Justin's Life... February 11-20, 1996

Justin's Life... February 11-20, 1996

February 11, 1996


I just got off the phone from talking with Chuck. He's coming over in about thirty minutes.


Chuck arrived and we basically just caught up on each other's lives. He told me of the guy he's ga ga over and I told him of the red heads I've been writing. It's been so long since I've actually been ga ga over someone, so I was both happy for Chuck and a little jealous.

He stayed until a few minutes ago when he headed back to Harvard. I'd almost forgotten how cute he is. It was nice to see him again.


I've been pretty depressed since Chuck left. He reminded me of all the stuff I wish I could do. He talked about how he hung around with his friends nearly non-stop. The only person I ever hang around is Rob. I'm grateful for him, but I wish I had a bunch of friends to hang out with... like I always thought college would be. Even when I lived in the dorm my first semester, it wasn't like that for me. I was the one who didn't quite fit in. I thought it was because I was gay, but Chuck's gay and he's fitting in great. I need some friends, but I don't know what to do to get some.

February 13, 1996

4:19AM Technically February 14, 1996

A lot's happened since I last wrote and I'm not quite sure where to start... or just how I should intro this. I guess I should get right to the point.

With this diary, things aren't quite the same as they would be without it. I've sometimes wanted to write about something that happened involving a red head, like "I got a sweet e-mail" or "This really cute red headed guy wrote..." but I've pretty much kept quiet about those interactions because A) they had been limited primarily to e-mail and B) I thought it would be disadvantageous for one guy to read about how I thought another was especially cute, or the like. Know what I mean?

So, anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is, "I went out on a date last night with a red headed guy here in Boston, but I'm wondering how the other guys are going to take it." I thought about just leaving it out of the diary, but that would only be a temporary "fix": I'll probably be heading to Pennsylvania soon to meet Werner, next month I'll be in California meeting Ladd, and I may be flying with Larry to Germany to meet Jens in May. I can't just keep leaving things out. (And that's not even mentioning the guys who I've been writing but haven't seen pictures of yet. ) I seem to be a spider tangled in my own web.

And so goes the chronicle of my date with a red head...

I got e-mail from a guy on Sunday saying that he'd sent me a picture of himself via snail mail but that wished he hadn't. "...there is no way a relationship could work..." I fired back a response saying that he must have felt something when he sent the paper letter, so he should just take it from there. "Life's full of chance and random things that somehow turn tangible. You took a chance... just wait and see how it turns out before you change your mind..." and on Monday I got a letter with his phone number and his picture.

He looked like he was in his early 20's and had bright orange hair. I definitely thought he was worth meeting, especially considering that he lives here in Boston. So I wrote a long letter telling of my anxiousness to meet him and tried to log onto AOL to send it. (His account was on America Online, so I wanted to send it there so I could see when he read it.)

But AOL was flakey. I tried repeatedly to log on, but never succeeded. Finally, I gave up, got his letter, found his phone number and called. He sounded great, very laid back, easy going, with a nice voice. I still wanted to meet him and so, after a few minutes of talking, we agreed to meet at Tower Records at 7:30PM.

I shaved, changed my clothes, and put on my black leather jacket before heading out. (It was freezing outside, but I decided to look nice instead of staying warm. )

I got to Tower and peaked through the window to see a brightly haired guy standing near the door. I walked inside and shook his hand. He was definitely the guy in the picture, but he looked much older. I didn't have much time to look at him, though, because he quickly darted back outside and down Newbury Street.

We walked a while, talking about the day's activities, when he asked me where I'd like to eat. I playfully harassed him about leading me aimlessly in the cold and we stopped at one of the restaurants at random. It, however, was closed.

So we walked on down the street to eventually end up at Newfair Pizza. He asked what I'd like on the pizza and I said Pepperoni and whatever he liked. He ordered a large Pepperoni pizza and we sat down. We talked, but the care-free manner he had on the phone wasn't quite there in person. He was a little tense about meeting me and it showed.

