rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Nostalgia, and a William Gibson Link

It warmed up just enough to prevent snow. Instead, rain falls steadily, hour after hour. The spattering and trickling lulls me into that dangerous state in which nostalgia creeps in. The older you get, the more past there is to impinge on the present. It accumulates until it constantly threatens to overflow and drown the moment in memories. I try to focus on now, but what washes over my mind is the rainslick surface of Garvey Avenue reflecting headlights, taillights, shop lights, street lamps, traffic signals all in a bright, slick abstract tapestry of colors, and I'm looking out at it all through the slightly fogged windows of Benny's while some mournful mariachi ballad plays on the jukebox and my coffee grows cold. How many times did I live through such moments, and how many more times have I relived them? I could no more tease out all those interwoven strands than I could predict the patterns of the raindrops.

But it wasn't raining (though rain would come a few nights later) on that 14th night of November when I sat waiting on a friend's porch until midnight, listening to the practice session of a garage band from across the street. I vaguely remember why I was waiting, but the details of the night have escaped me. Again, my timeline gives me only a bare outline of the event. I don't remember going home, or if I stopped along the way, or what thoughts I had. Oh, these infuriating scraps! It all seemed so important at the time. Yet the things which come to my mind seem unrelated to the events in which they were no more than pauses. The look or scent or sound of a moment can return with astonishing clarity, but these memories are all like photographs, or like brief snatches of a movie, and are devoid of context. It is as though my mind has chosen to retain only moments of repose, and to discard the narrative within which I experienced them. Had I known how unreliable my memory would be, I'd have written a more thorough version of the events of the time. Now, I suspect, they are gone beyond recall, and I am left with but that ethereal album filled with images of the settings in which my life took place -- but the experiences I had might as well have happened to someone else.

For those who might not know, and might be interested, I have found that author William Gibson maintained a web log for several months earlier this year. The archives are here The "current blog" link on that page will take you to his final entry, from September 12, in which he announces that he abandoning the project. I've read through a few of his archived entries and found them moderately interesting, but then I'm not that much of a fan. If you are a fan, you'll probably find them fascinating.

I notice from the latest post in LJ News that paid users now get fifteen user icons. I'll have to go on an icon hunt. I must admit that I have grown a bit bored with the same ten I've been using for the last two years, but I don't want to abandon them. It will be nice to add a bit more variety to my choices, if I ever get around to uploading them.

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