.

 

to explain myself

the risks of the metafiction lifestyle

I went to airport security and told the young, shaven-headed guard why I'd been in the country.

“I also have lived in Brooklyn. They find you, this company in Savion, from your Web site?”

“Yes.”

“And what is this site called?”

“Ftrain dot com. You know the F train from Brooklyn?”

“I know the F train. I took it. What is on this Web site, Ftrain dot com?”

“Huh. Thoughts on technology. Stories. Ideas. Essays.”

“Stories about you?”

“Sometimes.”

“This is something that we do not have here already, in Israel, is your biography? There is an urgent need for your life story?”

“No, but the things I do behind the scenes, that's what they wanted to talk about.”

“Why you, Mr. Ford?”

“I am an exceptional human being. But also there were several others invited.”

He laughed. “May I see this Web site? On your computer?”

“If my batteries are working.” I booted the laptop and after a minute of disk-spinning, Netscape emerged with Night Flight to Tel Aviv. “Where would you like me to click?”

“Click there.”

“It's a story about taking a train, people fighting.”

“Yes. Please scroll down. I see the picture of the Ftrain, yes? You took that picture?”

“It is. I did. That is my stop.”

“Why is it so yellow, the picture?”

“I run it through a special filter to make it look as if it was printed in a 1970's children's textbook.”

He had no response. “This is nice work, Mr. Ford. You are going to be a millionaire, I think. I am learning Unix myself also. My cousin in America, he had a Web site about Unix, pieces of knowledge. He sold it for 6 million dollars. Will your Web site be worth so much money?”

“Please. It is worth much more than 6 million dollars.” I asked, “You are bored asking these questions?”

“Sometimes boring. Many have the same story. You would not believe for crazy people, sometimes. Rich people. Business people. I talk to all kinds of people.” Behind me, a patient man with a southern accent said to his interviewer, “all of my work immediately becomes the property of the United States Government.”


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Ftrain.com

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Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.

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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.

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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford

Recent

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Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

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