Redmond Washington is a nice Northwestern town, a company town, where everyone works for software giant Microsoft. There’s a Stepford Wife feel to the place—everyone seems to be a clone. My second cousin lives there. She used to be married to one of the Microsoft-ites, a hyperactive, obnoxious guy who was big in Windows. They’re no longer a couple, but she tells me they’re both happier now. I hope it’s true.
Anyway one of the things that the Redmond folks did is build into their Windows XP operating software something called a restore point. The idea behind this is to be able to reset time and space to some earlier time and space, as if nothing had happened since that time. Computers have authoritarian personalities; they do as they’re told, however grudgingly. Thus, when you tell them they need to forget everything they’ve done for however long, they obey, as if nothing happened.
I got to thinking that my life and the life of others might be improved if we all had a restore point, some time in the past to where we could go, forgetting all events that happened since then. I’d press a button and go to a restore point in my life to undo the things I’ve done, perhaps choose different life paths. A few for me might be:
I seek out that guy, the one who was not part of the with-it crowd, talk to him, see that he’s depressed, get him help, and then I’m there to stop his suicide a week before high school graduation. He lives a normal life. His parents don’t divorce, they don’t move away.
I help my Dad understand that he’s got a dead end job, and that he should get into Real Estate full-time. He enjoys life more, works less, is a real father to us, rather than a slave to his office, where he’s underappreciated and overworked. He retires at age 60, not 70, and is comfortable. He lives past 75, healthy and happy.
I’m there in the basement of our tract house when my Mom tries to put the washer back on it’s foundation after it walks around the floor, and she suffers her first heart attack. I’d be the one putting my back into the water-filled monster, making it right, saving her a life of surgeries and pain.
I counsel my sister, make sure that she understands that big brothers can be mean spirited but that I love her, and want her to succeed. I help her get into a better college and into a better life. I stand and applaud as she graduates magna *** laude. I have a sense of pride in her accomplishments.
I go to Ecuador, to learn Spanish, to make friends, and to marry to a girl I met there. I never come back. My parents are heartbroken, we drift apart. Now, I’m teaching life skills and English to the poor. One of them decides that I am the devil; he shoots me, then himself.
I listen to the government intelligence agency recruiter. I’m sitting on the bed in a hotel room, he’s on the other. When he offers me the job, I say, “No thanks.” I walk out of that hotel and down a different path, maybe law school, maybe working in a trade, maybe….
Sigmund Freud spent a lot of time thinking about dreams. He said that the subconscious disguised its wishes through dreams, that dreams were a continuation of daily experience, but detached from reality. My dreams mostly deal with searching for something that I never find, but I know where it is. The dreams are about lack of fulfillment. But you know that restore point will fix all that.