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2007-11-26 2:54 p.m.

I think the problem with breaking up with Arlette for me is that, for the first time in my life, I really truly failed in a big, nasty, catastrophic way. I hurt an innocent, wonderful person. I estranged a community. Ugh. I'm not used to failing so miserably at anything. I don't have a lot of practice at this failing thing.

And, it's not fun to be bad at something that's already terrible to begin with.

Last night I had a sense of sadness fall over me. It was the failure. It felt like a dump truck dropped a hundred heavy couch cushions on my conscience.

The failure tried to tell me that it was my identity now—that failure and I were one inseparable being. My mind mostly knew it was a lie. But, my heart hid in the closet and cried like a scared little kid.

I didn't know what to do. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the only thing to do was nothing at all—just lay quietly let the heaviness smash me until it was done smashing. I reminded myself that my impatience has only hurt me, so why hurry things along? Everything seems to be done eventually.

So I just stayed in bed. I slept some. I tossed and turned. I had nightmares. I woke up.

When I awoke, I felt mostly better.

I think people that fail a lot have the ability to be more daring—and more resilient. They're tougher. They're not scared of getting an F, since they've gotten plenty of F's already and they know that the sting of defeat goes away soon enough.

The other side of the coin is that it's probably easy for the folks on the other side to be lazy, thin-skinned cowards.

I had big plans for all the thank you notes I'd write today, but all I've done is eat onion rings, convert my voice mail backlog into MP3s, and watch the rain from inside the Pittsburgh library.