i'd go to the office with my father when i was in grade school, and he'd park me in the copy room where i was allowed to take a few sheets each from the cubby holes of rainbow paper, and i was allowed to draw on the whiteboard around his flow charts.

sometimes, i'd look over his shoulder and watch lines and lines of code inch down the screen as he stepped through the debugger. 'did you write all of that?' i asked him; earlier, he'd taught me how to write a prompt that would record your name and give you simple arithmetic questions and grade your responses, and the effort it took me to produce a few dozen lines of code seemed monumental. i couldn't imagine how long it would take to produce files and files and files with hundreds and thousands of lines.

i didn't yet know what it meant to spend forty hours a week at the office, writing and testing and fixing programs. now i look at projects that i've pecked on for a few inches every few days, weaving together structures that grow into worlds, and perhaps i am starting to understand.

there's this life lived, and there's the recorded efforts that we hope justify it.

09 July 2018 22:59

ants in my pants

it's literal. inexplicably, my desk crawls with confused ants. there is no food in this room, but perhaps they fell onto the roof and crawled in through the window. they tickle while they explore my arms and legs, sometimes pausing to reach up towards me as if i could provide them answers.

at a previous residence, the long windowsill near my desk was the site of an annual territory war, two different species of ants fighting for control over the ivy plant that drilled into the brickwork. it never bothered me, because the winners always cleaned up the bodies of the lowers, dragging empty husks into their own nests to feed their young. for three days, i'd just vacate the room, because the sounds of their jaws snapping at each other all day proved too distracting for me to work near.

sometimes, i can't tell if my skin is tingling because cracks are starting to open up in this dry spell, or because an ant is asking me for advice. i only have to be careful that i don't mash them under my laptop keys; they seek the warmth, i suppose, or the sweet smell of thermal paste, or the dead skin cells packed into the cracks.

my hair itches.

08 July 2018 22:44

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