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2012-02-21 10:41 p.m.


I used to go there. Then I didn't. Now I go there again. I got back together with school.

When we broke up the first time I was just ending things with high school. I liked high school—it was a great run with no hard feelings—but the relationship had really run its course. The relationship was doomed from the start—one of those things that everyone knew had to end. But, in my normal style, I had another one lined up and waiting in the wings. That way there wouldn't be much downtime, you know.

So, I started getting to together with college, and soon we were spending all our time together. It wasn't too much of a change, since most things stayed the same for me. I kept living at home in San Jose. I stayed in the same band. I had the same friends. I ate at the same Taco Bell. Serial monogamy dictates that I'd do the same things all over again, more or less.

There was one big difference, though. This time I hated it. I studied serious, hardcore electrical engineering. It was the kind of engineering stuff that could only be taught by brilliant foreigners. Apparently, there were no American-born people smart enough, good enough, or talented enough to maximize the loathing for engineering that was waiting inside of me. So, this amazing team of educators from around the world helped me truly understand two things:

1) I could not engineer myself out of a pair of elastic waistband pants, and,
2) even if I could, I should leave that up to someone that really enjoyed doing that sort of thing much more than I did, which is to say none at all.

I loved learning more calculus than I could shake a stick at. To this day I compare the pendulous swing of relationships to the spring-mass-damper system as presented in differential equations. But, I was unable to write the simplest computer programs, and my most successful circuit design happened when I decided to skip my homework and just blow up transistors and capacitors on purpose. (I didn't blow them all up. Some of them got bent open and flung like ninja stars into the foamy ceiling.)

I hated engineering school. The whole thing was a parade of classes I was only peripherally interested in, each populated by a caricature collection of Engineering Guys. Not smart, funny girls with age-appropriate, gravity-defying boobs. Nope. Engineering Guys. And I felt like an outsider because they all seemed to be having a fine time as if the subjects were fun and the wonderful social circle was radiant.

Each day I roamed the halls and wondered why I kept going.

I knew why, though. I don't really give up on things. Follow-through is a curse of mine. So I stuck it out until the bitter end. And, I should say that the bitter end refers to the piece of rope that sailors used to wipe their asses with. That's how it all smelled and tasted to me.

And, one day, many years later, I woke up and found that I was alone again. I can't tell who broke up with whom, but I did a thing on a stage in the burning hot sunshine and that seemed to doom our relationship.

Twelve years passed. Funny things happened to my mind during those years. I stopped remembering the nausea I felt at school. I forgot about homework and essays. I forgot about the compulsory boredom called lectures, about sitting still and being quiet for hours on end. And, I even forgot struggling to understand foreign accents describing even-more-foreign subjects.

It gets worse. Not only did I forget about how bad it was, but I actually started to have false memories about how good it was. My mind was that of the abused. What was once torture melted into idyllic visions. My recollections of the past were eroded by time, and what remained were strange statues of something so much better than what actually happened.

So, I did what most abused people do. I decided to get back together with the abuser.

That's why I go to Santa Clara University right now. That's why I'm getting in MBA. That's why in three years I will be able to subtract about eighty thousand US dollars from my sea-level net worth. I'm older. I'm wiser. I'm having more fun. I know now what I didn't know then. I lie to myself and say that this time it will be different. We've both changed, right?

I may get free for a weekend, a month, a season, or even a decade. But, the gravity of the sweet abuse was too much to resist. I fell back into her arms, kissed her lips, and forced my mind to ignore her breath, heavy with the sweet scent of decay.

On a lighter note, I'm vacuuming right now. Or, actually, my Roomba is vacuuming for me. Boris just stopped, look down at the little robot helper, and suggested that we make an automatic, robotic abortion machine: The Woomba.