RATING: G
NOTES: New series. See Part One.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the West Wing or any of its related
characters. Don't sue.
SUMMARY: Different people of the West Wing reflect on their lives so
far.

That was a good lunch. I swear Hoynes ran for his car faster than
anyone. I don't know if I blame him. He falls into
the "misunderstood" faction in the club of men, a close cousin of
my "unappreciated" faction. I'm kidding. I don't feel like I'm
unappreciated, but I do feel as if I'm about as misunderstood as he
is. I get looks from the staff around here, strange looks. Every time
I get a story that no one wants me to get, I get looks. For crying
out loud, am I not allowed to do my job, merely because these people
don't want me to? When they think I have nothing on them, we're all
friends and everything's good. The moment I have a story, it's like
I'm the bad guy.
Definitely feeling misunderstood here.
Let's see, things left to do today: finish report, buy my cousin
her birthday present, get my exclusive with CJ, go to Jack's to meet
with Stephie for dinner, feed Errol's cat and then go home and try to
sleep. In other words, write an article that is in some way worthy of
thirty million readers, find something nice for a chatterbox who owns
everything, try to talk casually and professionally with the woman
I'm attracted to beyond all else, go to a dinky bar & grill to
converse with a senator's who's full of herself, feed my neighbor's
pet tabby who happens to believe that it's a ferocious tiger, and
then crawl into my messy apartment, stumble to bed and snore loudly
before my head ever hits the pillow.
Yep, definitely a full day left ahead of me.
So this is what my life has come to. I'm more important to a
hungry, delusional tabby cat than I am to the woman I love. I'm not
so sure that it's that fact that hurts me the most but rather the
fact that the cat is more open with me than CJ is. At least the cat
communicates that he's hungry or that he wants to be a tiger or
whatever. CJ just says yes, then no, then yes, then no, until finally
I feel like a cat, being led around by a piece of yarn.
Good kitty Daniel.
My mother called this morning. She sounds as good as ever. She's
the most vibrant seventy-year-old that I know. Granted, I don't know
that many seventy-year-olds, period, but of the few that I do know,
she's the most vibrant and energetic. I love that old lady. Does that
make me a momma's boy or something? What the hey? From what I've
heard, it's only one more thing on a really long list of what appears
to be wrong with me. Personally though, I like `freak boy' much
better. It has a nicer ring to it; less syllables and such.
When I was growing up, I was always writing. People made fun of
me because I always had a notebook and pens with me. I took notes on
everything around me and still managed to do well in my classes
despite the fact that I concentrated more on my writing than I did on
my schoolwork... Sssh. Don't tell anyone.
There's just something about writing that has always fascinated
me. There is something about the art of writing and the necessity of
communication that made the whole thing very important to me. I know
that there are a lot of people who don't like me because of what I
do, because of how devoted I am to it. I've been whined at time and
again by people who I've written about; they say "I thought we were
friends, Concannon." They can't seem to understand that I'm doing my
job. Besides, I'd rather have a friend uncovering certain truths
about me than an enemy. A friend can be trusted with things, and a
friend should be trusted to have enough discretion and knowledge to
know what to print and when. If I never wrote about anyone I knew,
I'd never have anything to write about, except new legislature, which
doesn't come around as much as people seem to think it does.
I report the news. That's what I do.
It occurs to me now: I'm ranting at myself because I don't have
the will to rant at anyone else. When it all comes down to it, I wish
people would just let me write and trust me to know what is or isn't
okay to write about.
No one is even talking about Mandy's memo any more.
There's only one thing about my job that I regret, and that one
thing got so convoluted on the one night that it shouldn't have. I
wish CJ would make up her mind. I know that I messed up royally, but
I don't know how to fix it... I was a reporter on the night of the
shooting when I should have been a friend.
It didn't turn CJ off completely because she did seem so
disappointed when I didn't take the editor job. I think that the talk
we had in the Oval Office clinched it: We're never going to be
together; not while Bartlet is in office anyway. Neither of us is as
willing to make sacrifices as we need to be. She can't live with a
Press secretary dating a White House reporter in order for her to
date me and I don't want to be anything but a White House reporter
because that's what I am. I won't change jobs for her and she won't
risk her job for me. It makes sense in a professional sense; it's
just frustrating otherwise.
My little sister is going to Egypt. She's always going somewhere.
I think mom is glad both her children turned out to be journalists;
one a writer and the other a photographer. When dad died, mom stayed
in the house for days. Finally, my sister and I put together a photo
album history of Dad's life and gave it to her. She cried for the
first time since his death and put the album in the coveted spot on
the living room coffee table. Every so often she looks through that
album and I'm pleased to know it brings her joy.
That thing is worth more than a sarcophagus or a pyramid or
whatever sis is of to snap pictures of now.
So this is the way the world looked through my father's eyes. He
often told me stories about when he was a child or a teenager,
stories that told me more about him than anything else. My father was
a good man, the type of man I've always aspired to be. I think he'd
be proud of me and of my sister. He would have liked CJ. I'm sure she
would have liked him too.
I have to finish writing this article but I find that I just
can't think straight. I'm not sure what it is. It's a combination of
many things, I suppose. CJ, my mother, my boss, my sister, this
stupid meeting with the senator from Oklahoma, knowing I have to face
Fluffy the "tiger" in a few hours... Yes, the tabby cat's name is
Fluffy. Don't blame me. I would have named it "Delusional"
or "Bengal" or "Picasso" or something like that.
Errol's a simple guy that way.
Random thoughts keep entering my head. It's like I don't have
anything better to do than think about absolutely nothing. I know for
a fact that this is not true, but for the moment, I feel content to
believe that it is.
What a fascinating thought it is to wonder about the days and
years that have led up to this moment. When I was little, I played
games with my father. When I was a teen, I was always either reading
or writing, the latter more often than not, and I was also
discovering girls and the importance of cars. Then came college,
where I majored in Journalism and I had Maria. I loved Maria so much.
She said she loved me too, but I guess not as much as she loved that
football player...
Oh, well. It seems that I'm destined to be alone for a little
while longer. I love CJ dearly but I think that there's a time and a
place for everything; now is not the time for us. Besides, I hear
she's got some tall, dark, handsome guy to take care of her now. I
think that's good... Good because she's happy then, at least. To
be honest, I'd rather I was the one who was making her happy, but
we've both made our own choices and so here we are.
I've got some phone calls to make. I've got to talk to the Vice
President about something called... uh, damn this desk is
messy... I lost the memo. Crap. Well, at least maybe I don't have
to listen to him describe to me again the dreams where he's killing
me. He loves to tell me that kind of stuff. It's scary sometimes.
Hoynes can be scary sometimes. He can scowl and I'll know that I may
have taken things a bit too far. Still, he's a good man and a good
leader, so I can be rest assured that he won't be acting on his
dreams any time soon.
Damn, I found it again. Now I do have to talk to him after all. I
think I'll arm myself... with a staple maybe.

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