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Drinking and Driving in Charlottesville
Wednesday, December 18 1996 Following some computer work at the University of Virginia's Cocke Hall, I went to Plan 9 and bought yet another CD, Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power, used, for $6. This is an okay CD, with a surprisingly unpreachy and oddly indirect multi-song theme of racial equality near the end. But most of the Pantera songs I like must be somewhere else...Cowboys from Hell is what I'm thinking. Still, Pantera has no equal when it comes to extreme heaviness and clean sharp edges and timing. I'll probably like this album more with familiarity. Understand: I'm having fun building a CD collection from essentially nothing based on the best of what I've heard in music created over the last ten years.
I had a few errands to run over at the University of Virginia, and since I'd decided to visit Jessika, I drove the Dodge Dart. And as I drove, I had a red ketchup bottle in my hand. And in this bottle was white wine, on this amazingly warm day filling me with a summery glow. I tended to drive more aggressively under wine's merry influence. I was living the life of someone unrestrained by timetables, social obligations, and open container ordinances.
I took I-64 over to the eastmost Charlottesville exit and then went to Pantops Shopping Center to buy ramen and orange juice at Food Lion and a big thing of vodka. Life can never get too bad so long as you have vodka and ramen. Then it was over to see Jessika at her place. But she was off checking her e-mail, so instead I hung out with Raphæl, Nemo and Ana. Today young Nemo seemed to be particularly drawn to my bracelets. I held him on my lap for a rather long time while Ana took a rare break long enough to fix herself some food, and, unlike the cases with Matthew Hart that I recall, he never complained. I feel sorry for Ana having to be attached to the little guy almost all the time, with minimal assistance from anyone. No one could have prepared her for the responsibility and destruction of her free time. But through it all she never complains; she appears to be an exceptionally good mother.
I went to the library and there was Jessika, just composing an e-mail to me. But she deleted it and I never received it; she figured conversation would do as a replacement. That's good in theory, but there really is no replacement for e-mail. It is the best way to communicate. For her part, Jessika had thought e-mail to be cold and impersonal, but later today when I expressed the aforementioned sentiment, her response was "I'm beginning to think you're right."
I drove us to UVA's Gilmer Hall and we did some surfing on the web and chatting in Sam 'n' Ellas Punk Rock Chat. As a chatter, I assumed first the identity of an evangelical Christian out to reform the evil punk rockers. But slowly I became instead a punk rock neophyte, saying I'd just discovered Green Day on MTV and how cool I thought they were. Meanwhile the other chatters tried to out punk each other by name dropping increasingly more obscure punk bands. They were on to me after not too long, and I decided relax in the sofa of surrealism, telling how I thought it would be better if women had three breasts instead of two.
We went to my place, which is now empty of all but me, to drink vino and chat. Our conversations seem to be steadily improving, I would say. E-mail has forced more honesty and deeper issues. She still complains about my musings though. But the issues she raises are legitimate ones; I don't tell the stories without lots of personal bias. I failed to mention, for example, the cruelty of the things I said and my behaviour towards her the night she socked me in the Mudhouse.
I more or less passed out from drinking too much vino. But Jessika wanted to go home. I really should have driven her, but I was too drunk. She could have stayed at my house, but no, she was insistent on going home. I felt guilty about her having to walk 22 blocks back to her house...but there was no alternative except, I don't know, a taxi cab. And Taurus Rising wouldn't have any of that.
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