I talked to Alex this…

I talked to Alex this morning! There are two Alex's in my life -- Russian Alex, who lives in New York and used to be a mathematician and is now a stockbroker but is still an amazingly cool guy; and British Alex, who lives in Bath, and went to Clarion with me and who writes and takes photos and does pictures and who I had a crush on for most of Clarion and who was very gentle in turning me down. This has just saved you bouncing back to the list of major players to find out who I'm talking about. Aren't I kind? The one I talked to is British Alex, who I think I haven't talked to since he visited and we went to Yosemite together (and I know, I never got my trip photos/journal up here. Maybe someday).

I called him yesterday, because Ellie is travelling in England for a few weeks, and I wanted to know if it would be okay to give him her number. He wasn't home, so called me back (at 6 a.m., but I forgave him) today. God, it was nice talking to him. He talks a mile a minute -- he's so bright that he's just fizzing with ideas. And so British; not only is the accent charming, but it's fascinating seeing how skewed our worldviews are. In some ways we understand each other perfectly, and in others, we're really living in different worlds.

You can get a taste of this, if you like, because he has a webpage now! It's got a story of his (not his best, unsurprisingly), some photos, some art, and about ten really good entries of a journal. I think you should all stop by, read the journal, and then e-mail him and tell him he has to write more regularly. The Jackie Chan zombie newts entry alone is worth the price of admission.

Kirsten told me the other night that one of my great gifts is that I make friends easily -- that I can make friends with almost anyone, it seems. She doesn't understand it, but she thinks that's part of how I survive in the world...I make people like me. :-) And that's probably true -- I tend to like people, and that comes across when I meet them, and so they're predisposed to like me back, even if they think I'm an utter weirdo (who watches Star Trek and writes about sex!). There are two downsides to all this.

The first is that I just can't get to know as many people as I'd like. I'm not smart enough, and I don't have the time. I always get really jealous when I read books like Banks's _Excession_, where there are these AI entities, who have practically infinite mental storage space, and enough brainpower to carry on as many conversations as they want at once. It might even be worth giving up sex. And lying naked in the sun on Sunday mornings. And eating curry. Maybe.

So I keep getting these brief, tantalizing tastes of interesting people, like many of you who write to me (or those who used to), and people I meet at conventions, and classmates, and professors, and even some of my more distant relatives.

But even worse is that I can't keep up with the friends I do have. Not enough hours in the day. So that someone like Alex, with whom I really formed a bond during those six insane weeks in Seattle in '97, gets a phone call from me every six months or so, if we're lucky. And thank the gods that it doesn't seem to change things with him (or with some of my other good friends, like Lisette) -- that after a long hiatus, the relationship is exactly the same, even if the people have changed a little in the interim.

I'm not really regretting, of course -- I'm so glad I know him. I just wish there were more hours in the day, or more processing tracks in my brain, or more years to come. What I could do with another hundred years!!

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