When I tried to start my writing PC, it talked back to me with a loud “Phfft,” as if to say “forget it, fool.” And then it smelled bad, like a burnt computer fart.
This was Old Faithful, my steady friend, something like a Stepford Husband that did all I asked of it. A friend built it for me at least 15 years ago. All I wanted was Word — no internet because I didn’t want the distraction while writing, nor the risk of malware causing a crash. It had a wonderful little mouse, a square monitor, and an ergonomic keyboard. It hummed happily in my writing room, waiting for me to bring it to life when I would close the door and shut the world out. It carried me through reams of poems, short stories and silly musings, my “practice” novel, and the very first drafts of In the Context of Love.
Now what? Luckily I’d saved all my work on a jump drive, but I needed a replacement, and fast. My arms cramp and my wrists hurt if I work on my Macbook for long. I tried hooking it up to my keyboard, but not all the Word functions worked. It made me cranky. I missed my old friend.
My husband suggested calling My Helpful Nerd, a local company that has serviced our computers and printers over the years. I didn’t think the PC could be fixed, not after that nasty odiferous hiss, but I called anyway.
Sam, an adorably polite “nerd” who calls me “ma’am” every single time he addresses me, went up into my writing room and came sheepishly back down the stair to tell me he had bad news. The motherboard was fried. There would be no resurrection. It was done for. The good news is Sam set me up with a replacement for half of what I’d pay at Best Buy, and he did it the very next day. This computer is quiet. It’s fast. It has built in speakers. It has wireless internet capability, and Sam even connected it to our wireless printer.
So I’m trying to think of a nice burial or sendoff for the old PC. I took the hard drive out, but I can’t toss it, not yet. Maybe I could make it into a planter? