Where did that [
] story go?
It came unbidden as I was eating breakfast and reading the back of the cereal box. ?ow! What agreat idea for a story!I hurried to the computer and turned it on. As I waited for the screen to show myhighly elaborated desktop image and all those little icons, the story took shape in my mind. A few wellturned phrases emerged from the jumble of words I was choosing to build this wonderful story.The computer hummed and whirred and, one by one, the program icons appeared followed by thetask-bar and the clock and... a window popped up in the middle of the screen.“ERROR it blared, ravapw32 has illegally accessed memory block 1256.223 and caused a generalprotection fault!”What this means I am not sure but it persistently hovers before my eyes. I click on OK and the windowdisappears along with bits of my great story. What to do? The little cursor glides all over the screenbut no amount of clicking produces any results. Each ineffectual click erodes the story even more. Mycarefully crafted denouement is crashing into oblivion along with my PC. One last click brings up thedreaded “
Blue Screen of Death
!”I now have only one option: Reboot!The screen goes black. The hard drive drones and spins. The little lights on the CD-ROM reader goon and off, the screen slowly comes to back to life and the contents of the autoexec.bat file show up,line after line. One of my finely turned sentences becomes:“lh c:\windows\au10dos.com /n:10 /xpq=4 /m:microblurt”Finally, when my patience seems at an end, the desktop reappears, the error message doesn't. Ifeverishly click the word processor icon, it opens.I click: file (click) new (click) normal (click) font = Arial (click) margins=0.5(click),The blank pages pops up! I haunch over the keyboard, my fingers ready to finally put down on digitalpaper the contents of my marvelous story...Nothing comes!It is gone like the memory of a wonderful dream that set your heart aglow. Gone like morning mist onthe surface of the river as the rising sun burns it away in wispy strands. It shimmers in the back of mymind, indistinct and elusive. It hides, timid and reticent.I suddenly think: If l check my E-Mail. Maybe it will come back if I don't force it”After wading through innumerable messages of no import, quite a few bits of spam and a nice notefrom a friend, I return to my blank page The story has fled to the darkest reaches of my memory andrefuses to come out. I can't even see the tip of its intro! I give up. It is gone! I won't be able to tell it toyou. You would have liked it. It was funny and a little sad. It had these great sentences and lots of neat adjectives and adverbs! The conclusion was surprising and unexpected.I close all the programs and click the computer off. Slowly its myriad components quiet and die.Dejected, I finally turn the monitor off. I go back to my unfinished breakfast and resume reading thecereal box and shoveling cold, soggy cereal in my mouth. Next time I'll grab a pen and some paper and jot down my next marvelous and wonderful story.