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The Parker Effect - The Cover Story
October 2013
Sun, Jan. 27th, 2002 07:52 pm
The Parker Effect

I slept in today. When I awoke, I played Civ2 until 1500 hours. Then I showered, got dressed, and went to see Irma's performance. I met Rach and Mike in the Campus Center before we went in. We arrived only five minutes before the presentation was scheduled to start. Irma came in, and began to play. About halfway through the second piece, Rach leaned over to me and mouthed something I couldn't make out. I looked puzzled, but then she gestured to the other side of the room, and softly whispered the word "Devan". The response was immediate and surreal. As if somebody had told me there was a bomb on the other side of the room, time seemed to slow down, and then stop. I could feel my heart pound, but I battled to keep my cool. I sat back up, took a deep breath, and tried to control my hand, which seemed to want to shake at this point. I took comfort in the music, for I knew as long as it played, I could forego dealing with the situation that was coming. For the first time in my life, a concert performance flew by. Only five pieces in, Irma announced a fifteen minute intermission while she prepared her violin for the second half. With the exception of a bathroom break, I stayed in my seat the whole intermission. Fifteen minutes crawled by as I breathed shallowly and watched the clock. My persistence paid off, as I did not have to stop and talk with the source of my anxeity. The second set began. At the end of the performance, I managed to remain on station and make with the normal social niceities, and still avoid the beautiful maiden who made my mind race with fright and humility. I finally excused myself to check my email, and walked to Fuller Labs. I checked my mail breifly and returned to the hall. My plan was simply to discreetly check to see if Devan was still there, and if she wasn't, I would return and find out what Rachael planned to do after the show. I walked down the circular stairs to find Peter S. and his little friend throwing a ball back and forth. I could only see Peter, as his friend was obscured by the hallway, but I walked down, stomping in the manner I usually do when I deal with him, and said "Peter, are you behaving yourself." Then I smiled and turned down the hallway. Sometimes, it is said, life throws you what you least want. The best laid plans of mice and men fall apart, and so did mine, for out of the blindspot on my left appeared the very person I had sought to avoid. "Hi John. How are you?" She said. "I'm fine, how are you?" I replied. She turned her head to point Peter's friend in the direction his ball had gone, and when she looked up again, I was gone, into the bathroom. I poked my head up just in time to see her disappear around the stairs. My nerves shot, I walked back to the Campus Center, and then on to Atwater Kent, and then back to Alden to meet with Rachael and the others. We eventually formated at the Campus Center, and went off in search of something to do. In the absence of anything useful, we decided to go our seperate ways. Rachael took her hug from me, and I began the walk home. Except I did not go home. I walked up the hill. I slowly spiraled my way up the streets, until I found myself walking up Hancock, near Montclaire. As I walked I thought about a great many things. I thought about what an ass I had made of myself. I thought how my brain seemed to shut down, how I didn't know what to say. I thought about Volvos, and how many of them you see in the more affulent neighborhoods in Worcester. I thought about what I would've done differently if I had it to do again. I thought about what I would do if I had to explain my presence in Devan's neighborhood. When I reached near the northern exit of Montclair, a dog being walked by its master threw a fit at me, so I turned and walked back down to Hancock. After that, I doubled back, and walked back to Montclaire street. I stopped for a moment before Devan's house, looking at it. I thought about knocking on the door, asking to talk to her. I thought about saying I was sorry for what I had said, what I had wrote, and that I'd still want to be her friend if I could. But that could not be, I know. Devan makes me irrational just by her presence. As long as I knew Devan, I would alway want what I couldn't have; for her to love me back. That desire would only drive to become creepier and creepier as time went by. We would become the Rachael/Adam situation all over again, and I don't want that. For me, in my ultimate selfishness, this game is all or nothing; either I have Devan's love or I don't have contact, for I am not strong enough to be her friend. So after passing her house, the dog that barked at me earlier cycled back with its owner, and threw a fit on the road again. I used my standard tactic when dealing with aggressive dogs; walk forward, eyes forward, and ignore it. The owner was desperately trying to control it, for which I was most thankful. As she passed me, she said, "Sorry, John." I looked back in shock, and asked the only question in my mind "Devan?". "Yes?" came the reply. There was so much I wanted to say, but with her wrestling her dog down the street, there was no time, so I settled for "Hello..." and exhaled. And then I watched her walk away for the second time in one day. I walked back down the hill. So here I am. Its not even 2000 and I am exhausted. I'm off to get my dinner now, and try not to ponder the day's events. Too much has happened to take in, and too much may have started that I am not ready for.