Breaking up with my computer
She has been my friend, my confidante, my connection to the outside world. She has traveled the country with me, lived in Spain with me, settled back to Tampa with me. She has helped me write my first published article, send out proposals to agents and publishers. She sits patiently as I type, delete, and retype books and blogs and e-mails. She has watched as my kids’ little fingers went from playing Reader Rabbit to Barbie.com to Webkinz and to Facebook.
I have looked up symptoms for broken arms on her. I have checked out new cars and new homes. I have kept in touch with friends from all over the world. Her screen has housed Skype conversations with loved ones. The first glimpse I got of my neice, born in Indonesia, was on this computer.
Lately, though, she’s slowing down. I see the hourglass icon more than I see the arrow. She gets angry faster, getting all hot under the keyboard for no reason – just because I spend a little too much time looking up videos on Youtube or opening pictures of my friends on Facebook.
She has no battery left, so I can’t take her anywhere. The keys are sticky from the layers of snacks and dust that have made their way underneath them. The “a” doesn’t always work, and the top has a chunk of plastic missing from an unknown offender. She’s bigger than any of my friends’ computers. My students laugh when I pull her out of her huge bag, knowing she has been in high school longer than they have.
I know it’s time to move on. Let her go. I’d get my work done much faster. My back would hurt less (she’s a heavy girl). I’d have more room on my desk for my notes and my cup of coffee. But saying goodbye is hard for me. I may close her case. I may pull her plug. I may donate her to a museum that displays relics from the past. But a tiny piece of her will always be right in the center of my he rt.