I woke up feeling sharp this morning, dialed in, ready for anything. The sun was shining brightly through the curtainless windows, so it was just as well that I wasn’t in the mood to sleep in. A stretch and a scratch and I was ready to catch up on just what had happened in the Muddleverse while I slumbered. Good news on that front; the new software release had not exploded, the economy I depend on to feed me just because I did something in the past was still intact, and outside the birds were singing. You can’t ask for more than that.
Nor did I. I sat down to work without even making tea first. I spent some time polishing the software, smoothing out a couple of rough edges that might distract a user from the task at hand. The changes will probably be invisible to the users out there, but that’s OK. Software should be invisible. Today was an effort to apply a little vanishing cream to the inevitable wrinkles.
I had some things to take care of in the hood, so after a while I shoed up and headed out. That’s right. It’s a beautiful day and I put on shoes. Socks, even. (Flashback to when I worked at BinaryLabs: my boss, the CEO, once told me ‘the people coming tomorrow are important, so… wear socks.’ I went overboard and wore shoes. That’s why I was Vice President of Software Engineering.) Here and now, I really need sandals.
I felt especially square as I walked through the park on the way to the post office to pay my phone bill. I had the tunes in, and the Pixies were lifting my gait as I made my way down the long series of steps. About halfway down a group of kids had gathered, their summer hockey sticks carefully stacked. At the focus of their cluster was a giant hookah. A fine day in the park.
Bills paid, lunch eaten (I was saddened to find that I was too early for Saxová PalaÄnkarna), i headed to the Little Caré near home, my goal to spend the afternoon pounding Czech words into my reluctant head. The endeavor got a lot better when Whats-her-name came on duty. (For the record, I know her name now, and it’s not the same as her name here in the Muddleverse. That doesn’t make either one wrong.) She took an active interest in my czech drills, providing insight and alternatives to unnecessarily formal speech. It took a while to get used to someone looking over my shoulder as I practiced, but it was pretty nice overall. I made up some lost ground today.
Conversation eventually turned to What’s-her-Name’s boyfriend, who now must be called What’s-his-Name, purely for form’s sake. As she told me about her man, her posture changed, and it was obvious she was aching for him on an animal level. It’s crazy how crazy she is for him. Honestly, I’ve never seen such a physical reaction outside the bedroom, and the dude wasn’t even there. Naturally I resent the guy.
Things got no better when we discussed how they met. They are both interested in photography and they met online through mutual admiration of their work. So, the original attraction wasn’t sexual at all. Bastard. What’s-her-Name produced a photo album. “This one’s not very good,” she said, “We have much better.”
She was only half right. There were some pictures in there that were really scarily good. What’s-her-Name is not a classic beauty, but it turns out that in front of What’s-his-Name’s camera, she shows a quiet inner sadness that is the cornerstone of true beauty. In other frames she shows a wildness that makes me laugh. There are other shots without her in them at all, but pack a punch. This guy’s good with the camera. So I spent the afternoon with a fun and friendly girl (It occurred to me to ask her how to say ‘third favorite bartender’, but that is complicated beyond mere language), only to watch her swept away merely exchanging text messages with some other guy. To subsequently discover that said guy is genuinely talented, a demonstrably a big-A Artist, well, let’s just say I hate that guy so much I want to be him.
I’m not him, however, and I’m reconciled to that. Happy with it even, though that doesn’t stop me from being jealous. Shit, what do I have to be jealous of? I’m a guy who spends my life doing what I want to do. I make software. I write. I say hello to the kids with the hookah in the park. My pictures don’t compare to his photographs, but I can see it. I can see beauty, I can see art. Really, what else could I ask for?
Coda: I ended up showing some pictures of my own, which included rock stacks. That put me in a certain frame of mind, and after some spillage of suger I managed the never-before-thought-possible Sugar shaker inverted over another shaker, with another shaker on top!Â It stood! It was stable! No one was looking. I tried to (subtly) make people look my way, and while my hands were away from the safety position it fell over and made a big mess and that’s all anyone saw. I think there is sugar in my keyboard now. But I had it. Kissing sugar shakers with a load on top.Â
What’s-her-Name went out of her way to explain how not mad at me she was for the mess. Here’s where I wish I understood the female dialect.