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2005-03-07 - 5:47 p.m.

Ultimately, I think the breakdown of the friendship between me and Byron was that he was a Duran Duran fan, and I'm a Depeche Mode fan.

Don't get me wrong; I like/love Duran Duran, and he like/loves Depeche Mode, but if there was some synth-pop Apocalypse (which I'm sure a lot of people pray for daily), we both know who would stand on what side of what line.

But now I'm not so sure about where I stand, and it's really bothering me.

I mean...OKAY, I recognize that this can be trivialized to the nth degree. "It's just music", after all. But preference is an indicator of personality. What you like is an opening to who you are. It's a brick in the framework of self-identity. You seldom catch real hard core goths listening to Leslie Gore; not a lot of gangstas hang around listening to Barry Manilow.

So really, while shifting taste from one synth band to another may be--in and of itself--trivial, there's the disquieting possibility that it's only the temblor before the quake (is it California? Is that why I'm suddenly having all this earthquake imagery?)

I keep trying to articulate it to my circle o' friends, but they don't understand, not really. Which is disappointing, but unsurprising. I keep coming back to the words 'paradigm shift' again and again, but I don't think that the profundity of change indicated by those words is really... common. They don't get the same frisson of cold that step-walks down my spine everytime I think it.

"I changed everything about myself that it was possible to change, without changing the core of who I am." How many times did I say those words? How many times? Feeling smugly/sadly secure that the core of me was something etched in, indelible.

But what if that's not so? What if the core of me is changing as well? How much flexibility can even the most lithe reed provide, before it cracks in the wind? Flexibility from a strong center did not seem unreasonable. But--to misquote--what if the center does not hold?

I mean, like any of nature's mercurial moods, it's something impossible to prevent or change. It is what it is; it is what it will be. "One might as well shout aloud in laughter"; but that doesn't make it any less unnerving.

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