I've never been on the cover of any magazine, and though my invention has been all over the news, even the reporters talk more about what it does than who I am. Granted, I didn't invent the thing for any notoriety. In fact, I'm rather shy. Crowds make me exceedingly uncomfortable. In a room with too many people my hands tend to shake, a cold sweat breaks out all over, and I get the feeling I'm choking. I can't imagine what it would be like to have hordes of people swarm me on the street, getting crushed by fans of my creation. So, in a way, it's a good thing the machine is more important than the man. Still, it would be nice to have some recognition.
I guess what I'm saying is I go back and forth. Most of the time I don't mind being virtually unknown. I go to the store, and no one bothers me. I'm that guy people avoid because he looks too skinny to be healthy, and my nervousness makes others nervous, so they keep their distance. Yet, there are times I want someone to point me out and say, "That's him. He's the reason you can walk again." But then I worry I'll have to talk to that person. I've never really been what's called charming. There's also the fact I didn't invent the Wire to fix nerves. It just seems like it would be awkward talking to someone who's thanking you for something you never intended to do. Not that I'm sorry for the discovery. Like penicillin great things can come from accidents. However, it feels wrong to take praise for a mistake.
My friends like to point out there couldn't've been a discovery, no matter how accidental, if I hadn't invent the Wire in the first place. I suppose that's why I get conflicted. I see too many facets of the issue. I see myself as benefiting from chance at the same time I created the circumstances for chance to be beneficial; and depending on how I'm feeling is which way my perspective inclines. When I get lonely I want people to celebrate me for what I've done. When I'm feeling fine I'd rather be left alone. Meanwhile, the only important thing is that the Wire exists.
Five years ago I started a project for Cathertech, a technological pioneer. The CEO, Catherine Dunlap, wanted advances in common products which she saw as underdeveloped. She sought new forms of wires, batteries, transmitters, all manner of everyday products which could in any way be improved. My work in the battery division, helping to develop 3-D electrodes which made a microbattery possible, shrinking the battery size by ten times without any reduction in power, got me transferred. In my new department I headed research into a variety of metamaterials. We seemed to be making little progress. Most of what we initially discovered showed little commercial value, however, those finds led us in new directions. Every step counts. One day a lab assistant fell. He crashed into an ongoing experiment. Several of the experimental wires pierced his arm, and the electricity flowing through them caused his hand to spasm. We shutdown the flow of electricity, got him medical attention, and the incident got a few of us thinking. It took about two years, but eventually, we figured out how to hook up to nerve endings. Thus, the Wire was born.
Paralysis is going the way of the dodo, an irritation instead of a permanent condition. The news is already reporting radical advances in cybernetic technology, all solely possible because of the Wire. In five years people will be able to have smartphones installed in their forearms. After that, who knows what limits exist? The technology could go as far as people are willing let it. Like I overheard the other day, "The Wire is the greatest thing since sliced bread." It's going to change everything. Hell, in a way it already has. But will anybody remember me?
... if I'm thinking about such things that can only mean I'm feeling depressed. On a good day I know what's really important. The cure is more significant than who discovered it.