Sunday, May 31, 2009
It happened so slowly that no one, least of all me, even realised. I’d been working on a particularly tough problem, chewing through printouts and drafts for nearly two days straight, subsisting on coffee and dark chocolate, hardly looking up to watch the sunlight appear in the sky and fall back down again. Eventually, I typed the last word, saved it, and stood up. My back had tightened like a piano string and I stretched it out. I was about to walk to the kitchen for a celebratory drink when I realised I couldn’t see the door. All around me was paper. Stacks of scrunched and folded documents, photocopies, pens, chocolate wrappers, even a broken pen, sitting atop a discarded reference book, ink spilt from its broken spine. All around me, a wall of my own detritus. I pushed through a drift of paper and found the door. I would clean it up later, I thought. For now, a stiff drink and definitely a nap. I opened the door, and more paper fell in. All through the house the same. A little panic grabbed my chest. Everywhere, paper, with my frantic scribblings scrawled across it. I peered out the window, and sure enough, a landscape of white.