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Suburban Island

The Embraceable Computer
Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2004, 9:21 p.m.

QUESTION: Did you miss me too?

WHAT I LEARNED: You can hug a computer.

My computer is back in action. The world seems brighter now. Oh how I love my computer Ė even though it is evidently a totally unrequited love. Still, unrequited or not, I miss my computer when itís not around, I think about it when we are separated for a few hours, itís the first thing I visit after the bathroom most mornings, it knows more things about me than my mother does. Iíve got it bad. And even when it betrays me with technological malfunctions due to computer carousing or bad computer life-choices, causing me to lie on the sofa in a prone position favored by devastated literary heroines in the midst of a proper case of the vapors - I still love my computer.

Even this past Saturday when I found myself suddenly computer-less and resolved to recline on the daybed in our family room like a lazy iced-tea chugging Ophelia, I couldnít be angry with my fickle laptop. I packed it in a box and whispered Goodbye for now, my love. Come home soon and donít have too much fun - before sinking into the mire of a dark depression in which ruminating over my probable culpability for the computer malfunction figured predominantly.

And as I filled out the shipping form, in triplicate, I reminisced about our magic moments together and dreamed of all the wonders that resided on that perverse little hard drive - digital Kodak moments, musical interludes, various imperative work documents, and every good, bad, and indifferent writing effort I have recently attempted. I need my computer Ė as fair-weather a pal as it is. And so tonight, it has arrived back from computer-fixit-land and I welcome it home with open arms, a big fat kiss, and no questions asked about what itís been up to or who it has been talking to while itís been recuperating. Sometimes itís better to just pick up the pieces and get on with things.

Computers Ė canít live with them, canít live without them.

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