Pretty soon, we got around to how he looked older in person than he did in real life. He apologized, but I told him it wasn't a flaw, that it just threw me because I was expecting someone younger. I asked him how old he was, but he wouldn't tell me. So I left the age question for a while and asked what he did for a living. He wouldn't answer that either. So I asked his last name. Nope, he wouldn't tell. I kept on, though, and finally got him to tell me his age... a little later, I got his occupation, but I never did get his last name, and it kept nagging at me for most of the night.

Anyway, Greg paid for the pizza, we talked for a good while as we ate, and he opened up a little before we headed to Copley to watch Two If By Sea. I went to the ticket counter and was going to pay for both tickets when Greg said that he'd get it. I asked if he was sure and he said yes. We went inside and sat down in the near empty theatre. By the time the movie began twenty minutes later, Greg had just started to open up and let me see the real him, so I didn't really get to know him too well.

After the movie, I asked where we were heading and he said something about how he'd walk me back to my apartment and then he'd catch the T. His not telling me his last name was still bugging me in the back of my head, so there was no way I was going to let him know where I lived. At the corner of Mass Ave. and Boylston, he stuck out his hand to shake mine, but I gave him a hug instead. He then went towards the T and I went towards my apartment.

When I logged on a little later, I found a note saying that he had a nice time but "if you write about it ... just do not put any identifiable details until we get to know each other better." His paranoidness about the diary was both understandable yet too much.

So, anyway, I wrote back:

Greg (if that's your real name *grin*),

I had a really nice time tonight. I wasn't disapproving of your looks when we first met; it's just that you look a lot younger in your picture, and so I was a little thrown when I saw you in person. If looking now at the picture and comparing it to the guy I hung out with tonight, the same conclusion holds. And like I said, don't let the age things worry you, I find Robert Redford attractive and he must be nearly twice your age... and I find you attractive too, just for the record. ;-)

Thanks for dinner and the movie, too. That was sweet of you to pay. :-) From what I could tell, you liked "Two if by Sea" so hopefully you'll watch a movie with me again. Maybe?

It was sorta awkward with you not telling me your last name and me having to pry out your occupation and age. It was like you were putting up a wall and I know I kept myself more distanced because of it. Whenever we were at the corner of Mass Ave. and Boylston and you were going to walk in my direction, to take me home, I thought to myself that I wasn't going to let you, primarily because I thought I was opening up a lot more than you. I mean, I thought it wouldn't be too fair for me to let you know where I live when you wouldn't even tell me your last (or middle) name. So, in other words, you're going to have to trust me if you want me to trust you.

That little squeeze you gave me on the leg (in the movie theatre) was really sweet... and whenever I nudged my knee to yours, my jeans got a little tight. *smile*

Okay, I'll get this on it's way, because I have to talk to Larry and pass along all the details. I'd like to go out again soon, if you're agreeable to that, of course.

I did have a nice time and I do hope to see him again, but I also hope that by writing about this online, I haven't alienated the other red headed guys writing me or made them feel like anonymous contestants in some huge red headed casting call (as someone called it before). It's really not that way. Sure, e-mail is all in the same font and most writing styles aren't that unique, but I keep everyone separate. (It's a lot easier if I have a picture to go with a name, but even without a picture, I still manage.) Ok, last ditch attempt, "Red headed guys who are writing me (or are thinking about writing me), I promise you're not (or won't be) just some random e-mail."

It's 6:13AM, so if this entry seems particularly odd, playful, or weird, take that into consideration.

February 14, 1996

3:50AM Technically February 15, 1996

For the past day and a half, I've been trying to install a new hard drive.

From the beginning, the hard drive that came with my computer was nearly dead. It worked slower than normal and sometimes quit in the middle of a Windows session. So I ordered a 1.6gig drive (about three times larger) which came yesterday.

