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Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Just as I was about to enter my PIN into the ATM at Safeway this morning, a woman standing at the table next to me filling out a deposit slip asked, "Does anyone know the date?" It's a long numeric password, and I tried to block out the distraction long enough to punch it in. I totally blanked, and all I could think was, "What is the date?"

Then the woman's husband asked, politely but impatiently, "Sir, do you know the date?" just as someone else was shouting, "It's the third!" I stood there with my finger poised over the keyboard. For about twenty seconds I stood there, and then I closed my eyes, turned away for a second and turned back. I must have done it right, because the machine accepted my information and took my deposit.

For all my efforts to interact more with people I run into in public, I don't think it should apply when I'm standing at the ATM. It's a little like interrupting someone's confession, or striking up a conversation in the men's room. That's one reason I try to avoid public toilets, and I think I was eighteen the last time I went to confession. Since then, I've decided not to give the priests any ideas, as many of them seem to come up with sins of their own which (if I may be permitted to say) are worse than anything I have to confess. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying.

Actually, if you look at it from a certain angle, it's kind of pathetic.

I didn't have to go to the bank today. I mean, there were no business checks to deposit or other company business to transact, just my pathetic little paycheck, and I'm not planning on spending any of it between now and my next trip to the bank (Friday, for sure, probably). But I needed a few things from the store.

As I zipped through the aisles and back to the checkout line, I realized how the diet was saving me both time and money. Salad mix, apples, diet sodas, and two boxes of Raisin Bran Crunch because they were on sale. No donuts, no cookies, no muffins, no baguettes, no bagels. (Do you get the idea of what was putting all that weight on me before I went cold turkey?) (Mmmm, turkey.)

A few old relics from my bingeing days are still buried in my kitchen. I have about six of those chocolate chip cookies left, and almost a full bag of Bavarian pretzels. I've been feeling kind of low these last couple of days, and I haven't made a very vigorous attempt to hide it. I could have broken down completely and stuffed myself with stale starches. I did open the bag of lime and chile Fritos, but I didn't overdo it as I would have a month ago. The discipline seems to be strong enough, so far.

It worked, anyway. Those two or three modest handfuls of chips lifted my spirits almost as much as all those home runs Barry Bonds has been hitting.


This is Eric, not Barry Bonds.
A few years ago.

I would be remiss if I didn't wish Eric a happy birthday (although he rarely reads my journal any more, as far as I know, which is okay, I promise). Since his twenty-fifth birthday, he's jumped out of an airplane and sent in a Survivor audition tape, and probably a whole lot of other cool things I don't even know about. I don't know how he spent his twenty-sixth birthday, but I hope he had a chance to see the game tonight, because I know it would have made him happy to see the Giants pound the stuffing out of the Dodgers again. We do have that much in common.

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