Friday, July 15, 2005

Love Vigilantes

Everything was so simple before, so clear. For her, there was but one primary focus: independence. She had struck out into the great unknown, armed only with her wits, a desire for the unexplored, and a measly bank account. Others had told her "it'll be hard"..."you won't make it"..."better find yourself a rich guy to marry". But she persisted with reckless abandon, knowing that "comfortable" and "safe" were words absent from her vocabulary. And now, years later, everything just became so complicated. The corner coffee shop downstairs that once gave her the daily fill of fresh faces and even fresher coffee now stands as a glaring reminder of her loneliness and failure at managing her personal life. Those same neighbors that engaged in wonderful diatribes of exciting lives now bore her with the same old stories about leaking pipes and their overbearing boss. For the first time in her life, she found herself truly lost and unhappy.

She takes another sip of her usual Saturday afternoon tea as the hurried sound of the traffic below fills the unseasonably humid afternoon breeze. She thinks back and tries desperately to work through the insane logic that made her leave the safety and comfort of that old house standing now a million miles away. It must be a nice day there; they all must be watching TV just about now, sitting on that nice old leather sofa and drinking a nice round of freshly made halo-halo. She can't go back; to her, that would just signify defeat. No, retreat would just be an acceptance of all the criticism laid on her. No. Not this highly independent aspiring young marketing manager. She worked her whole life and gave up way too much to get to where she is; she's not going to let this little "rut" throw all that away.

She was too engrossed in her own introspection to realize that the rain has now roared to a ferocity not typical for this time of year. It's really coming down hard now. As she moves to close the window, the doorbell breaks the interminable silence like a hammer crashing on a plane of glass. It nearly startles her. Upset at the disturbance to her weekend afternoon getaway, she hastily (yet curiously) swings the door open only to find him standing there, drenched from head to toe. Through the unmistakable smell of fresh rainwater and the now wet wooden floor, her troubles and worries slowly begin to fade away, leaving behind a purity, happiness and simplicity that just fills the spirit. Right now is all that matters...the rest is just useless clutter in a once empty existence.

It's quite enlightening breaking in a new peer at work. It reminds me of the first time I showed up at the door, filled with grandiose ideas and wonderful visions of the way QA should be done. And somehow, over the past three years, I lost sight of that...and I see it again when someone new joins the team. You could just see it in their eyes as you slowly fill them in on how we do things... I hope that this time we can really accomplish what we had been wanting to do for so long. And so it brings renewed energy into the organization, a "spark" if you will. Only time will tell, but so far things are going well.

I really need to get myself a digital camera. But one thing that I know will be lost in the digital world is that bit charm that's typically associated with film...there's that planning you set forth on each roll of film, limited with a finite set of pictures -- each picture is planned, anticipated, knowing that some frames later, you're going to have to hit the rewind button. I remember shooting a football game once, and planning out the rolls for the whole night... this one for huddle shots; this one for line of scrimmage; this one for scenery; this one for the celebratory win. And having to constantly monitor your remaining filmstock remembering to pace yourself. Then there's that excitement and tension of dropping off the film for processing, not knowing if any of your shots were even worth a damn, trying to remember each and every frame that you shot and hoping and praying to god that they came out right. The best part of this was printing your own shots, sitting in a darkened room filled with the pungent smell of stop bath, towel on your shoulder, watching the image literally come to life in that tray of developer...(and then watching the image get blacker and blacker and blacker and then realize that you overexposed - test strips? test strips are for wusses! heheheh). Yeah, there's something about the silver emulsion reacts and forms images, all the work put in to create a picture, that casts an almost romantic glow to it all. My co-worker put it succinctly: "Oh, you still use film? How quaint." Quaint indeed.

Maybe if I find a need (or hell, the time) I'll get myself some old twin lens reflex camera for shits and giggles.

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