He was a programmer. His job wasn’t easy but he mostly could do it. He’d been doing what he’d been doing for a few years now. Today he stared at his computer screen as hundreds of little red flags marched and swarmed like angry army ants up his display. The errors were weird. He didn’t know what to do with them. It was humiliating. He felt like a rube. He felt like he was probably going to get laid off. Then he’d maybe feel bad and stare out his window at the flickering neon sign, entranced by the 60hz hum, and smoke too much pot, until his bank account dried up and he’d have to put everything in storage while he begged for change on the street. There’s not that broad a line between people with and people without homes once image and smell are discounted. He didn’t want another job. Tiny octagonal signs continued to fill his code editor as his stomach moved down in his torso. He wondered if he could shit out his stomach. He wondered if that would be better or worse than the process of giving birth. Maybe some people would prefer to be remembered as stomach-shitting freaks instead of fathers. He wasn’t going to judge. The text next to each error was meaningless, stating little more than that there was in fact an error. The errors were intractable. They may as well say, ‘Error, this program does not cure AIDS.’ ‘Error, this program won’t repair your relationship with your ex-girlfriend.’ ‘Error, this program won’t resurrect your father.’ He thought about his mother and hoped she would quit smoking. He thought about his ex and how he’d eat broken glass if that’s what it would take to please her. He thought about how he would die soon. Not too soon, maybe 50 years without direct intervention, but that’s still pretty soon. He felt hungry and kind of freaked out. He thought about how his body was a machine and how food is fuel and about what would happen if he stopped refueling his body, or if his body stopped needing more fuel. He thought about the elegance of decomposition and about how so many life processes work together to clean you up after you die. It’s vicious, really, how maggots and bacteria will frantically reproduce into Malthusian-crisis quantities in order to remove your stain from the earth as quickly as possible. His head itched. He walked to the bathroom and shaved his head with a loud set of clippers. “Fuck you, hair”, he muttered. A semicolon fell out. The itch receded. He drew his head close to the mirror and stared at his scalp. He watched his hair grow a few fractions of a millimeter. Maybe he was imagining it. Then he imagined his scalp was a barren field growing grass around a headstone with his name on it.