Saturday, January 15, 2005


I'm thinking back to a time in my past when my present was so fulfilling that I had no need for a future, and now I'm striving, forever, to make it back to that point, while maintaining all-the-while that I am a forward-thinking creature.

Someone approaches me in a bar, a girl, the kind of girl that my self of 10 years ago would have been all over, and I'm thinking that maybe she's my ticket back to that place. My ticket back to a time when a beer was not measured by volume or dollar amount, but by the answer it gave to a question of mine.

It's easy, you know, picking up girls. Just tell a pretty girl that you think she's pretty. The only girls on which this doesn't work are the taken and the vain - and you don't want them anyway. I tell her this - the girl - and by the way she laughs, playing at brushing me off, I know that I have won.

Walking, later, down Main Street, we talk excitedly about our pasts (not our futures, because that would be silly), palm off brilliant ideas as our own, and breathe in the fresh air of a new friendship. I'm thinking the whole time how analogous conversation with a stranger is to a game of chess between two masters: the first one to make a mistake loses.

We pass a homeless man on the street, and he tells us that he's considering licencing himself as a corporation. He'll take on an alleycat as CEO, a rat as his CFO. I think this an abstruse and careless thing to say, but it's said and nothing can change that. Besides, who am I to fault him for having an idea?

Outside the girl's flat, we find no need for a handshake, a hug, or a kiss. Two strangers might share a seat on the bus or an armrest in a movie theatre, but they'll never share a goodbye. Before I leave her there, she looks at me a moment before saying: "you know, you really don't need to show a person an aspect of herself that she doesn't even know exists."

And like that, I'm taken back to that place ten years ago. We have created a memory, she and I, and we both realise it. Her statement will work like a camera, capturing the moment forever with it's poignancy. And ten years in the future we'll both be trying, madly, to scramble back to this time. Nostalgia.

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