It had been a nice morning. I slept well, woke up on time, had a nice breakfast, and was generally feeling good about life. I took in a deep breath of fresh air as I stood on my front porch in my underwear listening to “More Than a Feeling” by Boston. The neighbors didn’t seem to mind it today. Returning inside, I brewed a fresh pot of coffee then went down to my office to get to writing. I woke my computer, checked some email, did a little browsing online, then opened my word processor.
Sometimes I’ll leave my browser open while working, which can complicate the word flow from time to time. But today I wanted to close it so I could get something done and get to work. I had already written out a title, and an opening paragraph. But as I was working on that I thought it struck a chord with me that it seemed a little familiar. I did a search through all my past columns to see if any of the keywords I had used before. In the middle of doing this search, the window I had open on my computer crashed.
Thinking that was odd, I tried to search again. Another crash. As I tired the third time not only did the window crash, but the word processor froze up as well. Dread. An overwhelming, palpable sense of dread went rushing through my body. My brain has a tendency to go to the worst-case scenario in a nano-second, and at this moment I was scared to death my computer was about to melt, explode, kill me, or a combination of the three.
I wonder what it says about us that when our computers start to go, we launch into a panic stream. I know part of it is the dread of thinking about the cost on a new computer, combined with thinking of how many precious photos and videos we have of our friends and loved ones we don’t want to risk losing. But for me on that particular morning, I was filled with a sense of dread as I was all ready to get word works done, followed by moving on with my day.
As my computer sat there, froze, just going through its thing I started to think of other ways I could get my column written and done. Pencil and pad came to mind, but I have the handwriting of a chicken who thinks they’re a doctor. I thought about my old PC upstairs that still works, but it will take about as long to start up as it would for me to get my current one up and working. I wondered if I could set up a Morse code system with a friend who could dictate down the words as they come to mind and I send them to him over the old teletype.
“Maybe I should do that George RR Martin thing and write on an old DOS computer? I’m sure I have one in the basement” I thought to myself while staring at the little beach ball on my computer screen in what seemed to be a perpetual spin. In a way, it would be nice to bring things back to the days of the dot-matrix printer. As much as I love our modern tech, I do miss the days when computers and other household pieces of technology were loud. It made you feel like you were accomplishing something when printing out a three-page document began a mechanical symphony that could be heard all throughout the house.
Eventually, my computer unfroze and I was able to do a restart, which fixed whatever the thing that was wrong with it was. I was able to resume work, and carry on without fear and worry. Yet still, it was truly a Monday to have to deal with my computer being all weird and kooky so early in the day. Sometimes I think the best way to get your day screwed up is to say aloud what your plans for the day are. At least my computer is OK. Unless later this week to read a headline about it exploding, melting me, and harming me badly. See you next week.