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June 12, 2005 - Sunday, 5:46 a.m.

Nights Out...

Itís quiet tonight. The soft whisper of rainfall wafts in through an open window along with a cool breeze and the sweet smell. I love rain, and I love when I take the time to just sit quietly and listen to it. The lights are out, no music or TV, just the rain. There are a couple candles flickering on the dresser. Itís a perfect night. Cool temperatures, thunder rumbling in the distance and rain falling lightly. The only thing that could make it more perfect would be if I had someone to snuggle up with.

Itís not even late yet, but Iím tired already. Itís cool in the room and it feels good to be lying under the covers. It was a quiet day. I did some house cleaning and laundry. This afternoon I met Rosie for dinner and then we went and saw ďMr. and Mrs. SmithĒ. I was surprised that the movie was funny, but it was. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Was a nice diversion for the day.

Hours laterÖ

Well, shortly after 9 pm I fell asleep, too tired to even finish writing. Itís now the wee hours of the morning, and Iím awake. Itís funny how I always forget that birds donít sing at night. They must all find a nice spot to roost and fall asleep. However they know when dawn is coming. When I wake up in what seems to be the middle of the night I often hear the birds singing and realize that it must really almost be morning. They are singing up a storm at the moment, along with the crickets.

Friday night after class I went out to Old Chicagoís with a group from class. For most all of them it was a chance to drink and relax, celebrating the end of the semester and the monopolization of our time. We were there until nearly midnight. I enjoyed visiting with everyone. This was a group of pretty serious drinkers compared to groups Iíve gone out with in the past. A number of rounds of shots of tequila, some wine and the remainder drank beers. As a non-drinker, it is quite enjoyable to find that no one seems to pressure me to drink. It seems that growing up we were lead to believe that going out with drinkers would result in severe peer pressure to draw one into drinking. It wasnít something I heard at home or anything, it was kind of a cultural myth I guess. In reality, Iíve never really run into ANYone that has given me a hard time about not drinking, most have just been content to let me have ice water. Perhaps the problem really was about people who didnít drink who went out with drinkers and then talked about how the drinkers SHOULDnít drink. Perhaps that is where the pressure TO drink shows up, as reaction to the discussion. Anyway, I enjoy not being judged and allowed to just enjoy the evening for what it is worth.

Itís Sunday already. The weekend is rapidly slipping away. I have Ruhi this morning and then L and her daughter are coming over for the afternoon. Terry in a fit of indecision told L that he Ďdoesnít want to be a couple any more, he just wants to be friendsí. She devastated and looking to not be around for him to drop in on. A few more days and she feels like sheíll be in a place were she can face him without breaking down and crying. I could just slap the guy. My gut is that he doesnít really have any idea what he wants to do. I think that he seriously cares about her, but that somehow he got cold feet and as he has been vacillating for that last couple of weeks he decided to withdraw. Heís been going between Ďletís get marriedí and Ďletís just be friendsí for about a month now. This was pretty much the straw that broke the camels back for L, too many weeks of being jerked between optimistic hopefulness and despair. He should have never said ANYthing until he knew what he wanted. I can only hope that somehow itíll all balance out, and somehow the reason for it all will become clear to L.

Thursday night I showed up at the jam at the bar after class. Curtis and L joined me there. We all arrived at the same time and found a spot to sit down and listen. The musicians were on a break and we sat and visited. Phil wasnít there when we arrived. It was already 9, so I started to think that perhaps he wouldnít show up. The band started playing and to my delight it was a blues night, rather then classic rock. I enjoyed the music tremendously. Phil showed up about a half hour after we got there. I introduced him to Curt and L. He stood by me for a while visiting off and on, but eventually drifted off to play some pool.

Curt stayed and listened for a little over an hour and then he left. He found it interesting and said heíd probably come out and join them in playing one of these nights. Curtís always loved music and instruments since he was a little boy. He played in band at school through Jr High, but stopping taking band after his freshman year. Iíve always tried to talk him into music lessons or SOMETHING, but heís always shrugged it off. Heíll sit for hours playing his electric guitar in his room and heís actually pretty good. Iíd love to see him pursue it, if only for his personal enjoyment. I guess weíll see.

Phil noticed when Curt left and commented to me about it. Then during his set a gentleman from the bar came up and asked me to dance. I was a little flustered. I pretty much am comfortable being a wallflower, and again it is out of my comfort zone to go out and dance on a very small dance floor, let alone with a stranger. He was wearing a POW-MIA in Vietnam jacket, with a bandana tied around his head; heíd been drinking, quite a bit, but seemed sweet in his own way and not terribly threatening so I said yes. I was very self-conscious, but I enjoyed the music and it was much closer to the band then our table was, much easier to see Phil playing. On the one hand Phil didnít seem to be watching me, but at the same time I was very aware that he KNEW I was there and that he was keeping an eye on me.

We returned to the table just as the set was ending, the gentleman introduced himself as Jim and thanked me for the dance. He then began working on L for a dance. She very sweetly said no as she was getting ready to leave. L had stayed and listened through Philís set on stage. Lís an alcoholic. She knows it and hasnít drank for a couple years now. However, sitting in a bar, as depressed as she was feeling was taxing. A drink sounded really good, and yet she knew that wasnít what she wanted to do, so she got ready to withdraw from it, the music had been great, but the temptation tiring. That night was a combination of distraction for her broken heart and a chance for her to get a read on Phil. L has a gift of being able to read people quite accurately. For the most part she has some natural skill at tapping into people (whether or not you want to believe it Iíve found her to be very accurate and very much appreciate her read on people). As his set finished up she stood up to leave, and she said, ďHeís serious when he says he doesnít know what he wants, be careful. Heís a very nice guy. He keeps track of you and he is very protective of you. Heís very concerned about hurting you and heís watching out to make sure you donít get hurt by anyone. He loves having you here and really does enjoy your company. Just keep doing what you are doing.Ē Phil came by the table from the stage and stopped. He noticed L was getting ready to leave asked her as much. She told him he did a great job, and that yes she was leaving. They shook hands and Phil went to put his guitar away. It was nice to have confirmation that my read on Phil pretty much matches hers. It doesnít always. She never did like Mark very much, she didnít feel he could be counted on, and she was right.

When he came back from the next room, L was gone and much to my surprise he sat down in Lís chair and remained there for most of the rest of the evening. Jim hovered a little, but never returned to the table to talk to me. Phil got up and left once to go stand up near the band as Jake, the guy leading the jam, had told him he might get one more chance to play. He returned to the table and with a grin told me he thought heíd been lead on. We visited some during the last set, but mostly just listened to the music. We left just before midnight. Phil walked me to my car, which ended up being parked only one parking spot away from his truck.

It was a very nice evening; I am definitely getting hooked on the activity. As a night owl I really enjoy being out in it. Tonight is the jam at the Irish-English pub, I imagine Iíll wander down to that as well, either with or without L. If I go without L, Iíll look for Philís truck. If he isnít there that is a little too rough of a crowd for me to be alone with, so Iíll play it by ear. However, from what Phil had to say Thursday night, heís pretty much showing up at the jams in town on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursdays every chance he gets.

Itís nearly dawn now; the sun will be creeping over the horizon here in the next 20 minutes or so. A couple more hours of sleep sounds pretty good, at the moment.

M.

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