So for most of last week, I was without a computer as water managed to get to my laptop. I managed to survive it, somehow, but I learned that after nearly a decade and a half of being connected to a computer, living without one was like scraping my nails slowly across sandpaper. I could imagine the rough paper slowly eating away at the edges of my nails, barely perceptible but you know it’s happening. You know it’s happened.
So the question is, I suppose, how I passed the time without a laptop. I suppose I could have just borrowed one of the other laptops lying around in the house, since, you know, they’re computers too right? Well, I didn’t. Mostly because they weren’t mine, they didn’t have my stench, and I’m very territorial. But it was also because they didn’t have the files I needed to get my work done.
Luckily, I was raised as part of the generation that actually did stuff. We were only allowed three hours on the Super NES before we had to go do something else. So I learned to live off the land, so to speak.
For starters, I learned (or re-learned) how to work off my phone. I was lucky enough to have Dropbox installed, so I was able to open my files on my Blackberry with ease. The hard part was getting used to writing in longform; the problem with mobile phones is that, for most texters, brevity is kin to thriftiness. So you tend to keep what you’re writing short and to the point—which is terrible in my line of work, where you have to be able to keep the reader’s attention for paragraphs.
Then I went back to reading. I have in my library probably around twenty books I haven’t read. I’m badly underestimating that number, but I think it’s fairly close to the actual amount. So I went and grabbed the first big book I could find…which happened to be Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. If you haven’t read it, and if you don’t mind literature that will pull at your heartstrings, go get yourself a copy. You’ll be very glad you did. I know I am, as evidenced by how I couldn’t stop myself from buying another of his books, You Shall Know Our Velocity! last weekend.
And finally, I went out. I was out the entirety of the weekend! Going out of the house had become something of a rarity for me, and while I still go out to meet friends once in a while, I haven’t been fully absent from the house for three straight days in a long time. Granted, I was conked out for most of Sunday, but that counts as being absent, because honestly.
Now, my laptop is back. She’s battle-worn after the whole ordeal, but I’m glad she’s back in the safety of my room. I don’t know how I survived being separated from a computer for a week, but I did, and it was pretty fun. I don’t ever want to have to do that again, though.