After it arrived, Rob and I went to the computer store in Cambridge to buy a new cable and mounting brackets. We came back and I spent several hours trying to get the new drive, the old drive, and the CD-ROM to work. Finally, I isolated the problem to the IDE2 cable not working: Two drives would be my limit.

So, anyway, I tried installing Windows 95 from scratch on the new drive. It still wouldn't work. So I reformatted and decided to install Windows 95 on the old drive then move it entirely over to the new drive, leaving the old drive to collect dust since it was dying anyway.

I installed it, and it worked during the first session only to magically lose the modem in the second. So I uninstalled Win95 again and went to sleep at a little after 7AM.

I woke up at around 2PM and decided to install Win95 yet again on my old drive. I spent the 45 minutes needed to install it, then noted all the settings for the modem in the first session. When I rebooted, Win95 had changed them: the modem no longer worked. So I manually changed them back and disabled the automatic IRQ assignment feature.

Now I had the problem of getting the working Windows95 off the old drive and onto the new. Win95 couldn't find both hard drives, so I couldn't simply drag and drop one onto the other. (not that that would have worked anyway.) and the only command I could find that would copy directories was xcopy, but it wouldn't copy hidden or system files. (In English, I could copy everything like word processing and graphics files, but xcopy wouldn't copy files needed to make programs work.)

So I called Maxtor, the hard drive manufacturer, to ask them if they had a solution. After waiting on hold, then giving the guy all my vital statistics, I asked how I could copy one drive to another.

"Well, xcopy works pretty well," said the guy on the phone.
"But doesn't it not copy hidden or system files?"
"Well, yeah, that's why I said it works pretty well."
"So there's not really a way to get everything off one hard drive onto another?"

I decided I could xcopy everything, then manually copy the system/hidden files. I set xcopy on it's way and began to wait.

Before too long, Larry called to check on my progress. He said that he had a program that came with his Mac Zip drive backup software that would copy the entire hard drive, and then it hit me. If I could somehow backup the old hard drive and restore it to the new one, I'd have all the files I needed.

I ran msbackup and selected all the directories. Nearly an hour later, I had a 373 megabyte file on the new drive which contained all the files from the old drive. I told msbackup to restore to the new drive and it did. Another hour later, I had the files from the old drive onto the new. But when I typed win, I was told that the current version of Windows didn't work under DOS 6.22. Apparently, Win95's pseudo-DOS can't be copied using actual DOS.

And then, (if you think this reads long, you should have experienced it first hand) I hooked the old drive back up, uninstalled Windows 95, and proceeded to do the whole backup and restore deal again. Windows 3.11 loaded, but COM3 didn't exist. The modem wouldn't work.

I tried switching some settings, but it didn't help. So I hooked the old drive back up and tried to figure out why the modem and COM3 worked there, but not on the new drive, and then when I rebooted, I noticed the text going by was different. I replaced the config.sys file with the one from the old drive, and Presto! It worked. Windows 95 will have to wait until another day... or year.

February 18, 1996


Wednesday last week, Greg called to ask if I'd like to go out on Friday; I did .

So Friday morning, I got up and headed out to find a little present for him. We hadn't known each other long enough to get him a card and since I figured we weren't meeting at my apartment, flowers would be a pain to carry around. Finally, I ended up in the candy store at Copley and bought a box of Jelly Belly jelly beans.

I came back and hung around, thinking that with my luck the snow would cancel our date, but Greg called and we agreed to meet again at Tower Records.

