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I am getting on a plane tomorrow, bound for Delaware. My heart is heavy, and so are my bags. Hopefully I’ll update often. Hopefully, I’ll dig myself out of this funk that the pathetic excuses for women at Northwestern have put me in. We shall see.

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Voting Republican in Evanston is a fortifying experience. Last April, when I took part in the nonpartisan city elections, Naureen and I met with thinly-veiled hostility from the eyes of elderly voters – the assumption was that we were voting for Prof. Allan Drebin and not notorious Ald. Art Newman, which wasn’t the case at all. But this time, as I trudged along a rain-battered Chicago Ave. to support dark horse gubernatorial candidate Pat O’Malley, I was struck by the warm reception of salt-and-pepper-haired Democrats. They looked at my Columbia jacket and youthful mien and saw “liberal”.
I soon disappointed them. As I marked my preference for a Republican ballot, the friendly judge laughed and said “just head over to the far right!”
The Republican judge, however, practically dripped with happiness. “Vote early and often!” he beamed.
The balloting process proved fun as ever, and the holes I made next to the few Republican candidates brave enough to compete in the People’s Republic of Evanston (as the Chron reported, Jan “Get rid of the guns!” Schakowsky is running unopposed) left no chad alive.

Music: The Isley Brothers, “Love the One You’re With”

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Okay, here it is:
The Depressed Dave Away Message
I’ll admit it. Things are generally good for me. But there’s a narrow spectrum which encompasses what I really want, and I don’t have any of it in place. What I need, in this order is: love, better grades and a job. The latter element doesn’t terribly worry me, as I’ve worked hard and should get one soon. The second part of the equation is tougher. Week after week, I slave over papers which I consider very good. They’re thoroughly researched and compelling, and proof-read by one or two people. But for reasons I still can’t ascertain, I never get very good grades. Take African American politics. For our first paper, a 4-page assessment of a week’s reading, I spent roughly two days compiling statistics and quotes to bolster my argument. I got a B. One of my peers, whom I know for a fact did the paper the night before in about 4 hours, got a B+.
Is my scholarship lacking? Am I less intelligent than the norm? Those are issues I don’t currently have the steel to confront.
And then … well, there’s always love. It’s terrible. As I’m fond of telling everyone who’ll listen, I didn’t initiate a conversation with a girl I found attractive until I was 17. By dint of physical limitations and inherent shyness, I missed out on a vital period when I should have become realistic about romance. But I didn’t, and nothing will catch me up. I’m 20 years old, 21 in September, and I’m more bumbling and inept than ever.
The evolution of my bumbling is an interesting story. As I remember, I struggled to talk to girls at first and would spit words out too fast, say inopportune things. I improved once I realized that my personality, with its obsession with pop culture and desire to say original things, was the perfect antidote to my mediocre looks. I would go after one girl at a time, not getting very far, but never leaving them as disgusted as, say, the fellow dribbling Fosters down his chin and grabbing his own ass. Under the new system I was shot down three times, once terribly, once consolingly, and once after a single date – my first. I charmed a girl into kissing me at a Winter dance, but she never really talked to me again. I gave seven roses away on Valentines Day, which were all accepted with pity. Honestly, I’d expect one of them to be charmed. So I sort of gave up, vaguely asking girls to the prom, when a girl told me how sexy I looked in my black shirt. It was Marie.
Marie liked me. She liked a lot of guys, which I knew. She turned our first date into a four-person outing, an inauspicious sign. Then we began to spend more and more time loafing around after school. One day I waited for her as she ran on the track, and we walked back to the dorm and found a place alone, and I know now that if I had been less of a coward I could have done whatever I wanted with her. But I was too scared of rejection to even try to kiss her. We went out a few times with friends and the year dripped away like mercury before we could declare a damn thing to each other.
For all my hamhandedness in dealing with the situation, Marie made me feel like there was a chance. Less obscurely, she represented the possibility that a woman could be attracted to Dave Weigel and want him for a boyfriend. I spent the summer ecstatic, missing her and writing until she stopped replying in November 2000. We’ve talked since. It’s less clear now if anything ever would have happened between me and her even if I’d stayed on a year. But it was the possibility that mattered. That gave me hope so potent that I have to squint to remember how sad I was before I met her.
College came. On the third day of orientation I made an appointment to go to the gym with a girl. It became apparent that I could do everything I had always wanted to in this new, easy-going mileu.
Hah, hah. So I thought. I pursued a girl in my peer group mostly because she seemed interested in another guy and I knew I could make her laugh harder than him. She agreed to go on a date when we came back in January, but then she rushed a sorority and cancelled three consecutive dates. I then asked a girl in my dorm if she wanted to go out on Valentine’s day. We went out casually three times and it died a dusty, obvious, unspoken death.
And then things get too recent and personal for me to go into. Suffice to say that I went to Chuck E. Cheese tonight with the dorm, only because Laurel was going. We got in the bus and I went mad with … well, everything. Sore throat, finals anxiety, irritation, and jealousy. And the memories that I’ve just sketched out here. I am closer to and further away from love than I have ever been. I am Tantalus caught between the too-high grapes and the too-low water. And the heartwrenching melancholy of it just makes me ill. If I thought it would work, I would start walking in one direction and walk and walk and stop only when I’d gotten so far away that I’d banished forever the possibility of encountering people I knew. I could start over, start eating again, and find someone who’d be willing to sacrifice one millionth of what I sacrifice every day in order to make me feel wanted.
Honest, pathetic, public. I’ll regret this in about 5 minutes. But I couldn’t sit silent any longer. This has gone on long enough.

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Once again, I am writing a paper. As of now I’ve finished off part one of my 15-page African American Politics final in a most compelling fashion. Part two beckons, and it promises to be one of the most fun essays I’ve ever written. Check out the question:
6. Suppose you are a campaign consultant to an African American Democrat � African Americans make up about 20 percent population in the district �
A. What do you recommend your candidate do to win the general election? Your candidate will want to know about the following aspects of the campaign: funding; registration and turnout; partisanship; white voters� motivations and policy preferences; and African American voters� motivations and policy preferences.
B. What are your candidate�s chances of winning?
C. Should she win, how likely is it that your candidate can effectively represent the interests of the district�s African Americans in Congress? Define those interests clearly and specifically.

If there’s a question more suited to my mindset, I’ve never seen it. I’ll be working for the next few hours.

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Well, this is strange. I took a brief break from my paper to check my mail (zilch) and heard Laurel’s voice coming from the main lounge. So I cracked the door and, behold, a play rehearsal was afoot. All the action stopped, so I headed in to observe it for a second – and the room turned into a besieged Polish village circa 1939.
“This is a closed set! You’re not in the play! Bye! Dave, get out! Get the hell out!” said the collective.
What was odd about this is that I’d walked into rehearsals before and no one had paid any mind. For some reason, this compilation of faces from my own dorm wanted me gone. Maybe it was due to the fact that I tried out and then told the directors I wasn’t really interested. But that had nothing to do with the play. I pulled out once I discovered Laurel was a Female Student at Northwestern (translation: woman who does not want a relationship with me) and I had no other reason to commit the time.
People in my dorm are irritated with me. Curious. I wonder why?