HOPE OF REBOOT by Hayes Moore

The latest Slush Pile fiction at Dig Boston:

MY SUPER-HUSBAND just sent me an interesting article. I call Paul my Super-Husband because he is both my supervisor and my husband. And because it is poetic.

The email said:

juliet—article below mentions a kid from your high school class. hope the code’s not too ugly? i’ll be looking for it tomorrow early. loves, p.

The article is the interesting part. It’s about Solon’s returning to Cambridge to be an assistant coach for Lesley University’s baseball team (Go Lynx!). I haven’t thought of Solon since 2001, senior year of high school. And that is a dramatic lie. I haven’t thought of Solon often since 2001, senior year of high school. That is closer to the truth. The truth is also that, as a computer programmer, I have never ceased thinking of Solon.

In 1993 my parents splurged for a new PC with the Windows 3.1 operating system, the system that introduced the mouse and that changed the world. That was the same year I met Solon. The two events are so entwined in my mind that, looking back on it now, they seem to have happened on the same day. Surely that can’t be true? Regardless, my life since then has been one expansion pack after another, trying to capitalize on 1993 with varying degrees of success. I was in fifth grade.

Solon was in fifth grade too. My parents’ obsession with the new operating system was infectious; it was like a new baby in the family but without the labor or time to prepare. Wham-bam thank you Mr. Gates. Solon was new to our school and we were both in Ms. Jones’s class. On the first day of class I was day-dreaming about PCs and OSs during roll call when Solon said his name, Solon, and its newness, its perfect symmetry—like the sound of a letter in an artificial alphabet—merged with the fantastic, all-consuming importance of our computer to convince me that Solon was as inextricably linked to our new baby as a plastic mouse. And that he was a robot. (read more)