[VOID] Pavement

Khare (rohit@uci.edu)
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 05:28:28 -0700

[Harbor House, Sunset Beach, 7/18/98 4:05 AM]

So here I am wanting to vent my feelings of total loserhood in private, and
I find myself in this 24 hour diner at four in the morning across the aisle
from a double-dating pair of very dressed-to-the-nines post-clubbing
Indian-American late-twenties couples. Presumably professional, from the
“ugly vs doctor” dating dilemmas they’re pursung, and that’s amusing to boot
because they’re all quite beautiful and remark that they don’t *have* any
unattractive friends. Well, except for this one guy who has a thing for
Deepak from the residency at UCLA who wears glasses and she didn’t think he
was ugly until she got to know him and now would throw him off a bridge if
he asked her out.

Fragments: “Oh, I would stand alone in my class repulsed by him – I don’t
need moral support”.
“Well, suppose it was an ugly duckling thing, five years later, and he was
beautiful, then?” “No”
“Personally, I was raised not to judge people by their looks, but you can’t
deny it.”
“Well, being ugly must mean something to oneself, it affects how everyone
else sees you”
“What a superficial conversation to hold all night long; I mean, we took a
deep look at looks, but it’s still pretty superficial” “Well it’s Southern
“Oh, I got our hours of sleep last night; my printer wasn’t working” “Oh, I
forgot my computer at home” “Oh, my laptop’s been in the trunk of my car all

[Call me paranoid, but I suspect they’re talking about me once the
conversation turns to laptops – “Oh, rugged. Very well groomed; that’s
important.” “You’re talking about him over there like he’s a dog” I can’t
bear to look ]

They leave. The PA blares out the Doors’ “When you’re a stranger/ When you’
re alone / Faces come out of the rain/ No one remembers your name/ when you’
re strange…”

[Home, 12:30 AM]

The evening began with a commitment to finally get to work on a
long-postponed document review. I decided it’s been a week for things to
blow over, so I could visit Sid’s for a beer and write a bit. It’s certainly
late for food.

[Sid’s, 1AM]

I sat down with a pint of Widmer Hefewizen and set to. The moment I finally
get past introductory bits to the core, the keyboard dies – half the keys
start stuttering. So here I am asking Nikki for her pen to disassemble the
laptop and have a look.

The beer was setting in seriously. Must be the empty stomach and the
workout, but it’s going straight to my system. By 2AM, when she brought me
another on the house, I was down to scribbling postcards (the laptop long
since remanded to the back seat). I can’t be drunk from beer alone; it must
be the sinking realization that from offhand comment after offhand comment,
I’m her sweet egghead friend – especially on introduction to a clutch of
former Sid’s waitresses who dropped by for old time’s sake. At least I can
play the part – I have my handy Geological Society of America wallet card of
geologic time :-)

Eventually, we all left around three and I just sat on the pavement outside
for a while to bleed off its ill effects. Nikki was much amused that I could
possibly keel over from two pints after Monday’s orgy, as she was leaving
with the other fellow. I laughed along from the sidewalk. Eventually, I
staggered over to an outdoor Coke machine only to find I don’t have any
dollar bills; I go back to the former waitresses, still in the parking lot,
still deciding where to continue the party, and ask for change for a 5;
instead the leader, who spend several years bouncing in and out of UCI,
tenderly offers four quarters of her boyfriend’s, commenting, “hey, it’s
alright computer boy; anyone who’s got to work on a Friday night deserves as

[Back to real time]

They’re playing Rock Lobster right now; an inspired choice. I hear the B-52s
are actually playing somewhere in LA this weekend, in fact. The confessional
mood passed over breakfast and a sample issue of Mark Anderson’s Strategic
News Service (www.tapsns.com ; overrated for a true infojunkie, but I see
its value). So it’ll have to be some other time I pontificate on
firsttime.com and other such technical fictions. Perhaps in another few
months; since after all, at the current rate, I can look forward to
embarking on a twenty-fifth year as parched as the last decade.

Still swimming upstream,
The `Rugged’ Fish