floppy disk corruption (2001)

When I went to high school, things started disappearing.

I wrote essays in Word, saved them on floppy disks to print at school. Text would get deleted or garbled. Sometimes a file wouldn’t load at all, so I would re-type it from memory.

Textbooks, worth hundreds of dollars, would vanish from my locker. I’d take someone else’s book from the lost and found, scratch my name in the cover.

The dotcom bubble burst. Restaurants closed. Parents were laid off.

One kid caught mono in the fall and missed so much school that he never returned.

September of my freshman year, we lost two towers in New York City. Thousands of people, gone. That Halloween, a friend dressed as a wizard with a fake beard. Took it off after someone called him a terrorist. He transferred out the next year, and I never saw him again.

A floppy disk corrupted a PowerPoint for a group project we had worked on for a month. We recreated it the day before it was due. Slides got swapped. I talked about the Bay of Pigs standing in front of a map of China.

Spent afternoons asleep on the couch holding a yellow legal pad filled with scribbles. My sister told me I slept with my eyes open.