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2002-08-12 | 1:34 a.m.

Once again, circumstances compel me to ask myself, Am I writing this diary for THEM, or for ME?

You or me, you or me? I'm equivocating and I despise myself for it. I ought to risk your indifference. Invite it. Demand it, in an uncomfortable Andy Kaufmanesque way, so that eventually the only people left who read me are full-bore masochists.

You might think that I keep an online diary because I want to be read, and that's true. But the other big reason I keep an online diary is because of all the years I spent trying to FIND the paper one, which would then disappear for days, weeks, months or even years at a time.

This is an issue because IF I am really writing this for me, then there should be no problem with my reporting the results of our (mine and Felony's) backyard soil composition experiment. This is information that I really need and want to remember, and therefore by all rights is appropriate, dare I say organic, matter for the diary. On the other hand, if the diary is primarily for you, it feels like bad form to post it here.

I think the deciding factor has to be this. I actually, briefly, considered creating a NEW, different diary just to write down the kind of boring stuff that nobody else would want to read, so that I could protect you all from the indignity. Well, after mulling it over, I've decided that's just too fussy. Sorry. Plus I'm too tired to do it. You're getting soil data, and that's the end of it. There are other diaries you can read where each entry is like a perfect little Almond Roca candy wrapped in its own personal pink foil square. My diary is more like the aftermath of a party. In one corner, you'll find a quiet but intense conversation. Laughter filters out of the kitchen, along with the sound of dishes being stacked. On the table, half a bottle of good wine sits next to a battered tin holding a single wedge of Baklava. Someone is crying in the bathroom. There is a smear of guacamole on the curtain. People, including at least one complete stranger, are sleeping on all available upholstered surfaces. On the back porch, there are two beer cans full of soggy cigarette butts. A balloon pops of its own volition. I am here, and I am barefoot.

Okay, maybe my diary isn't really like the aftermath of a party. I can't remember where I was going with that. I think I'm too tired to do extended metaphors. And I'm also too tired to write about our soil analysis. It'll have to wait until tomorrow. But the gist of it is quite simple: it's all clay. I'm talking one hundred percent clay.

This is the first step. The armchair gardener is going to break out of her chair. You watch.

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