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Wow. Okay, I started the last chapter with that word, but so what? I’ll wow when I feel like wowing, and right now I feel that a good wow is in order. Valeria is turning out to be a great girl. Seriously, I’d go out with her. Oh… I guess I sort of already did go out with her. Well good. That will show me. Oh yeah, did I mention that it is springtime now? Well it is. When we looked outside this morning it seemed the snow had just disappeared over night. It’s like the starting of a brand new day. Switching from present tense to past tense.

I stopped typing and looked at the previous paragraph, puzzled. The whole thing felt strained, which it was, but in a way I wasn’t even sure I liked. Now usually I didn’t care and just wrote, but every so often I found myself hating a paragraph or two so much that I would just take them out altogether and start over. This was just about one of those times. I realized, however, that anything I wrote afterwards would also have to be changed and thought, why bother? Deleting it only means I need to write more words to fill the empty space. Although it wasn’t like I was going to finish the book on time anyhow, since most of the time I’m just sitting here, staring off into space. Like just then. What was I typing?

I got up and scratched my neck. Why did I even bother being a writer? It was a horrible career and only a select few ever made money off it. At least I wasn’t a comic book artist slash writer, or something like that. I walked over to the bedroom and peaked in. I was still at Valeria’s apartment, but she had turned in since she needed to get up early for some sort of art thing. I really couldn’t understand what she was trying to explain to me, so she gave up and we made love. Things were moving pretty fast, and I wondered if this was how a normal relationship was suppose to go. I mean, they moved fast with Winter too, and since she was the only other girlfriend I had, I really didn’t know what to do. It was very different from a one night stand, which I’ve only had about a hand full of anyway, since you stuck around after sex and actually talked and cared what the person was thinking. I didn’t know if this was healthy or not, but I thought, what the hell, right? I am not getting any younger, and I need something to make me stop obsessing over a dead girl. I’d get into a whole thing about necrophilia now, but I’m far too tired.

Watching Valeria sleep was something amusing to me. She had a funny little, quiet snore that tickled me pink, and I’m sure I would have even laughed, was I not scared it would wake her. See, I’m not really terribly depressed all the time. I can be rather happy when I’m with friends. Speaking of friends, I wondered how Len was doing. He had wanted to go pick up chicks, but even though he loved the ladies he once told me he’d never cheat on whomever he was currently “with.” Len’s not known to lie, so I took this as true, which must have meant he broke up with Bunni. I picked up the phone and dialled his place.

A sleepy voice answered. “Hello... I… Is it day?”

It was Len alright, and he sounded as though he had passed out a few hours ago, and might have been still sleeping right now. I said hello, and he asked me what flavour my pants are. After a few minutes of trying to tell him I was Timothy, a friend of his, and him trying to tell me he did not want to purchase any ham insurance, he clued in.

“Hey Tim. Why are you calling at this time? And where are you? You weren’t home yesterday.” I heard a cough from the other end of the line and Len spit something up. It seemed to be a habit of his during the early hours of the day.

“Remember how I said I was having dinner with a girl? Valeria? Well now I’m at her house.”

“See, I knew you were going to get laid.”

After having to hear him chant about how he was so smart, and knew everything, I asked him how he and Bunni were doing. He told me they decided to just be friends, and see other people. It was a mutual decision, and he was glad to have made it. Then he told me that he thought she was a robot. He swore that one time, when he woke up in the middle of the night, she had a panel on her thigh open, and was messing with circuitry. You’d think knowing a zombie would make a person more open to things, but I told him he must have been dreaming it, since she was not nearly clunky enough to be a robot. Len didn’t put up a fight, since it was kind of odd that she would be robotic. I mean wouldn’t a real robot have less of a omigawd, there’s a sale at the mall personality? Anyhow, he told me he was really tired and suggested I turn in too because he was coming over at two, even though he didn’t really know where Valeria’s place was. He could always ask the operator for the last phone number that called him, and then get the address. I, however, decided to just tell it to him to save him the trouble. After a good natured see you, we hung up our phones. I crawled into bed, and felt Valeria’s little arms wrap around my neck, and was happy.

The next morning I awoke to nothing. Valeria was gone and there was a note on her side of the bed reading, “I will probably be busy until 7, so if you want, you can meet me back here then. If you have something to do, I understand.” I was really digging this girl. I got up and made myself a sandwich, to start the day. After another shower, and fresh clothes that I have no idea where Valeria found them, or when she brought them over here, I was ready to sit down and do some more writing, when a knock came at the door. I looked at the clock. It was 2:00 PM , precisely. I opened the door and greeted Len. I would be out, just as soon as I put on my shoes, which took less than a minute, usually. He peeked around quickly, and commented on how nice the place way. Very contrasting to mine. Perhaps that was why she took me in. She needed a yin to her yang. Or was she the yang to my yin? I’m not really certain which is which. Either way, I thought things were going to work out just fine.

