Friday, March 28, 2008


I don’t think our upcoming move to Boston is a very good idea.

The prospect of moving to Boston has made Andrew very depressed. He doesn’t say anything, but I can see the unhappiness in his eyes. I think he looks forward to three years in Boston about as much as surgery without anesthesia.

I don’t care where I go to law school, and I keep telling Andrew that we should eighty-six Boston and remain in Minneapolis.

“Don’t be foolish” is his standard response. “You have to go to the best law school possible, no matter where it is.”

I think I’ve messed everything up. Andrew and I will be leaving the Twin Cities at the very same time his brothers will be returning home—and, after the first of the year, we won’t even be able to go down to New York on weekends and visit with his older brother, since he and his family plan to be resettled in Minneapolis no later than February 1, and by Christmas if possible.

I would go to Boston by myself, but I think that would drive me crazy. I don’t think I could handle the separation, and Andrew doesn’t think I could handle it, either.

Things right now almost remind me of events in early 2006, when I was first getting to know Andrew.

On July 31 and August 1, 2007, I wrote at length about the first six days I knew Andrew. On December 28, 2007, I wrote about the next four days I knew Andrew.

The eleventh day I knew Andrew was February 13, 2006. That was the day I nearly ruined everything.

I totally acted up, and in hindsight I am surprised that Andrew did not dump me that very day. That was the beginning of a terrible week for Andrew and me, one of three really, really bad weeks Andrew and I suffered through (and all three weeks were because of me and me alone, thankfully—and all three really bad weeks were never consecutive weeks, or any friendship between us would never have survived).

I could not even talk about Monday, February 13, 2006, until two days later, when I finally told a friend, what had happened. I was only able to provide him with a précis of what happened on Monday, and I was only able to do that in the wee, wee hours of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.


Thank you, Silvio, for the good advice. I get over-eager, as you know. I guess it is premature to plan for the weeks of March 5 and 12, especially since I am not entirely confident that I will not have driven Andrew away permanently by Thursday of this week, which is only tomorrow now, isn't it?

As I told you, I worry that I drive Andrew nuts and that I go for too much too quickly, and that it is all just too much for him. I am ready to declare undying love and shout it from the rooftops; he is now comfortable touching me and kissing me and sleeping in the same bed with me as long as we don't take "the next, irrevocable step".

As I told you, I also fear that I am 'grasping" at him--or, as I said to you last week, that I have or will become "clingy" around him. I always want more and more from him until I get everything from him, and I do not think I will be satisfied until we are, figuratively, paired and living together and bound to each other for life.

But, Silvio, sometimes when I just "go for it", it works out, like when I took the initiative to kiss him for the first time. If I had waited for him to make the move, I would still be waiting. But once I kissed him, long and deep, he was happy to kiss me, and he is happy to kiss me now, and to hold me, with great strength and with great tenderness, and to kiss me, over and over, as much as I need it.

So, I am conflicted, as you see. And I do not understand, Silvio, why I should NEVER tell Andrew that I am only happy when I am with him. Since that is true, I think he should know that fact. Please explain to me why--above all other things and "whatever I do"--I should never tell him that. I don't understand. I think honesty and directness should always be the general policy, unless overridden by other, more critical factors.

Yesterday (Monday) was a total disaster--an utter train wreck of a day. I can hardly bear to think about it.

I took your advice, Silvio, and I told Andrew that I needed a day off from him. I told him as soon as I saw him, which was only minutes after I finished talking with you--and the only reason I did that, Silvio, was because you said he would appreciate the maturity that act demonstrated.

Unfortunately, I horribly misplayed my scene, and made a complete mess of it. Then I compounded my error throughout the remainder of the afternoon and evening, and totally destroyed the coming three-day weekend, for which Andrew had apparently been making tentative plans.

Then, in the middle of the night last night, I called Andrew and I begged him to come to me because I could not sleep. I couldn't sleep because of everything that had happened yesterday, and I couldn't sleep because the previous two nights I had slept with Andrew and I could not bear to sleep alone last night.

All in all, yesterday was a complete debacle, in all possible ways. Not that it could make matters any worse, but I did not even handle the Valentine's Day thing right. Yesterday was just a total meltdown all the way around. I will tell you about it when I can achieve some distance from it.

I fear that yesterday (Monday) was the beginning of the end. And I am not confident that the damage was repaired today (Tuesday).

To make matters worse, I am sitting here, in the middle of the night, trying very hard not to call Andrew again and repeat the events of last night

February 13, 2006: The Eleventh Day I Knew Andrew

The events of Monday, February 13, 2006, were precipitated by a friend of mine, who was giving me advice. His advice was well-meaning but, in hindsight, it was also disastrous. It was advice that may have applied to dating, in general, but it clearly did not apply to dating someone like Andrew.

Right before Andrew arrived to pick me up on the afternoon of February 13, 2006, I was talking on the telephone to this friend. I had seen Andrew each of the previous ten days, and my friend advised me to tell Andrew that I wanted and needed a few days off. In truth, I neither wanted nor needed a few days off from Andrew, but my friend had advised me that this would demonstrate maturity on my part.

This is the text of the email message I sent to him three days later, telling him what had happened on the previous Monday.


On Monday morning, before I left Andrew's place, we decided we would go swimming that afternoon at American. AU's swimming facility is very nice.

As soon as I got in the car that afternoon when Andrew picked me up, I told him that I needed a couple of days off from him and that I would be spending time with my friends on Wednesday and Thursday and that I would not be seeing him on those days. He said that was fine and that whenever I needed "days off" just to say so.

"What are you going to be doing?" I asked him. "Just go to the library and study" was Andrew's response.

He did not ask me what I was going to do on Wednesday and Thursday, so I asked him "Don't you want to know how I am going to spend Wednesday and Thursday?"

"That's up to you" said Andrew.

"Don't you even care what I'll be doing?" I asked him.

"As long as you are not robbing banks, it doesn't make any difference to me" was Andrew's response.

I went off on him, Silvio, because he seemed so utterly indifferent about whether I was going to spend time with him or not, and that was not the reaction I wanted or expected from him upon receiving my news.

"You really don't care at all, do you?" I asked. "You couldn't care less what I'll be doing. You couldn't care less whether we spend time together or not. It means nothing to you whether I am with you or not, does it?"

"All I said was it is fine for you to spend time with your friends. I have no problem if you want to spend time with your friends. I never said I couldn't care less about you. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth." This was Andrew's response to me.

"Well, you sure have a strange way of showing it" I said. "Stop the car. I'm getting out."

"Oh, Josh, don't be this way. Please. Don't do this. Please."

But I was mad and bull-headed, Silvio, and I said "Stop the car. I'm going home."

And Andrew pulled the car over, but he didn't turn off the engine. "Oh, come on, Josh. Don't do this. Please don't do this. Please?" Andrew then put his hand on my leg, and looked at me.

"Tell it to someone who cares" I said, and I got out of the car and started walking up the street.

And I started walking home, Silvio. I could hear Andrew turn off the engine and open and close the car door, so I knew he was coming after me.

He caught up with me very quickly and, when he had reached me, he said "Joshua, why are you acting like this?"

I ignored him and I just continued to walk, and he continued to walk with me.

