Unfinished Sympathy

It’s all very picturesque, in a strange way.

Surrounded by laptops, wires, cds, modernity, I sit hacking away into the wee hours struggling with the internals of the Cursed Robot. Despite what Will Smith told me in that movie, the fuckers are complex, so here I sit, bleary and unshaven. And yet, the programmer’s despair doesn’t weigh heavily on my soul, as it normally would. At least not in relation to this project. Forward Progress, that vicious and fickle mistress, coaxes me deeper into the night. And like I said, in a way it’s very picturesque. Replace my tacky curtains with black velvet, decorate the room like a Radiohead album cover, and replace all that sour and weary stress with a dark, artsy brooding… you’ve got yourself a hell of an image of the postmodern twentysomething. If only it were a montage, instead of actual hours of toil.

There’s always that flaw, though. That depressing seriousness, the eternal threat that breaks down the quaint pleasantries. Failure, in all his glory, waits impatiently at the doorstep like a door to door Mormon. Fuck, so much to do. The day I’m free of this trivial backbreaking horseshit programming, which is hopefully about eight weeks away, is the day I’m born again.

I didn’t intend this to be a rant, but we both know about my latenight habits. Lamenting the loss of my youth to this hateful drudgery has become almost a habit. Trouble is, when all the bitching is done, I still have to smash my face against this monitor and pound my knuckles into these keys until the fucking shit works. There is nothing I loathe like working on these networks programs. It’s a losing battle that I can barely bring myself to fight.

Sleep deprivation has obviously scrambled my brain, my coherence decays and my clarity of voice begins to crack. I’m slipping quickly into the Weird and Bitter, a landscape I know all too well. Technically speaking, I suppose I’m too young to mourn the loss of my youth. If I start in on it now, what will I spend my time on when the regret really sets in? Fuck it. Fretting does nothing. Just another weakness in the pantheon of the pathetic. No time for that now.

And so I turn my red eyes to better days, for they will come. Statistically speaking, it’s a sure thing. Soon, things will be changing.

Back to Brazil for at least a while, thank god. A land free of all the familiar deceit. It’s a glorious thing to play the foreigner. Escape from all that uniquely American vanity and tedium. Not that Brazil or anywhere else yet discovered is free of such things, not by a long shot. Some new evils would at least stir things up, though, if only out of novelty. I get tired of hate, hating the same things and people day in and day out. All the despicable and loathsome crap, like Faith-based government and interior decorating, like pretty treacherous women and cowardly men, it gets to me. I grind my teeth and snarl at the undeserving, I explain myself pointlessly to the confused and deaf, and catch myself looking longingly where I shouldn’t. And I don’t want to.

Some days it’s a deprivation; like somehow I got scammed out of the revels and laughter that the college life is so famous for. Fools tell me that I’ll miss it, that “work” is a greater burden than I understand. I say, with a quiet objectivity, that it can’t be worse than this. Can’t be worse than constantly sinking deeper into the murk and finding it harder and harder to claw my way back out. Christ I hate programming. Should have been an English major.

Things are never so dark as they seem at 2 AM. I’ll get up tomorrow and burn another 14 hours on the bot, hopefully moving forward, both literally and figuratively. A shower, a bed, and a chapter or two of Humboldt’s Gift will restore me to at least a partial working order. Zero 7, Portishead, and Tricky are all doing their part as well. Thanks.

Let’s talk about something else.

Exciting possibilities for the future, for the ultimate goal: Liberty. Independence in every sense, free of all debt and obligation, I await the day when a paycheck and diploma mean never having to say I’m sorry, at least when I don’t mean it. Without spending my days strapped across the academic rack I envision a sort of peak. Hard work that gets rewarded. Physical and mental fitness. Spending my nights in the San Francisco City Library with a book and a laptop, or in an academy getting stronger and faster and more dangerous. Spending my days at a job I don’t despise, what a wonderful thought. It’s a bit unnerving to realize how much of this all hinges on The Almighty Dollar, but whatever. Sometimes you have to pay homage to the lesser gods, if only to get them off your damn back so you can do what you want. Oh, the projects, friends, oh the projects. The escapades you’ve seen up to this point… they’re nothing. Petty timewasters squeezed in on weekends and afternoons, between classes and homework and all manner of obligations. The Pirate Adventure is just the beginning. The Kung Fu movie? Yes, it’s glorious, a triumph of modern cinema. The sequel? FAR FAR greater. I’m talking road trips, high speed burns from San Francisco to parts unknown with enough money, expertise, and self defense training to make anything possible. New York for the weekend. Backpacking in Montana. Resurrecting an El Camino. Writing, writing all the damn time. And not the twitchy slop you read now, the good shit. Refined, revised, all American beechwood aged prose like what. Imagine that… Rewriting! You fucks should be so lucky. Creations of all sorts, mechanical, literary, electronic, musical… trips and stories and scars and new ink on the passport. Elaborately orchestrated adventures that are undeniably awesome, in success or in failure.

I can’t damn wait.

What a privelege it will be, to be free.

sometimes you soak
sometimes you burn

-T.

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