“You do realize that now you have to tell Winter you are dating one of her old friends. And you have to tell this girl that Winter is a zombie.” Len poked me a few times as we walked down the street with nowhere particular in mind. I had told Valeria about Winter’s recent bought of resurrection, and she hadn’t taken to it that well. I wondered if Winter would take her news better. After all it didn’t involve coming back from the grave. I know, it sounds like I’m really hung up on this whole undead thing, but come on. Wouldn’t you be too? We walked down the street, and I had to take off a couple layers of clothing. It was warm out today, and wearing all that was bringing me down. Unfortunately I didn’t want to carry this around with me the whole time. I suggested to Len that we stop at my place. It was out of the way, but since we really had no clear direction he said sure, and off we went. After casually tossing my extra clothes, but not my scarf or jacket, into my apartment I decided that we ought to do something exciting. I suggested going to the museum, but Len reminded me I had said something exciting. After I told him they had an animatronic dinosaur exhibit we hopped on the nearest bus and made for the museum as quick as we could. That’s when we saw those boys again. Remember them? From the end of chapter eleven? Yeah, they were there again. I waved the them and said hello. They didn’t look pleased. They came up to me and were about to start harassing me when Len began to belittle them. It felt good watching him make fun of these kids who very obviously wanted to be like Eminem. Now I’m not saying I don’t like Eminem, but it’s true. I don’t like Eminem. Len had be caught occasionally listening to him, and even enjoys it I’m sure, but he won’t have children like this. After the leader said Len was just lucky that his girlfriend, referring to me I guess, was with him, they took off. I’m sure Len could have single handedly kicked all their asses, but we never brought it up. Instead we headed inside to look at the moving, fake dinosaurs.

It was fun for a bit, but I got bored. Len was still browsing around. I told him that there were other exhibits in the place, besides the dinosaurs. Len asked about monkeys. There aren’t any living monkeys in a museum. There are some stuffed monkeys and some models of monkeys and some facts about monkeys, but no actual monkeys. Sometimes there was a guy outside, with a monkey who danced while he cranked his little grind box to play wonderful sounds. You have to go to the zoo if you want to see real live monkeys, and really the zoo is just jail for animals. And not even a regular jail, but more like a jail in a foreign country where everything is weird and you don’t know what the people are saying, or the customs, and it’s too hot or cold out, and you hate your life. Wow, zoos are terrible. I hope we don’t get abducted by aliens and forced into an intergalactic zoo. That would suck. I told Len to go check out the gift shop, while I stopped for a cup of coffee at this little café they had inside. Who should I bump into but Valeria, and another man.

Oh don’t worry. It wasn’t like that. See she was actually hired by the museum to map out their new Egyptian exhibit. Turns out she was rather a fountain of knowledge on ancient Egypt , and rather respected for various layouts and whatnot that she had done in galleries around the city. Which was great because it pulled in the dollars, and since I had no job, and was back to freelance writing now, I needed to latch onto somebody with cash quick. We did the introduction thing, and then Len spotted me and walked over carrying a plastic T-Rex.

“You must be Valeria. Lovely to meet you,” he said, and kissed her hand. He was being oddly polite, although it didn’t seem so out of character for him. He shook hands with the museum director, asking, “Who might you be, sir? A friend of the family? Older brother perhaps? Secret lover?”

The director just laughed. He seemed to be a pretty good guy for an old, pompous, fat museum director. You can’t judge a book by its cover. Hmm. I’m pretty sure I wrote that already somewhere. Oh well, as I’m sure you have noticed, I tend to repeat myself. The fact that I’m not typing this all in one sitting isn’t helping either. Anyhow, and yes I do say anyhow a lot as well, write not say, we had a lovely talk and then everybody went home. And it snowed again. So it’s not nice out tonight, it’s horrible out. I’m just glad I don’t have to shovel sidewalks. The wind was not only ripping through my bones as I went out, but also through my soul. And what’s worse is that by the time I got home I had the sniffles. I made a nice, fancy supper with ingredients that Valeria had left for me too, but I couldn’t keep it down, and vomited all over the bathroom, and so it turns out those sniffles have become the flu. So here I am, sick and moping and wishing I was dead, in front of a small typing terminal that I fondly refer to as my computer.

Oh god, I think I’m going to vomit.

That’s when I got up and ran to the bathroom. I vomited for a solid half hour. Things came out of me that I did not even know existed, let alone knew I had eaten. After I was finished, I trudged to bed, turned on the radio, and curled up into a ball. An opera was playing, so I settled back to listen. I wish they made more of these in English though, since I don’t really speak any other language. At least then I wouldn’t have to ask people what was going on. Luckily I already knew this one. It was Il Segreto di Susanna, a tale of a man who hates smoking, and his wife who is trying to keep her smoking a secret. It’s really rather funny, which is good because nobody would ever take this seriously. Just like the Super Friends. Just like my life.