My hard drive died last week, just like that, as if my laptop had had a heart attack. It’s the ideal way to go if you’re old — boom, lights out, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Except that the last two chapters of my novel-in-progress were on the hard drive and I hadn’t made a back-up file, so everything I’d written was gone. A computer repair guy referred me to a forensics specialist, who told me how much he’d charge to recover the data. He might as well have quoted me a price for brain surgery, it was so far beyond my budget.
I tried to piece together the lost chapters from memory but came up with nothing but fragments of sentences and only a faint recollection of how I’d tied up the plot’s loose ends.
I kept thinking of U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions being asked under oath to help explain why he and many others in Donald Trump’s posse crossed paths with Vladimir Putin’s posse during the presidential campaign.
Sessions told House members “I do not recall,” over and over. He had “no recollection of the details” of his discussions about Russia with former Trump aide and convicted perjuror George Papadopoulos. Or of much else.
I thought damn, is my memory as bad as this dude’s? I have no recollection of the details of my lost chapters, only the memory that they once existed. I do not recall why I made the stupid mistake of not backing up my text.
But things could be worse.
I don’t look and act like the Ku Klux Klan’s elfin mascot.
I’m not an old Confederate masquerading as someone morally qualified to head the Department of Justice.
I know the difference between defective and selective memory.
Most important, I can dispense with my previous version of events and create a new one without having to worry about going to jail for it.