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Thursday May 25, 2000, 12:07

I was close. I was really close. I was talking with Jarrett about my job and he had noted to me that maybe, if I just tried to incorporate more of the community elements which I like so much into this product, that maybe I would enjoy it more. Sure, there's no money in it, but I can let the business people deal with that angle of things.

Who cares?

I know I certainly don't. The problem with this startup life is that it starts to infiltrate every part of your day. If I want to do something at night, I'm constantly thinking about work, or about working the next day, or about how I didn't care enough about work today, or that tomorrow I'm going to really, really try really hard to do something great so I can go out and not feel like I've wasted everyone's time.

Yestreday was productive as I think we made some decisions when it comes to the technology things in the company, but today I'm back to writing more documentation. More! The things that I've written were not enough, not good enough, simple enough, complex enough, and really just have to be presented differently. The thing is that I'm giving myself all this direction because honestly, there's nobody else to do it for me.

This is a very interesting there here. I am sitting here, tired, as I did not get to sleep much last night as Simone came over and we made dinner and watched Fight Club and talked and fooled around and acted more like we were dating than not (though we're clearly not). I am very tired and am sitting at my desk at my office and would like nothing more than to not think about work and yet am inexplicably drawn back to the topic over and over again.

Even in talking about not wanting to talk about it, I am talking about it.

We walked from her car to the video store with the intention of renting a movie, going back to the car, picking up the groceries, and then walking back to the apartment. "Simone!" cried a voice, and I was suddenly stuck in that awkard position where there are two groups of people joined by one person in each, who are suddenly entrenched in a conversation leaving the other parts of their respective groups to fend for themselves.

"Hi," I said to the others on the stoop. And I introduced myself. And they introduced themselves. And we got to talking. About how they were there waiting for their slumlord (a not so affectionate term that people who rent use when refering to their landlords) to come back to meet this other person who wanted to move into the apartment being vacated by the first individual.

What was your name again? Dana. Short "a" sound on the first "a." And Wendy and Pete. Simone and her friend were still talking and I was having a wonderful conversation with these folks, college students, I soon found out. Me? Oh, my building is more owned by a slum conglomerate. American dream and all that.

I was able, with my usual charm and grace (and perhaps a bit of the caffeine which I had been consuming for much of the day already) recount the story about how I got stranded in St. Louis and Pete was to recount that he too got stranded there and Dana got stranded there once for six months. And more to the point, if you're stranded in St. Louis, don't think that you can escape it by going to Indiana because there's really nothing there.

This was the conversation that I had with these people. Oh, did I mention that Wendy is rather cute? And she made little whimpery noises when I mentioned that we had rented Fight Club.

I found, and mentioned, that I spoke more with these three individuals whom I had just met than I had in six months with any of the people in my apartment building. The assumption would be that given the number of people in that building, the odds would be in my favor that I would run into people in the morning or in the evening. Or doing laundry. With one washer and dryer in the building, one would expect some sort of confrontation. But alas, no contact for me. The human experience is limited to listening to music coming from the neighbor's front door, or the bowling that happens upstairs from me every weekend.

I proceeded to do something which to this moment I can't decide was the ultimate in cool or the ultimate in lame. I handed out my business card. Now taking it up the cool-o-meter a bit was the fact that these were the cards from the record label and not from work, but still.

I must note that when I gave my card to Dana, Pete actually asked me for another one. My cries for help as a lonely software engineer in a new city must have struck some sort of benevloent chord with him. It remains to be seen whether or not I will ever hear from these people again.

I hope I do. I know so very few people around here who are my age. And I undestand, in my mind, that my age consists of people who are my age or younger, not my age and older. People who are older are more likely to be settled, or want to be settled, and want to realize that they're out in the world and not in college any more.

People younger than I am are still scared about the real world and want nothing more than to party and think about summer vacations. I don't want to settle. I want to party.

...

Two days ago my cousins helped me lug a futon couch from my office building to my apartment. The futon cover has cowboys on it. It is very tacky and very ugly and was reasonably priced and I now have a couch in my apartment. This conjours up images of semi-permanence and learning how to cook. Luckily, the couch is a futon, which in itself evokes images of college students and poor artists, so I'm still in the clear.

I assembled the couch, putting my theatre technical skills to work, and that night, after talking on the phone, lay back in the soft foam and fell asleep to wake up five hours later, fully-clothed, the phone by my bed, and the computers still on. I dragged myself to my bedroom, recalling memories of college and summer vacations when I would go home and watch tv until one or two in the morning and fall asleep reading or just deciding that I wanted to be downstairs instead of upstairs. I got into bed and slept for another couple of hours.

I woke up and spent the morning on the computer, an hour before work, answering my emails and looking out the window. The breeze blew in and over me, sitting in my chair, laptop on my lap, fingers bent unbelievably out of shape. Listening to something, was it the free classical cd from the Scandanavian Air Service? Perhaps. Sometimes I would like nothing more than to work from home.

And you see what happens? Unconsciously, most definitely unintentially, the thoughts come back to work. Unbelievable.

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