It turn the book over and over in my hands, having stopped reading on page 35 and just remembering the rest of the book as it unfolded.
The pages are yellowed and stained; the cover is soft and yields. It is not the crisp, bright paperback it once was when it lived in my knapsack and traveled around with me on the bus and in my trunk. I smells like a library now, not like calvin kleins ‘Eternity’ and its two partners are in no better shape when I pass them on the shelves. They look out at me as I move around the room and place this volume down on my desk.
In the early 90s a friend of a friend who had read these books once related them to us (the nerds that we were playing ‘Shadowrun’ in the private playpen,loft that head been built in the backyard of Andrews house) as an “adventure”. We weren’t the characters in the book; so when faced with the same choices and the same scenarios, we didn’t sublimate the authors intent. We couldn’t absorb the flow of it via osmosis, so we couldn’t follow the story of a mad artificial intelligence and the girl who could surf the net with her mind. We just wanted to kill bad guys and make money so our characters could be cooler and more wealthy than we could ever be. So we didn’t really meet Bobby or his Voodoo girlfriend. Slamhounds came, went and were disposed of.
So here I am; staring into the pages again, the first volume back on the shelf. Waiting for me to come around again once the Matrix becomes self aware and I can consign it all to memory again.