The Trickster Diaries/Chapter 130
Meanwhile, hard drive crash. Jones says: “Shit, man. ALL your files?”
Me: Yup. Screenplay, photo files, everything. The only thing I backed up was my novel.
Palm trees, bougainvillea, green grass, wide sidewalks, metered parking, cars—expensive, late model cars—instead of pickup trucks. Lots of octogenarians. Palm Desert, baby. The Apple Store, where the gently robotic young men and women in red polo shirts—like kind ER nurses—are trained to know that a computer (or “device”) malfunction is an emotional event. One’s life, after all, is in that motherfuckn box.
“You type ‘wants’ into computers, man,” says Jones. “Whether you’re communicating with someone or accessing entertainment, paying a bill…”
“A want or a concern.”
“Oh, shit, man: Buddhism 101—fear, desire, AND…”
Jones: (Interrupting) And by just doing it…
Me: (Interrupting back) By doing it you fulfill your social duty.
Jones: Amazing, isn’t it? Nice trick, getting you to interact with all three enemies ALL the time, in a beautifully designed… piece of furniture, really.
Me: Weirdest thing for me during the week it’s been in the shop, is sitting down at the desk. Because if I look in the direction of where the computer was, the screen still appears, momentarily, only it’s a magnification of the wall behind it.
Jones: (Laughing) No shit? Well, see?
Me: Yeah. And I don’t just see the screen, but the world inside it. The possibilities. It’s exciting, almost, for a second.
Jones: Right. And if all this, (Gestures with his eyes at the shops, the people, palm trees, sky, cars), if all this is a dream, what’s that world inside a device but a dream within a dream? Pretty sure that very few claw their way back to any kind of conscious surface from that depth, amigo.
Me: (Heavy Brit accent) Now, listen here, old man. Are you suggesting, then, that most every Tom, Dick or Harry… why that’s absurd!”
Jones looks over at me, grinning. “Ha! Well, we’ll see, man. We’ll see how you handle this new OS. This blank slate. This virgin canvas. This…”
“Yeah yeah. I get it.”
“What will be the first website you visit? The first password you enter? Your very first download?”
Me: Oh-muh-gawd. I’m trembling.