The clicking sound of a madman typing away his frustrations to an indifferent screen is a computer-age marvel. The madman knows this all too well.
In the real world, nobody listens. Nobody understands. So the madman pours his heart out on that computer. Miles away is probably a middle-aged Frenchman whose life is in crisis, as it is with all middle-aged men. This, the madman thinks, is his target audience: vulnerable and in search of a good dose of online literary drama. With the madman’s razor-sharp Search Engine Optimization skills and the occasional brilliance in his writing, Frenchman is bound to find the madman’s blog.
The madman, of course, has a reality other than virtual. By day, he teaches at a university and attends graduate school where most of it is done for show. He thinks life is better off spent travelling and eating and writing and reading. But nobody understands this. Which is why he blogs.
Thesis is what keeps the madman awake most of the nights. Tonight is one particular all-nighter with his computer. He wants to stop typing, but the deadline’s forcing him to stay in front of his stupid computer. The deadline, and all other things – like a girlfriend who has a PhD and thinks that a bachelor’s degree is short of a perfect mate or a world that weighs one’s worth based on diplomas. And so the madman goes on, typing like the madman that he is.
The keyboard has lost its backspace key. The computer screen stares back with character input growing by the second. The computer refuses to shut down. Like life, it does not concern itself of your bid to pause. The earth continues to circle the sun and the sun continues to shine in its glorious luster, so the madman must falter not. He has to keep going. And so he types, finishing a thesis whose value is nothing to him and everything to others.
It is already 3am, Eastern Standard Time. The madman forces himself to continue paragraphs and paragraphs of his thesis made of gold. The words no longer make sense. Silence fills the room. He stops typing.
There, in the growing still silence, he finally decides to click restart.*