Thursday, July 21st, 2005
I can't say for sure but If on a winter's night a traveller is sure making me want to look into that. More later, maybe.
Saturday, July 23rd, 2005
Walking down E. 3rd Street, Frank Valner was working on his forgetting exercises. The project he had been working on that day was the first thing to go, requiring practically no effort to banish from his mind; as his concentration deepened and his thoughts started to flow more smoothly, his palm lost the accustomed feeling of his mouse rubbing against it; his computer and then his desk melted into a sort of white noise. The sharp corners of his office were losing their definition, and his co-workers' faces becoming less distinct; when Meredith called to him from across the street and broke into his reverie.
Inspired by the last beginning in If on a winter's night a traveller, "What story down there awaits its end?"
Frank looked up and waved, and waited on the stream of traffic to cross the street. Shaking hands he felt a drop of rain on his wrist -- "Looks like this nasty weather is going to break," he ventured.
Meredith asked whether he had eaten yet, and they started toward Avenue B, hoping to beat the storm.
Notes on setting -- Meredith has just finished gardening at the Brisas del Caribe community garden. I think she and Frank both live in an apartment building on that block. Frank had been walking east but is now doubling back. They are going to eat at Max's, on Ave. B across from Blackout Books.
Eyes wide, Frank was taking in the details of the scene -- Meredith's brown hair flecked with grey, a smudge of dirt on her temple; the rain water washing down the large front window layered itself over the partially forgotten bulletin board in the hall outside his office. While they waited for their order, Meredith was trying to engage him.
-- And Frank was trying too, to answer her -- just stop thinking so hard, he told himself, as he focused in on an interesting crack in the plaster behind Meredith's shoulder. Wrenching himself away he asked about how her garden plot was coming along.
"Really well thanks -- did you see just now, how big the cucumbers are getting?" She was really getting a kick out of growing her own vegetables -- had looked dreamily in at the community garden all last summer and been delighted when a space opened up.
A note on what I'm trying to get across, an example that just came up -- I am confronted at work right now by an insoluble bug, a crash that occurs under one specific set of circumstances on a particular machine, but does not occur (a) under seemingly quite similar circumstances on that machine or (b) under the same circumstances on a different machine. Sez I, "Sometimes the best way to solve a bug like this is to stop thinking about it for a while [and hope it goes away, sotto voce]." And start working on a known, soluble bug in an unrelated program.
Frank had noticed the cucumbers, lovely dark green bumpy things, and they talk about that for a bit -- Meredith is thinking the harvest will be soon and would love for Frank and a few others to come over to a home-grown dinner. Frank is nervous and sweating a bit -- well, put that down to the humidity, which the air-conditioning at Max's does little to mitigate -- and is happy to see the waitress approach with plates of noodles.
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