Day Twenty-Four   /   lettering by Verena Hennig

Jessica Walsh

Did you see Timothy today?
Yes.

What did y’all do together?
Tim emailed me early in the morning with a drawing that he made for me. It had four hands, designed for me to choose one of four period-specific dates. I wish I could tell you how adorable and romantic this gesture was, but I happen to know that he’s used this same exact illustration game on another girl he dated a few months ago! Had any other guy did this for me, I would be swooning. Still, I played along with his game and I chose the “1920s” hand.

After yesterday’s horrible therapy session, I was craving bourbon. I figured the “1920s” option would likely involve a cocktail bar. I was right! He emailed back with a “congrats” drawing and we met at Middle Branch at 8 PM.

congratshand2

Did anything interesting happen?
We smoothed everything over that happened yesterday, and we were able to enjoy a lovely night out together. We had a drink at the cocktail bar, and then headed over to the jazz club. We listened to the music and shared a plate of mac and cheese with a side of greens. The food was delicious, the music was great, and things felt right.

Jazz-cards-6

At one point during the show he took my hand into his. After the jazz show finished, we meandered towards my place, holding hands, laughing about silly things, with plenty of kissing in between. Once we got to my apartment building, I invited him up to my place.

Did you learn anything new about Timothy?
He loves jazz music and he knows quite a bit about it. His face lit up as he explained the history of jazz to me. It was very endearing!

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
We lay in bed and discussed life, the universe, and religion. I told him I think we’re too young as a species to fully comprehend our place in the universe. So while I don’t subscribe to a religion or believe in a deity, I like to stay open-minded to the infinite possibilities of it all. I think we’re probably just a bunch of lucky stardust, in the right place at the right time, winners of a cosmic lottery. I find beauty in the potential meaningless of it all. He said he thinks my views are pessimistic. I never thought of myself as pessimistic, just realistic. I still find everything about this world beautiful, and I approach each day and experience with curiosity. There is so much I want to do in my short time on this earth.

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
We had sex. I feel like there was a lot of built up sexual tension between us these past few weeks, so it was a relief. I enjoyed it, and we had a lot of fun! He didn’t stay over, though, since I have an early flight to catch in the morning for a work trip.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
Less of the stress, more of the sex.

Additional comments?
While Tim has opened up to me in many ways, I still feel like he keeps many parts of his life guarded from me. The best physical connections I’ve experienced were in part a deep trust and an emotional intimacy. I wonder if he’ll begin to let me in more now that we’ve become physically intimate. My gut tells me that I will find out very soon.

Day Twenty-Four   /   lettering by Walter Green

Timothy Goodman

Did you see Jessica today?
Yes.

What did y’all do together?
Earlier in the morning, I sent Jessie an email with a drawing attached. The drawing asked her to “pick a hand” that had four date-themed options.

Pickahand-fixed

She picked “1920s” and I tailored the date around that. First, I took her to one of my favorite cocktail spots, Middle Branch. Then we went down the street to a great jazz club to see the drummer, Eric Harland, and his band.

Did anything interesting happen?
We were holding hands at the show. After the jazz club, we went back to her place. What follows *technically* happened on day 25, so I will wait to write about it then . . .

Did you learn anything new about Jessica?
Jessie was checking her email during the show! I’m a big jazz fan, so this was sacrilegious to me. I got over it, but this can’t happen again. No, no, not at a jazz show.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
When I was a teenager, I decided I wanted to learn more about jazz. At first, I thought it was a cool thing to tell girls. While I knew there was a real value to be discovered in the music, I just didn’t have the capacity for it at the time. I would, however, draw instruments for fun.

Jazz-3

Not until later did I really appreciate the music and understand how jazz played an important role in the fabric of American history. Writer Gerald Early told Ken Burns that “when they study our civilization two thousand years from now, there will only be three things that Americans will be known for: the Constitution, baseball, and jazz music. They’re the three most beautiful things Americans have ever created.”

I’m fascinated by stories of triumph, particularly those of the African American community, and how a people overcome adversity. When I was a child, I grew up in both black and white neighborhoods, so I have an affinity for the culture. Jazz grew out of the Civil War in New Orleans, and by the early 1900s it was linking white middle and upper classes to black entertainers. Anyway, let’s just say that I’m slightly obsessed. Jazz represents improvisation. Jazz represents expression. Jazz represents democracy. Now, let’s get psychological and draw the parallels to my lifestyle decisions!

How do you feel about this relationship/project right now?
Yesterday I said I was going to give this a go, and today was the start. There’s a Thelonious Monk track called, “Straight, No Chaser.” That’s how I’m feeling about this right now. Straight to the head, no chasers, no buffers, no apologies.

Is there anything that you want to do differently?
When we met for cocktails, we immediately started talking about our therapy session yesterday. I don’t want to always harbor this stuff.

Additional comments?
Apparently, she knows I’ve done this “pick a hand” game with other girls I’ve dated. Not very smooth, Tim.