The long kiss goodnight.

The realization jolts you like cold water on bare skin in December: she's never coming back. There lies the truth, naked, unadorned, ugly in white light.

The day you fell in love was your last happy day. You are destined to trudge through the remainder of your days without her. Say that again. Write that again. Without her.

The lone and level sands stretch far away.
I can see them, see them all:
days without number, undistinguished, gray, flat, atonal, featureless, smoothed edges.
Flat Xanax days without highs or lows.
Existence, but not happiness.
There are no more valleys.
There is just the long march toward nothingness.

This day, and tomorrow. Then there will be a next day. Then, I will wake up the following day. After that, I suppose there will be another day after that.

Loop until you die.

From now on I will spend every day until I die without her.

Without her.

Say that again.

How does one bear such pain? To have tasted heaven and then be consigned to hell. There are not enough tears to tell this story.

The rest of my days will taste like dry dusty paper.

Let the bones which thou hast broken cry out in pain. In sackcloth and ashes. I sit in the black ashes of our former love. Immolate me with fire, and I shall be clean; drown me, and I shall be more grateful than you could know.

Close your eyes one final time, and think of her. And regret your foolish ways until you see the light. The last thought may be of that first kiss you had. So sweet. Such torment.

You wish for a different past. A life with her caresses. But it was not to be.

That was someone else's life, not yours.

Now you know why men go mad.

Unendurable permanent pain: the brain was never designed to handle. Fingernails tear at scalp, tear at eyes. Make the memories go away.

I wish I'd never seen her face. I wish I'd never smelled her hair.

Forget. For get.
Embrace the light.
It's the only way to erase the pain.

Heaven was never your destiny.

Ah my Christ.

It Just Bugs Me

Something that just bugs me when it comes to computers - resolution versus font size. We recently set up an oldish mobile workstation-type laptop for one of our users here. It has a 15" LCD panel, running at 1600x1200 - high resolution by any metric. The user, reasonably, complained of unreadably small, though sharp, fonts. So, one of the other ever-helpful LAN administrators here decided to change the resolution to 1024x768. Xyzzy, the user no longer complains of small fonts. But wait! The user returns, complaining of a blurry display.

The LCD-savvy among you will be facepalming about now and crying out No shit, Sherlock! Well, yes. I wasn't surprised by this either. I don't expect most users to understand things like native resolution and why it's a problem for LCDs but not CRTs. I'm quite willing to explain it, and usually users get it once I do, but I don't expect everyone to know this. The problem here is that Windows (and for that matter, Mac OS X and Unix)offers a DPI setting, which will serve to increase the sizes of fonts consistently while still running at native resolution. This is, however, tucked away in an "Advanced" settings tab. Back in the CRT days, when just dropping the resolution was a decent solution, this was OK. Because it's thus squirreled, nobody knows about it. It's the solution, usually, to the "blind user problem", but nobody knows about it. Instead they run their 1600x1200 panel at 1024x768 and gritch about not having enough screen real estate, and blurriness.

The real problem here is that the DPI setting is so poorly known that even most administrators don't know about it. In fact, after I solved this problem, I asked around, and it turned out I was the only one who knew the setting even existed! (To be fair, one other did think of changing the font size through the Appearance tab - but this doesn't affect all apps.) I think I can blame Microsoft for this in part, but it's not all MS's fault, since nobody knew of it on Mac OS X either and we have a few advanced Mac users. (Though, I've used OS X on very high resolution displays, and it's rarely an issue. This is something Apple consistently gets right.)

This whole rant neatly ties into the other thing that Just Bugs Me - laptop displays. Why the hell is it that Asus can sell an Eee PC model with an 8.9" 1280x800 panel, but 1280x800 is all the more most manufacturers can eke out of a 15.4" one? Or for that matter, why are there no desktop displays capable of 1920x1200 in a 17" panel? Yes, I'd pay $800 for one. People get so amped up over physical size, but then forget about resolution, which is what really determines how much space you have to work in! I hear comments like, "Wow, I'd love to use a 36" HDTV for a monitor" - I usually don't bother to remark that no, they really wouldn't. At 1920x1080 it would look kinda pixely for general desktop stuff, and at 1280x720 it would look comically overinflated. 1920x1080 doesn't look half bad on a 24-28" panel, but at 36", it's not enough. The pixels are just too big.

Anyway, </rant>

What's in a name?

Winter. Success meets a splinter; we are trained to want to win. Only, when I watch crowds rush by, playing the winter game of super shopping and day-glo Clauses, playing to win, I don't want to. When the race is to spend more to prove our humanity, I'm out. The stakes are all wrong, and I wonder if anyone even noticed, recorded, the moment when the mall replaced the community, rending titanic cracks between us for souls to slip between.

I know there is too little compassion, let alone caring. I'll show you. All you have to do is let a little bit slip out, just for a second, and watch how fast it vanishes, is absorbed - there is a vacuum, so little that absence rather than presence defines the condition.

How is it we come to have hearts and all the soft, fleshy trappings of self awareness if we're meant to live like lobsters, things with shells, and never reach outside ourselves? Yet, here we are, each of us in our own cocoon. Even a turtle at least sticks it's neck out to make progress. When was the last time you saw someone do that? Did you remember to love them for it? Sometimes, I think that one single act is the most human, most humane thing we are capable of. It seems so rare, precious like a forgotten shoot under the snow.

It is my fault that I feel the swish of the blade so near my neck so often. It's what I get for leaving it out like that. I forgot for a moment that I was supposed to be playing winter, playing to win.

I won't.

cross-posted: www.fieldoflandmines.blogspot.com

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