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Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 00:10:31
Subject: Re: My Shame and My Confession
From: susannenbreone@aol.com
To: skipsvskip@hotmail.com


Tuesday I took my latté at 7:30AM, today at 9:15AM.

This is not to say that I've been avoiding you, but that in fact I have avoided you.

It's been difficult for me to formulate the right response to your email of Monday morning.

I'm not quite sure what to say.

Your email came as kind of intrusion on what I conceived of as an almost purely textual relationship with another person who I met once, and with whom I had a brief-in-person flirtation with followed by an alternatively strange marvelous and ultimately disappointing flirtation in text.

Berto, I knew him, once.

But Skip if you stopped and thought for minute, for just one solid moment, you might begin to realize that if your friend was deluded, in all likelihood I did not share in his delusions.

I take my lovers in this century only.

I'm still charmed by Berto and my heart is rent at the news of his institutionalization.

But I don't know that I'll visit him, Skip.

As to the last paragraph of your email, it sounds like you're hitting on me, and poorly -- "candles flickering in our eyes"? The candlelight, or the reflection of the candlelight, might flicker, but I assume that the candles themselves would stay firmly rooted in their given positions on the table.

Maybe I'm wrong, Skip, but that close just struck a strange note.

As did the fundamental presumption of your email, it seems.

If I put this together:

A) You are the bicycle messenger who usually gets coffee at the same time I do.

B) You check me out when you get coffee.

C) Often at the start of my day, when I am in my pre-public moments, and imagine that no one is looking, or don't care to care if anyone is, just want caffeine.

And you're a friend of Berto. So where does that put us and what happens from there?

All that I know of you is how you look in lycra and your best friend's description of you as a fictional character, a not very complimentary description of you. Certainly Berto liked you but your character had certain character flaws which I have no doubt have some tenuous basis in real life and therefore make me wary I almost wrote weary there of pursuing any kind of relationship with you, including this email. I was hesitant to write.

What bothers me. Your commentary on my black dress and your assumption of certain things. That I was traumatized by the cessation of the emails from Berto, for instance, to such an extent that I wore black for a week, put my makeup on in a griefstricken fashion, etc.

Let me point out, Skip that while as a marketing exec or former and now messenger, you certainly have more knowledge of popular psychology than the standard pigeon, my black dress might have compelled certain other semiotics:

  • Maybe my lover, suppose she is a woman, died in a horrible accident.

  • Maybe I killed her and am distraught over my certain damnation.

  • Perhaps my mother father or great aunt perished.

  • Maybe I was mourning the French loss in the World Cup.

  • My cat Howard, who has been my sole faithful companion, jumped into the trash compactor.

  • Maybe the Star Wars film was a profound disappointment.

  • I might like to wear black.

  • Maybe I didn't get that promotion and am playing a kind of passive aggressive mindgame with my employers.

  • Maybe it has something to do with September 11th.

I just thought that was a little presumptuous. And I mean, I should open up to you, eat Italian with you?

So anyway Skip coffee is fine sometime but dinner is out for now Thanks.

But what of Berto?

I'll admit I'm quite touched that he painted that heart on the wall.

I agree, and sensed at a certain point, that Berto's game had gone beyond a pleasant, very involved kind of flirtation to what appeared to me to be either a delusional or at least certainly obsessive state.

Some ways I feel guilty for playing along so long.

And it was a kind of release for me too, he'd send me these fantastical descriptions of his medieval adventures and I'd bitch to him about the crap the people do at work at the job I really don't like but do because that's what I do and I need to work for the rent and bills and kip and so on, and he would delight in it.

So anyway the sudden ending.

Yes it disturbed but not nearly so much as some other things in life.

I hope that Berto gets better, I'll send him an email.

I'll have coffee at my regular time tomorrow, but I'd rather not talk with you then, I hope you can understand that. I'm happy having coffee sometime with you, but anyway just not in the morning and not with the idea of any kind of romance in mind.

You hear all kinds of things about the kind of thing that can happen on the internet with creepy guys, which is not to say that you're creepy, just let's live our lives for now.

Take care of your friend.

I might write him but Jesus I feel like I'd need a degree in psychology to do so, you know?

Don't answer that.

So don't say to him that I'll write him, I might or might not, but do be kind to him. I've got a lot that I'm dealing with without getting involved with mending Berto's threads.

There's so much fucked up shit in the world and a lot of fucked up people but they improve, so do the best you can.

Stay out of the way of moving traffic, and don't be so ashamed of your confession.

Shame is bad for your complexion.

Stay Safe,