Jared needs beauty. Without it, he becomes depressed and hopeless. Maybe it's because his childhood homes were always so broken-down, and anything that remotely reminds him of those times bring out the worst in him - but anyway we're getting ready to fix up the house.

One Saturday morning, Jared woke up with me and went to Home Depot. He came back with a wrecking bar and some other stuff. I wasn't sure what he was going to wreck, but pretty soon there were little demolished spots all around our house. He took out a small walkway in the backyard, a small part of a brick planter box (but I think he changed his mind because he only destroyed one corner of it), and then started pulling the brickwork off the front of the house. The place looked pretty far from beautiful, but Jared looked so excited and happy, I decided to trust his vision, at least for now.

But however much I trust him in my heart, it can be really hard to justify to others. The other day, my mom came by to drop off some chicken stew at our backdoor. I can't imagine how she would expect us to eat meat that's been left out for several hours, but anyway, she saw Jared's handiwork. Plus, from the back window, she saw that we have two bare wires sticking out of the kitchen ceiling, because Jared just couldn't handle looking at that brown ceiling fan any longer and had to rip it out. So she left a frantic message for me at work about how Jared is destroying the house, that it really doesn't need fixing, and that he needs to stop before the whole place is a pile of rubble with no light fixtures. And, well, what could I tell her that she would understand? I don't completely get it, even though I'm choosing to go along with it for the time being.

And then there's motorcycle. OK, so the registration's in his name. And so I bought it for him on my credit card. So in a way you could say that he's got a bike, and I get the debt, and that's just a stupid thing to do. Well, yeah, OK. But I don't think I have any reason to not trust Jared, right? He might be a little flakey, but he'd never do anything to betray my trust, right? My friend thinks I'm getting taken. My mom thinks I'll soon be homeless. Even though I can understand why they're concerned, I'm not worried. Well, not that worried.


Jared didn't go into work this week while the contractors are out. He wanted to make sure they do the job right. Although I've never considered this an issue, and my parents never stayed home to watch the contractors when they remodeled the house, I see his point, so only balked a little. I told him that whenever he's out, his boss always gives me a hard time, and I hate it. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to say? So of course Jared brushed it off and restated that he needed to stay home with the contractors. Oh well. He really doesn't make that much money, it's not going to kill us if he misses more work.


Soon after Jared returned to work, a war broke out. Marco fired the first shot - a joke emailed to about twenty people implying that Jared was gay. Jared, of course, had to retaliate.

Jared was the administrator of various computer-related things at work, including the employee directory. This included an unflattering photo of each employee. With Marco's mugshot at his disposal, and his mad Photoshop skills, a new email message was born. The subject line was "Marco's Other Job". Attached was a picture of Marco, in all his feminine glory, wearing a long wig and a satin Miracle Bra. Jared was inspired by a subculture of Mexican transvestite wrestlers, and decided that Marco should be one. I believe, after all these years, this picture still resurfaces on the Web from time to time.

Iris was loitering in Jared's office one afternoon when Marco stormed in. "Dude, that's not even right! You're gonna die, dude, I swear-"

"What are you going to do?" Jared asked evenly. He smirked slightly. Iris had seen this look a hundred times. It was the "I win, and you can't do anything about it" look. Marco fumed.

"Dude all my friends think I'm gay now, and what's worse," he glanced at Iris for support, "everyone's printing out that picture and posting it in the cafeteria. Man, I'm a supervisor! I can't have my people seeing this shit." Iris choked back her laughter.

"Well then you shouldn't have sent out that joke in the first place, right?" Jared asked unsympathetically.

Marco looked defeated. "Alright man, this is war!" Before he left, he stabbed a finger at Iris. "You used to be nice!"

"Oh well," Iris replied, still laughing.


Somehow, Marco convinced Kyle to help him doctor up incriminating photos of Jared. There was Jared with a big afro, Jared the sexy transvestite, Marco in a sundress, Kyle and Marco engaged in a sex act, Jalil as Cornholio.

This eventually reminded Marco, Jared and Kyle of the Mother of all incriminating photos: Nathan, with his tiny penis pressed on a sliding glass door. After Eric had his pictures developed (it was Eric's camera that Marco used that fateful night), he promptly mailed the naked ones to Iris, so Jared was the only one out of the three who had seen the pictures. Marco and Kyle begged to see the picture of Nathan. Reluctantly, Jared obliged, and jokes and bad ideas sprouted like mushrooms after the rain. Somehow they became hooked on the idea of posting the image on the Web, or at least making Nathan believe as much. What happened afterward was even more ludicrous.