Wednesday, March 12, 2008


My once-and-present roommate and I sat next to the chimenea, I sipping on my Drambuie and Bushmills, and he tossing twigs into the blaze. The flames danced, the wood smoked, and the fire crackled, as fires are wont to do. The chimenea and my roommate took turns spitting, one, glowing embers, and the other, tobacco-flavored saliva from the dip bulging against his bottom lip.

We talked about where we were, where we were going, and why we were disappointed about not being there yet. In the silence in between words we'd alternately wonder at the complexities of the chemical reaction belching heat at us and at the expanse of the semi-obscured star field above. We discussed little, mostly rehashing previous days and past themes, and ultimately accomplished nothing. And I felt remorse that I hadn't accomplished more nothing in recent days.

But a me from the past -- whether distant or recent, I couldn't tell -- snuck up on me, shaking his head and signing, so disappointed. Why wasn't I what he'd envisioned by now? He'd had such high hopes for me; why had I dashed them? Had he worked in vain? Had he taught me nothing?

A cigarette glowed like a beacon, a warning, so close to my fingers and an inch from my lips. I flicked it into the flames and watched as it was eaten.

Would my future self disappoint me? I've got so many plans and ideas. Would he live up to my --

A reprimand shot back from the future and struck my cheek. Why don't you mind your own business and pay attention to what's happening around you? I've got enough to deal with up here without you bitching and moaning about how I'm not doing what you'd hoped. Did you ever think that maybe you are a disappointment to me?

I hadn't.

I lit another cigarette. I took another drag. I drank another swallow. I looked up at the sky and down at the fire. And I accomplished nothing. And I smiled.

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Circa Now