"Come on, Joshua. Talk to me" he implored.

I turned to him and said "Why? You don't care. You have made that clear. So what's there to talk about?" And I continued walking, Silvio, but Andrew stopped walking alongside me.

Then he caught up with me again and he stepped ahead of me and looked right at me and put his right hand on my waist and said "Remember what General Ludendorff said to Field Marshall Von Hindenburg during the Spring Offensive of May 1918?"

"And what was that?" I asked.

"'Field Marshall, I think the offensive is going well, but if it grounds to a halt I will send dispatchers to you to ask you to provide reinforcement.' Well, I am here to provide you with reinforcement, Field Marshall." Andrew said the first part of that in an hysterical German accent, and it was all I could do to keep from laughing, but I didn't say anything, so he continued "Well, can I give you some reinforcement? As I told you Thursday night, I am always available to provide reinforcement when you need it. Field Marshall, do you need reinforcement now?"

And I did finally burst out laughing, Silvio, because he was being so funny. As soon as I started to laugh, Andrew grabbed me and hugged me very hard. He held me, right there on the street, and he hugged me hard and tight until I hugged him back. Only then did he stop.

"Let's go swimming now, like we planned" he said.

"No, I don't want to. I want to talk instead." I said. "We didn't have enough time alone this weekend. There was always someone else around. I need to talk to you alone."

So we went back to the car, and sat and talked in the car for about fifteen minutes until it got too cold and we had to go elsewhere. I told Andrew I wanted to go to the Barnes And Noble in Bethesda, and continue our talk there.

And so we talked--sitting in the car, driving in the car, and at Barnes And Noble--until it was time to have dinner.

What did I say to Andrew? That I really did not want two days off from him, but that I thought he might want some days off from me, on account of what he said to me last week. That I was hurt when he seemed to be so indifferent to the fact that I did not want to see him for two days, and that I was hurt even more when he seemed uninterested in what I would be doing with my time while apart from him.

What did Andrew say to me? That he had asked to see me every day since we met because he wanted to see me, but that he had never intended thereby to suggest that I was expected to see him every day and that he certainly hoped that I never felt pressured to spend time with him. That he did not feel it was his right to ask me what I was going to do with my friends on my "days off" and that he deliberately tried to be diffident about my question.

And then we got into really serious matters, Silvio, and I decided that I had to lay things out on the table and to be blunt.

I told Andrew I thought it was time for us to start making love. I told Andrew that we only had about ten more weeks of classes, followed by exams and graduation, and that we needed to start making a decision whether we were going to be together or not, long term, and, if so, that we needed to start putting plans into place for next year. I told Andrew that, as it stood now, each of us would be leaving DC around June 1 and going our separate ways, and that we did not have the luxury of taking things "nice and slow", over months and months and months, which we might be able to swing if we were both living in the same town on a permanent basis but which we could not do if a departure deadline loomed, which it did. I told Andrew that he needed to decide, as quickly as possible, whether he wanted us to be together long-term or not, and that the clock was ticking and that the longer he waited, the more likely I would become fed up with his indecisiveness and wash my hands of him.

Andrew told me that he was fully aware of the problems the calendar presented, and that he had been turning this very fact over and over in his mind, ceaselessly, since the day he had met me, but that it was a little early to start talking about "indecisiveness". Andrew said that he had no interest at all in a fling that would end on June 1, and that he had no interest in making love to me unless ALL of three things were in place and settled in his mind: that he knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, that I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, and that he was confident that we both could live happily and comfortably together long-term. Andrew said he was concerned about his parents' reaction, and that he was more than concerned--that in fact he was worried--about my parents' reaction. Andrew said he would have to abandon all of his current plans, long in the works, in order to go with me to Boston: he would have to arrange to take the Massachusetts Bar Exam, he would have to find a job in Boston, and he would have to back out of his current employment and bar commitments. Andrew said that all of this would take far longer than fifteen minutes to arrange, and that any withdrawal by him regarding his current commitments was more or less irrevocable.

I told Andrew that if he loved me he had sufficient energy and far more than ample intellectual resources to change his plans and make Boston his home for at least the next three years. I told Andrew that I would gladly change my plans, but that I thought it would be foolish to give up the prospects of a prestigious law degree. I noted that his current plans were to return to and to work in his hometown and to live in his parents' home after law school and that, at the very least, I no longer needed my parents to heat up my bottles and to change my diapers, and that he might want to consider a similar degree of independence for himself. (Ouch! Oh, Silvio, I was sometimes very nasty to him.) I told him that the issue of parents--his and mine--should not and probably could not impact our long-term future, and that the only thing that could was Andrew, and Andrew's inability to realize that avoiding making a decision was tantamount to making a "no" decision. I pointed out to Andrew that his "freezing" during my attempt to engage in lovemaking was a perfect example of his incapability of making a decision.

Andrew told me, again, that the issue of love-making was, for him, vitally connected to a deep love, and that he would never enter into love-making without a deep emotional nexus to the other person. Besides, Andrew added, where were we supposed to go to make love? "Have you identified a particularly fetching sleazy motel?" (Andrew was getting more and more irritated with me.) Then Andrew congratulated me on no longer needing diapers and being weaned from the bottle, adding that "I guess the next big step for you is to be weaned from your parents' checkbook".

I told Andrew to keep his wit in his pocket, right next to something else that is afraid to come out and see the light of day, and to focus on essentials: that he was going to have to decide, very soon, what he wanted, and that if he could not decide, I would decide for him, and that my decision would be not to waste time on someone incapable of making a decision.

His only response, Silvio, was "And what sort of a time frame do you think is reasonable for arriving at a decision of this magnitude? Today is the 13th. I only met you on the 3rd." He looked like he was going to cry when he said that to me.

The only thing I could think of to say, Silvio, was "You have to arrive at that conclusion yourself, Andrew".

Then I got really bitter, Silvio, and I told him that the reason I had wanted him to take me to Barnes And Noble was so that I could get him a Valentine's Day gift, but that I had changed my mind and no longer wished to get him a Valentine's Day gift and that I was ready to leave the store and get something to eat. And I added, Silvio, just for extra nastiness "And, Andrew, if you got me anything for Valentine's Day, please do not give it to me, as I would be deeply offended." Yikes, I was so mean to him!

We went to a Cuban place for dinner, and I don't think he said five words to me during the entire meal and he barely touched his food. Then he took me home, and the only thing he said to me, in a broken voice, as I was getting out of the car, was "You can call me if you want to get together." This was the first time, since I met Andrew, that he did not ask me whether I wanted to make specific plans for the following day.

"Sure, I'll call you sometime" was my affectedly-indifferent response and, without so much as looking at him, I shut the car door.

Silvio, when I got in the house, I went straight to my bedroom and collapsed on my bed and tried to fight back tears. I was trying to figure out why I had been so blasted mean to Andrew and I was trying to figure out whether our time together would ever be the same again, or even whether there would be any more time together.

I am still trying to figure out the answer to the first question, but I had already decided on that Monday night that the answer to the second question was "no", things would never be the same again.

It was 9:30 when I got home, and I was running things back and forth in my mind, over and over, trying to figure out what to do. I knew I could never sleep that night, even though I was physically and emotionally exhausted, if not tormented.

