Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Farewell to Apps

It was a pleasant cat café, bright and clean and friendly, and I took my tablet out of my brown and saffron backpack and started to write. I was writing about the next all-hands meeting and the email was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it. I did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where I was nor drink my mochaccino. Then the email was finished and I read it and saw that it was a good email but very long.

A girl came in the cat café and sat at the table next to mine. She was very pretty with a face as clear and clean as an iPhone box if they packaged iPhones in skin and painted the logo on with crimson lipstick freshened by a cool autumn rain. She smiled at me with her gently modeled face and her eyes looked inquisitive. "Using the app?" she said.

"To pay for my coffee?"

"No, The Hemingway app. It edits your writing."

"It's news to me."

"It cuts dead words from your writing and highlights passive constructions, so you write with the power and clarity of Papa, only faster and easier and without the beard. It costs only $9.99."

"I'll be sure to read the reviews."

She nodded and then I went back to my email and read it a second time and felt sad because it was very long. I clicked on Safari to download the app and launched the beach ball of death showing the wi-fi was broken and all the sadness of the big city filled me suddenly, with the streets turned to wet blackness by a cold winter rain and the storefronts all dark as if they were once Radio Shacks and Borders and Blockbusters and A&Ps and I thought my writing was slow and bloated and perhaps out of date like those stores.

I finished reading the last paragraph and looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. I hope she's not saddled with student debt like one of the mules we took up the mountainside at Caporetto, I thought. But I felt sad. I shut down my tablet and put it in my backpack and said psh psh psh to a black and white tuxedo kitty that came and restored my dignity.
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