OK, turing.

<- leave blank

Wed Jul 1 05:18:22 EDT 2020

A woman sat at the bottom of the staircase in front of her apartment,
smoking a cigarette.  The staircase was off a side street, but the
front was toward a busy city intersection.  People always came by here
asking for cigarettes as people would smoke.  Smoking was a hassle
really, that gave her no real relief.  She smoked here because she
always did, even often contemplating why she would waste her time,
money, and health, all the while wondering what to say to the next
person asking her for one or just the money.  She'd picked up knitting
as a diversion.  It wasn't the same, of course.  She ended up missing
even the strangers asking for cigarettes when she didn't come out
here.  A man was coming up the street now.  She steeled herself.  She
would decline him his request but the conversation would be pleasant.
Or he would just walk by.  That would be rather anticlimactic and
depressing!  Perhaps she would give him a cigarette after all,
grateful for his thanks, avoiding him flipping out or something...
you never knew around here.  No. She was sick of giving up her poison.
Now he was near, and she could tell he was about to ask, so she cut
him off, "I'm sorry, I really don't have an extra cigarette, I hope
you understand I'd rather give you one."

The man stared at her for too long then pulled out a cigarette of his
own and lit it, juggling a folder.  This was a stranger stranger than
most, she realized, but at least he brought his own cigarettes if he
was going to smoke.  He was probably a drug addict or something she
thought, with a bit of rising anxiety.  "I'm a writer," he said a bit
shortly and abruptly, not reading her mind exactly, but certainly on
point.

She didn't know what to say so she just stared back at him with a bit
of an amused expression.  "What do you write about?" she asked him.

"Stuff like this.  Daily life.  I could hand you something right now
and then ask who or what you think is real.  You and I certainly
aren't," he chuckled.

"Then you're a crazy writer," she was about to laugh at him.  "I know
I'm real."

"How do you know you're real?"

"I think, therefore I am."

"That only proves yourself to yourself.  How do you explain me?"

She couldn't help but laugh.  "I certainly can't."

"Well thanks for trying," he said jokingly, and began to turn as if to
continue on his way, with an exaggerated slowness.  He turned all the
way around in a circle and met her eye again.  "Would you like to read
a sample?" He reached into the folder and pulled something out.

It looked short.  "Sure," she said, and took the paper from him.  She
began to read.

A crazy writer sat alone at his electronic typewriter.  It handled all
the bare essentials of producing a stream of text from his mind into
words on a reproducible sheet of paper, without any of the paranoia he
would be enveloped by with a more general purpose machine.  And
furthermore...  well.  He could stand to get out more often, but right
now he was committing himself to fighting through the urge to do
nothing to type some gibberish arguably worth reading.  He chuckled a
little at the thought.  It was still gibberish, it would always be
gibberish.  That was ok for this purpose, he intended to hand people
gibberish.  He typed about that a bit and planned out how it would go.
Once he had something typed up he would put it in a folder and walk
around handing it to people.

The woman stopped and looked up at the writer.  "That's such a weird
effect.  You're more crazy than you are a writer.  So this is the
gibberish?"

"Well it's supposed to be a little loopy, I dunno.  Someone suggested
writing for an audience, I'm probably a bit confused writing the
audience into it or something...  I'm not sure what the main point is.
Writing something worth reading I suppose.  I'm aware it's gibberish."

"No!  It's quite compelling in a way.  I feel really absorbed into the
story, almost inseperable from it by my very existence."

"Maybe you would be delusional to think you are seperate from it or
anything else," the writer said with half a smile.  The woman wasn't
sure what to make of this.  She was quite sure one of them was
delusional and that it wasn't her.  What he was saying made sense
though, it was the weirdest thing.  She skipped down a ways and
continued to read.

Enjoying his cigarette while his reader continued to scrutinize the
work, the writer was beginning to run out of steam.  Which world was
he in?  He decided to make the most of the situation.  Things were
starting to get garbled even if it was supposed to be gibberish, and
again, and here he nods to the audience, as writers often do in great
works of pomp and literature.  He chuckled again at the thought of
himself sitting back at his typewriter.  He took a small notepad from
his pocket and wrote the gist of the idea to himself to ponder later.
Perhaps for years, during late nights of sleeplessness in the darkness
of worrying about the next morning, whatever next thing life brought,
the future.  He puffed again on his cigarette, by his more existential
logic admonishing himself for enjoying it so much.  "You're still
here," the woman said to him.

The woman was startled.  She looked up at the writer.  "Who were you
planning on handing this to anyway?  Seems like you planned this all
including me.  I'm not sure I like this."

"Ah, sorry," said the writer, blushing a bit.  He snatched the paper
back from her.  "I don't mean to be offensive or anything.  Someone
said write for your audience, I dunno.  I'll be on my way, I hope I
wasn't too much of a nuisance.  Never sure which way's up around here
anyway, eh?" He stifled a laugh.

The women quietly nodded her agreement, looking a bit skeptical.  "You
take care of yourself.  Keep working on it, and stop bothering me."