At 2:30 I called Andrew's cell phone. There was no answer. I was getting ready to call his house phone when my cell phone rang. It was Andrew.

"You called" he said.

"Yes, I did, and you did not answer the phone" I said.

"I had to turn the ringer off, or it would have awakened everyone, and then I had to make my way to the kitchen to talk" he said. "By the time I got here, you were no longer calling".

"Were you in bed?" I asked.

"Yes, of course" Andrew answered.

"Were you asleep?" I asked.

"Yes, I had just fallen asleep" he said.

Silvio, I went berserk. "Andrew, I cannot believe that you could sleep at all on a day like today. I just cannot believe it. Do you know what you are? You are a son-of-a-bitch!" And, Silvio, with that, I hung up the phone.

Andrew must have been waiting to see if I would call him back, because in exactly five minutes he called me again. "Did you want something, Joshua"? he asked.

"Yes. I want you to come over" I said.

"Now?" Andrew asked.

"Yes, now" I said.


"Because I can't sleep. I need you to come over so that I can sleep." I said.

"Why don't you try reading in bed for 30 minutes. Read something boring and you will be able to fall asleep" Andrew said to me.

"I already tried that, Andrew" I said. "It didn't work. I won't be able to sleep unless you come over."

"Josh, it's 2:45 in the morning. The earliest I can get there is about 3:20. You probably will already be asleep by then" Andrew said.

"And don't forget to factor in the extra time it will take you to make a decision, Andrew, which will push it back far beyond 3:20" I said.

Andrew ignored my jab at him. "Joshua, you have to get up at 6:15 for your 7:30 seminar. Maybe you should just stay up, go to class, and then go home and go to bed" Andrew said.

"Andrew, I want to try to get whatever sleep I can tonight" I said. "You had me sleep with you this weekend, you told me that you loved me, and tonight I can't sleep without you. You need to come over now. That's your job."

"Are you just playing with me?" Andrew asked.

"No, not at all" I answered. "If you love me, and I need you to sleep with me, it is your job to come over and help me sleep."

"All right. I'll come" said Andrew.

"I'll be waiting for you" I said.

"It will take me 35 minutes. Then I'll be there" said Andrew. "Is your bedding clean?"

"What?" I asked.

"Is your bedding clean?"

"I cannot believe you would ask such a thing! You son-of-a-bitch! You son-of-a-bitch! You absolute son-of-a-bitch!" I started screaming at him, and then I hung up the phone. (Andrew was making reference to the fact that I had told him that our house was not very clean.)

He tried to call me back immediately, Silvio, but I did not answer the phone. He tried to call me four more times, letting the phone ring about fifteen times each attempt, and then he stopped calling. Then he sent me an email message telling me that he would leave his house at 3:05 a.m. unless I notified him not to come.

He showed up at 3:31. I was waiting for him, and let him in. He hugged me very hard and tight, and rubbed his cheek against my cheeks and neck and ears as he hugged me. Then he kissed me on the forehead, and then he kissed me on the mouth, still hugging me as hard as he could.

"I love you very much, you know" I said.

"I know" said Andrew. "Tonight erased any doubts in my mind on that score. Tonight was the night I realized that you love me as much as I love you. And I hope you know I love you very, very much indeed."

"Yes, I know that" I said.

"But we have to learn to keep things on an even keel, Josh. I worry that you cannot do that" he said.

"We'll have to work on that tomorrow" I said. "Let's go upstairs for now".

Then I took him upstairs and when I closed the door to my bedroom he tried to explain what he meant by the "clean bedding" remark. I said "I already know what you meant. Let's just go to bed" and I set the alarm clock.

"You're sure that works, aren't you?" asked Andrew.

"Yes, of course, you idiot" I said. "Now get undressed. We have to get some sleep."

I told Andrew that I had observed the house rules regarding sleep apparel at his place, and that he had to observe the house rules regarding sleep apparel at my place, and for him not to bother even trying to wear so much as his boxer shorts to bed with me here. "Here, your 'gear', as you call it, is what God gave you" I said.

I quickly got out of my clothes, and I quickly helped him get out of his clothes, literally sending his clothes flying all over the room, and we went to bed. I pulled him on top of me, I on my back and he on his stomach, with his full weight on me. He held my head with both of his hands and kissed me for several minutes. Then we said "good night" and he put his head down and nestled it against my neck and he went to sleep immediately. I lay there with my arms around him, watching and feeling this extraordinarily beautiful man I love so much, for about five minutes. Then I fell asleep, too--but only after turning off the alarm clock.

February 14, 2006: The Twelfth Day I Knew Andrew

This is the text of an email message I sent to a friend of mine, covering Tuesday, February 14, 2006, the twelfth day I knew Andrew.


On Tuesday morning we both first woke up around 9:15, and Andrew said "Oh, no, I'm gonna miss my first class. I gotta bolt or I won't even make my second one."

"Stay here" I said. "My roommates are still here, but they'll be gone by 12:00. Then we'll get up. Go back to sleep."

And I rolled over and laid on top of him, and we did go back to sleep again.

We woke again at 11:45, and stayed in bed, snuggling, until 12:30. Then I got up and told Andrew "stay here" and I went downstairs to make coffee. I came back upstairs while waiting for the coffee to brew and I jumped onto the bed. "Are your roommates gone?" asked Andrew, and I said "Yes". And Andrew started to get up, and I said, again, "Stay here. The day's already shot. We have the whole house to ourselves for four hours, and then we'll leave before the guys return."

I went downstairs to get the coffee, and brought the coffee upstairs. We sat in bed drinking coffee, and I pointed out to Andrew that neither of us woke up during the night, unlike the two nights we had spent together at his house, and he said that was because the bed was much larger than the sofa and that we had much more room to move around in during the night.

"No, you're wrong, Andrew" I said. "It wasn't a case of the extra room. You slept on top of me most of the night. You were always at least half on top of me. That's the way we should always sleep."

I didn't like Andrew's response: "You're going to have to learn to sleep alone, Josh. We can't do this very often. I don't even think we should do this ever again."

"Why not? It's beautiful when we sleep together" I said.

"It's all the emotional ups and downs, Josh. I never know where you're coming from, and what will trigger an outburst. You seem to get mad at me every couple of days. I never know what to say to you when you go crazy, and I think that anything I say will only make matters worse. Like last night, on the telephone."

"You mean when I called you a son-of-a-bitch?" I asked. "You know I didn't mean that".

"I know. But, still, you go off on the most innocent things. I tell you I was asleep, and that sets you off. It just gets too exhausting."

"That's because you drive me crazy, Andrew" I said. "You make me completely loony."

"Well, that's not a good thing" said Andrew. "Until yesterday, I was thinking, what with the three-day weekend coming up, that I should take you to New York next weekend. However, I can't have you acting like this around my brother, and subjecting him to this. What would he think?" [Andrew has an older brother who lives in NYC.]

"You really were thinking of taking me to New York, and staying with your brother, and letting him meet me? I would like that. But wouldn't he report back to your parents?" I asked.

"It's not like we would do anything at his place, Josh. We would not even be in the same bed. It was just a thought, and not a very good one."

