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22:13 - Friday, Jan. 16, 2004
a curtain of backwards marker
the strangest fucking thing just happened to me.
in my living room there is, as i think i've mentioned before, two sheets of butcher paper taped together and nailed to the wall to make kind of a big mosaic of art. lara and i draw on it all the time.. we write funny/inspiring/stoned/ironic phrases on it, we doodle, quote... anyway, it covers the whole north end of my living room. the couch is directly under it. remember that i said it is NAILED in, not taped on.
so nick and i are kissing on the couch and the art wall starts DESCENDING. it somehow comes unfastened and starts cascading in slow motion down upon us like some kind of slothlike wrath of god. we don't even move. moving doesn't occur to us. we just lay there looking up at this curling, rustling, descending huge piece of butcher paper covered with phrases like 'literature is masturbation!' and 'webct is a flowkill nazi!' and 'we have to have story-time every night! we have to do it because it's on the wall!'..... it's like we're frozen, with awe, or fright, or actually it's a whole lot of amusement too. but finally, and it probably takes over 30 seconds, the paper drifts down over us with a light burst of air, covering us and the couch completely. we see the living room through a curtain of backwards marker.
for another 30 seconds neither of us can speak. he looks at me and then out through the backwards-marker curtain like he just saw a ghost, but with a smile playing around the edges of his lips. finally, i start laughing. 'i hope it's not a sign,' i say.

13:08 - Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004
Okay, like.... seriously, here. All valley-speak aside.. my Tuesday was incredibly messed up. I walk into Physics of Sound and Music, which is in a huge not-even-half-full lecture hall, and an old scientist-looking guy has a beautiful gold trombone out and is improvising jazz riffs on top of a prerecorded piano accompaniment. I mean, the guy is really good. Not in a professor-dabbling-in-music-to-seem-hip kind of way, but in the he-should-really-do-music-mainly-and-teach-science-on-the-side kind of way. He plays for ten minutes. You can tell who the music majors are in the audience... the only ones cognizant of the fact that the stuff he's doing is not normal.

Then comes the clincher. My next class is Elective Music 1217 - University Singers. That's all it said on the registration page when I was registering. All I wanted was an on-the-side kind of fun choir with some nonprofessional singers such as myself, just a 1 credit fun thing. Since it was listed as 1000 level, that's what I assumed.
But I walk into the classroom in Macky and there are a bunch of 25 year olds milling around, thumbing through complicated vocal scores in French or Latin, all acting like they know each other, all giggling about obscure choral references. Eventually someone notices me. 'Oh, did you just join?' she asks. 'Are you an alto or a soprano?' Alto. 'Are you getting your masters, or your PhD?' uh, excuse me?
Turns out I inadvertently signed up for advanced graduate student choir. Audition required. Considerable experience required. Did I know this? No. So had I auditioned? No. Was I anywhere near this level? No.
The girl who had been doing the questioning escorted me to the conductor. 'Talk to her,' she said, and escaped.
The conductor wanted to give me an audition and recommend another choir for me to be in. So here I am in advanced choir doing an audition for a stranger who thinks I have some choral background when actually I haven't been in a choir since elementary school. After the audition, instead of recommending somewhere else for me to be, she cocks her head to the side. 'You have a nice voice,' she says. 'You definitely need voice lessons, but why don't you just stay in this choir for now, give it a try.'
So I'm still in advanced choir on the condition I take voice lessons. The rest of that hour and a half is just surreal. I'm sitting with the meager alto section, sympathetic girls on either side trying their best to help me, but for god's sake, these are choral scores in different languages with complicated voice directions that I don't understand! Glorificamuste.. te laudamus, benedicimus, adoramos.... indeed.

Otherwise, everything is just fantastic. For once, I am not being sarcastic. I walked home on Monday looking at the stars with my heart swelling almost to the breaking point. If I had told myself this was going to happen a year ago, I would have invented a time machine just to travel to the future and see it with my own eyes, because it wouldn't have been to be believed.
That night, he asks me the strangest question.
‘Why didn’t you grab me on Valentines Day last year?’
I stifle a snort. ‘Well, a), you had a date....’
‘Before that.’
‘Nick, you didn’t want to be grabbed.
‘But I did,' he insists.
We go back and forth until both of us are breathless. It doesn't matter, anyway.

23:35 - Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004
Why is it that every time I return to Boulder, my life becomes incomprehensible and insane, at least for the first few weeks?
I can't even picture going to class tomorrow, though I might as well start because I have five of them, starting at 8 in the morning and ending at 6:30 at night. Directly after my last class I'm going to Nick's, which is just as incomprehensible as going to class. In one way I feel like I never left and my vacation home was just a dream, and I'm continuing going to class and doing Boulder activities with alarming regularity forever and ever with no real break, but in another way I felt every day of that break like a brick.
Some things that were said were just too true.
Being afraid to look up because if you do, Chell is going to be staring at you with his stupid cocky face with its smarmy smirk and his cigarette with his eyes half closed leaning back legs spread like he's the ultimate shit. Sure enough, when you look up... sure enough...
We try to escape out the back when Jeremy produces firecrackers, and are chased by Chell, who advocates freedom of choice but only, apparently, freedom of HIS choice. He assumes that every time someone leaves a party they're doing so because of an act of repression, rather than simply being tired and actually wanting to be home.
Andrew still isn't back. He said he'd be back this morning but is over 12 hours late. Our hypotheses are as follows:
1. The car wrecked.
2. They ran out of gas/got a flat tire.
3. They got arrested for marijuana possession and are in jail in rural Nebraska.
4. Andrew's friends turned out not to be able to give him a ride home, so he's running frantically around Madison trying to find another way here.
5. They're hitchhiking because of 1) or 2).
6. They turned the wrong way up I-25 and didn't notice because they were too high and are now driving innocently towards Cheyenne.
7. They stopped to take a nap and didn't wake up until 15 hours later.
8. All of the above.
Man, I have to be awake again in seven hours to go to a virtual plethora of classes, one right after the other. Fortunately, I've dropped comic sense so I don't have SIX classes to go to. I'd better go to sleep before I wire myself straight up through the night.
Especially since Lara and I just spent the last hour sprawled on the couch hypnotically watching the VH1 expose on Paris Hilton's sex tape while amazedly exclaiming how the world just gets more and more absurd, and what if our whole life was just Paris Hilton's dream (because it's so absurd, of course). Then we drew a picture of that conjecture on the wall.


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