what a cello player said about my html (2000)

The music teacher drove from school to school, carrying a leather bag and smelling like cigarettes. We waited in the hallway until he arrived and unlocked the door to the music room. Then waited in line to tune our instruments at the piano, one by one.

During all the waiting, there was time to talk.

One of the violinists was tiny because he had skipped two grades. He could play a difficult Bach concerto, so he played it a lot. He claimed to have written a 3D game in Java, after which I decided he was full of it and probably told him so.

I’d built a small homepage, with white text on a black background. Apple charged $60 a year for hosting. It had an image of a grim reaper at a tea party, which I’d modeled and rendered with a student copy of Hash Inc.’s Animation:Master. I’d once gotten yelled at for loading that page on every computer in the school library.

Patrick was a quiet seventh grader who played cello. He told me the HTML on my site had a meta tag showing it was generated by Adobe PageMill. “If you look at the source, it just looks, kind of, like… bad,” he said, embarrassed for me.

One day a violinist stole the teacher’s baton and hurled it towards the ceiling until it stuck. We were all surprised that the teacher got mad. Everything was hopelessly boring, so we were just trying things out, building, playing.