Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Client Side

This weekend I was helping a customer out with rolling out a new system, and we had to install stuff on every person's computer. Cube-hopping on the weekend is an unusual excursion into sanctioned nosiness; you sit in everyone's chair, and look at each desk and screen, and you get to feel the environment of each person. All the pictures of wives and husbands and sons and daughters . . . the sticky-notes around the screens, faded by sun, filled with mundane reminders and pithy inspirational rubrics . . . the screen-savers, with more photos. Some men of pictures of their dogs that are bigger than those of their wives. Some women have vast orgies of photos of the same small infant, too young to even smile, and no picture of a husband at all. Some screens have cars, motorcycles, jet planes, and every other object of desire. Fraternity letters, hockey team posters, cats. Mirrors. Candy jars. Toothpicks. A plastic basket filled with digital cameras made of cheap plastic. Cube walls draped with mosaics made of old CDs. Framed affirmations too long and boring to read all the way through. Drink umbrellas from last year's vacation . . . or was it the year before?

It's odd . . . I am always interested to see what's at each desk, but I'm never particularly pleased with what I find. It's not like I want to know these people, themselves, though I always wonder if my feelings about them would be confirmed if they were here. It's all the stuff of life, but it never felt more like... stuff.


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