my story “A System Reboot” has found a home

I learned over the weekend that my story “A System Reboot” has been accepted by OpenDoor Magazine for its upcoming Mental Health issue. It should be coming out online later this month. When it does, I’ll post a link.

This is perhaps the most unique story I have written. It is about an incidence of transient global amnesia that serendipitously happened on the day before inauguration in 2021. My protagonist temporarily lost her memory for a day due to an accumulation of stress that had peaked that morning. (Among the stress was the dread of what might still happen in the last few hours that the Orange Man was still in office.) Her memory returns — her system reboots — on Inauguration Day, just as the nation is rebooting and leaving a trauma behind.

Such a fine, metaphorical coincidence might seem too pat, too opportune to be allowed. Except that it really did happen that way! And it really did happen to me and my wife! She had an episode of TGA on the day before the inauguration. It was scary for a while, because I feared she was having a stroke. Once that was ruled out, and the “benign” diagnosis of TGA was given, the day became fun in a way. She kept asking me the same questions every twenty minutes, having forgotten that she’d just asked them. Essentially, she lost the ability to make short-term memories for a day, and her long-term memory was clouded for a time. She didn’t know we had grandchildren, didn’t know that our own children were married, didn’t even recognize her iPhone. Most comical of all, she thought that Ronald Reagan was president. I think that was the most merciful aspect of her affliction: she didn’t know who the actual president was at the time.

She was fully recovered by the next day, though she has no memories of the actual event. I began writing this story merely to give her an account of what happened. Then I modified it into a piece of fiction, and now it will be published.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, short stories

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2 Comments on “my story “A System Reboot” has found a home”


  1. As always, congratulations on another story being accepted, but wow…your poor wife and you! That had to be scary. Obviously, I’m glad it went away…I wasn’t aware stress could do such a thing.

  2. Paul Lamb Says:

    Christopher – It’s a mysterious malady that has a diverse etiology. Among the other recorded “causes” is really great sex! (There was an incident in the news like this last week.)


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