Friday, February 25 2000
This morning I found myself sailing through the choppy, accident-prone seas of computer shareware, particularly the sort that allows folks like me to sample our four track masterpieces and turn them into downloadable MP3s. It turned out that I have virtually no usable audio editing software and I was forced to test the waters of freeware and shareware. I won't bore you with the names of all the products I downloaded megabyte by painstaking megabyte over my 28.8 kilobaud modem. Suffice it to say that they were just slightly better than useless, what with their nonstandard interfaces and logic-defying behavior. In Acoustica 2.01, for example, control-C performed the "crop" operation, not copy, as my fingers expected. Since there was only one level of undo, I had to act fast whenever I accidentally issued a crop command, and I did it a lot. It was like walking on eggs. This one poorly-considered key equivalent ended up poisoning my computer experience for the entire day, even carrying over into other applications. Suddenly I was gun shy about using the copy command even when using such old standbys as Homesite and Photoshop.
But I can see a lot of potential in digital editing of audio samples from my four track. If, for example, I find a certain snip of sound that sounds good in a loop, I can duplicate it and then mix other things on top of it. Already I'm finding ways to merge two audio clips precisely together by matching wave forms at analogous phases of their cycles. But to really get things right, I'll need audio software that acts more like Photoshop, allowing multiple open windows, providing reliable menu behavior and, I don't know, envelope controls that actually allow me to get rid of control points I no longer need instead of having them simply accumulate without any method for disposal, even remembering them session-to-session (another evil Acoustica 2.01 bug).
In the evening, our friend Shiva came over. Shiva is the Persian girl who dated Kevin the DBA for a few months after meeting him at a company party back in the summer. Shiva's family, it seems, is friends with the Persian family of two of my erstwhile employer's founders, and that's why she was at the party. Since Kevin and Shiva experienced a messy breakup some months back, I've occasionally seen them hanging out together with other workplace chums, especially Scott the sales guy and Peter the developer. It turns out that Shiva is still in love with Kevin, though he's moved on in search of greener, less accessible pastures. He's always been the sort of guy who wouldn't want to join a club that would allow him in. But it's actually more pathological than that; Kevin has a great deal of difficulty regarding women as anything more than potential sexual conquests. Everything any woman ever does to him is judged this way. Thus, because Kim is friendly and nice to him, Kevin assumes (as I learned today from Shiva) that she harbors a secret desire to have sex with him.
I've heard a lot of stories from Kevin, Kim and Shiva about the rise and fall of Shiva's relationship to Kevin, and, with the benefit of hindsight, I will now tell the tale. After the two met, Shiva fell madly in love. For the first time in her life, she found herself writing poems and even imagining bearing children. But Kevin is a DBA and DBAs work long hours. Soon enough there was a conflict over the amount of time Kevin was allotting to their relationship. And as Shiva became more demanding of his time, Kevin gradually withdrew. He didn't feel flattered by a relationship with a woman who actually wanted him; he wanted a relationship with the sort of woman he glimpses for a moment in Horton Plaza, the dark leggy kind who won't give him the time of day. After their breakup, Shiva started hanging out with Kevin's friends, partly to mine them for information about Kevin, and partly to use them as weapons. Before long she'd had sex with Scott the sales guy and had fooled around with Peter the developer. These events gave Kevin the impression that he was under attack. Suddenly Scott the sales guy was avoiding him as much as possible. Last I heard, Scott was planning to relocate to the Austin, something Kevin interpreted as a cowardly fleeing of the scene. While Kevin considers his relationship with Shiva a thing of the past, he can't understand why she is having sex with his friends and he can't understand why his friends are having sex with her.
