"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Sunday, February 20, 2005
potential 1 a : something that can develop or become actual b : PROMISE 2 : what would, if we only knew about ourselves, probably break out hearts
It was one of those slow nights when only the occasional lone traveler would come in for gas, a night that was unremarkable, a night I would not remember at all had it not been for one singular unique thing that happened.
I've been sitting here trying to remember what year this happened. I think it was maybe 1983 or 1984. Well, we'll say that it was one of those, anyway. I was heading up the audit department for a small set of hotels in South Carolina. As the head of the audit staff, I worked from 11pm to 7am. That's when business slowed down enough to audit, so that's when we did it.
Usually we would run the audit on the computer right at the beginning of the shift. We were using one of those first generation PC's that didn't even have so much as a hard drive or a color monitor. No, it had two 360K floppy drives and that was it. One of the floppies would be dedicated to DOS, which at that time was version 1.0.
We were able to use it for the audit only because I had taught myself BASICA, a simple programming language that came with the computer, and wrote the darn program myself. It beat ordering one for $10,000.
So, that night the audit was already done, and I was probably reading a book or chatting with one of the auditors, and someone came in to pay for their gas. It was a fairly young guy with big glasses and brown hair. He paid for his gas with a credit card, I think.
As I was ringing it up, he looked into the next room where the computer sat. It was still on.
"I wrote that," he said, nodding towards the computer.
I turned around. The screen was empty except for an "A:" prompt. "DOS? You wrote DOS?"
"Yeah. Bill Gates." He held his hand out, and I shook it.
And that's when I went into the parking lot, handcuffed myself to his car door, and demanded that he take me along...well, no. That didn't happen.
I mean, who knew?
I said, simply, "Cool!" and I grinned. He grinned back.
He said good night and I'm sure I did too, and he left.
Ships passing in the night. His was just a lot bigger than mine was. One night, though, way back in the day, I shook Bill Gates hand and sold him a tank of gasoline.
There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through encouragement from someone else. I don't care how great, how famous or successful a man or woman may be, each hungers for applause. George M. Adams