Sunday, July 10, 2005

Lost in the Sprawl

The rain came down from ash-grey clouds, sidewalks already darkened from previous storms the night before, thunder rumbling high above, an epic clash of forgotten gods. He hadn't bothered getting an umbrella, so he stood under the eaves of a Starbucks, waiting out the fiercer parts of the downpour. Headphones today sang the melancholy chords of The Cure; techno was yesterday's beat, no room in today's worldview for the thrumming, bone-deep bass right now. So instead he floated on a mental sea of incredible depth, Robert Smith alternately screaming and whispering of lost love and anguish. Yeah, that fit. Consumer whore customers jostled him as they came in and out of the coffeeshop; he ignored them all. "Consumer whore... that includes me as well, doesn't it," he thought ruefully as he sipped a $3.95 cup of coffee. At least it kept him warm. He grinned and fingered the envelope in his pocket; at least he'd managed to get the part he needed for that last upgrade. The grin faded as he thought of her again, for the hundredth time that day. Always when he least expected it she'd surface in his memory. The sky broke open then, and an especially heavy rain started with an ominous rumble of thunder and several flashes of lightning. He sighed, shrugged. Flipped the hood over his head; he'd already waterproofed it, along with the rest of the jacket. A little rain wouldn't hurt, and he could feel the pull starting, calling him back home to finish that 'frame. Technology was a bitch, sometimes.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Layer 01: Thinking of You, Wide Awake for Days

The tangle of equipment and wiring had grown in the past week, a labyrinth of LEDs and cooling fans, chips and circuitboards to match the mess his mind has become. Tangled sheets slithered from mattress to floor, the bed abandoned in favor of the floor, his lanky frame resting on once-plush carpet as one hand idly typed on a Logitech keyboard. Monitor glare flickered over Kid Emo's face as he glid down electronic paths of infomation, flowing like rivers through the nexus of his room, network servers handling terabytes with an ease belied by their massive frames. He cackled, low and madness-tinged, as the text message flashed with a low ding on his screen. So much for Fate and good luck. A sigh followed, dredged from the depths of despair. Emo, they called it now, as if to make it cool and hip for the next generation. Well, he'd earned his nickname many times over. Typed out a reply and hit send, waiting for the next reply with something akin to morbid fascination. A motorist staring grimly at the scene of the accident, only here it was the network admin watching his screens in horror as the virus ate through layers of protection. Damage control was pointless; previous experience had taught him that much. He shrugged and switched tracks on Nodal Point; the everpresent headphones finding t.A.T.u's "All the Things She Said." Techno beats matched his heartbeat with an interesting counterpoint, as another ding announced the next reply. He read it, smiled, and hit the 'x'. No need to continue down that path of sorrow tonight. There'd be more opportunities tomorrow, and the night after. There always were.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Kid Emo

He sprawled over the entire bed, one arm overhanging the edge, fingers trailing. "I've been living so long with these pictures of you / that the pictures are all I can feel..." The Cure's melodic strands of infinite depth and sadness pouring into his ears via the headphones, cord to the iPod snaking its length over his body, tangled around a limp wrist. He floated on the music, a pioneer among pioneers, drifting through the endless spaces of his own mind. Kid Emo, they called him. Dark eyes flickered toward the internals of his computer, cabling like intestines stretching in multiple directions. The hard drive here, power supply there, clear worm-tubes of coolant invading the lesser wires. It worked, though. It always did. It was the rest of his life that didn't. No matter how many mainframes he built, how many corps he hacked into, riding the Matrix in a stream of digital information, his life outside the tech always strung him out into the melancholy depressions that earned him his name. He sighed. Being yourself didn't work outside the vast realms of cyberspace. He'd managed to fail again, perhaps spectacularly, the damage not yet fully realized. Maybe a few day's time would tell. Or not. The wilting lillies filled the dark room with an almost cloying scent; they'd long since bloomed and begun fading. Eyes closed as he breathed out. The week had begun with promise, but now... Maybe he'd stop trying again. Not that it ever lasted long; like his skills with tech, that was a part of himself, deep down, that he knew he'd never be rid of. Movement now, as a finger slowly switched tracks from memory, The Cure's "Lovesong" becoming U2's "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World." He gave another sigh, and drifted back through old memories, drowning in dreams, past and present intermingling as the music played on.

I have no idea what I'm doing wrong; I'm being myself and perhaps that's the cause of everything. And it's not like I can stop being myself, or even want to. If people can't deal with that, then maybe they're not the sort of people I should be spending time with. Or, more appropriately, trying to spend time with. Because as it is, I've not managed to successfully do so yet. I'm going emo again, and it's maddening because I can't help it. I have no patience when it comes to romantic relationships, and it frustrates me to no end that every time I make plans to go out with someone they end up not happening.