaty at this point.  I focus my energy into coherence and my sphincter.  "Thanks for the hot chocolate.  I'm meeting Derek to play squash in a few minutes [this is a lie, one that is more pleasant than I'm going to shit my pants in a few minutes]. I have to go.  Mag do you want to play squash next week?"

"My aunt gave me her old racquets and goggles.  I'd love to be able to use them" she said this smiling at me.

Hold her gaze IDIOT.  Smile.  Three minutes left.

"I still have your number somewhere in my '341 notes,  you know, from Gillian's study group.  I'll call you Monday.  Bye."

If she said 'bye' I didn't know.  I just left as quickly as possible.  2 minutes left.

Mechanical engineering was almost next door.  The side entrance would be open.  There were still exams.

I rushed to the bathroom.  The hall way was adorned with photos of graduating classes  Lonnie Musker, Garreth Chive, Lloyd Franken were the names of some of the mechanical engineering class of '66.

I made it.  No awkward subway ride without underpants for me.
Speaking of the devil.  I got a text from Derek: At Nate's.  Found old NES cartridges.