Some hurtful things have happened as of late, I tell Heidi. She's in the closet where she likes to be. I'm fine with that and talk to her from the bed or the chair. The radio is on but for the most part the house is empty of noise and clutter.

My front two teeth still hurt for one. Last week I fell on my face, see. My front two teeth--I'm lucky to still have them--went into my lip and my lip was all bloody. The sidewalk also hit my lip, the outside--there's a scrape. Basically, think of my lip as the meat being squished between the white bread of my front teeth and that of the sidewalk. Flattened like ham-and-cheese in your back pack. That hurt but that's not all. My knee is bruised and the scrap on my nose is still healing. I'll be all right, though, when these teeth can bite down again. You don't need to know how or why I feel. I was running, not with you, for no good reason, really, when I came to a sudden stop. A halt, if you will.

There was another blow, too, I tell Heidi. I'm not a good student, so I won't graduate this term like I told you I would. I slacked off a bit. I didn't take pride in my work as of late. I stopped going, emailing, showing up for things; I stopped talking to people in the program. And now I'm realizing that I couldn't do that and finish, but it's too late. Understanding this, thinking about this in depth has been depressing. It hurts like something I can't always describe. It's an emptiness that suggests utter failure. Like it's a precedent set and I'm stuck with it for a long time.

My personal space was invaded, Heidi. When we were sleeping the other night someone went into my car, he or she went through my things. They didn't take anything--I have nothing of value in there--but they scattered stuff and left the door ajar, leaving the impression that they were there and they could come back at anytime, could have of mine what they want. And that hurt.

So I've been sad, you know? And I should get over this things. I mean I'm not taking it out on you but in a way I am. It's my lack of self-worth that leads me to mope around, not talk to you more often, not take you out, not share stuff (I am telling you all this depressing shit). Still, you know what I need to consider is that my mood--affected by these things--has an effect on others, affects others you might say. And while one of my faults might be being self- centered at times, my greatest gift is to light up another's life. And I can't do that like this.

I'm a mess, I think as I straighten my room up. Heidi's still in the closet, sleeping. She wakes to lick her paw or the carpet. I get things in order: to keep, to read, to recycle. To throw away.