“I have to admit. It’s been a while.”
“That’s okay. It happens to the best of us.” He said.
“It’s just embarrassing to admit.” She confessed, “Because I was so good at it once.”
“Like I said, don’t worry about it. I bet you’ll catch on quickly.”
“I’m just scared. I don’t want to screw up.”
He smiled at her and whispered softly, “Even the best screw up. Constantly.”
“Yeah. I always thought it was one of those things that once you do it, you never forget. But I’ve forgotten. A lot!”
“Yes, it is one of those things you need to keep practicing at. And it’s helpful to learn new techniques to keep things fresh. But it’ll come back to you.”
She leaned over, her face a little closer to his, “But where do you learn these new techniques?”
“Well, the Internet is a great resource. There are many sites dedicated to this topic alone. And I’ve found that reading books help too.”
“Don’t you feel silly buying the books?”
“Oh,” the man confessed, “I never buy them. I just usually glance at them at the bookstore. If a book seems helpful enough, I’ll go ahead and buy it and use it for reference.”
“I just feel so stupid buying them. I hate not knowing enough about it.”
“But it’s the only way to stay on top of things. You either keep up or get left behind.”
“So,” she began pressing for more information, “Has there ever been a situation that you’ve been way out of your league?”
His expressed a puzzled look, “What do you mean?”
“Well,” she adjusted her hair as if embarrassed, “You seem to be a guru at this kind of stuff. Have you ever felt like you were overwhelmed?”
“Hmmm,” he began laughing, “Well, college comes to mind.”
“Well, some of the guys just showed me things I didn’t think were possible at the time. It became a contest of who could top who.”
“So what did you do?”
“I had to compete. I wouldn’t have felt like much of a man if I didn’t.”
“But don’t you regret it somewhat?” She looked away and down momentarily, “That perhaps you could have spent your time and energy better elsewhere?”
“No.” He confessed. “Because it taught me what to look for, what to avoid. And I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life at that point. I needed the fun and games in order to prove to others that I had what it took.”
“Well, could you give me an example of one of the competitions?”
“Oh, no. They were pretty involved and got a little dangerous sometimes.”
“Please?” She begged.
“I’m afraid I can’t. It would totally impact the way you see me.”
“C’mon. How am I supposed to learn from you then?”
“Trust me. The way I learned how to do things is a lot different from most people. I’m afraid we’ll have to stick to more traditional means.”
“Ok,” She said disappointed. “But I’m hoping that maybe someday we’ll know each other well enough so you’ll share with me. I find this very interesting.”
Trying to change the focus of the conversation, he asked, “So enough about me. What about you?”
“What about me?” She asked.
“You’ve said it’s been a while. When did you first get started?”
“Well, I got my first taste of it in high school. And got really into it in college.”
“And then what?”
“Once I graduated, I just stopped. I’m not sure why. It just wasn’t into it after that.”
“But you’re into it now.” He smirked.
“Yes, but now it’s different. Before it had no purpose. But here, and with you, I see a future.”
“Good.” He replied with confidence. “So are you ready to get started?”
“Of course.” She smiled. “I appreciate your help.”
Alex, as lead programmer, was happy to assist Alice in overcoming her fears of getting back into programming.