The 616 Diaries: Entry 5 by Kevin Kauffmann
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September 7th, 2019, 3:42 PM

I’m having some trouble keeping focused these days. I was already starting to slip because my work situation is so dull, but this blog and this mindset really isn’t helping. I really enjoy it, I do, but it is… starting to affect me. It’s gotten to the point where I actually made Renee really angry.

I forgot our anniversary.

I know! I know. It’s awful, it really is, and I would never forget something so important usually. It’s an important number, so I really should have remembered it. It’s just that… well, you know. All the other numbers I used to love are taking a back seat, at the very least. I don’t slap the dashboard when I see 12:34 anymore; I barely even notice. If it’s 12:32, which is 616 doubled, then yeah, I get excited again, but the other numbers—the normal numbers—they don’t… they don’t mean as much. I’ve stopped making equations out of the ones I see, I just try to find some way to manipulate it into 616 or one of the cousins. It’s… it’s not good.

Man, it’s just bad. Who the fuck forgets their anniversary, these days? I don’t live in an 80’s sitcom! I have a phone that will alert me when the twitter page for one of my favorite shows has a post about a shitty meme! On my phone I have a calendar that is literally on my person at all times, that will take the time to alert me if I so choose, and I somehow forget the most important day in the year for me and my girlfriend.

And if that wasn’t enough, I didn’t even recover from forgetting it and I had plenty of chances. See, Renee is cool enough that even though I did forget, she was still willing to forgive me. We couldn’t go to a fancy place since reservations couldn’t happen, but we don’t even really like fancy places and Renee will take bar grub over French cuisine any day. It’s part of why I love her. She’s low-maintenance to the point where she might as well be a dude. A very pretty dude who occasionally lets me have sex with her. My parents are also fond of the fact that she has ovaries and might provide them with grandchildren.

All in all, I’m very fucking lucky, and even when I screwed up our anniversary, she was willing to let it go just so we could enjoy the evening.

And I still fucked it up. Instead of being there, with her, engaging her in conversation, fully enjoying her company, I sink into my obsession. I couldn’t put it away for one fucking night, goddamnit! We had all of five minutes of conversation before I found a 616 in the menu, smiled and laughed, and she instantaneously knew why. I could see the dark cloud hovering over her as she sat back and crossed her arms. I tried to play dumb, but she’s been seeing me play at dumb for years and she’s been there for more than few times when I was just being dumb. It’s not uncommon—apparently this was one of those times—and she can see right through me.

So I tried to recover from it. I put down the menu, I apologized, tried to make the night about us.

But my eyes wandered. Of course they did. Every time I saw a new table enter the restaurant, every time I saw entrees going out, I was counting silently. I was figuring out ways to turn everything I saw into 616 or 919 or 666 or even 999. I got so fucking desperate to see it that I went to the 999s! I would look at the computer terminals for the servers and I would look at every single number on those flickering, shitty screens.

All the while I was trying to make conversation, answer Renee when she had questions—and I was doing a decent job—but there was no way she didn’t notice. I could feel her getting angrier, it was like electricity crackling between us, but I just couldn’t stop. Looking at all those numbers, trying to force 616 into existence, every time I broke eye contact it was worse than if I had been staring at a teenage girl’s ass.

And I knew it. I knew this behavior was unacceptable. I knew that smiling and nodding was not what Renee deserved, what I owed her for putting up with me and beating the impossible odds and actually loving me. This was supposed to be the night where I got to worship her for the goddess she is, to be grateful for a romance that shouldn’t fucking exist. I should have been smiling and swooning over her the entire time, not eating my heart-attack of a burger like I was a cow chewing cud. I barely even tasted the thing since I was so distracted.

I fucked up. That’s all there is to it. Instead of making my girlfriend feel like I loved her, I made her feel that a number—that is probably nothing more than a goddamn number—was more important than her! What the fuck is wrong with me? Am I just nuts? Have I already gone insane?

I mean, shit, who the fuck does something like this except someone who belongs in a straight-jacket? Who, knowing all this, knowing that he screwed up, gets the check, pulls out his credit card and notices that the check ID on the receipt is 6/16 and still points it out to his furious girlfriend.

She didn’t slap me, didn’t scream at me, but she should have. She just got up and left the restaurant and, after paying the bill, I found her standing by the car. She wouldn’t talk to me and I couldn’t blame her. When we got back to my place, she almost immediately walked over to her car and opened the door.

I tried to fight, stammer out an excuse, but she just gave me a cold look before climbing into the sedan and starting the engine. I watched her sitting there for a moment, as she stared straight ahead at my garage door instead of looking at me while I apologized, but eventually she backed out of the driveway and drove off.

I… don’t think it’s the end, but I wouldn’t blame her if it was.

Just… I have to fix this.



Ray's starting to lose it, but stick around for the next entry!