"Well, I would like to do that" I said.

"Now, I'm not sure it's a good thing. In fact, I think it's a very bad idea now."

"Well, I would like to do something special next weekend. We could have three wonderful days together" I said.

"Or three intolerable ones" said Andrew.

That remark killed me, Silvio. I couldn't even say anything in response. So I put my head on Andrew's chest, and started playing with his chest hair and the hair in his armpits.

He didn't say anything for like 15 minutes. Then I moved up and lay down on him completely, and put my head on his neck, and put my arms around him.

After a few minutes I started kissing Andrew. He was in the mood for a light kiss, but not for a heavy kiss.

I rolled over onto my back and pulled him over me. "I need you" I said. "I need you in my life. I need you to make me happy. We were meant to be together."

Silvio, he did not say anything in response to what I said. He just lay there, on top of me, but his head was against mine, and I could not see his eyes or his facial expression.

I shifted so that I could see his face. 'Your three conditions--remember your three conditions for lovemaking? Two of them are satisfied, aren't they? That you love me and want to be with me. That I love you and want to be with you. The only outstanding one is whether we can be happy together. How will we ever know the answer to that one until we try?"

Silvio, again Andrew did not say anything. He looked right into my eyes, and he did not say a word. I tried to read his eyes, and all I could read was uncertainty, and perhaps a bit of sadness.

"What are you thinking?" I asked.

"I am thinking 'What should I do'--and I don't have a clue. I don't have a clue what to do, and I don't have a clue what to say" said Andrew. "I am a complete blank."

"Then I want to ask you one question" I said. "Do you love me?"

Silvio, he did not answer me! He remained silent, and just looked at me.

"Say something. Please" I said.

Three times, Silvio, Andrew opened his mouth as if he were going to talk, and each time he stopped.

Finally, I said "I guess I really HAVE ruined everything, haven't I?"

After a long pause, Andrew said "You just make things so difficult."

After another long pause, I said to Andrew "Go on."

It took him a while to say anything, and then he said "Last Thursday you agreed to take things nice and slow. I agreed to provide you with any reinforcement you needed." Then, after a pause, he said "That didn't last long, did it?"

I couldn't say anything, Silvio, because he was right. He had lived up to his side of the bargain, but I had not lived up to my side of the bargain. After a minute, I stopped looking at him and pulled his head down next to mine. After another minute, I whispered into his ear "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Andrew. I'm so very sorry. What can I do to make it up to you?"

He didn't say anything, but then he raised himself and looked at me and said "Keep things on an even keel. That's what you can do. Keep things on an even keel. I can't do this if you can't keep things on an even keel."

I didn't say anything for a few minutes, Silvio, and we just kept looking at each other. Finally, I said "That's so hard, Andrew. You have no idea how hard that is for me, since I want you so badly."

Again, Andrew did not say anything, and finally I pulled him back to me, with his head against mine.

We lay there for a few more minutes, Silvio, and then Andrew said "Josh, I think I have to go now."

"Can't you stay a little longer?" I asked.

"I have thinking to do, and I can't do that here" he said.

"I guess this means I won't be seeing you tonight, then, right?" I asked.

"I think it would be better not to" he said.

"What about 'Brokeback Mountain' on Valentine's Day? Today is Valentine's Day. I guess this means no 'Brokeback Mountain' tonight, right?" I asked.

"Would you really want to, Josh?" Andrew asked. "I don't think you would, truly."

And I said "If you didn't really want to go, Andrew, then, no, I wouldn't want to go, either."

"I think that's the best thing" said Andrew.

And he got up off the bed, Silvio, and got dressed and prepared to leave.

"Andrew, I need to ask you one favor. It is very important" I said.

"What's that?" he asked.

"Can you give me Judy's number?" I asked.

"You've go to be kidding" he said.

"No, I have never been more serious in my life" I said.

"Why do you want Judy's number?" he asked.

"To talk to her, and to get some advice" I answered.

"I don't think Judy would be a very good source of advice" said Andrew. "She has never been successful in relationships."

"But I want to talk to her. It's very important to me" I said.

"You don't even like her" said Andrew.

"But I think she can give me the advice I most need, Andrew" I said. "She is the only person I know who really knows you who I think I can turn to. I can't talk to your roommates, but I think I can talk to Judy. And I think Judy would welcome the fact that I want to talk to her."

"I'm not sure if that's a good idea. Let me think about it" Andrew said.

"Can you at least give me her email address?" I asked.

"Let me think about it" said Andrew.

And he gave me a peck on the cheek, Silvio, and he left.

As soon as Andrew left, I called Verizon information and asked for a DC residential listing for his friend Denny, since I remembered Denny's last name (and hardly anyone else's last name from the party, including Judy's last name) and, further, since I remembered that Denny said he lived near the National Cathedral.

I was given a number that probably was Denny's, owing to the address, and I called and identified myself and I asked the fellow answering the phone if he was the same Denny I met at Patricia's party on Saturday night.

"One and the same" he said. "How are you doing, Joshua?"

I said I was fine, but that I needed to call Judy and that I did not have her cell phone number, and I asked if Denny could give it to me. "Sure" he said, and he gave me the number. I thanked him and I told I hoped to see him again soon. "I'm sure we will" he said.

Silvio, I called Judy's cell phone number, and I got her voice response system. I told her who I was, I gave her my number, I told her I needed to talk to her, I told her that Andrew refused to give me her number and that I got it from another source, and I told her that she MUST call Andrew to notify him that I had called her and that she MUST obtain his permission before returning my call. (I did NOT want Andrew to think I was going behind his back.)

An hour and fifteen minutes later, she returned my call.

I told her I needed to talk to her and I asked her whether she was willing to have coffee with me.

"Any time. Any time at all" she said.

"What about now?" I asked.

"Where are you?" she asked.

"I'm at home" I answered. "I live near AU."

"Oh, I know where you live, darling" Judy said. "I'm at home, too, and I live in Crystal City. Where do you want to meet?"

"How about Pentagon City?" I asked.

"What time?" Judy asked.

"In an hour?" I asked.

"I'll be there" she said. "You poor baby--being abandoned on Valentine's Day. That mean old Andrew!"

So I met her, Silvio.

I began by asking her what Andrew had said to her when she called him for permission to return my call. "Basically, he was not enthusiastic but he said 'I guess it won't do any harm', so, like any doctor, my brief is 'first, do no harm' to the patient" she said.

And, Silvio, I laid everything out to her, for about two hours, and at the end I asked her what I should do. During that entire extended spiel of mine, Judy only interrupted me twice to have me clarify something for her.

"Difficult question" was Judy's response. "Because right now Andrew is mulling over in his mind whether he should continue to see you."

"He told you that?" I asked.

"Yes" she answered.

"When did he tell you that?" I asked.

"Today, when I called him, to get his permission to talk to you" she answered.

"So, what repair work can I do?" I asked.

"I would have to think about that one" said Judy. "I really don't know, offhand."

She continued "It's dinnertime. I'm hungry. Have you eaten yet?"

I said I had not.

"Shall we get something?" she asked.

"I can't. I don't have much money on me" I answered.

"Oh, this one's on me, dear--I insist" she said. "We shall plot a grand strategy over dinner. A virtual military campaign, to use an analogy you and Andrew both would appreciate."

