A once and future feeling

It had happened again. Without warning or fanfare, a sudden intense feeling of nostalgia had invaded his emotional landscape and repainted everything in a retrospective tint. Only, the thing this nostalgia was nostalgic for was something he had done mere hours ago, and could do again within a reasonably imminent future without too much effort or rearranging of schedules. Nevertheless, the feeling persisted, and thus he found himself incredibly anxious about the future. If such a strong nostalgia could strike for things that were still going on, what retroactive marvels would then be in store for those things truly lost to time

A balanced diet

He had done the math. The calculations all checked out. In theory, everything should even out with smooth precision, the two sides of the equation fulfilling each and every criteria implied in the symbol called “equals”. And yet, they did not. No matter how precisely he fine-tuned the amounts, double-checked the sums and parallel-parked the quantities, there always seemed to be ever so slightly more of the one than the other. Attempting to even the scales inevitably ended up with there being more of the other than of the one, forever

Defeated, he put away the now empty milk carton and chewed through the remaining cereal, his equilibrium perturbed

Isometric memories

He thought back on his life, his career. Up until now, he had never really known what made him make the choices he had made, what had propelled him onto the life trajectory that he so fondly remembered. The life of a low-level town planner would not make for was not the most glamorous of biographies, but regardless he reveled in remembering it. He was never one of those making the big decisions, but rather one who ensured that the smaller ones were carried out with as much efficiency and grace as could be afforded. Up until now, he couldn’t have put his finger on exactly when he chose this life, but as the first tunes of soft jazz started playing from the other room, he suddenly realized with crystal clarity and a full bird’s eye view of the whole process

In the balance

He had, unwittingly, walked into a three-way standoff. It was clear that the fate of the neighborhood would be decided on this day, and that it would be decided by whomever was left standing after this ordeal. Each participant could only eye one of the others, meaning they all gazed to and fro with careful deliberation. No one wanted to make the first move, seeing as it would allow the one not pounced an opportunity to seize the advantage. Carefully, he stepped out of the cats’ lines of sight, and hurriedly walked along the street before these feline desperadoes could come to blows

Seeds of greatness

The effect was instant. As soon as the song came on, he remembered a very particular moment of his childhood. He was watching TV and marveled at how big the world was. The show was forever lost to memory, but he remembered how it made him feel. A vast field of possibilities lay open, the drumbeat of optimism its theme, everything just within reach, tomorrow eternally synonymous with progress. A sudden sense of nostalgia for this unrealized future overtook him. The future came and went, and here he was; whatever seeds were planted in that moment sure yielded strange fruit

End-to-end encryption

Over the years, they had developed something very close to a personal language. No amount of encryption could make their frequent electronic correspondence more impenetrable. Every conceivable (and some inconceivable) situation had its own richly elaborated metaphorical vocabulary to describe it, and any new development could immediately be conveyed by featuring one set of connotations over another. It had gotten to the point where outright saying things would be a flagrantly redundant act; merely gesturing towards the overall genre sufficed, message received

Thus this very gentle morning turned very hectic indeed when the message arrived, consisting solely in the words of ultimate and abject urgency:

Send dudes

Floored and tabled

They had moved boxes. They had moved furniture. They had moved paintings. They had moved more boxes. Everything that goes into a living space, they had moved. For a while, the sheer amount of things to be moved seemed endless. And then, suddenly, it ended. The last box, treated as if it were just another box in a long series of boxes, was loaded unto the truck, and then suddenly somehow there were no boxes. In surprised relief, they dared to breathe and sit down for a spell

And then it hit them

The basement, with its wide variety of unique and at times antique chairs. It, too, had to go

Heroic teaching

She was in a predicament. A situation. Something approaching a pickle. What had happened was that, in a moment of thoughtlessness, she had helped her uncle switch the background image on his computer. Not a tremendous feat, despite recent updates making it somewhat less than intuitive where to click for these things. Because of this small act of heroism, she had become the goto gal for everything computer-related. And by gosh were there a lot of everythings – every day brought a new one, it seemed. And so, when her cousin asked her to impart her computer wisdom, she jumped on the opportunity and became the most motivated teacher the digital world had ever seen

Observing the rules

She looked at the set of rules. They were many, varied and seemingly arbitrarily gathered together in a list. Some were repeated, as if saying something once didn’t count or have sufficient efficacy. Overall, however, they spun an intricate weave of guidelines sufficient to steer those involved toward the proper way to act, somehow without spelling it out in detail

This level of regulatory clarity seemed to her somewhat excessive with regards to its context, a set of communal picnic tables and assorted related utilities. But, then again, perhaps these things begin small and organically spread upwards by observation

Flow

It all happened very quickly. One moment, he was walking down the street, ambiently wondering what to do with this free afternoon. The next, he was being given very explicit instructions to carry things. Apparently, someone was moving house, prompting into being an inordinate number of boxes of varying weights and sizes. Boxes which had to be carried to and fro. Also, furniture. Lots of it

Not having in anything particular to do or get to, he joined in. Some glanced at him in surprise, but assumed he was some distant association brought in for the occasion. Only at the post-move pizza was his true predicament revealed; upon considering his heavy lifting, everyone concluded that this was as good a way to meet a new friend as any

I Ching sign: 2