The plan for tonight was to go down to Newport Avenue and have some sake and sushi at Sapporo's, the suddenly once-more-acceptable-to-Kim sushi place. We had a marvelous time eating the eel rolls, the sea urchin, the OB rolls, you name it. Most of the conversation consisted of Shiva telling us the fascinating story of her traumatic Iranian childhood. She was born to wealthy parents in Iran in the 70s. Her father was a former professor at Berkeley, and her mother (whom she never really knew) was a cosmetologist whom her father quickly replaced with a stepmother. Before long the family was in the thick of the unrest associated with the fall of the Shah. Shiva told us about the terrifying protests, about her parents' car being set ablaze, and about her parents coming home covered with blood one fine day. Finally, when Shiva was six, the family fled to Germany. Not knowing what else to do, they repeatedly petitioned the American embassy for asylum, something that wasn't granted until the intercession of one of her father's professorial colleagues in Berkeley. Shiva's early life in America was spent in a poor black neighborhood, though bits of Iranian trauma kept resurfacing. She vividly recalls a group of grief-stricken adults examining photographs they'd received in the mail. When the adults left the room, Shiva went to investigate. She was horrified to discover that the pictures were of decapitated family friends, their faces clearly recognizable amid the blood and disembodied disarray.
We also talked some more about Kevin. Shiva's continued interest in him was puzzling, especially since they have so little in common. But I think it all boils down to the fact that, like Kevin, Shiva is attracted in inaccessibility. Kevin's rejecting her has locked down her heart, at least for the time being.
Before much sake had passed our lips, Shiva proclaimed that, as a light weight, she was officially drunk. "I'm a cheap date," she giggled.
But even after we were done with the sushi, we weren't done with our drinking. We went down the street to the big unpretentious all-American downriverish place and ordered a pitcher of Sierra Nevada, followed soon enough by another. Kim and I tried to interest Shiva in the alterna-dude bartender, but she was paying more attention to a Schteveish guy across the room. She actually got up and went over and introduced herself, but she lost interest the moment the guy started talking.
Back at our place, while I was out walking Sophie, a somewhat unexpected turn of events took place. I returned from the walk and went into the bedroom just as the girls were about to make themselves topless. But things didn't stop there. As she fumbled with her transparent bra and stiff wool skirt, Shiva was a little embarrassed that her panties were old and falling apart. She hadn't expected anyone would be seeing them tonight.
Soon enough both girls were naked and in bed, and so was I. I'd uploaded my first MP3 only this morning and already I was living like a rock star! Shiva took one look at my penis and exclaimed "it's huge!" What else could a guy ask for? Actually, I can think of a few things.
Before long, I was actually experiencing the feeling of two beautiful girls simultaneously sucking my cock. Then I returned the favor by going down on them one after the other. There was plenty of kissing, genital touching, and voyeuristic watching. Unfortunately, we didn't have any condoms, and by the time Kim was motivating me to go out and buy some, Shiva thought maybe it would be better if I didn't actually penetrate her. So I cuddled with her a little and then let her watch me put it to Kim. Meanwhile, Kim was also doing sex stuff with Shiva, going down on her and all the other things lesbians get to do to one another. It was only Shiva's second lesbian experience, but it didn't disturb her much at all.
What with the novelty of a new girl in our bed, Kim's jealous impulse inevitably reared its ugly head. Every now and then Kim would sense that I was giving Shiva too much attention for too long, and she'd painfully scratch my back to get me to change my focus. After several such attacks, I got fed up with the torture and told her to stop. We ended up having our big fight in the bathroom in a tub full of warm water, me scratching her back even more viciously than she'd scratched mine, just so she'd know how it felt. Somehow we returned to bed and fell asleep. There actually was enough room for three people (and a Schnauzer).
The next morning we all woke up and, with the exception of our hangovers, everything was okay with us. Eventually I was having sex with Kim sideways in bed, reaching past her to hold Shiva's hands as we all undulated in animal bliss (well, that's what I was feeling anyway). Then I climbed up on top of Kim and put it to her missionary style. Shiva stayed for the whole performance (and it took quite a long time), then she thanked us for the fun and headed home to study.
If Kevin the DBA ever hears this story, I'm sure he won't be too happy. But it will improve his Shiva story considerably. After telling about her sleeping with all his single male friends, he'll have the kicker all prepared, "And Shiva even slept with one of my guy friends who has a girlfriend. Hell, she fucked his girlfriend too!"
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