Monday 10 September – Day 6 of 30
Steve woke up this morning and was surprised to find himself wrapped in a sleep sack lying on a tatami mat. His dream of sleeping in his own bed on The Earth had been so realistic that it took a few seconds to realize where he was and to remember that he now lived on The Cloud. A dream about sleeping. Had he ever had one before?
Another surprise: he was actually looking forward to his job interview and to a new work assignment.
After breakfast at Julia Child’s place he headed over to The Cube. This time he entered through the back door. The front door was the first thing new arrivals saw when they reached the top of the staircase from The Earth. He couldn’t bear seeing their faces.
Steve remembered his own arrival as a scene of complete chaos. He guessed that most of the 150,000 people who accompanied him that day were equally frightened and bewildered. But he had been lucky. John Lennon, now his best friend on The Cloud, met him at the entrance, whisked him out of line, and gave him the Magical Mystery Tour—his own version of the boring but required guided orientation.
He found the jobs section and waited until his name was called. The interview was brief. The brisk young clerk had done his homework, knew all about Steve’s past life, and had no questions. He handed over a piece of paper and dismissed him.
“Wait a minute!” Steve said. “I thought you were supposed to ask me about all the jobs I’ve ever had, all the work experience, all the things I know how to do, so you could assign me something new. I thought that was the whole point up here—to learn new things.”
“I already have all that information about you,” the clerk answered. “You can go report to your new job.”
Steve wasn’t satisfied. “What do you mean you already have the information? I’m the only one who knows what I did my whole life!”
The clerk smiled, reached over to a bookcase and pulled out a thick white volume.
“Your biographer knows,” he told Steve, “and now everybody on The Earth and on The Cloud knows.”
He handed over the book. It was Walter Isaacson’s biography of him! The one he had authorized, the one he had never had a chance to read. They changed the title! Wasn’t it supposed to be “iSteve: The Book of Jobs?”
He really liked the design of the cover, with the photo he had suggested. He really liked the typography. He really liked the feel and weight of the book. It was so long—627 pages!
“When did this get here,” Steve asked. “And can I have it?”
But the clerk was not going to give it up. “I need this one for the record,” he said. “Maybe you can find a copy over at the iTower. That’s where you’re going anyway. You’re assigned there.”
Steve practically ran to the iTower. “Where are the biographies?” he shouted at the attendant.
Right here, on the ground floor, next to fiction. Next to fiction? Who decided that? He scanned the J section. No “Jobs”. Maybe they put it under Isaacson’s name? No. Nothing on Isaacson either. Nobody had written a biography of the biographer. Or if they had, it wasn’t here.
He was determined to get his hands on a copy.
(to be continued tomorrow)