Broken Code to Broken Dreams to Broken Worlds

(Originally posted to my Tumblr blog.)

On the way to a housewarming party, I wrote an email to a piece of my past. A snippet:

[M]y dreams have subsided but my memories are resurfacing. I’m spending some time for the first time in years reading the archives of my own blog. And, as part of that, writing (drafts of, until the story about CV and Ken) the stories important to me. I’ve done a lot of learning over the past year or so and am recognizing things I once overlooked, like the power of storytelling.

Other memories that pop up often as I do this are all the times you asked me to write about us, which I’m sure you recall, as well as all the times I sat down in front of a blank screen to try, which you may not recall because I was alone. I want to say, so that you know if you don’t already and to be reassured in case you do, that I would have written more about us, and I wanted to, but I was hurting and I could not bear the task. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to accomplish that.

When I arrived at the party, things immediately felt at once unnervingly familiar and yet disconcertingly foreign. I did not know such a strange self-contradiction was possible. Everything from the way people looked—the slender, long-haired man in the Utilikilt serving drinks; the sharply-dressed fast talking woman whom he called “sweetie”; the animal lover and perpetual student in the green dress; and others, too—to the music on the stereo—Gaelic Storm—to the layout of the apartment—not quite a bullet house, but close—was eery. Pieces of them each reminded me of people I had once seen almost daily.

It felt like a combination of being in bizarro world mixed with blasts from my past, all in a parallel universe. I floated from one conversation to the next, throughout the evening feeling as though one half of me was not really in attendance but rather observing the other half of me that was, except for the brief reprieve in which I dropped to the floor to commune with the household’s feline pets. I stayed for a couple hours, then caught a ride back over the bridge, towards home and far too much NyQuil.

I feel emotionally irradiated by the experience, and it hurts.

On the car ride back, a thought occurred to me as I shared a little bit of my history with my couriers. I used to work as a web developer fixing other people’s broken code. I never could find a situation or make myself any significant, sustainable opportunity to just write my own damn code. Now, I’m an activist and I’m trying to fix other people’s worlds, but I don’t feel like I have one of my own.

I walk a lonely road
the only one that I have ever known.
Don’t know where it goes
but it’s home to me and I walk alone.


My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me.
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating.
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me.
‘Til then, I walk alone.

I’m walking down the line
that divides me somewhere in my mind.
On the border line
of the edge and where I walk alone.

Read between the lines of what’s
fucked up and everything’s all right.
Check my vital signs to know I’m still alive
and I walk alone.

I always felt I’d make a great lost boy. I had such a crush on Peter Pan, too.

One reply on “Broken Code to Broken Dreams to Broken Worlds”

  1. You don’t need to be turned “on” every second of every day. It is *ok* to hide from the world, to lick wounds, to FEEL. You need to take care of yourself to be useful to others, people tell me, and while I’m not certain of the whole truth of it, I do know that the problems you are fighting won’t go away overnight, and will still be there after you have hidden.

    Please take care of yourself.

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