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For about two weeks, this CD-R had been sitting on our front stoop, exposed to the elements. On days when I ventured outside (no longer a guarantee any given day), I was sure to walk right by it. After passing it by five or six times, finally a thought occurred to me: “The OLD me would’ve wanted to know what was on that CD right away.” The new me didn’t want to touch it. The new me wanted to not get involved. I let it sit there for another week. In the meantime the election happened, the temperature dropped, and a week’s worth of morning dew and wind, and dust kicked up by neighborhood motorheads zooming up and down the street ravaged the disc, weathering away much of the coating on its backside.

I don’t know what about today made me finally decide to pick it up, to dig out my old external disc drive and set it up to see what data the disc contained, but I did. And when I picked the disc up and turned it over in my hand, I was surprised to discover that, though the back of it now looked like it’d been run a few times across a cheese grater, I could still make out the word Future, handwritten in Sharpie. I brought it inside, rinsed and wiped off the mildew with a paper towel, dried it, and inserted it into the drive. It was a long shot, but still better than no shot. And though the drive thought about it for a moment, chugging its little gears, it ultimately found nothing to report, gave up, and spewed the disc back out on its tray.

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