Version Creep [Beta Girls Go]

Version Creep

He was awake anyway, so, a little before 5 a.m., he drove out Highway 17 through the mountains between Santa Cruz and San Jose.

The cleaning crew was still working as he let himself into the office. The lights were off in his section and he sat at his desk in just the light coming in from the hallway. When they finished and left, he went into the lav and shaved and slicked back his hair. He made some coffee and sat staring vacantly at his screen floating on an arm in front of him.

Sometimes a project just goes bad, he decided.

And a love affair is a project like any other, he told himself.

It wasn’t that the team members were unqualified or even insufficiently motivated. He felt like they had both done yeoman work in trying to make a go of it. Although it did surprise him when she, the one whose idea the whole business was in the first place, the one who was so hopeful and so enthusiastic — it did surprise him that she was the one to withdraw support for the relationship.

As he went through the motions of his work that morning, he found himself composing in his mind a lengthy memorandum, an analysis of the fundamental problems they had faced, explored with what he considered a generous and mature nonassignment of blame.

About noon she came in. He tried not to look but he noticed her eyes were red and puffy. Later, when he had to walk, quietly, past her door, he thought he heard her crying.

The first version of Beta Girls back on November 15th came out very differently. That was punkish, hard edged and fast; this is mostly slow (I find a dash of unpredictable rubato keeps the audience nicely off balance). I wanted to give the lyrics more of a chance to sink in, since they’re a bit terse and somewhat oblique.

other versions
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Saturday, September 09, 2006

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 is 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

(1999-12-14)
(C)2000,2006 TK Major

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