"That which is overdesigned, too highly specific, anticipates outcome; the anticipation of outcome guarantees, if not failure, the absence of grace."
-- William Gibson, All Tomorrow's Parties
Clockworks and cold steel.

It's weird dreaming about people you haven't thought of in years. This girl I grew up with, Heather, the first girl I ever kissed (we must have been four or five? My family was stationed in Okinawa when I was five, so it had to have been before that), for some reason she just floated to the surface from somewhere in my unconscious. Gods know why.

When I was fifteen or sixteen my family took a trip up to Utah, where her family had last been stationed and decided to stay, in Provo. We saw a giant open-air mining pit, and went hiking a bit. The area was probably the prettiest I'd ever seen. I remember sitting in the back of the car with Heather at some point, while everyone else had gotten out to look at something or other, and there being a connection between us. Or so I imagine now. I can't remember the words, but I remember the closeness of her, and which of us initiated that.

But it's hard to tell, looking back, if me, the awkward, nerdy, teenager, was actually getting hit on by the beautiful, socially-accomplished teenager, or if she was just being nice. And gods, you think I'm bad these days, you should have seen me ten years ago. It was pretty bad. Stupid baseball cap and stupid jean jacket and absolutely nothing going for me, in terms of graces or conversational ability. Not that I've come all that far, I'm afraid.

The girl was smart, too. Ended up valecdictorian, going off to medical school. I haven't heard anything about her in maybe five years, so really who knows what she's managed to make of herself. But at the time, both of us just kids, it would not be a lie to say I was overwhelmed by her attention. We exchanged a few letters, though it's probably safe to say I let that die out, for whatever dumbass teenage reason. I've no idea where those letters would be now, and that's sort of endemic of the problem, I think.

As I get older, I look back on a lot of things I've done in my life, or more often not done, and feel a profound sense of regret. And looking around me now, at the things I'm not doing, or things simply still undone, I feel time just slipping away: sand through splayed fingers. I'm twenty-six, and every day is almost exactly the same. Same, to switch musical artists rather grossly, as it ever was.

When I woke up this morning, I was confused by the dream; why I would be thinking of someone who I haven't talked to in the better part of a decade, who I probably haven't even thought of in years? But Sarah was around the other night, and drunk, and upset. And of course the only time she ever talks to me anymore is when she's drunk, and upset, and it's sort of my job to fix the latter. I guess I'm good at it, at least. Maybe just stirred up old things I consider unfinished, or more likely still-born.

Or maybe it was just synapses firing blindly into the dark.

February 4, 2006 2:22 PM