So we had dinner, Silvio, and she asked me numerous very detailed questions, all of them very interesting but none of which had any discernible meaning to me. Judy's questions were of three sorts, by and large: (1) exactly what had Andrew revealed to me about his family; (2) exactly what had Andrew revealed to me about his roommates and his school experiences; and (3) exactly what had Andrew revealed to me about his plans for the future.

When she was done with her questions, Judy said "Well, Andrew has been phenomenally open with you, but with some pronounced limitations. It would violate a confidence if I told you what those limitations were, but just let me say that he did not withhold anything relevant from you. And there are certain things about which, it is obvious, you know far more than I do."

"Do you mean he has been with someone before?" I asked.

"Oh, heavens, no" said Judy. "Pure as the driven snow. I just mean that there are some things, about law school and his career plans, that he has not addressed in much detail with you. That sort of thing."

She went on: "However, what you want to know is 'what can I do to get Andrew to continue seeing me', am I correct?"

"Yes, exactly" I said.

"That may be difficult" she said. "He may have decided, or may be in the process of deciding, that it is unhealthy to see you. He doesn't like emotional storms, you know."

"Well, I can understand that" I said.

"There are several things you must always keep in mind about Andrew" Judy said. "He was phenomenally well-raised, as you can observe. He was given lots of love and care and attention. He is extremely close to his family and he has lots of unconditional love to give, because he has always received lots of unconditional love at home. Consequently, he is very giving.

"But you, Joshua, may be subjecting him to burns. He may be giving unconditional love to you, but what he is getting back from you is not unconditional love--it is nothing but scorch marks. If he keeps giving you unconditional love, and you keep blowing that great gift of love away by making unreasonable demands you know he cannot meet, he may very well decide that he doesn't need this, or that you are inherently incapable of offering unconditional love in return, and unconditional love is the only kind of love he has ever known and probably the only kind of love he understands. He is actually very fortunate in that regard, if not unique.

"So you need to try to repair the atmosphere, Joshua, and from there start to demonstrate to Andrew that your love for him is also unconditional.

"My belief is that the first thing you need to do, Joshua, is to forget about sex. Simply forget about it. Get it completely out of your mind, at least for now. Andrew is not interested in sex; what Andrew is interested in is love. With genuine love, sex will follow, but in his case the reverse order of business has no appeal. Harping about sex, with Andrew, is not going to get you any. So tell him that you are not going to bring up the subject of sex again, and that you are going to place that item exclusively in his hands from now on.

"The second thing you need to do is to apologize to him. And I mean profusely apologize to him. You have been horrible to him. What you did yesterday was inexcusable. It also suggests that you are too immature to have a genuine relationship and it also suggests that you lack the necessary self-esteem to have a genuine relationship. Everything you did yesterday, everything you said to him, positively screams "low self esteem". You need to ask for Andrew's forgiveness.

"I think your act of asking for Andrew's forgiveness is the most important thing you can do right now, and asking for his forgiveness would--more than anything else--demonstrate to him that you are going to do everything within your power to get your act together. And then you have to follow up on that request for forgiveness with some actions on your part--in other words, back up your words with deeds.

"There are other things you can do, but I can't go into them right now because I have to go home. We've already been talking for over four hours, almost five hours! I have to go home and call Andrew now. I promised him I would call him before he went to bed, and let him know all about my little tete-a-tete with you. It's 9:00 and I have to go home and call him right now--he said he was going to bed at 9:30. You must have wrung him through the ringer yesterday and last night! You heartless beast!

"So come home with me, and we will call Andrew together. I will talk to him first, and then you will talk to him, and then you will have to go home and you MUST behave yourself at home tonight. Judy will not be there to babysit with you or to run interference. No 2:30 a.m. phone calls tonight, no name-calling tonight. Otherwise, you will have cooked your own goose, in which case it was nice knowing you and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors."

And, Silvio, Judy took me home.

As soon as we got to her apartment, she sat me down at her dining table and she called Andrew.

"Hi" she said into the phone. "I just got home. I took baby out to dinner--he was so sad, being abandoned on St. Valentine's Day--that I just had to do something for the poor little thing.

"However, he knows that he's been incredibly naughty and must mend his ways. He is sitting here with me now, having been severely chastised, and he is intent upon making up for his atrocious behavior. He is completely abject now, and positively whimpering.

"Now, love, I am going to switch tones and to be serious. Are you listening, Andrew? And are YOU listening, Joshua? Now, Andrew, did you hear Joshua say 'Yes', he was listening?

"Fine. Andrew, Joshua has some very important things to say to you, so listen closely."

[Now, from this point on, Silvio, Judy just made all of this stuff up. This was not what we had agreed to in advance or planned, not at all.]

"Number one, Joshua readily admits that his behavior yesterday--and last night--was completely inappropriate. His behavior was childish, it was selfish, it was thoughtless, it was discourteous, it was ungracious, and it was fundamentally inexcusable.

"While this behavior would have been disgraceful in normal social discourse, it was positively scandalous, coming, as it did, from someone who purports to love the object of his scorn. To show you how much Joshua regrets his behavior of yesterday, he is going to go home tonight and write a fulsome letter of sincere apology to you and deliver it to you tomorrow, as soon as Judy has approved the text and corrected any spelling and grammatical errors.

"Number two, Joshua asks you to bear in mind that he is completely immature and has not been adequately schooled in how to act like an adult. He begs your understanding in this regard, and hopes that you realize that not all of the responsibility for his immaturity lies within himself, as much of the responsibility for his lack of maturity clearly resides WITH HIS PARENTS. Nevertheless, Joshua is going to strive to make great strides in the maturity department, and certain third parties, including Judy, are going to be monitoring him very closely, if not gruffly. Noticeable improvement is expected.

"Number three, Joshua asks you to bear in mind that his inappropriate behavior exhibits a severe lack of self-esteem, a problem that cannot be corrected easily or overnight. It is to be hoped that three years in law school will provide assistance in correcting this deficiency. It is also to be hoped that spending quality time with Andrew, and learning to behave, with Andrew leading the way, will add to his self-esteem immeasurably.

"Number four, Joshua asks for your forgiveness. He knows he does not deserve it, but he hopes that you, a very sweet and noble and gentle soul, will be sufficiently generous-spirited to forgive someone who does not know how to control his impulses. He asks you, once again, to keep in mind that much of his unsuitable behavior would never have occurred had HIS PARENTS DONE THEIR JOB and learned to quell such tendencies in his youth. To make things up to you in future, Joshua intends to focus on deeds, not words. Joshua is henceforth going to focus on the Golden Rule, and whenever he thinks a bad thought is about to cross his lips, he will first ask himself 'Would I want Andrew to say such a thing to me?'

"Now, Joshua, repeat that last sentence, right now, loud enough for Andrew to hear you."

And, Silvio, Judy made me repeat that last bit into the phone, twice.

"Number five, as a peace offering, Joshua would like to invite you over for a home-cooked dinner tomorrow evening, featuring a menu of all of your favorite foods: Amish Pot Roast with cream, mushrooms and green onions; mashed potatoes; homemade noodles; wild rice stuffing; baby glazed carrots; green beans; white corn; and your grandmother's special apple salad. Please come at 5:00. Dinner will be served at 8:00.

