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name: Alicia
age: 24
screenname: cryztalina, since 8th grade and going strong
email: randomlifeinprogress@hotmail.com
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Sunday, October 22, 2006

[Dancing makes the heart grow fonder]

Now that we've been in the Manor for a few weeks and everything is starting to settle into a sort of routine - however out of the ordinary - people are starting to notice we're here. I don't think my roommate and I ever really thought about what it would mean to live in a street level storefront space beyond the interior world we could create here. We were too busy making plans for what we can do, where things would go, when the hell our shower is going to be put in (it's a whole thing) that we really didn't think about the people around reacting to it. So far we haven't really opened the place up to anyone aside from friends and rehearsals for the theater company, but I've finally started to notice.

Maybe it's because I'm around all the damn time - that's a whole different thing... I'm relatively unemployed (yet another whole thing, but not as bad as it sounds, I assure you) so I'm around in the early afternoon before I go wander around, run errands, work, whatever. We get a lot of peekers. It all started the night Jeff and I were watching a movie before we put up wax paper on the floor to ceiling windows in front. This guy peeked in, checking it out, which isn't weird. But it was midnight or later, so we didn't go to the door to chat, we just figured he'd go away. Nope, he definitely didn't. He found a little hole in one of the cardboard boxes we had up and just... fucking... peeped. Then he started to flash a little keylight around. Jeff pointed at him, like, hey, I see you. The guy pointed back, like, hey, I can see you, too.

"Of course he can see me," Jeff laughed. "He's looking in our window... what..? Heha!"

So after what had to have been at least two minutes of this strange courting ritual we answered the door, not opening it fully as we might have during the day. There stood a man holding a can of Busch.

"Hi, hi there, I'm a Native American, and I was just looking in at the place, I wanted to see what you were doing with it. I'm sort of an artist, I'm sometimes down in the art space on the corner there." He points.

The conversation went on for a minute or two, us explaining, him explaining, but it never really recovered for us after the moment he pointed out that he was Native American. Like that was some kind of explanation... oh, I can't even type this, it's too funny still.

Not everyone is as interesting as this guy was, but everyone's as harmless. It's just always a little surreal, a sort of "Is this really happening right now?" The other day I had the door unlocked because the building workers were coming in and out working on things for us and this guy just opened it.

"This is cool... Are you guys opening a restaurant or something?"

Yes. Yes we are. Mama's Fish and Chicken, to be precise.

I don't know, it's not that weird, but I've never really lived in a neighborhood where people are so interested in what's happening in the community. They come with friendly smiles and open ears, they're all excited about what we're going to be doing. They're just honestly curious, which isn't something to complain about. But it IS, sometimes, something to laugh about later. Was I just run over by a truck? Am I dreaming? I mean, it feels like I'm lucid, but if you're crazy, you won't know it.

Everything's changing now, there's no schedule or order to keep things "normal." And I know, above all else, that is good for me. My brother reminded me of one of his best words of advice picked up along the way, "You know you're learning if you're uncomfortable." Sure, there's always a little too much alcohol for what's probably good, there's a few too many days of late sleeping past the alarms, but I don't think there are many people who know what life will be like after graduating college. It's like being in limbo some of the time, and really dark, at least for me, for a bit, like being without purpose, like being in purgatory.

It's only since I've accepted that the purgatory is self-inflicted that I've relaxed a bit. No, this won't necessarily be one of my proudest times. There's little action, and that's why I'm uncomfortable. But damn if I'm not learning, a helluva lot. It's not something tangible, that was hard to get over, but then that thought ... not everything is going to come easy, especially the good things, the ones worth waiting for.

Then again, the people will come to the door and windows and peek in. They're probably all just waiting, waiting to see what happens. I don't know, but I think it will be something good. So, that's all that matters for now, right?

[Things are gonna change, I can feel it.]

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