From there, we headed to a nearby restaurant where we had a nice dinner. I waited for a few minutes then gave him the jelly beans. He seemed sincerely appreciative. We ate dinner and I think we both had a nice time. I even found out his last name and he let me look through his wallet, so a little more trust was gained. But during the conversation, a couple of things hit me as possible "red flags." Greg's not out and probably won't be out any time soon and he said that he's had a real problem keeping relationships. I'm unsure how I can mesh with him. I mean, Greg requested, and got, fewer identifying details here in the diary than normal. --He's simply been identified as a red headed guy named Greg. Details that could be used to single him out as the Greg, such as his exact age, were intentionally left out.-- We talked about it and he said that I could write whatever I wanted content-wise, but that he just wanted me to keep it so that he couldn't be pin-pointed as the Greg. His reasons for relative anonymity were legitimate, so I sorta understand, but I can't help remember how I felt whenever Adam made me take a different sidewalk to avoid seeing someone or Eric acted like it would be the end of the world if someone saw us together. Greg's no where near that paranoid, though.

And his admitting that he didn't keep long term relationships sorta scared me, too. What if I fall totally in love and "Bye-bye"? Do I want to open myself up to a heart break? I think I may.

Anyway, after dinner, neither of us had called to see what movies were playing, so I asked Greg what he suggested we do. He replied that we should sit down, eat the jelly beans, and talk. I said, "Where?" and he said we could take the T to his apartment. That was fine by me, but my apartment was nearer, so I suggested we go there instead.

A few minutes later, we arrived at my apartment and I gave him the tour. I showed him a bunch of stuff on my computer, we looked through some of my CD's and then we were both sitting on the floor near the CD player. He leaned over and gave me a peck on the lips. I was a little startled, but I didn't say anything.

A few CD's later, the subject of chest hair somehow came up. Greg pulled down the front of his shirt to show me he had none, then unbuttoned the top three buttons of my shirt to see if I did. He rubbed my chest a little and I started to swallow air, a tell-tell sign that I'm nervous.

A bit later, Greg leaned back on the wall and put my hand under his shirt. I commented that he "sure was horny" and he said that he just liked to be touched. So I gave him a hug and rested my face on his shoulder. I was still nervous and unsure of what was to follow, but I thought to myself, "It's not like I've never kissed someone on the second date." I've kissed guys on the first date... of course, they're usually dates that long into the night, but still, I've kissed guys in less time, so I finally decided that I was hesitant because of Greg's evasiveness during our first meeting, and voiced that to him a little later.

Before long, we'd kissed several times and both our shirts were off. After holding each other for a while, Greg asked if I'd give him a back massage. When he layed face down in the floor, I saw that he had the kooolest freckled golden skin. I couldn't get over how it looked and said as much to him several times. This was the closest I'd ever been to a real live red headed guy before. Sure, Chris and I were shirtless together at times, but I never gave him a back massage or kissed him on the lips.

And then it all gets blurry... --Well, okay, it's actually all crystal clear, but just suffice it to say that before the night was through, I'd seen my very first real life red pubic hair. I didn't really do anything with it, but the sheer sight of it confirms my need to be with a red headed guy. The skin, the hair, the freckles; the whole package just melts me.--


What happened next can best be described by this letter I wrote Greg at a little after 2AM:


Let me just start off by saying that I've debated on whether or not I should write this letter. I guess I'll get right to the point.

A few weeks back, Larry, Rob & I went skiing in New Hampshire. We stayed in one of Larry's employee's condos that he normally rents. Supposedly, the condo was supposed to be kept clean for the next visitors by some staff. So when we got there and the beds were made, we didn't think anything about them not being clean sheets. But the second day, I found a stain on my sheet and changed them, figuring that the beds had just been made but clean sheets hadn't been put on. I thought it was gross that I'd slept where some stranger had slept, but thought nothing more about it.

Anyway, earlier this week, Rob said he was itching. He didn't make a big deal out of it, a "My arm is really itching." and we moved on to the next subject. But, tonight, after you left, the shit started to hit the fan.

I logged on to check e-mail and found one from Rob. He said that he'd visited the school nurse this afternoon and was told he had "a kind of mite crawling around under my skin, which (most likely) I got from sleeping in a strange bed on our ski trip" which made him itch. He went on to say that if I'd been itching at all, I should see a doctor. Well, at the base of my thumbs, I have been itching. I had seen a couple of little nicks and thought I'd simply cut myself when I was making chicken salad the day before yesterday.

