Sex in the city indeed. Right now I’m writing to the thumping of my neighbor and her boyfriend as they screw each other a little off schedule. Seriously. Usually they screw at approximately 6:20 every afternoon. The rather odd thing is how quiet they are. When the guy on the other side of me has sex with his–well, I’m not really sure if she’s his girlfriend or not–friend, they’re quite loud. The people next door are so quiet about it that they don’t make a sound at all, and I seriously wouldn’t know what was going on had she not let out a few cries on accident one night. Beforehand (I know this sounds naive), I really didn’t know what was going on in there–it’s so monotonous! No change in the tempo or anything. Sheesh. Alas, they sometimes have their little disagreements sometimes and I can hear her crying sometimes after she had an argument with him. This isn’t something that has just happened once or twice–it actually occurs quite often. This is actually the reason why I’m so careful when it comes to whom I date. It seems to be that too many people just need someone around, and they don’t care how much they hurt them, just so long as they have that crucial companionship. I’ve never really understood this since I’ve always been something of a loner.

Anyway, they seem to be done now. Again, there was literally no change in the tempo. No sudden speeding up at the end, no slowing down–just the same old bump bump bump bump bump over and over again as her mattress hits the wall adjoining my room.

God, I want something better than this. I feel like I’m in some mid 19th century New York Irish tenement or something.

In the meantime, I’m looking over an English paper that an acquaintance of mine has asked me to read for errors. Hmph. The sad thing is that this person’s a senior English major and this paper is essentially crap. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t believe the UT English department requires students to take a grammar course and I think this is utterly intolerable! (Hear, hear, old boy!) English majors who can’t even construct a decent English sentence! What’s this world coming to? No wonder the major has a bad reputation these days. For example, consistent use of “it’s” when the poor git actually means “its.” Improper usage of the word “fortuitous” (incidentally, one of the two Watergate reporters from the Washington Post whose work was donated to the Ransom Center misused it as well).

Why is it that every girl I get seriously interested in happens to be married or dating someone?

The first girl I kissed was a young Italian-American girl I met while in Ireland. We spent hours in each other’s arms in places like Blarney Castle and on the Cliffs of Moher while we toured the country in a type of exchange program. To this day I still think about her. One day the longing to speak to her again was so strong that I actually dug out all my journals from the trip in order to see if I could find her number. I found it, and beside the number was a little note that I had written in London’s Heathrow Airport: I love G—. Ah, how beautiful are our little childish impulses! But–did I really mean it? Am I just remembering an idealization? I called her house in Houston and a different family had moved into her house. In a way I had expected it (well, because I myself have moved a lot during my life), but it still saddened me nevertheless. I was just a kid then, but I don’t think I’ve ever been (in love?) taken with someone like I was with her. I must add here that I don’t think about her all the time. Indeed, the thought of her sometimes doesn’t come up for whole months at a time. But when it does, it comes like a flood. Everything else I’ve experienced since then seems shallow in comparison.

I miss the mountains. I miss the days after my high school years when I ran off into the mountains of Montana and Utah and lived like a mountain man, surviving only on what fish I could catch in those beautiful clear streams. I was once out there, just me and my tent, in the mountains overlooking Montana’s Big Hole Valley for over three weeks without seeing anyone else–that is, if you don’t count that moment when I looked into the horizon and my eyes caught the glint of someone’s truck as they sped down a dirt road in the general direction of Bannack. The world seemed surreal then–it was like I had been taken from the modern era and cast into a world without time. Bannack! Choteau! Cut Bank! Monticello! Soldier Summit! The names are poetry to my ears. What strikes me as funny is that no one else seems to understand the incomparable experience of trips like that. I’ve grown weary of city life. Perhaps one day I shall still retire to a little house in Helena like I once said I would, and spend my final days feeling the grasses of the Little Belts brush against my shoes.

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