Monday, April 5, 2010

Memories in the Computer Age

"She laid across her bed, her cat was at her feet. She took the blue latched jewelery box that she had kept hidden under her bed and ran her hand across the battered top, sending dust motes fluttering in the streams of sunlight beaming through her window, twinkling like stars in a night sky. Leaning back against her pillows, she slowly sat the box in her lap, playing with the latch tentatively, her mind vexed with second thoughts. The young girl drew a long sigh and snapped open the latch. Opening the box, she reached inside, pulling out a stack of envelopes that were tied in a thin, dime-store ribbon. Then she removed a few photographs and fanned them across the cabbage rose comforter.

Glancing through the photos, a pensive smile graced her face. Choosing one photo from the rest, she traced the outline of a young man with her finger; the perfect chin, the strong arms crossed across his chest, leaning against a tree with a suggestion of wickedness flashing in his dark eyes. His smile betrayed his eyes, though. His mouth was gentle, caring...

The girl sadly laid down the photo. The memories of a lingering kiss never revisited pulled at her heart like a twinge. Her gaze turned to the bound letters. She began to carefully untie the ribbon, but the twinge in her heart stayed her hand. Instead, the girl took the letters, the photos, the memories and locked them back away in the box. She slid the box back under her bed, vowing never to release the memories again".

Now, let us rewind and play the scene and see what it might look like today...

"She sat at her desk, her mouse poised in her hand. She clicked on 'Start', then located her 'Documents' folder, opening it with a double-click with the right mouse button. Leaning back in her chair, she slowly scrolled down the page. The young girl landed the cursor over a folder designated 'Past'. Her hand left her mouse momentarily before giving the mouse button another double-click, bringing up another window, showing .doc and .jpg files. Then she clicked and dragged one jpeg from the rest, landing the file onto her paisley print wallpapered desktop.

Wishing for a closer look at the file, she sent it into a photo editing program. She zoomed closer to get a better look at the man's features, pixels rendering at each click of the mouse...his eyes, his chin, his mouth snapping into clarity.

The girl returned the jpeg to it's original size. Pinching the bridge of her nose to try and alleviate a slight twinge of eye-strain, she closed out the editing program and maximized 'Past' from the task bar. Her finger was ready to double-click once more to bring one of the .doc files to the front. The mild eyestrain of a few moments ago morphed into a migraine. Instead, the girl closed the file. So she would never be tempted to revisit the past, she selected 'File--->Delete' and sent the Past to the Recycle Bin.

Try and write a moving story about that.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


My father and I were sitting outside the other day, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Summer had made an early appearance where spring had barely begun. The sky was as blue as my father's eyes I noticed as he watched a flock of geese fly overhead. Nearby, turkey buzzards circled lazily above the treetops, in twos and threes, relishing in the physics of aerodynamics.

Leaning back in his chair, taking a long pull from his beer, my dad announced skywards, "Go away, buzzards, you're too early. I'm not dead yet"!
My dad tends to have quite the gallows humor, but this was more a declaration of his pragmatic nature. It was nothing I wanted to hear, though.

He sought my gaze, I turned away. I'm still his little girl, and I want him to live forever.

Dad and the blogger, 1963

On the topic of being over the age of seventy, my dad recalled when he was a young man, he would look at men in their seventies as they would slowly walked by and he would wonder how they made did they get by. How difficult it must be to be at that time in life. He then shrugged his shoulders and told me, "Well, look at me. I'm those men now, and I'm doing okay. I'm still alive, I get around just fine. It's not all that bad, it certainly could be worse".

I will stare down the buzzards. Better yet, perhaps I won't concern myself with the buzzards at all, for when they do finally proclaim victory over me, I wont be around to notice.