Sunday 30 September – Day 26 of 30
Steve woke up this morning glad that he had spent yesterday playing with his friends. At first, when John Lennon and his girls had surprised him on his meditative walk, he had been furiously angry. He hated being interrupted when his mind was just beginning to soar, when ideas were coming fast, when solutions seemed within reach.
But after a minute, seeing the love in their eyes, and John’s concerned expression, he wanted to be with them more than he wanted to be with himself. This was a new feeling for Steve. But it was more than that, he admitted to himself. He wanted their company more than he wanted to save Apple.
Wow! Cognitive dissonance.
It had been a wonderfully relaxing day—talking, laughing, playing tag, singing, eating together. John was a role model for how to thrive on The Cloud. Of course, John’s eligibility date was coming up soon, whereas Steve was just beginning to do his time. Maybe that explained John’s perennial optimism and good cheer. He was close to getting out, starting over, seeing Yoko again.
By this point, almost a year into his time, Steve had given up his plans for early reincarnation, and was concentrating on setting up a communication system between The Cloud and The Earth, or more specifically, a way that he could talk to Tim Cook and set him straight about how to run Apple.
His latest idea was to collar two science fiction experts up here, Douglas Adams and Arthur C. Clarke, and make them figure it out. In their books they invented all sorts of devices and gadgets that were outrageously impossible, so why couldn’t they do it for real?
Steve set out to find them, working out his arguments in his mind. He had no trouble persuading himself, but when the three of them were sitting in the food tent having a proper British tea, he had great trouble persuading them. In fact, they refused to have anything to do with his plan.
“Not because we can’t do it,” Doug explained, “but because it’s not good for you!”
“This isn’t about me!” Steve said. “It’s about Apple, the greatest, best, biggest, wealthiest, most perfect company on The Earth! They’re making mistakes. They don’t know what to do without me! They’re going to ruin everything I built! I really have to talk to Tim!”
“So, it’s not about you?” Doug asked. “Sorry, but you sound like it’s all about you. You know you do have friends up here, and we’ve been concerned about you. We know you’re having an especially hard time letting go.”
Clarke had not said anything, partly because he didn’t know Steve at all, but also because he would love to put his brain to work on inventing a communication system that would allow Cloud residents to talk to people still on The Earth. He thought Steve was onto a great idea and wondered why it hadn’t occurred to him before.
Doug Adams went on talking, explaining why he agreed with the communication blackout, how opening up the lines was a lose-lose situation for both sides. He found himself straying into the territory of free will versus predestination, and finally stopped when he saw that Steve wasn’t listening at all.
Steve had picked up on Clarke’s brainwaves and was staring intently into Clarke’s eyes. They were clearly communicating on some plane that Douglas Adams didn’t have access to. Was this the famous “reality distortion field” that he’d heard about? Was it happening right in front of him?
Doug threw in the towel and left the table. He knew somebody should break the spell and separate those two before they self-destructed.
(to be continued tomorrow)