from the collection of: m. gantee
There comes a time when it all gets deleted. All 532 separate files – each one a figment of my imagination, or a back alley of the psyche. All of them. Gone. I’ve done it before. The poetry I wrote in New York. Files filled up with them. “This isn’t me anymore.” Gone.
And even if it doesn’t happen like that, the computer itself will be folded up, stacked in a hallway as they’re emptying the house, taken to someone else’s desk in an apartment or house I’ve never seen. “I can’t figure out the password,” he’ll say. “This is useless to me.” And then it will be folded shut again – maybe turned off but maybe not since the whole device will become inconsequential to him. And it will be pushed into the kitchen garbage. Neatly. So that he won’t have to take the garbage bag out right now. It will be pushed tidily down the side of the bag – vertically – in a way that will allow him to scrape tonight’s dinner into that same garbage bag and maybe stuff in the leftovers that never got eaten from last week and tie the bag shut. And that way, too, the garbageman won’t ask questions like, “Why are you putting this electronic device into the garbage?” And that will be it. And if the computer was not turned off, it really doesn’t matter because it will hum for a while on its own until the battery dwindles. And, since the computer itself will be immersed in old sloppy-joe and rotting paella, the vent ports will close up with grease and wet rice and the temperature of the internals will rise a few degrees. This elevated heat will cause the wiring inside to demand just slightly more voltage to push the same amount of current over the same amount of wiring, and the battery will die that much faster. I guess it really doesn’t matter if it was turned off or not – in the garbage, the thing dies just a little faster. And from there? The magnetic spots on the disk (organized by the operational designs of a software engineer who may or may not still be working at SofChip over in Seoul) or the microcharges left in patterns on chips will become immaterial. The patterns may still exist. In fact, I would say that empirically, they will still exist. However, the materiality of them will fade. If a tree falls in the woods–. If a pattern is left in a landfill–. You know, kind of the same thing. And the universe will go on. Or it won’t. And that will be all.