Dana and Dana Naked in School orgy

As I type this, it's a little before 5 Sunday afternoon. Dana and I have
been together the whole weekend, writing this up -- my place Friday night,
his all day Saturday, now back here, in my bedroom. I skipped two Aikido
lessons and church to do this. My wrists hurt, and my ears and toes have
been numb since noon, but once I started, I couldn't stop -- I had to get
it out. Dana was the same, but he gets obsessive when he's manic -- he
even ignored two calls from Madison. And now, at last, we're done. If
anyone ever tells me writing is easy, I'm going to laugh and laugh and
laugh until they start edging away and talking about soothing drinks.

I can't stand the sight of my own words. Just paging through this
gives me the heebies. We just finished proofreading each other's account,
making corrections. Not of fact, not without consultation, and even then,
when our memories disagree, we've let it stand. This is supposed to be as
raw and unvarnished as we can get it.

Dana tried to flinch once -- he wanted to delete the parts about
Emerson and Thoreau sleeping with their students. He hadn't told me about
Thoreau until I read it. He says he doesn't want to make accusations he
can't prove, not in a form like this. I made him keep it in, though. At
the worst, it'll be dismissed as hearsay rumors. But even then, people
will watch the smoke for fires. There's too much potential for abuse in
the Program as it is. Emerson spent the week manipulating us with sex.
That's not how it's supposed to work.

Spike, when you read this, this paragraph is for you. We talked
about it, and we're both interested in going out you. But us three have
to take it slow. Our friendship is far more important than anything
sexual. We will NOT wreck that -- clear? We'll both drop you if it looks
like there's any danger of it. So here's our proposal: that we try going
out, you+me and you+him, non-exclusively, with our first date all three of
us, together, as friends. That way neither of us went out with you first.
After that, we'll see what happens.

Even if it gets complicated.

So. I suppose I should write a conclusion.

This is what happened, the week I was in the Program: I was
stripped naked before the audience of my peers. It hurt, a lot. But I'm
stronger for it.


Dana Smith

It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm sitting cross-legged on Dana's bed,
listening to a drum-n-bass track as I stare at the screen. Looking
through what I wrote, seeing in one place all the people I talked with,
instead of all spread out through the days, I'm starting to see what Dana
means about my place in school. I take regular and Honors and vo/tech and
Whitman classes, and a few weeks into the year I already know everybody's
name -- and they know me. I see a cross-section of everyone. And people
(at least those with a sense of humor) seem to like me. I'm almost ready
to think there's a reason for it. I should talk with Dr. Thea about it.

I should show her this.

If I can finish. I'm trying to think of how to wrap up. That's
what we've been taught, that there's always a lesson at the end, some
conclusion that sums up the essay, some moral to the story. I've written
nine different ones, but they all sounded dumb, compared to what happened.
Here, now, feels so much more unbalanced than the story in hindsight. I'm
starting to wonder if I have anything to say, if there always has to b

Jeanette is here. She and Dana are talking, softly, because Dana
didn't want to leave. I've muted the music so I can listen. Jeanette
doesn't know but Dana does, I think. I'm transcribing this as they speak.

"I'm sorry," Jeanette says.

"I know you are," Dana says. "But that's not enough. It takes

"I want -- " and Jeanette swallows. "I want to make it up to you.
I miss you."

Dana says nothing.

"You're my friend," Jeanette says, "my best friend, ma chérie.
That means something, doesn't it?"

Dana looks away, finally. "Yes," she says softly. "But I don't
know what."

"Then I will wait."

Dana looks at her. "Good."

Jeanette shifts, glances at me, but I'm watching out of the corner
of my eye, and she thinks I'm not looking. In French, she says, "What can
I expect?"

"I don't know," Dana replies in the same language. "I don't know
myself yet."

Jeanette hesitates, then leaves. Dana stares out the door after
her for a long time. And now she's crying silently without sobbing, but
she doesn't want comforting, not yet. These are private tears.

I think she's just given me my -- no, OUR conclusion. I don't
know what to expect, between any of us. Me and Dana, me and Spike, me and
Mom and Scarlett and Ginny and Dana and Jeanette and all. I just don't


And I want to find out.

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