"Now, Joshua, did I leave out anything?" Judy asked.

I said no.

"Then you come take the phone, Joshua, and tell Andrew 'Good Night'. Don't bother him very long. Andrew has to go to bed very soon. Someone he loves was mean to him yesterday."

And I got on the phone, Silvio, and I told Andrew I was sorry for acting like such a jerk and that he deserved better. I told him I would really try to mind my "P's And Q's" in the future. He told me to forget about it, and to make sure I got some sleep tonight, and he said he would see me tomorrow.

"You're going to call me, then?" I asked, wanting to make sure I understood everything correctly.

"Yes, I will call you at 2:00" he said.

So I said good night, and I hung up the phone, and I turned and looked at Judy.

"Well, I think the repair work is started" Judy said, "But it's up to you to see that it stays well under way. There is only so much I can do--the ultimate responsibility lies with you. Now it's in your hands, and my advice to you is to abide by the Golden Rule, just as the Good Book says. Use the Golden Rule as your guide; don't use your impulse as your guide. And use your head, child!"

And I thanked Judy for her help--I told her she was a real lifesaver--but I told her that I hoped she realized that I would need some serious help with all of the food preparation tomorrow, including the basic recipes.

"Oh, don't be ridiculous, silly boy!" said Judy. "Dinner's over here tomorrow night. Andrew understood that, and I thought you did, too."

"Well, I look forward to it, then" I said. "Can we bring something?"

"You and Andrew may pick out a dessert and bring it, but only if you want" Judy said. "I don't eat desserts, so make sure you get something you and Andrew like."

"You know, you didn't say to Andrew over the phone any of the things you said you were going to say" I said to Judy. "And you didn't make me repeat them to Andrew, and Andrew didn't make me repeat them to him, and you totally left out the part about not asking for sex anymore."

"Darling, I went with what I thought would work" Judy said. "And after hearing it once, Andrew didn't need to hear it twice. He knew you and I had already talked, and he was able to understand the sentiments, no matter who uttered them. But the ball's in your corner now. Don't drop it."

"Thanks" I said.

"And may I offer a comment on that other issue, the one I ignored during the phone call?" Judy asked.

"Sure" I said.

"Listen to a woman's intuition on this one" she said. "Between Andrew and you, don't be the pursuer; be the pursued. I have no idea what you guys have in mind in that department, but my sense--and it is very keen--is that you should let Andrew be the pursuer and let him take the lead. I think your prospects of success will be much greater if you do."

"OK" I said.

"And, another thing, Joshua. There is something I want to make sure that you fully understand. My primary allegiance is to Andrew. It is important that you understand that. I can try to help you a little, offer a bit of assistance now and then, but my primary allegiance is to Andrew. Make sure you keep that in mind."

"I pretty much understood that" I said. "But I also thought I could come to you for help on this matter. There was no one else I could turn to, and I got the impression at the party that you would not mind hearing from me. I also got the impression at the party that you had no objection to Andrew and I dating."

"No, I don't mind hearing from you at all, I have no objections to your dating Andrew, and I was happy to try to help" said Judy. "But remember, Josh--may I call you Josh?--that there is only so much I can do. It's really up to you now."

"I know" I said. "I go crazy because I love him so much. He drives me out of my mind."

"Then think of it this way, then, and maybe this will help" said Judy. "He is not seeing anyone else. He is not interested in anyone else. No one else is going to catch his fancy. You have his full attention. I assure you of that. You are commanding 100% of his attention right now. So let him come to you. Don't scare him off, and let him come to you. That is your best bet."

"OK, thanks" I said.

"You need to go" Judy said. "Get me that email by midnight if you can."

"What email?" I asked.

"The note of apology" said Judy. "I want to see the text."

"Oh, you were serious about that?" I asked.

"Yes, indeed, I was!" said Judy. "Once I approve the final version, you are going to write it out in longhand, on high-quality white paper, and bring it here tomorrow night. May I assume you have some high-quality white paper and matching envelopes?"

"Yes, I do" I said.

"Well, please get me a draft as soon as possible" she said.

"What's your email address" I asked.

"I'll send you a blank email so that you'll know my address" said Judy.

"Well, here, let me write down my address" I said.

"Don't bother--I already have it" said Judy. "Now get outta here. I have studying to do!"

I kissed her, Silvio, and I left.

So when I got home late Tuesday night, Silvio, I started to work on my assignment for Judy.

Judy had already sent me an email message, informing me that my letter would be only one page in length, "simple, elegant and eloquent", and written from the heart (but "free of sentimentality").

I worked on the letter and got my draft apology emailed over to her before midnight. She sent me back corrections and suggestions, twice, until it met with her final approval. Then I was instructed to write it out, in longhand, in my very finest handwriting, and to write "Andrew" on the envelope, and to bring it over to her place for dinner Wednesday evening.

The previous 24 hours had been a wild time for me. I was full of disappointment (because of my own actions and my fear that I would be abandoned by Andrew) and I was full of hope and expectation (because I knew I would see Andrew again, at least for one more day).

I was really keyed up, and I could not sleep. I sent you emails up until 2:00 a.m. or even after. I did all sorts of things, so that I would focus on not calling Andrew in the middle of the night and ruining everything all over again. However, Silvio, what I most wanted to do WAS to call Andrew and ask him to come over and sleep with me--again, like Monday night, I knew it was my only prospect for getting some sleep. But I knew if I did it would spoil everything.

At 2:25 a.m., Andrew sent me an instant message. He had never sent me an IM before--never, not even once.

"What are you doing up?" was the message.

"What are you doing up"? was my response to him.

"I slept for a few hours, and woke up. I think my sleep cycle is all screwed up. What about you?" Andrew asked.

"More or less the same" I said. I did not think, Silvio, that I could tell him that I could not sleep unless he were here with me. I didn't think he would want to hear that.

"Have you been to bed yet?" asked Andrew.

"No" I answered.

"Do you need me to come over?" he asked.

"I'll get by" I answered.

"If you need me, you must say so" he responded.

"You are always welcome to come over, anytime, day or night" I answered.

"Do you want me to come over and sleep with you? The only thing is I HAVE to leave at 8:00" he wrote.

"I would love for you to come over and sleep with me" I said.

"But only if you want to" I added.

"I'm leaving now" he wrote.

And he came over, Silvio. I waited for him inside the front door, and when he arrived I took him upstairs to my room. I undressed him, and I kissed him, and I led him to the bed.

He laid right on top of me, he kissed my ears and my neck and my brow and my eyes and my cheeks, and then he kissed my lips for a long time. Then he rubbed his stubble against my face, and then he kissed me some more.

Then he slightly raised himself, and he looked at me.

"I love you very much" he said. "And you were right--this is how we should sleep, always."

Andrew paused, and then he said to me "Good night." I did not say anything to him, but kissed him in response.

And he stayed fully on top of me, and we both went to sleep.

February 15, 2006, and February 16, 2006: The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Days I Knew Andrew

This is the text of an email message I sent to a friend of mine early on the afternoon of Friday, February 17, 2006, telling him what had happened on Wednesday, February 15, 2006, and Thursday, February 16, 2006, the thirteenth and fourteenth days I knew Andrew.

