My Life at Age Thirty-One

Wallingford was my neighborhood of choice because it was midway between Green Lake where I could swim and the University of Washington where I could be an independent scholar in artificial intelligence. I bought a little piece of luggage in which I could carry around the notebooks in which I was writing down my Theory of Mind for artificial intelligence. I began working for a friend of mind at Piers Parking on Pier 51 on the Seattle waterfront. My buddy from high school, with whom I would sometimes speak Latin on the bus, made sarcastic reference to my job as a "P.L.A." or parking lot attendant, but I was happy because I loved the waterfront and because I had plenty of free time to write down my ideas about how the human brain works. Lots of people were doubting me. I spoke French with some businessmen from France, and they asked me where I had learned French. "A la universite," I replied truthfully. "Ah, ce n'est pas vrai," one of them sneered to his fellows. A sorority girl gave me five dollars for a gold chain which I had found in the lake, but she was astonished that I could read out loud to her the Greek letters of her sorority pin. The sun was shining too brightly into the shack of the parking lot, so I Scotch-taped pages of Pravda in Russian onto the windows facing south, to block out the light, but one of the owners of the parking lot did not like seeing a Communist newspaper through the window, so they made me take down the pages from Pravda. From a dealer in Canada I had ordered a cassette tape of speeches of Hitler in German, and I tried to use the public-address and music-playing system of the nearby fish-and-chips shop to play the Fuehrer's voice loudly onto the busy, tourist-filled sidewalk of the Seattle waterfront, but something went wrong, and anyway the irreplaceable tape got all jammed up and destroyed inside my tape-player.

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