Monday, November 7, 2005

The Girl Next Door

If you want to make a lot of money consider inventing some software that automatically synchronizes your passwords for you. At my work I have a network password, an email password, a password into the voter registration system, a password into the payroll system. Each of these passwords expires but none of them expire at the same time so it's difficult to keep track of them. What I end up doing, like many others, is writing my passwords on a sheet of paper that I keep near my computer. Kind of defeats the point of having them in the first place.

There are rules for passwords- they have to be a certain length, many make you include a combination of letters and numbers, and you're not supposed to pick anything obvious like the name of your three-legged cat.

If a hacker were trying to bust into my computer they'd likely have a difficult time guessing my password since I interchangeably use the first and last name of a person that no one (besides the blue-eyed editor) knows was even on my radar. Back in the day I had a huge crush on her that even had its own theme music- Frank Sinatra's "The Girl Next Door."

"The moment I saw her smile I knew she was just my style/My only regret is we never met/for I dream of her all the while.../But she doesn't know I exist/No matter how much I persist/So it's clear to see there's no hope for me/Though I live at 5135 Kensington Avenue and she lives at 5133/How can I ignore the girl next door?/I love her more than I can say/Doesn't try to please me/Doesn't even tease me/And she never sees me glance her way..."

I went to a party this weekend. I was chatting with a group of friends when she walked in. Our eyes immediately connected and I think she was as surprised as I was seeing each other again. She immediately came over near where I was standing and stood quietly looking for someone to talk with. Smooth as I am I of course turned in another direction. She looked good. A little bit heavier than before, her hair slightly longer but she looked even better than I remembered.

Later on as she was talking to a couple of people I tried to listen in to the conversation. She was telling them that she doesn't own a cell phone- that she is holding out because she doesn't see the need. Her words proved that I was attracted to something other than her good looks. I was attracted because she seemed somewhat socially awkward, yet perceptive. I was attracted because she has a great smile and laugh and she was always too shy or too snobby to say anything to me and I could relate to all that.

She of course has a big hunk of diamond on her married finger but still I thought about going over and talking about my new favorite song, Fiona Apple's "Red Red Red" that has the great lyrics, "I don't understand about diamonds/And why men buy them/What's so impressive about a diamond?/Except the mining..."

The whole scene reminded me of pushing the shuffle option on my iPod and having a song come up that I hadn't heard for a long time and remembering how much I used to love that song and how it used to be a part of my every day experience. There are different songs now, songs that give meaning to all I currently experience and feel but somehow none of them capture the same thing as that old song once did. A great song can remind you of all that has passed, all that has changed and in a brief moment force you to think about the roads you decided to take and what alternatives might have existed had you chosen another route.

Our eyes met a couple more times but she eventually walked over to another part of the room and then out the door meaning the only role she'll continue playing in my life is that of my password into a whole other world.

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