It’s been over two weeks now since I last used my desktop computer. I’ll freely admit to being a nerd or geek or whatever – cut me off my computing resources and I’ll shrivel up and die like a slug coated in salt. My real response was actually closer to an addict going cold turkey. The first few hours without my PC found me huddled in one corner of the tub, fully clothed, shower blasting cold water at my face, foam seeping from the corners of my mouth as I shuddered uncontrollably. I may have been emanating a low moan like a barn full of cows in heat.
Besides that dark moment, though, it hasn’t been too bad. After toweling off I plunged deep into the stack of loose discs on my desk, hoping to find that one old pirated Windows install CD. I found (remarkably) no less than six Microsoft Office CDs, but nothing remotely close to an operating system. I also didn’t find anything helpful on my forgotten netbook or disused external hard drive, unless dust and disc space can restart a computer. The iPad was even more useless – when I Google-searched my computer’s issue on it, the machine produced an eeriely accurate reproduction of Steve Jobs laughing and closed the browser.
Through completely legal and unquestionable means, I did eventually procure a Windows 7 install, now comfortably located on the thumb drive on my desk. In this age of “the Cloud,” however, it’s surprisingly difficult to get ahold of blank CDs or DVDs. Turns out, no one burns anything anymore. This must be what teens in the late nineties felt like when they discovered no one made mix tapes on cassettes anymore. It’s not a great feeling. It’s like Mom hugging you after a poor exam result and saying, “I know you’re falling behind, honey, but we’ll work on it, I promise.” Then she hops in the car and drives off to the casino where she gambles away all the money you made last week delivering newspapers. Later, she does meth with a bunch of goats and ends up setting a farm on fire.
Like I said, not the best feeling.
“Well okay,” I said to myself, possibly out loud. “This might take longer than you thought. That’s fine though, you’ve got the netbook and the iPad and the computer at work. That should get you through a few days just fine.” Two weeks out, thumb drive unmoved from its location on the desk, I can safely say that “just fine” is actually “with astonishingly improved productivity.” Not having a PC to fart around on when I get home from work, I’ve been reading more, mapping more, getting out and about more. I feel energized, like a new man who just took a fantastically large dump. It’s radical.
This isn’t to say I can’t fart around on the netbook or iPad. It’s just that, well, the netbook can only run for about thirty seconds before the battery runs out and/or it crashes because I tried to open the start menu. And the iPad – let’s just say spending hours trying to poke the tiny links on wikipedia pages will drive even the most obsessive-compulsive person mad. Everything is just so fucking small and my fingers are so goddamn big. I can scroll through facebook, check the weather, look at a couple boobies, but after that I really have to set the tablet down and pick up a book just to give my sad, globular fingers a rest. What can I say, I’m not meant for touchscreens.
All told, losing my computer to some random disc-checking error may have been the best thing to happen to me in the last two weeks that hasn’t involved a social activity or taken place in the bathroom, on a toilet. The only real loss? That third season of Walking Dead I was halfway through watching. Fortunately, I can probably guess how it turns out.
(It’s all just a dream some stoner has after eating an entire taco twelve pack from Taco Bell!)