Saturday, January 10, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

Rutabagastories ground to an unexpected halt last week as our internet connection faltered. After much testing, Michael, with the help of his techie friend Howard, determined that the modem is at fault. Qwest has agreed to send us a new one, but for the moment I'm utilizing my housemate's computer.

It's funny how dependent we are on the internet these days. Had I not had access while at work, what would I have done? Emails, not phone calls, make up the majority of my long distance communication with friends, and nearly all of my current information on the outside world comes to me via the world wide web (or office gossip; there are some things that never change).

On Monday Michael and I pursued the more old-fashioned activity of going out to a movie. Entering the tiny Grand Illusion Cinema on the Ave, paying with check instead of credit, and sitting down to watch Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries in the well-worn theater seats made me feel more than a little nostalgic. With the whir of the film reel heard faintly behind us, and specks of dust making split second appearances on the screen as the story unfolded, this seemed the perfect way to view what is inherently a nostaglic movie. Seeing Professor Borg reminisce over mostly painful memories, yet somehow be able to move beyond the hurts of the past, including the many he himself created, both saddened and uplifted me.

After the showing, Michael and I went to Pochi for a late night bubble tea. Slurping tapioca up through a straw, listening to the Blue Scholars on the cafe stereo system sing about The Ave, I remembered the two of us sitting in this very place years before, following another movie at the Grand Illusion. I used to feel that my life revolved around the U District - I worked there, hung out there, went shopping, and went to church all within a few blocks of University Way, although our apartment was a couple of miles to the east. Years ago, when I first heard the Blue Scholars, I could relate - the Ave was my street, too.

These are mostly good memories, though, and I hope when, in my old age, I look back on my life I will be able to face fewer regrets than Professor Borg. With this new-fangled internet, I'll even have a digital record here to remind me. Unless, of course, the modem breaks down again. Maybe then my memories will return as surreal dreams, but for now I just want a reliable way to get back online.

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