Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Call Me Lazarus

I'll take five Smaky's, please.

Evening Readers,

I know, I know.

You thought I was dead. Again. I assume this because I'm over-dramatic and it comforts me to think that when I leave the internet for weeks at a time, the public begins to set up funds for flowers or donates cups of coffee to people in need, in my memory.

While we're on the topic, if I ever do shove off this mortal coil before I have a chance to fully revel in any sort of mid-life crisis, please proceed as such...

You: Here, Random Stranger, enjoy an Irish coffee in memory of the late Paige Kellerman.
Random Stranger: Who?
3You: She wrote a mediocre blog and a few books that ended up in the .5 cent bin at the local library sale.
Random Stranger: Oh.
You: Enjoy!

The fact is, the person who died was actually my faithful, old laptop. Six years young, she finally had enough and decided to, um, never function again.

What's a writer/blogger/hermit to do when such a horrendous thing occurs? Answer: She must wait until her tax return is lovingly deposited in her account before she can stumble into a local  computer merchant and look like an idiot while she asks questions like, "Does it have a screen?" and, "Where is the power button, again?"

Honestly, it didn't even go that smoothly. In the last six years, technology has done a superb job of passing me by, so when I finally found where they were holding the laptops hostage, I looked and felt so out of place, I'm fairly shocked they didn't drag me out, on grounds my trembling was, undoubtedly, caused by the lack of nerves needed for a first-time foray into shoplifting.

Hands in pockets, I shuffled around the aisle. Why were computers either two dollars or ten thousand?

If it was cobalt blue, did it make it run faster?

Was an optical drive advanced technology, or a special computer made to assist the blind?

"Excuse me. Do you need help?"

Clearing my throat, I looked up nervously. "More than you know. Literally on all fronts of my life. Right now, I pretty much just need something that reliably types words. We can talk about my need to avoid conflict later."

At about seven feet tall, the computer guru looked down at the confused, pink-sweatshirt-clad woman in her thirties and tried not to make any sudden movements, the threat of spooking her an immediate concern. "If you tell me what you're looking for, I'll try and match you up with something."

"I- Well, um. It needs to be a computer."

He didn't smile or laugh. Clearly, he was in the presence of an idiot who though RAM was something which roamed hillsides in numerous pastoral works. Instead, a heavy look of concern planted itself on his face before he said, "What do you need it for most?"

"To make waffles. Haha... I mean, I'm a writer. I need to write words and, you know, er, check my spelling on Google?"

His look of concern stayed put, his right eyebrow raising slightly. This was now a rescue mission. "Ok, for your price point, this is what you want." He motioned to a shelf above, which held a modest, black laptop. "The most storage for your money, and the best function."

I raised my hand. "Does- Um. Does it... "

"Yes?"

My brain went blank. "Sorry. I had questions before I walked in here, and now I couldn't even tell you where I parked."

With all the lightheartedness of a pallbearer, he nodded like he'd had this type of exchange more times in his life than he cared to. His only job now, to make sure his newest customer didn't hurt herself. He watched me look around wildly for a moment, before he replied. "If I were you, this is what I'd get." He stared at me long and hard.

"OK."

"You have anti-virus?"

"I- "

"Here." He shoved a disk in my hand. "This is the best."

"Well, I was using a different program but-"

"That was good five years ago. This is good now." He turned his head slightly as he called over his shoulder, careful to keep his eyes on me, lest I start pressing buttons on things I had no business buying. "Gary? Go grab a new one from the back."

Weakly, I pointed at a glowing HP. "That one's pretty."

"Mam, your purchases are up at register seven." He nodded in the direction of the checkout, a sense of finality emanating from his being. He would save this non-gaming, non-giga-byte-knowing being from herself. He just needed to get her to the finish line. Then he could rest.

The whole exchange took about five minutes.

Dazed, I hauled my new friend out to the van and nestled it into the passenger seat. We'd get used to each other, work side-by-side. We'd been thrown on the beat together by some sort of computer police captain, and now we had to work the rough streets of the web as a team. I rested my head on the steering wheel and sighed. "I'm sorry you got stuck with me, but we're going to do some really awesome, mediocre things together."

So, here I am. Back in the game. Which is really great because I have stories to tell and coffee to drink, while I stare at my new, blinking cursor.

And I'm so glad it came with a cursor. Because I forgot to ask about that too.

Until Next Time, Readers!


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