Without protest, without calculation, Gregory answered every question. “I don’t know,” he said, in answer to a query that is inaudible on my tape and that I can’t remember. “I’ve struggled.” A few times, Gregory paused and took several deep breaths, but he always resumed, determined to make his point. He talked with the air of a person who despairs of justice in this lifetime but counts on the vindication of history.
Finally, we made it to the end of the tale. There was only one remaining question, and it seemed both obvious and cruel. His project had promised an end to forgetting, but in the end, only Gregory had been unable to forget. The deluge of information had arrived. The other programmers had drifted away. Only Gregory remained with his fingers on the broken Xanadu machine.
"Why?" I asked.
"Total insanity," Gregory answered, both hands squeezing his face.