a train of thought is truly like a train: it passes by you, and you miss it forever. i'm writing up something i hope won't pass by too soon.
i remember, at a younger age (as if i'm not young enough already), a time when i'd be pretty thrilled if i had an opportunity to talk one-to-one with a member of the appropriate sex. i'd be stuck there, in wonderment, not knowing what to say or do. letting the other party take the lead sometimes became unfruitful, and there'd be long stretches of nothingness. i remember those well.
those were the days, back in those innocent days when you could be forgiven for believing that a mere chat was a prelude to something deeper, mayhap, goodness forbid, an interest in you. many was a time that i had indulged in such a belief.
how things have changed though. three years down the track, and those who you thought liked you are all gone from your life, to exist only in the other world, the world of memories. you'd sometimes wonder that, since you aren't any longer around to hear them share their lives and experiences and thoughts and sentiments with you, whether they really exist in any actual sense now.
then there's worse. there are people you liked muchly, and hoped liked you in the same capacity; that you discovered didn't; that you hoped to forget, for the greater good. some unknown rhyme or reason kept them coming back, in your thoughts if not also elsewhere that you'd rather not encounter them. such episodes could suffice to drive you mad.
mad, because all you can do is to think of them. mad, because they're so out of reach, and it makes you feel totally powerless. mad, because you've come to the realisation that you are really powerless. powerless to command their desires, powerless to understand them for how they want to be understood.
and you still weep tears over them. you wonder if you're condemned to feel this way for the rest of eternity. you have, for all that time in the past; all those times but when you saw that innocent smile they wore, noticed that innocent fragrance they wore, and remembered the soapy fragrance that wafted about when you prepared yourself smilingly for those happier times.
and now, in the present, you relive your past almost identically. you meet an attractive member of the appropriate sex, and you're stuck there, in wonderment, not knowing how to change destiny this time around.
in fear, you hide in a corner, taking no action, hoping to take no blame when bad things happen; and yet inaction is a choice itself, a heading towards a different path, something you will anyway account yourself for.
miss the last train, and all hopes turn to shreds, and lose themselves in the wind. never to be found or realised again.
Just to keep all my favourite writings in one place, I've decided to post this for posterity. In January 2001 I wrote some comments on why I wrote this, which I'm including below (again, for posterity):
At the time of writing, I was quickly scribbling my thoughts—on an NCD X terminal, in a student computer lab where I worked at the time (as a lab demonstrator). These terminals have since been replaced by diskless PCs running an X server, and I really miss the Real Thing.
For the curious, I met an attractive stranger on a bus who I had a wee chat with, who wore a fragrance that brought back lots of memories. I was heading to work as we parted ways, and I was immediately compelled to write the article.