Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dance of the Alienated Codeslingers

Beta Girls Go

He lay across her bed, counting the holes in the ceiling tiles.

The afternoon sun came in through slitted mini-blinds, angling down across his naked body. A sheet lay across his thighs and strayed across the floor.

He heard her in the tiny apartment's kitchenette.

As soon as they were done -- he was done -- she'd jumped up without a word and begun making noise in the other room. A coffee grinder screamed to life for ten seconds and after a few minutes he heard the gurgling of a coffee maker.

He lay there, thinking she probably expected him to put on his clothes and join her.

Instead, he lay there thinking, This means nothing.

He wanted it to mean something. He thought it should mean something. Yet it didn't.

He wanted it to mean something to her but he wasn't sure why. He wasn't even sure he liked her, really.

But he wanted her to like him. And, clearly, she didn't.

She had once.

And he had thought of her as... promising. She was attractive enough and could even transcend her own programmer geekiness when the occasion warrented -- as it had several times when they first started. He remembered watching her as she moved through a restaurant on their second or third date and thinking... she could be mine.

And, while he was convinced that that was true, he never figured out a way to make it true. Previous girlfriends, mostly setups arranged through friends, had been mostly disastrous. He never knew what to say or how to say it. And, usually long before the end of the date, he would find himself shrinking from whomever he was out with.

But when he first ran into the small brunette with blue eyes and too many earrings (three -- it was too many) in his company's breakroom and noticed she was working in longhand on a C++ routine, he found himself thinking that maybe, at long last, he'd found a soulmate right in his own backyard.

But it wasn't going to happen and he was just realizing that she'd known that for a long time.

[A brief note on this recording: I hadn't played this song much since January when I last recorded it for AYoS. I made a point of not listening to that version before I recorded this, more or less winging the chords as I felt them under what passes for the melody. And I liked what I came up with. But then I listened to the January version and thought, Oh man, this is so much better. So... dig this ver if you will... but if you want to hear a near-definitive (yet still quite sloppy) stylistic reading of it, check out the version from January 25.]

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January 25 version
November 15 version

Beta Girls Go

"version creep" is all she said
as she stared at her feet on the edge of the bed
"data drift" as she stood in the door
"we just don't vector anymore."

counting the holes in the ceiling tile
analyze the sex, index and file
measure the angle of the afternoon sun
measure the darkness when it's done

beta girls come and beta girls go
leave not a mark upon his soul
beta girls beta girls beta girls beta girls go

pools of light and soul-black night
17 at first daylight
silent complex cleaning crew
wait to shave until they're through

she gets to work just by noon
takes her laptop to the old break room
he trys not to look when he has to walk by
but as he closes the door he hears her cry

beta girls come and beta girls go
leave not a mark upon his soul
beta girls beta girls beta girls beta girls go

(C)2000 TK Major (2000-01-24)