I am continuing the archival floppy disk transfer of my Apple II disks. I go from disk to disk and when I find one that was used as data storage, I jump ahead of my planned procedure and look at the data. I can’t help it. I am an AppleWorks guy when it comes to vintage Apple II Word Processing, although someday I’d like to make some notes as to other varieties. The reason is simply that I “got” AppleWorks when I was using it and there wasn’t a lot of hidden commands to remember to get it to do the basic things you needed done. This is the transcript of an .AWP file I came across an unlabeled floppy whose disk directory was entitled “Storage”.
* * *
The first time I was crazy I lay in the floor for hours. It was the first time I listened to my own laughter, staring across the stained floor of my dormitory room, through the shards of broken glass, the fourteen mattresses of my bed casting the hazy afternoon sun’s shadow on me. there was always the footsteps of people walking outside the square hall, passing the room, and I had lain there so long I could recognize who they were by the sound of their gait. In the morning, whichever morning it was that I had waken, I smashed the bottle of Southern Comfort that was in my bed against the other bottles collecting in my room. That was the last thing I actually did. At least that was the last thing I actually remember.
That was years ago.
Maybe it was years ago, because I can only remember today, and the dreams I had last night. I only allow myself to remember today and the dreams. I doubt I could survive if I didn’t. And yesterday? What of yesterday?
Yesterday was only true at the time. To guide your life by the things you said or believed yesterday can only lead to your ruin. People don’t. Oh sure, they say the things you remember them saying yesterday or six weeks ago, but they never mean them. Not as much as when it first occurred to them. When they repeat it, it’s more for the sake of their own nostalgia, for if they have a past, then somehow they become more real today. I haven’t had that problem since I got up off the floor.
That wasn’t the letter William really planned to send to his mother. He really didn’t even know why he wrote it. Today, however, he knew that it was the pen trying to betray him. Pens always had that characteristic and given the least chance, they could always lead to your undoing. Time and care went into everything William wrote or said. Oh yes, William knew that the tongue was just as difficult a compatriot as the pen, but to survive you just had to know how to coax them into submission.
William lifted the pages from his writing tablet and removed them. He took the next blank page, tore it out and ripped it up. Carrying the pages that the pen had written, he went to the closet, unlocked it, and took out the milk crate where he kept the papers that other pens had written. When he had the new pages filed, he locked the closet, and went back to the kitchen table to throw the treacherous pen away.
He stopped by the refrigerator and looked in at milk containers. There were twelve of them and they were the only objects in the refrigerator, besides a dozen or so avocados that rolled sightly on the shelf. They used to be filled with milk but now they contained avocado juice. It had taken him hours to fill the containers. He used the money from the last paycheck he received from being Kroger’s bag boy to buy an electric juicer. William poured himself a glass of the thick, green liquid and wondered why he hadn’t realized years ago that all life runs on simple sugars, and that must be the easiest fuel for the body to break down. With all the wear and tear he would save by only consuming simple sugars, he may live forever. He tried the same principle last week with beer, but he couldn’t remember much about it except the vomit. There was still a stain on the couch he couldn’t remove.
* * *
I have no idea where I was going with that story, I think that the gist of it was a exercise showing a writer slowly losing his sanity and bringing everyone around him into the void. Now that I’m older, there’s not a lot of appeal to following this start through. People can get it into their minds, how things are going to be in the world, and sometimes they have no basis. It can be a painful process to watch, and the worst part is the ability of the mind to rationalize. You mind wants everything to have a reason, and if no reason is apparent, it will create it’s own reasons that actions have transpired, which is just as illogical as the original series of events.
You know, I like the tautology of that last thought.
Maybe I will continue the story.