There was a girl who sat down to lunch one day, only to find that she no longer had a computer. The world seemed quite the same to everyone else and yet this girl was jarred as if she had sidestepped through parallel dimensions. She ate in silence facing a wall, feeling the lack of sound and colour and movement to go with her meal, at a loss as to do anything but chew.
For days her desk contained a void in its principal corner, and with envy she watched her peers breeze by with screens and keyboards at the ready. They were now in a very different place than her. She puzzled over esoteric symbols and mathematical queries, her way barred by a wall of question marks, knowing that in the background other were flicking their fingers and mounting the wall.
She remembered at last that her phone was smart – but it proved to be a questionable substitute, frustrating in the extreme. And she knew that all the while certain people were growing vexed at her slow response to electronic signals.
Indeed, now that she had gotten past the first days of helplessness, countless neglected commitments came to mind. In this hour of need the girl discovered public computers in her vicinity (never mind that she had been living in that particular vicinity for five years). Not everything could be accomplished with these slow behemoths, under fluorescent lights in windowless rooms, but at least she could address the most important questions which academia threw at her, coupled with due dates.
The girl developed a migratory pattern between her desk and the public computers. She carried her needs on her back, arriving early in the mornings and hiking home late at night. She ate her lunch outside.
After many weeks passed in this way she had a phone call. Her computer? She had almost forgotten what it had been like to have it, and she had hardly expected to see it again. The girl paused, and in pausing remembered all that she had done when she too had a screen and keyboard at the ready. She waited.
In a store with the ubiquitous fluorescent lights they handed her computer back without ceremony, tape still stuck on it. They said there were lingering problems in the circuitry which they could not fix.
The girl looked at her computer, and wondered what she would do with it. And when it would disappear again.
So I have my laptop back, but I’m not sure when it might stop working again! Sorry for the abrupt disappearance