Monday, June 11, 2007

Summer Cold Index.

I'm completely off any kind of schedule these days. Somehow it just hasn't seemed necessary. What that means is that it hasn't seemed necessary to get anything done. It's just been a strange, not unpleasant sense of whirling into the increasingly dimly-lit future.

I'm waiting to hear from UT about financial aid, which news will determine whether or not I start school in the fall. I'm still trying to get into a drug study. (I just started the screening process for another one today. Cross your fingers. The most alarming side effect of this particular drug was (rarely) bleeding of the mucus membranes surrounding the eyes. Sounds pretty, doesn't it? The drug is being developed to treat restless leg syndrome, which I have. Unfortunately, these are safety trials, not efficacy trials, so I won't get enough of the drug to treat the condition.) And I'm in between drafts of my screenplay. If I get into this trial, or any trial soon, I'll use my time in the lockup to start rewriting.

The heat has simultaneously tranquilized me and awoken me to the fact that I'm not doing anything. (Possibly similar to what I imagine it's like for people who are executed by lethal injection, where the first drug they're given immobilizes them, making them unable to react but no less aware of the fact that the second drug is excruciatingly painful. I said possibly.) I don't believe that doing nothing is a bad thing. In fact, I think it's a pretty good thing. The only drawback is that it's habit-forming. I put it in the same category as pot-smoking. They have definite benefits, but maybe not every day.

Thursday night, my throat started to feel kind of ack-ack, and I woke up Friday with a full-on sore throat. It hurt, my tonsils were big, red, and shiny, but I was relieved to see no white spots. (White spots on my tonsils almost always mean that I'm going to have to find a doctor and get some antibiotics, which is a pain in the ass and an expense I can't afford. Not only that, it would fuck up my ability to do the drug study I screened for today.)

But ... no white spots. Just a sore throat.

I was ready to call Z and cancel on his birthday dinner Friday night, but I got such a sweet email from him in the early afternoon, telling me how much it meant to him that I was coming, I couldn't disappoint him. I bucked up.

A big group of his friends had arranged to treat him to dinner at Austin Land & Cattle Co. (a famous local steakhouse -- Z's choice). Z wanted me to be there, and he knew I couldn't afford it, so he told me he would pay for my share. I felt very embarrassed (the whole idea of such a thing is that your friends pay) and guilty (he took me out for such a nice dinner on my birthday a couple months ago) and touched that he would want that badly for me to be there. (He had arranged in advance for a friend to chip in for two when the bill came, to cover my share without making it an issue at the table. I was so moved by that.)

His friends are a diverse group of colleagues, former neighbors, old drinking buddies. And they're all crazy about him, of course. He's one of those men you meet and think "Why is this guy single?" He says he's very picky about men. He's picky about a lot of things. Maybe he's too cantankerous for most guys. But is that a flaw? I don't think I would want to spend much time with someone who considered cantankerousness a flaw. Or maybe he's too honest. I don't know. I do know that if I were anywhere near the mood to fall in love, this would be the guy.

Dinner was great, very lively. I had a beautiful, perfectly done steak, the first steak I've had since I was cooking them myself at the restaurant in Utah. Afterwards, we drove back to his house, he parked, and we walked to La Dolce Vita for gelato (I had coconut and chocolate) and then took a very long walk home around his new neighborhood. It was super-muggy that night. We held hands.

Saturday I woke up with a real live summer cold. I felt miserable, and I didn't do much but read and nap all day. I missed J's performance in the gay pride thingie in Zilker Park in the afternoon.

I caved on my a/c rule. It has not reached 100 degrees. I think the highest it's gotten is 96. But the Summer Cold Index was at least 102. However, I made a welcome discovery. My window unit is really much too big for the room. I can turn it on, at the lowest setting, for about half an hour, turn it off and my room stays comfortable for a few hours. So I feel slightly less guilty about my consumption, and slightly less anxious about the summer utility bills.

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