So I called Larry to tell him that I thought I'd gotten some mite from Rob, figuring that it was as harmless as ear mites are to cats. He asked if it was scabies, but I said I didn't know. I called Rob and asked him what the name of the mite was, and it was, indeed, scabies.

I read online and found that it's contagious through any skin to skin contact. My hands were all over your back and chest, and I don't know if I do, in fact, have anything, but the possibilities are likely. I could just be psycho-sematic(sp), which I've known to be before, but I doubt it.

And so, I wondered whether or not I should tell you this since I may or may not actually have anything. I called Fenway to see if they were open tomorrow, but they are not. So I didn't want to wait until Monday when I'll find out for sure.

I really can't believe this week. On Monday, I meet a great guy who's cute, sweet, and fun to be around. Tuesday and Wednesday, my hard drive is out of commission. And then today, this whole deal.

I'm really sorry. I'm just hoping with all my might that you won't run away screaming. I feel like emotions are going to take over and I'm never going to hear from you again. I know it's a lot to ask and I'll understand if you're unable.

Okay, I better go to bed before I get too depressed. Please let me know, good or bad, what you decide.


P.S. I don't even know if I've got anything, but I absolutely had to tell you this.

I wrote that then went to sleep, worrying both about the scabies and about Greg's reaction.

Yesterday I woke to find a letter from Greg telling me not to worry about it, that "the fact that you are totally honest and up front about it is the real issue." I was relieved but still felt horrible at the thought that I might have given him something.

Before the end of the day, I'd got medication, covered myself with it from neck to toe, bought new sheets & a pillow and washed most of my clothes & all of my bedding. I showered the medicine off this morning and I haven't itched since. It was all very exhausting/stressing, but hopefully everything is okay now.

I talked to Werner on the phone today and mentioned all that had happened in the last 48 hours. He, too, wasn't phased. I, however, was amazed.

February 20, 1996

2:24AM Technically February 21, 1996

Last night, I called Werner to ask if it would be okay if I visited this weekend, but his phone was busy. --We'd already talked about it and he'd said things like "We could meet on Mars, as long as we meet!" when we discussed the merits of meeting in Boston or Pennsylvania, and "If you can get here before going out to California, you are WELCOME!" when I asked if he was certain that a visit would be okay.--

So anyway, I e-mailed Werner and said:


I called Amtrak and checked EAAsy Sabre on AOL today to find that I could get to Pittsburgh on Friday for a reasonable fare. What do you think? How's your schedule? I tried calling, but you're online. ;-)

A few minutes later, the phone rang and he said he had rounds Friday night, --He's a doctor-- but would be free Saturday and Sunday and could possibly trade out of Friday.

So I went back on EAAsy Sabre to find out the exact flights that I wanted. For $168, I could fly round-trip on Nation's Air Express from Friday to Sunday. I'd never heard of them, but the closest other fares were over $300. I tried making reservations online, but was told that Nation's Air did not participate in the online reservation system and I needed to call them directly.

So I looked in the Boston yellow pages: Nope, not listed. I checked the 11 Million Business CD-ROM: Nope, not there either. Finally, I called 1-800-555-1212 and was given a number. I called it to hear, "Thank you for calling Nation's Air" ... "To leave a message in our general mailbox, press zero now or remain on the line. Your call will be returned the following business day." It wasn't even 9 o'clock and they were closed?

I called Werner back and told him of the dilema. He said he'd traded out of Friday night and suggested driving to Boston, but since he couldn't leave until Friday afternoon, I told him we'd actually spend less time together if he drove (not to mention the fact that he'd be driving for over 20 hours). So we talked a bit more, then I got back online, found the best Saturday morning until Sunday night fare, and bought it.

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© 1996 Justin Clouse

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