1993-1995. It was a time when browsers were making the Web more accessible,
and the public Internet was a new and glamorous territory. As I read our words,
I am reminded that they were written when the Internet and the World Wide Web
were beginning to become more important in people's lives, although both Cathy
and I had been working online for years. At PARC, I had finished working with
Pavel Curtis in LambdaMoo, and in California, Arizona, and Colorado, I was working
online for Arts Wire and with MFA students.
In July 1994, I was preparing to spend August in Palo Alto, so that I could
work with Cathy at PARC. At about this point in our narrative, on July 9, 1994
a car ran directly into my leg, and my plans to go to PARC were cruelly halted.
"Arizona. July 9, 1994. Getting ready to return to California
in August to work at Xerox PARC.
My life changed irrevocably in a few minutes in the hot Arizona sun.
I don't remember what happened.
I remember bleeding profusely. The bones in my leg protruding.
The unbearably hot pavement."
The story continues in the
Eastgate version of Forward Anywhere, where in the
Introduction, Cathy notes that she sent out an email in early July --
asking for housing for me in Palo Alto for August. "Ironically it was the
day before Judy's accident in Phoenix".
Because of the accident, I could not spend a month actually working at PARC.
For the most part, we finished the project online. It was a big disappointment
because I had enjoyed the time I spent in Computer Science Lab. I remember
walking up Page Mill Road, the horse chestnut tree, lunch with researchers,
shared excitement about the future of the Internet and the document of the
future, lectures in the bean bag room, the incredible work stations and the
rooms full of printers. I was very much looking forward to working in Cathy's lab.
But Cathy and I continued to create our narrative via email.
Our words are available in the published Eastgate version where the story
continues, as I return to Berkeley in a wheelchair. In my lexias emailed to
Cathy, I write about continuing to work online for Arts Wire and the
difficulties of coming to grips with the realty of disability.
With memories in photos on the walls of my apartment -- a picture of a tent
pitched beside a river in Colorado, a picture of a canoe beached beside a lake
in New Hampshire, I relate struggles with mishaps at home and concentrate on
the small pleasures: writing; learning to walk on crutches; Christmas eve with
my son who was at the time working at Hotwired, Wired's online magazine;
bread and cheese and wine and trips to the woods and beach:
"On the beach again.
The place where I wrote most of The Yellow Bowl.
I fell once on the trail, and several times
my crutches sank into the mud in a disturbing way.
Good thing I am by myself. My friends are easily freaked out
by my precarious metal interface with life.
Yellow flowers, green grass beside the warm sand.
Warm Guinness, bread and cheese......
The sound of the water lapping against the shore. The writing of words."
forward anywhere lines