a more precarious flower

Words don't like forcing. When pushed, they fight back with kick and claw and bite, resulting in nothing but torn-up papers and cramped hands. Finished sentences rarely result, and the ones that survive their troubled gestation usually prove to be truly ghastly infants.

The past week has been tough. The next few will be tougher. I am approaching the one-year anniversary of Dad's death with something deeper than apprehension but differently-flavored than dread: knowledge conveys its literal meaning, but precariousness conveys its resonance.

It's extraordinarily rare that I talk to anyone about what happened last year. Even now, a year later, I don't have the mental distance or emotional stability to do it, so I leave the words hanging, swinging, between my lips and another's ears.

The mirror tells me I am not fundamentally different.

* * * * *

Senior year swan song

I gave up on the Dallas concert for financial reasons. I regretted the decision from the moment I made it, even though I knew that I'd made the right fiscal choice.

From the first time I read the show announcement, I was just flabbergasted with shock—Jackopierce actually playing together again?—wasn't I there for one of the concerts on the farewell tour five years ago?

I had been introduced to Jackopierce my freshman year of college, but never got to see them perform in Juanita's, their customary Little Rock venue, because the concerts were for ages 21 and up.

So much I did not know

Today's mail marked the arrival of a package I've never been able to forget about in the five years since it was created: a time capsule created in Dr. Holbrook's class during the latter part of my hellish senior year of college.

These were my words. Commentary follows.

December 11, 1997

Just some thoughts here. I've got to get this turned in in about 40 minutes, so I'm going to write as fast as I can and hope that I get everything. Mostly I just wanted to set down where I am right now...five years from now I guess I'll find it a little bit amusing to read all of this.

Hell Semester is almost over. I put my November calendar in with this—I can't believe I'm really going to survive it, but I guess I really will. Today is Thursday, and I only have one class tomorrow (Business Law) and then next week is finals. I have two finals on Monday, two on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday.

closet bee gee girl

Tonight: disco coding night in the house of the domesticat. I've been holed up in the computer room for a good chunk of the day, rotating through my collection of disco mp3s, patching up what fell somewhere between an oversight and a security hole in Quarto.

Yes, Quarto - remember that project? I seem to be back on track, in the way that a train barrelling down the track at Mach 2 could be described as being vaguely "on track."

183 minutes of...

The year was 1990. At the time, I was just barely beginning to understand the concepts of mating, dating, and the time-honored ritual of Going To The Movies With A Boy. Little did I know that I was aimed, full speed ahead, for a dating misstep the likes of which are generally only shown in the worst of romantic comedies.

Last chance groceries in the Winn-Dixie saloon

Christmas Eve. The last thing standing between my current state of consciousness and Christmas morning was a few hours and a vast, primal craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream that felt more akin to heroin withdrawal than a mere, mortal craving.

I was drinking tea on the couch, doubled up on sugar and memories. I had the remote control. Jeff and I were browsing through the wan, unappealing TV listings. This was the night of endless nutcrackers and carols, and there was not even a hope of halfway-intriguing television between then and dawn on the twenty-sixth.

I was trying not to think of home, in the same desperation and utter lack of success that one might encounter while desperately attempting to avoid thinking of a white elephant after having one suggested in conversation.* * * * *

"If we stay up late enough we could watch the local meteorologists track Santa during the evening news."