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Strip for 3/10/2002  
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If Sil's idealism can manifest as a spatula, my hope can be a penny. That's a thumb pointed back at Kip in the last panel, by the way. Sigh, I have an artist who can render thumbs. But I am proud of this strip, I really am. There's color, there's a penny, I feel like a Fireworks badass.

Song for today is the Belle and Sebastian's The Wrong Girl. Lyrics below, because they just fit so well.

I went looking for my darling, I went looking for a sign
and I found her in the morning, somewhere in the
back of my mind

I'm not what I could be, I need a true love
I went looking and I found one

The wrong girl
The wrong kind
The wrong hand to be holding
The wrong eyes to go searching behind
The wrong dream to have in my mind

Part V: Um, How Do You Do This "Dating" Thing?

One night, Twin Girl taught me to play dominoes. We were going to go see The Shipping News, but the movie was sold out for hte earlier show. So we got tickets for later, and went back to my apartment. Sil and my roommate from last year were there and Sil was working, so Twin Girl taught Danny and I how to play dominoes, a game I didn't know I had and the game that her family enjoys to play. I had played a long time ago, but without the main part of the game, scoring the multiples of 5. All of a sudden, the game had strategy. We played 6 games, and each of us won 2 games, so everyone felt good about themselves. But the best part of it was seeing her in an element. A place she felt knowledgeable. To be truly honest, it was also nice to have her interacting with friends, instead of just the two of us. Jason and I had been talking a lot about how we were looking for someone like Sheila, who can hang out with us even when Rick's not around, because we're all friends with each other. I saw dominoes as a sign that this sort of interconnected friendship was possible.

I'd ask her to come back and play dominoes after that and she'd say, "I'm taking you back to high school, aren't I" the time before I could go out to bars, etc. But really I just wanted to see her clicking the pieces around, holding them closely in her hand ("You can hit the bottom of the table and knock over your opponents' dominoes otherwise. That's how they play in prison," she warned). See her, graceful.

Oh, yeah, Twin Girl is, at the time of writing, a sophomore. "She's a sophomore!?!" Rick yelled when he found out. The age difference obviously didn't bother me. I just wished that she could hang out at the bar with us weekly, but that wasn't possible, underaged. I also wanted to take her to the Green Mill, since she is much more knowledgeable than I am about jazz (see? wanting to see her in her element?) but of course, that probably won't happen now.

Anyway, we went to see the movie, and then afterwards she wanted to be taken home. Sigh, the changing moods. What a winter this was. Chicago had barely any snow, so I was just waiting for the hammer to fall in a crushing blizzard (finally came last weekend). And, of course, waiting was the theme of this aspect of my life.

We had one big downtown ish date. This came on the heels of a conversation where she said she'd only say it once, but that what she missed most about having a boyfriend locally was being taken out, whisked away on a night planned for her. She said she knew it wasn't feminist to think that way, but since we'd talked about being raised on a much more romantic view of relationships from literature, it was just ingrained expectation. So I immediately took the hint and began planning a big date for that weekend. I soon found out that impromptu and big date don't really go together, and that my date style seems to be pretty spur of the moment. I couldn't get theater tickets to anything, but I knew that improv was always available. Fittingly, the restaurant Rick suggested didn't take reservations. So I was nervous about the unpredictability of the evening. Lip shreddingly, jerky drivingly, vague pricky sensation-y nervous. I was returned to high school.

And in the end, it all turned out OK. Sure there was a lot of walking involved, and dead time. But I stopped worrying about the dead time when I realized that she really wanted to be there and appreciated my efforts to plan a big date. Skills that had been lying dormant since... gosh, high school.