Simon had been one of the top violinists in the Conservatory and won a poetry contest at age 16. His beltbuckle had a turquoise stone.
The sun almost rose.
Simon tumbled through frames, shapes changed shape, and words blinked into and out of existence.
He was aware that his brain was changing.
Somehow, without being able to leave this house, he could tell the paint on the outside was peeling.
He knew that his memory was dissolving and he wasn't sure how much longer he would be able to remember that he was losing his memory. He couldn't remember when he first noticed it, but he was pretty sure the job that was causing it.
And then he remembered why he had come in to work so early. Because he had come to some understanding that weapons research was being done here, and he had wanted to look for clues on the computer while the building was nearly empty.
Somehow he had ended up looking at pornography instead. How had he gone from weapons development to pornography? He tried to retrace his steps through the fog and dissonance. Nowhere. No steps. He wandered off on a new tangent that didn't intersect his previous tangent.
How was it possible for him to be aware of his inability to concentrate?
How long would it last?
He needed to write a letter to himself, he decided, and put it in the mail. In a few days he would receive it and know, if he couldn't remember having sent it, that he was losing his mind.
Moving quickly, the idea already fading, he opened the word-processor and began.
Afraid that by the time he reached the end of the letter he would have come derailed and would no longer remember what he was writing, he entitled it:
Simon stared at the screen and the room fell silent.
The sun was coming up in the east window. The room was a perfectly still pond.
The Administrator, standing behind him, shattered the silence:
"Ah... morning. Early today?"
"Yes. So are you."
"Yeah, I came in to... catch up on some things... use the Internet..."
"And what's on the Internet?"
"Too many things, actually. I forgot what I came in to look up. But it was important."
"It'll do that to you."
"Whenever you officially punch in,
I'd like you to clean the breakroom.
"Ah, okay. I forgot."
"Whenever you get the coffee made,
buzz me, and I'll come get a cup of coffee.
Simon pressed print, stood up, retrieved the paper from the printer, signed it, folded it, put it in an envelope, addressed it, return-addressed it with the same address, put a stamp on it, put it in the mail, and, with alacrity and poise, moved to clean the coffeepot.
And then notified the Administrator.