Starving Writer Lost among “Employees”

By then was a Megabrain office, where I kept most of the mind machines. But the office was miles from home, and it was a busy place, filled with work to do and with people—employees, for God’s sake, and what had I, poor starving writer, ever done to become the kind of person who had employees?—talking on phones, using faxes and copiers, doing all the tasks that had to be done to maintain a network of tens of thousands of people who were interested in mind machines.

Whenever I got up the energy to get into the office, there was always so much work to do there, and so many phone calls to be returned, that it was impossible to spend much time using any of the mind machines that were all over the place. Besides, the employees were using them.

The sad fact was that I had become like the poor little rich boy when it came to mind machines. I had written Megabrain because using mind machines was so much fun I wanted an excuse to keep doing it. But now I had virtually every mind machine made, with the inventors and manufacturers sending me their latest devices, and I hardly ever had the chance to use them. No time. Too tired.

I saw the irony—these were machines that were supposed to increase physical energies and mental powers, and to boost mental and physical health and well-being, and here I was—the “leading authority,” the “spokesman,” even the “guru” of mind technology—took sick, too tired, too mentally debilitated to even use the damned machines! It was clear what had to be done.

I moved out of the house and secured court-ordered joint custody of our son. But then my wife took my son and moved out of the state. I was devastated. My friends and my lawyer assured me that while my situation worked its way through the court system, I should get to work on a book, get healthy, and get on with my life.

I looked around me. My cozy home overlooking San FranciscoBaywas cluttered with an extraordinary assortment of contraptions. Over here were several new electroencephalographs (EEGs), looking like small computers, still in their boxes. Over there, eight different machines that flicker your brain waves with strobe lights. In the closet was a box full of electrical brain stimulators. Hey, said the voice in my head said, according to the guru of mind technology, these things work. Why don’t you use them!

It was as simple as that. Something changed—a subtle shift in my reality. The world smelled tangy. I was ready.

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