These events occurred only two years ago and yet, when I read these old email messages now, it seems like these events happened over a hundred years ago.

One thing is clear: I have learned to write much more precisely over the last two years!


Andrew left early Wednesday morning in order not to miss any more classes. He stayed in bed with me for fifteen minutes after the alarm clock sounded, fully laying on top of me and with his arms around me and nestling against me and kissing my ears and neck and rubbing my cheeks with his stubble and rubbing my head and hair with his hands.

Finally, he said to me "I have to go now. Call you at 2:00" and he kissed my cheek and he got up and got dressed.

Before he left my bedroom, he asked me whether he would see any of my roommates. "No" I said. "They won't be up yet."

"But what do I do if I happen to run into one of them?" he asked me.

"Say 'Hello' and keep moving” was my response. And he came over to the bed and kissed me on the cheek again and left.

Andrew called me at 2:00 and said he would pick me up at 4:30 to go to Judy's. I told him, Silvio, that I thought we should get together earlier and get a dessert or something to take to Judy's. However, my greatest wish, Silvio, was to have more time to talk to him, alone, before we arrived at Judy's place.

"Ok, I'll come at 4:00 and we'll stop somewhere along the way" he said.

When he picked me up, there were so many things I wanted to ask him and so many things I wanted to talk about, but somehow the timing did not seem to be right for such a talk, and I did not ask any of my questions and I did not say any of the things I wanted to say. Andrew was polite but I sensed just a slight whiff of diffidence (to use his word) or remoteness (to use Judy's word) and I decided to keep my mouth shut.

We stopped and got a dessert, and we also stopped and got some flowers for Judy. When Andrew got the flowers, he also got a white rose. When we got back to the car, he gave me the rose--without saying a word--and kissed me.

Then, a few minutes later, while driving, he said to me "I preferred the white to the red. I thought the white was more beautiful. I also thought it suited you more." And that's all he said.

Dinner at Judy's place was completely different from my expectations.

First, her treatment of me was totally different from her treatment of me at Saturday night's party and her treatment of me Tuesday night. She didn't call me "baby" or "child" or "poor little thing" or "sweetheart" or "cutie" or "darling" or any of the other assorted names she had used before. She always called me Joshua.

Second, she treated me, not as some poor dope who had come to her for advice and help, and not as some piece of candy (which is how she treated me at the party), but as an adult and as a peer. She treated me as if she had known me for years. She made no references to any of the events of the previous day, and acted as if yesterday had never even happened.

Third, she dropped the colorful, even dramatic, way of talking that she had used with me on Saturday and Tuesday, and talked very simply and directly the whole evening, from the moment we walked in the door. She acted as if I had been there a hundred times before and as if I were family.

Judy had Andrew and I help her prepare dinner--in fact, I think we did more of the preparation work than she did--and it was as if this was the 50th time we had all done this routine.

She was very relaxed, and Andrew was very relaxed, and I quickly became very relaxed. We really didn't do anything all night, Silvio, except talk and prepare dinner and watch the McNeil News Hour and eat dinner and talk some more and clean up and talk some more. We talked about our studies, primarily, and a few other things. All in all, it was a very quiet, mellow evening.

Toward the end of the evening, around 10:45, Judy got up and asked "Don't you gentlemen have any envelopes to present to me?"

I went and got my letter to Andrew out of my coat pocket, and Andrew also went and got something out of his coat pocket. We gave them to Judy, and she crossed hands and gave each of us back the other's envelope.

Silvio, Andrew gave me a Valentine card. It was a nice but simple card and he had written on the inside of it. He wrote what a joy it was for him to have met me, and how much he looked forward to getting to know me better and how much he looked forward to spending "serious and meaningful" time with me and how it was his hope that we continue to grow closer and closer to each other and be able to find happiness with each other. He signed the card "With Great Love And Affection, Andrew".

I thanked him and I hugged him, and he did the same. He kissed me on both cheeks, European-style, and then he said "I think it's time that we go."

We left and Andrew drove me home.

On the way home, Andrew said to me "I would like to spend time with you this weekend. I'm not sure yet what we should do--I'm thinking of three or four possibilities--but I'd like you to get three days of clothes ready and on Friday at 3:00 I'll come get you. Have your stuff ready, and we'll decide what to do then. Does this sound like something inviting to you?"

I told Andrew that I would like to spend those three days with him.

Andrew continued: "And, also, Josh, I want YOU to think of some possibilities for the weekend, in case you don't like any of my ideas. Think of three or four places that you would like to go with me. Then, on Friday afternoon, we'll examine all of our ideas, and you can pick the one you like the most. It really won't make any difference to me, so you can select the option that sounds like the most fun to you."

I told Andrew that he should pick, since it really didn't make any difference to me.

"Well, we'll figure it out on Friday afternoon" he said. "Now, Josh, tomorrow I am going to focus on school work. I need to do a little catching up. So I need you to let me do my thing tomorrow. Are you all right with that, and can you get through tonight and tomorrow night OK by yourself, on your own?"

I told him I could--which was a lie--and Andrew said he would call me on Friday afternoon, to make sure the weekend was still on, before he came over to get me.

Then, Silvio, he walked me to my front door. Always, before, I had simply got out of the car and walked to the house by myself, but tonight he walked with me, for the first time. Near the front door he put his hands on my waist, and kissed my cheeks, again European-style, twice, and then he did the same thing again, twice more. Then he said "I'll call you on Friday" and he left.

Of course, I had horrible nights on both Wednesday night and last night, Thursday night, because I was alone. I got an hour's sleep on Wednesday night and 90 minutes of sleep last night. However, I DID NOT CALL ANDREW IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!

Very early on Thursday morning, he sent me an email.

In his message, he said that he thought that he should let me know, in advance, what his ideas were for the coming weekend so that I could mull them over and make my choice or reject all of them outright and pick something of my own. He told me that I did not need to worry about the cost of the weekend, and that the cost was his responsibility.

His message was very funny, and he claimed that all of his weekend ideas were very lacking in imagination but that they were the best he could do.

He offered Williamsburg, which he said he had never visited, and pointed out that there was a naval museum in nearby Norfolk as well as a good art museum in nearby Norfolk to go along with all the colonial attractions.

He offered Westfields, which I had never heard of, a conference center near Dulles Airport with superb sporting facilities and a place, Andrew said, at which his parents had previously stayed. He said it was near the new Air And Space Museum and that there were excellent French, Russian and Portuguese restaurants within reasonable driving distances. He said that if I chose Westfields, I should have sporting clothes ready.

He offered Baltimore, and he reminded me that Baltimore had two good art museums and the National Aquarium.

He offered NYC, but he pointed out that we would NOT be alone there, and that HIS version of "sleep gear" would be required if I chose NYC and, also, that assistance with household tasks would be involved if I chose NYC.

Then, Silvio, he just provided a listing of other places that were possibilities, but without commenting on them: Charlottesville, Richmond, Philadelphia, Bucks County and "even Pittsburgh, which is within a reasonable driving distance."

