When it snows in April you’ve missed the boat.
He strains his eyes at the wall of fog. It’s an experiment, it’s all it is. It must be. Signed the dotted line, didn’t he, without bothering to read the terms and conditions first. No, he didn’t sign anything, ticked the box I have read the terms of this agreement, like everybody does, don’t they, and no one has read them, cross their hearts. Clicked Accept.
Digital, it’s all digital, at the tip of your finger, yet disembodied and distant. He doesn’t remember when he last held a pen in his hand, last felt a blank sheet of paper surrender to his will, a decade ago or longer it must be. Tapped Accept actually, touchscreen, it’s all tapping and touching now.
Got the tablet as a present for his birthday, didn’t he. Daughter wanted his old laptop for his four-year-old grandson. Tossed all his photographs and memories into the cloud to make space for whatever it was she needed to install instead for the boy.
And then it was April and it snowed.
Maybe that wouldn’t have happened if he’d touched the screen without conjuring up the image of a real cloud in his mind. All he wanted, all he needed was access to his memories. And then it snowed.
And now this fog.
Is it even possible to touch anything, feel anything, or look at anything without having a thought, any thought at all? He stares hard at the damned fog. Nothing to see, nothing to remember. Far away a foghorn cautions.
Access to memory denied.
(c) Ash N. Finn, 2017