December 15th, 2003



My department is doing visits to local high schools, mostly to see what sorts of materials they're using, get ideas for what sorts of materials might be useful for them to have, stuff like that. So I'm going with a group of people to Chelsea High School on Thursday. I just have to walk down to Everett Square and catch the 112 bus for a few minutes, so that's cool. However, I just found out that we're only going to be there from 8:30 until 11:30, so we're expected to show up at the office for the afternoon. Oh well. At least it will break up the day. I figure I won't make it back to the office until 12:30 (unless someone offers me a ride, in which case I'd feel like I should accept, except then they might expect me to offer to pay for gas or parking or soemthing dumb like that), then my usual hour to browse email and such-like, so really I'll only have 3 hours or so to do actual work, so that won't be too bad. (If I get any actual work. None so far today.)

Time to start reading the 12-part serial in Strange Horizons, the last part of which has just been posted.
sideways naked


Read this at a story reading tonight. The reaction was pretty much complete silence. Oh well. I'll put it up here for posterity, so my genius can be appreciated after I'm dead.

You find the note.
You refuse to believe it.
I've told you so many times that
I could never do it, that
I couldn't understand people who could even contemplate it.
But I'm gone. Days turn into weeks.
I haven't been to work.
I haven't withdrawn money or used my credit cards.
I haven't checked my email.
You remember that I gave you the burden
of deciding what to do with my email.
You spend many days going through it,
reading some,
deleting some,
deciding some is too private.
You come upon an email I sent to you,
that you had forgotten.
It was only a few months before the note,
and it said that, for the first time,
I had experienced the desire for oblivion.
Not sleep, like I usually desire, but
a complete lack of thought, of dream, of mind.
You come to believe the note.

Years later, you are visiting the city,
remembering where you lived when you changed so much.
You were never very quick, like I was,
so it takes you several steps to recognize
the face of the dirty, hairy man sitting on the sidewalk,
coffee cup extended, eyes piercing you.
Several steps to recognize the eyes.
I told you I would never leave the city.