It had all seemed so much simpler then, she thought to herself as "Lady with a Fan" softly played on the CD player beside her. Life in general was simpler, wasn't it? She sat up again, and felt around for a cigarette.
The grass was greener. It wasn't just a metaphor, the grass really had seemed more vivid. She was, what, five? She thought back. She didn't have many memories of childhood, but those she had just seemed so... simple. So beautiful in their simplicity. So oddly vivid.
People were nicer, then. She was nicer then, too, she thought. She found a lighter by the pre-dawn light, filtered green by the sides of her tent, and crawled outside. Nearby, she could hear the laughter of close friends still partying hard down by the water. She pulled a beer from the wet cooler and opened it. Nothing tasted quite like a five AM beer, she thought to herself as she finally lighted the cigarette and took a long, familiar drag.
She tried to pinpoint the time at which things had become more complex. There was no moment... but there was also no denying that the amount of change between then and now was exponential. She smiled as the first birds sung the sun into the sky, and crickets brought the moon to rest.
Inspiration, move me brightly. Light the song with sense and color;
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin.
The music was soft, and nearly over. She felt some sadness at the loss of that simple life long ago as she slipped on her shoes, grabbed a gallon of water and some cups, and wandered down to the shore to find her friends; to water them like so many dried-out plants.
"Anything good?" He hovered over her shoulder, staring at the page she'd just printed. She hated when he hovered like that.
"Not really," she replied, trying not to sound exasperated at the interruption. "I just couldn't sleep, and felt like writing." She could almost hear the sound of water lapping on the shore, and smell the scent of a bonfire burning itself out, but it was fading fast.
"I'm glad I caught you. The attorney can't do dinner Tuesday; can we meet tomorrow?"
She'd lost her train of thought. Dammit. She'd been going somewhere with this; it was the first flash of inspiration she'd seen in a good long time, and now it had left the station without her. She left her flight of fancy for the here and now. Dates, times, random events were all suddenly remembered and sorted. "Wait. Doesn't Jason have soccer practice tomorrow? Can't we do it Thursday or something?"
"Kristine can take Jay to soccer practice if we want to do dinner tomorrow." He glanced at his watch, and then at his nails.
She winced at the nickname, but kept going. "I don't know, I have a four o'clock with my agent. Weren't we going to talk to the guy about your IRA after work?"
"No, that's the fourteenth. So can we do dinner tomorrow? Your agent thing shouldn't go too late, should it?"
"No, it shouldn't." It was her turn to inspect her nails. They were ragged and bitten. "Sure, yeah; I guess tomorrow should be fine."
A sudden desire overcame her. To hell with whatever plans they'd had for Saturday. "I was thinking... maybe this weekend we could go camping or something?"
"Camping?" By the look in his eyes, she'd sprouted another head. He weighed the idea skeptically. "Like, with tents and stuff? Do we even have all that? Can't we just go somewhere and stay in a hotel? You know, for the TV? I don't think Jay's up for a long attention span weekend." He thought for a moment, and continued brightly, "Besides, didn't you want to do the livingroom this weekend?"
"Listen, nevermind. It doesn't matter."
It really didn't matter. She knew they'd spend the weekend bickering about what colour to paint the livingroom, and eventually settle on a respectable but completely uninspired shade of eggshell. She was struck with a sense of deja-vu, and knew she'd forgotten something; but for her very life, she couldn't remember what.
She placed the printed page on a pile of other recycleables, shut down the computer and went to bed, vowing to find her shopping list in the morning. Wasn't that what she'd lost?
notes to self: compare cadences, concinnity, roman vs. latin, parallels, repetition of words; break up she-verb structure, amplify pattern.