Some years ago when I was still doing counselling, I had a number of clients who were shall we say very financially challenged. Being poor is a bitch, being poor and needing some mental health help is a double bitch. I had some students, some very underpaid apprentices, some people who probably could have paid full price, but were so overwhelmed that they couldn’t have organised a piss up in a brewery, so instead of money from a lot of them I got other things, the ones who were artistically inclined paid with gorgeous artwork, crafty ones made me little toys.
It worked out quite well for the most part, I was doing what I loved to do, I was staying in the draconian government guidelines of how much extra money I earned, and I was helping people. One of the people I helped at that time didn’t have real money to pay me, but he did have something he called Bitcoins, at that time I was only vaguely aware of what crypto-currency was, so I just shrugged my shoulders and said “yeah, why not”
He paid me around $60 worth of bitcoins for a two hour session, I was pretty damn sure I wasn’t going to go through all the palaver of doing whatever it was you had to do to exchange them for real money, so I put them in the folder in the files containing all my notes, transcripts, receipts and everything else that I am supposed to keep for ten years per the recommendation of the ACA.
Or so I thought.
With all the news surrounding bitcoins and finding out just HOW much my $60 would be worth, I got Paul to haul out my laptop, dig through the boxes and find the external harddrive that I keep all my old shit on.
I spent about 10 hours going through every single file on that HD, which was no mean feat. I had frikking nested rar files locked in zip files. I un-rared and unzipped literally thousands of files. I found things I’d carried over from my first Windows machine in 1996, text files, ASCII files for my BBS. A zipped copy of Spot, which I’m still side eyeing myself for. Why keep a copy of an Amiga program on your Win95 computer, especially when you’d sold your beloved Amiga because you HAD to have a Windows machine for Uni.
I found all my old Poser files, all my textures, models and poses. All totally useless now. I found so many photos of people I’d forgotten who were very important to me, back then. I found photos of people who are still very important to me, and are still in my life. I found some photos of my Mum that made me cry, some of my Nan, also cried. My darling daughters, so very young and cute and also naked, so we won’t be posting those as a means to embarrass them, like a good Mum should.
I found every single story I have ever written, the bad erotica, the good erotica and the bloody amazing erotica. All the funny stuff that was of its time, all the LTUAE stories, all the AVTECH stories. Even some from the dim distant days of AFD on DalNet on IRC. So much stuff it was very overwhelming.
But no bitcoin wallet.
I concluded that at some point I just must have deleted it because I thought it was worthless.
For all I know it’s still in there, because I may have missed something, there were so many nested zip and rar files, some locked files and quite honestly I felt very sad. I have lived most of my life online in some way, starting from 1982 with my TRS 80 and my acoustic coupler, getting online to BBS’ and with my C-64 onto Viatel. All the way up to now with my tablet and smartphone, and that’s all I have to show for it, aside from my two amazing children, and even they came about from being online, an external harddrive filled with memories and shit.
I’m not sure I want to keep on looking.