Saturday, March 26
"well the universe is shaped just exactly like the earth
if you go straight long enough you wind up where you were"
Woke up this morning from looping dreams of log daemons and data stores to a late-season cold. My whole body hurts and my head is full of obscurity (or perhaps phlegm; it's hard to tell the difference). I'm told it is nice outside, and on the evidence this seems to be true, but I am not inclined to treat it as actionable information.
I've spent probably 5 of the last 10 years living in basements. There's that sense of the same moment lived over and over again in sitting here watching the late-afternoon sun slant through ceiling-level windows.
If you have ever wondered even in passing about the utility of fire drills and fire-safety inspections and building codes and the like, you should read this piece on the Collinwood School Fire by Jim Macdonald. It is pretty goddamned wrenching stuff, as the really useful history so often is.
I'm waiting for mass transit in Lafayette, eating at this off-brand drive-in fast food joint that resembles a Sonic closely enough that I'm almost convinced it used to be one. Oldies station on the radio, just esoteric enough to actually be a Pandora channel (all the more likely since the Oldies format seems to have been altogether supplanted by Classic Rock and the Greatest Hits of The 80s 90s and Today! while I wasn't looking). One waitress working. Burger and fries. The burger is kind of overcooked and the bun is either toasted a bit too much or just plain stale. The fries are oversalted but hot. This is an effort at a facsimile, but all of it suggests a kind of American authenticity predating any awareness I ever had of Americana or Authenticity as a much-trammeled but ever-marketable concept.
I burned a day today. Not in the sense that you burn one with cigarettes and cheap canned beers in your hand looking at the river roll, but in the sense that you sit there in a room knowing you'll never get this one back and even if it's worth the cost in hours on some kind of spiritual balance sheet, you still ought to be ashamed for letting it go. The stench of new paint and air conditioning on a day it didn't get above 45 or 50 degrees.
I finish my hamburger. Back at the bus stop some guy is loudly pacing, whistling aggressively and sitting down angrily on the bench, banging his shitty-looking BMX bike against the shelter. I start to hate him and then this bus pulls up and he runs up to it and a girl in a red hoodie gets off and they embrace each other with what I choose to read as basically joy, and he puts his bike on the front of the bus and they both get on.
It's the first day of March in 2011. I've been 30 years old for entire weeks now. I'm pretty sure that at least a quarter of the Science Fiction I have ever read was set in dates earlier than this one.
I had three beers at the Southern Sun a little bit ago, and now I'm walking blearily around the King Soopers sort of abstractly seeking groceries and provisions I don't have any actual need for. I buy things made out of soy. Overpriced nuts. Fizzy water. Cheap onions. A bag of different sorts of fruit I'm probably going to regret once I validate my suspicion that it's all kind of waxy and flavorless. Some completely a-seasonal asparagus stalks. A box of Nerds, candy which I no longer actually enjoy but can clearly remember first acquiring in a nearly identical container more than two decades ago. There was a protocol to eating Nerds. You were supposed to tip large quantities directly into your mouth from the box. The way I remember it, I didn't go in for this at all. I was fastidious. I ate them one at a time.
Back at the house the beers are fading out of my nervous system. What I should do is go to bed, but instead I switch off all of the graphical nonsense on my computer and start my favorite text editor, leaving me with nothing but a blinking cursor and some tildes (~) down the lefthand side of the screen, indicating where I have not yet typed anything.
I haven't tried very seriously to write anything in months, or at least not anything that when I woke up in the morning and looked at it I thought there would be any reason at all to show it to anyone. My life is I go to work and I come home and lay in bed thinking feverishly about work until it's time to wake up and go to work again. The world at large is way too much happening and too many people with too much to say about it. I'm left with nothing interesting to say for myself and nothing helpful to say about anything else.
Look at me I got these neat snowshoes and had some pretty intense meetings and argued about programming while I was drunk. Oh yeah, and the whole world is exploding into revolution plus Christchurch is in ruins.