Precious Illusions

In the late 1990’s, my best friend and at the time and I spent a lot of time working on creative projects together.  My friend and I spent many late nights drinking Mountain Dew, writing down our dreams, and working on our own individual creative pursuits.  For some reason, we would continually play Pearl Jam’s album Ten on repeat whenever we needed some inspiration.

My friend was immensely talented in computer programming.  I considered myself more adept at creating visual interfaces for the computer programs my friend would code by hand using various versions of BASIC, QBASIC, and later on, Visual Basic, though I had a very basic understanding of programming.  We made a good team; I would design the front end user experience, and my friend would create the inner workings of the software.

As the years passed, my friend and I would continue to meet up on a regular basis whenever I was home from college.  Eventually, after leaving college, I turned my bedroom into a makeshift computer lab, writing studio, and office, while my friend took up residence in the guest bedroom down the hall.  My friend preferred to do his work late into the night under Christmas lights strung across my bedroom ceiling.  I typically did my work in the early morning hours once my friend finally went to bed after his caffeine high wore off.

Between the two of us, we designed and wrote some very interesting applications for DOS as well as Windows.  We even created our own applications that would run in DOS and replicate many of the core functionalities of Windows 3.1.  Our plan was to create shareware that advertised our small business venture, and sell the full version software keys by mail.

There was something about those days when we were young, naive, and full of life and energy.  We had our lives and business ventures planned, and waiting in the wings for the right time to become reality.  We even had plans to overhaul my parents garage and turn it into apartment and office space in which we would use to run our software company. Surprisingly, my parents were happy to oblige and promised to make this a reality if my friend and I graduated from college.

Before the Internet became what it is today, life was easier in terms of starting ones own software company.  There was little competition by comparison, yet the startup costs were far greater than they are today.  My friend and I needed a lot of resources to get our company started, and of course, we hardly prepared or anticipated these costs.

Our small business venture never did come to be, despite years of dreaming, planning, and waiting for the big day.  Looking back on those days, my friend and I came up with some very grandiose plans for our future, which I now realize were nothing more than precious illusions.

This piece was inspired by this post titled, Writing Group Experience. The music album mentioned in this post is Ten by Pearl Jam.


  • brainedet

    I think we all have our precious illusions because we plan and dream about what we will become that never happens. But the bottom line is that there are all precious to us.

  • Oyeyipo Oladele

    I happen to be a programmer Tom, but little encouragement do you get from people. Technology has really grown Tom. Your small business venture will surely come to be. Please don’t relent on your efforts despite years of dreaming, planning, and waiting for the big day to come.

  • Wilson Jake

    Our small business venture never did come to be, despite years of dreaming, planning, and waiting for the big day. Never loose hope, things can still work out, just keep doing your best and trust God….He will make things work

  • iamdahmmy

    Life doesn’t always turn out the way we want..its good you and your friend tried..I guess being a software person is not your calling..nice piece

  • esgyll

    Its really easy to lose yourselves when you are young, and filled with a lot of dreams and plans for the future. When it comes down to it, it really feels like it was all a waste of time as some of those dreams didn’t come to fruition, despite working very hard to achieve it.

    It is not something to make people feel hopeless – rather, it is there to make people take caution. Do not always expect something so much so it would not affect you in huge ways in the future. Dreaming is nice, but reality is also there to keep your feet well grounded on the ground. A nice balance is something that we should all strive for.

  • Janine Marie Alexandra Bocateja

    Nice post and very inspiring. Don’t lose hope my friend. Try and try until you succeed. Wish you all the best!

  • Kurt

    Every journey starts with a single step!!! In this case it may succeed or it may fail. It is always a part of the game. What matters though is not giving up!!! Success never comes easy. Putting work is important in it.

  • David Mureithi

    The power of having a friend is togetherness. A friend who you feel free doing things together defines a good friend.

  • Daniella M

    I’m sorry to hear that the plans didn’t become a reality as you expected, but is good to have memories like this about Friends.

  • Vanessa

    Beautiful memories about friendship, I wish your plans had become a reality but at least you became in a succesful artist.

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