The tech support manager says the new version of our software is crashing everyone's computer.

An engineer says, "Do you mean crash like you have to unplug the computer and plug it back in, or crash like you have to buy a new computer?"

The tech support guy wants me to put a warning on the Web site. He says the product manager will write a warning. "Call the product manager," he says.

"I hate calling her," I say. "She's a psycho."

And then I hate myself because I forgot that I was going to be a nice person. And it's not like the product manager was IN THE ROOM. But STILL.

And I hate myself because I call people psycho behind their backs. Well, not everyone. I wouldn't say that about you. The product manager always hangs up before my conversation is over. I don't backstab people who stick with me.

ÍMaybe you're thinking I backstab Tano. But it's not backstabbing— I mean, I'm JUST telling you what HAPPENS. If you're judging it, you're backstabbing. But don't worry, I'll still be your friend. I empathize with you. I know it's hard to enjoy focusing on the nice part of people.

Which is why I call Daniel. Daniel could get drunk and crash into a cute six year-old kid and while I'd feel bad about the crash and all, I'd still adore him. I'd go to see him in jail, and I might even pay to uncrush his car, when he gets old enough to drive.

Do you have that with someone? That kind of love? I wish I could save it. Partition it so that I could have some for Tano. And maybe I'd give you some so you could love me. I can't tell if you'd leave if I did something awful. Like if I got sad and then sadder and sadder and sadder, and then I crashed. Would you leave me?

Daniel picks up the phone. His words are long and slow and soft, so I say, "Is something wrong?"

He says, "This isn't a good time to talk."

"Did you have a fight with Mom?"


"Did you call Dad to come pick you up?"

I call Daniel back when he gets to Dad's. I ask Daniel if he wants to talk or if he wants to be done with the fight. He says he wants to talk. He says Mom wanted to watch the Bulls and he wanted to watch a Civil War movie. "She likes Scottie Pippin," he says.

Daniel goes on and on about the intricacies of being a family with one TV. He says, "It seems so sad to me that we fight all day."

I want to make it better for Daniel. I say, "Daniel, I'm sorry." I hear him shuffling in the background. I say, "Are you crying?"

He says, "No."

I say, "I don't know what to say to make it better." He is silent. I say, "Daniel, are you there?"

He says, "Yeah, I'm playing a video game."

So I was trying to talk to him and bond with him and say things to him that matter. Are you listening? I'm trying to say things that matter.

And I am so sick of being mean, and I'm so sick of the people who like me because I'm funny when I'm mean. Please tell me you're sticking by me because you want to hear me say nice things.

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