Born in a city that no longer exists. As a baby, he was sometimes mistaken for a girl. At five, his family moved to a satellite city for the children, the rising property values, and an illusory sense of security. But the air was cleaner and the traffic was lighter, so it wasn't all bad.
A bit fragile, a bit odd, he found friends hard to come by. He played with LEGO, and drew pictures. In the Summer, he rode his bicycle. In Winter, he built snow forts. Denied television and serious outdoor activities like camping, he read whatever he could get his hands on. Mostly Hardy Boys mysteries. Space and dinosaurs. He dreamed too much, and questioned too much, but he kept it to himself.
His family moved again when he was fifteen, a bit closer to the city. Property values were rising again. Severed from his social group again, and girl who was out of reach, anyway, he put even less effort into socializing. He virtually lived in the library, having discovered their collection of science fiction. The idea of girls, let alone women, receded from the realm of the possible.
He got his first computer at age 17, purchased himself. His parents hated computers. Instead of learning to program, for lack of instructions, he played games. He neglected his schoolwork. What was the point of getting grades if you had no aspirations? He tried to get enthusiastic about various professions. Architecture. Astronomy. Illustration. Writing. But it was easier to escape into books than to write them.
In his early twenties, he met some new friends who got him into literature and, briefly, God. He dabbled in spirituality, but more as a joke. He continued to write a bit, including some poetry. He kept a voluminous journal, trying to make sense of things, and people. He tried to see through his own distorted ways of thinking.
He worked in book stores. He got a degree in English Literature. He had one short, passionate affair. She left him, because he was too pushy and not much fun. Fun, he felt, was overrated. The world needed to be understood. How else could figure out what to do? How to do something relevant?
At 26, when he realized he was bored of thinking, he went back to computers. Suddenly, with the Internet, there was no excuse. He learned how computers worked and how to program. He got a new, better paying job selling Macs. His experience grew. His learning accelerated. He paid off his student loans, and went back to school in computer science.
He is now a full-time programmer. He's not changing the world, but it has its charms.