Sent in a plain envelope and written on lined paper. Black ink and quickly written block letters at the beginning, segueing into a relaxed cursive.
Dated October 16
Hey, how's it going? Now stop panicking--I know it's not a phone call or e-mail, but nothing is wrong. Really. Sometimes I just want to write, you know? Feel the paper and take the time to spell stuff wrong if that's how it comes out. Usually my mom gets these ... but that's more because she demands letters and hates to check her e-mail.
Lucky you, this time you get to be the recipient of my latest brain dump. Hope you'll forgive me.
Now that I think about it, I don't think I know anyone else who would put up with it. Got you trained up to deal with the Wandering Mind of Gray, and frankly it's too much work to start coaching someone else.
Not that there are a lot of choices around here. Oh, the joys of small town life. The college is cool, and the history department (aside from a few old skeletons clinging to their tenure) is great, but, man ... small towns suck for making friends that are anything more than surface.
Did you know that there are only three kinds of bars here? There's the Straight Dance Music Meat Market, the Café/Bar Straight Meat Market, and the Roadhouse Style Meat Market. Also Straight, of course. Thank Christ for the GLBT group on campus--I seriously hate to think that gay kids would live out their four years here without it. So I wander down to the café/bar meat market once in a while and endure the noise, and I wind up getting eyed up by some young thing. And once in a while I get to thinking, 'Hell, I'm only thirty, the age difference isn't that much...' But the two times I got even close to returning the interest by sharing a drink it turned out that the kid was in my intro course and was looking for an in about next week's class.
Damn intro courses are huge, how the hell am I supposed to remember all the freaking kids I see?
Get me, Mr. Pitiful. Oh, shut up.
Mind, it's a lot easier to pick out the diggers when they land in my office looking for help and bearing gifts like books and trinkets. I had some girl show up last week who was sending out all the signals ... I swear you could track her through the halls just by pheromones. She seemed honestly baffled when I didn't throw her across my desk and tear her clothes off. Poor thing.
And then there was the lovely boy doing the same thing, but he took my disinterest better--think he's used to it, and isn't that just freaking sad?
Anyway, point is, I've been here for--what, five years? And it's pretty much known which way I go and that's fine--never been one for the closet, have I? But it sure as hell makes it hard to get anywhere. The only people I know are either students or teachers, and the chances of going out to meet anyone and not winding up lying next to someone I rather wouldn't are getting kind of slim.
There's a guy who teaches in the philosophy department. Nice guy, little older than us. He says that it's a wasteland for the sexually repressed here. The small town kids are all kinky and the city kids looking for that level of fun are all too vanilla but don't know it. Me, I have no clue what he's on about, but he seems to think that as the straightest man on campus it's his duty to bend a bit.
Yeah, makes no sense to me either. Philosophy students and teachers just worry me.
Going to go see the drama club's production of 'The Tempest' tomorrow. Made me think of you.
I miss you, Paul. I feel old.
And tomorrow is another day, full of jocks trying to get their humanities credit and history majors trying to suck up. There are a few bright lights in the upper level classes, thank God; makes it fun for part of the week. But by Friday we just want to get out of here.
Maybe I should start going to the movies instead of the bars.
Take care, and don't mind the angst--I think I'm going through my second teenagehood, now with added rent payments.