9/20/15 MODED

He clicked on the export button. On the center screen the lines of ones and zeros disappeared. A small window popped up with a load bar. EXPORTING, it read. The green bar filled slowly. He took a deep breath, it felt good, he hadn’t noticed how tense he’d been, holding his breath. He bobbed his head with the music still flowing through his body. He relished the crescendo and the drop. The drop. That was what everyone waited for, the drop was what made the music worth it. But there wasn’t a drop to life. No big payoff. Not for the masses outside his small apartment and not for him. He reached into a bag and grabbed a stale chip. It was salty and chewy. He might have spilled some soda in the bag.

The music stalled, just for a moment, and a loud BING sound blasted in his headphones. He glanced up at the middle screen. The export was done. On the desktop was a little file, no folder, a string of numbers and random letters as a title. He overed the cursor over it, right clicked, rename: MODED, he typed. He brought up a Insertion, a program he’s written himself. It was only a small window with two ports. URL and SELECT FILE. He copied and pasted the URL of the website he had up on the left hand screen. Then he used the dropdown menu of the SELECT FILE>DESKTOP>MODED.EXE.

He took a breath. He’d done this so many times before. Five years of work, five years of saving, of learning and teaching himself. He reached below his desk and grabbed a soda from the box below the desk. He cracked it and heard the peph, sound it made. The music hadn’t restarted. With one hand he raised the can to his mouth, with the other he took off his headphones and let them hang around his neck. The sound of the crowded street outside reached him. This was for them. This was for them and Bee. For all those years ago. For everything that had happened. Why he thought this time would be different, he wasn’t sure, but something just–just felt right. He moved the cursor over the Inserter window. As the little arrow moved over the OK button, his hand over tingled. He pressed his finger down on the mouse.

He felt it in his mind. He’d had migraines as a kid. They’d creep up on him when his sister was crying and wouldn’t shut up, or when he was worried about what they would eat the next day, or when he thought someone might finally kill him and take Bee completely. He’s stay up all night watching her sleep under an overpass, or on a doorstep down a deserted alley, and heave and vomit and never get a wink. This wasn’t anything like that. It was a thousand times worse. His head had cracked, his mind broken. There was no body, no past or future, only the present and the present was pain.

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