Andrew also sent me another email last night, before he went to bed, telling me that he hoped I had a good day and a good night and telling me that he very much looked forward to the weekend.

Very early this morning Andrew sent me yet another email, reminding me that he would call me around 2:30 and that he had everything ready to go, including "extra sleep gear" for me in the event I chose NYC.

So I am sitting here right now, Silvio, waiting for Andrew to call and trying to decide what I should pick. I really want to pick NYC, because I am dying to meet Andrew's brother, but I also know that there is no possibility of sleeping with him in NYC and that there is no possibility of lovemaking in NYC.

I really don't have any ideas of my own that he has not already mentioned, and what I may do is refuse to make a selection and ask Andrew to choose.

I hope, Silvio, that you have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hippity Hoppity

Tomorrow Andrew and I will fly to Oklahoma to spend the Easter weekend with my family. We will return on Sunday.

We will see Andrew’s brothers and Andrew’s older brother’s family for about twenty minutes tomorrow at the airport, if all flights are on schedule, because their incoming flights are due to arrive before our outgoing flight departs.

Similarly, on Sunday, we will see Andrew’s brothers and Andrew’s older brother’s family for about half an hour at the airport, if all flights are on schedule, because our incoming flight is due to arrive before their outgoing flights depart.

Easter's on its way!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Plugging Along

Andrew and I have been plugging along.

Both of us had very busy weeks at work, especially Andrew. Andrew is working on several important projects at present, and he is under an incredible amount of pressure. He is under so much pressure that he is talking in his sleep, thrusting his arms and legs about while sleep-talking. It is very worrying for me.

Andrew is one of God’s angels on earth. He was sent here by God to make life more endurable for the rest of us. I hate to have to see him go through this.

Among other things, Andrew is worried about our upcoming move to Boston, although he does not say much about that. He is also worried, I believe, about our Easter visit to Oklahoma, although he says nothing about that, either.

We went to hear Lang Lang Thursday night, and we went to see “Giselle” Friday night. Andrew was so tired that he did not enjoy either performance (although I am not confident that he would have enjoyed either performance even if he had been well-rested). I thought Lang Lang was lame lame, and I thought “Giselle” was a total bore.

Today Andrew and I went over to Andrew’s parents’ house to help his parents get things ready for Easter. We did yard work in the morning, took a nap after lunch, and cleaned upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms for the rest of the afternoon.

We’ll help Andrew’s parents finish things up tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Decent And Welcoming

Since I have been in Minnesota, everyone has been extremely good to me. Andrew has been good to me, Andrew’s parents have been good to me, Andrew’s brothers have been good to me and Andrew’s friends have been good to me. People at church have been good to me. People at the bookstore were good to me. People at my law firm have been good to me. Our landlady has been good to me.

I shall miss Minnesota when we leave in August. The people here are very welcoming, and very decent. People in Oklahoma were always welcoming and decent, too, but there are no large cities in Oklahoma. In rural areas, one always expects people to be welcoming and decent as a matter of course—and they invariably are. Minneapolis is a very large city, and yet the people in Minneapolis are welcoming and decent, too. This was not true of the people in Washington, D.C., where I went to university, and I doubt that it will be true of the people in Boston, where we will reside for three years starting in August.

In the 19th Century, Walter Bagehot described Boston as “the Athens of the present day”, which no doubt was true between the American Civil War and the end of the 19th Century. Boston was an intellectual and cultural mecca during those few decades, rivaled—but not exceeded–only by Berlin, London, Paris and Vienna.

Today Boston is a provincial, decaying New England city, a city that for decades has been losing wealth, population and influence. It has long since been supplanted in wealth, population and influence by Dallas, Houston, Miami and San Diego. In another thirty years, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Las Vegas, Nevada, both provincial backwaters until recent years, will be more important and more influential than Boston.

Indeed, Charlotte may be more important than Boston right now, simply because Charlotte is an overwhelming presence in the world of banking and finance. By contrast, old-line Boston institutions such as Bank Of Boston, Bank Of New England, Fleet Bank and Shawmut Bank are no longer in business. The capital those institutions represented no longer exists, or was shifted to the Sun Belt, an enormous transfer of capital and influence.

Boston-based Fidelity is now dwarfed by Los Angeles-based Capital Research Management. John Hancock no longer carries any primacy within the insurance industry; Texas is the current locus of growth within the insurance industry.

Migration of people and migration of capital have decimated so many Northern cities—Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh—that it is interesting to contemplate why Minneapolis, counter to trend, continues to thrive and grow.

Andrew’s father says that the answer lies in the tradition of good government in Minnesota, as well as the presence of an enlightened business community that focuses on the twin necessities of economic growth and civic philanthropy. Northern cities suffering from ongoing decay, unlike Minneapolis, all lack good-government traditions and enlightened business communities.

It is amazing to consider how many giant companies are headquartered in the Twin Cities.

Cargill, naturally, must be listed first.

But Cargill is joined by Ameriprise Financial, Andersen, Best Buy, Deluxe, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Medtronic, Minnesota Mining And Minerals (3M), Northwest Airlines, Saint Jude Medical, Supervalu, Target, The Toro Company, The Travelers Companies, United Health, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy and too many others to list.

The Twin Cities, measured by population, constitutes the U.S.’s fifteenth largest metropolitan area. The Twin Cities, measured by wealth centered here, ranks behind New York but no other city.

There are astonishing numbers of fortunes that have been made here, and are continuing to be made here. Further, fortunes made in the Twin Cities tend to remain in the Twin Cities.

Honeywell, for instance, remains a Twin Cities company for all practical purposes, even though it moved its corporate headquarters to New Jersey after Honeywell acquired Allied-Signal. Wells Fargo, to use another example, became a Twin Cities company after being acquired by Norwest Bank, even though Wells Fargo was permitted to retain its original name and its original headquarters. Pillsbury was sold almost twenty years ago to a British conglomerate and yet the Pillsbury money remained behind in Minneapolis after the sale (and now Pillsbury itself is back, too, having been most recently acquired by General Mills).

A healthy business environment is a condition precedent to a healthy, thriving metropolis, and Minneapolis is one of the few cities outside of the Sun Belt that is as healthy and vibrant today as it was before the Sun Belt migration began in the late 1960’s.

That Minneapolis is thriving is probably one of the reasons why people are so considerate here, and so decent, and so welcoming. The pie is large here, ever-growing. The pie is not stagnant or contracting, either in absolute or relative terms. Pieces of the pie are not siphoned off by corrupt officials, as happens in decaying municipalities.

Andrew and I will definitely come back to the Twin Cities after I graduate from law school. This is where we want to be. This is where we want to spend our lives. This is where we want to be buried (but not for a long, long time).

When I arrived in Minneapolis, in June 2006, I was truly surprised that everyone I met accepted me so fully and openly. I was not quite prepared for that. Before I moved here, I feared I might be viewed as an outsider or as someone who did not quite fit in.

I never received that kind of reception at all. The attitude I always encountered, from day one, was “If he’s Andrew’s friend, then he’s one of us”—and that was the end of the matter, with no further discussion needed or even allowed. From the day of my arrival here, I have been treated as if I have always been a part of the community of family, friends and associates, and now I feel like part of that circle.

I hate to leave that now, even if only for three years.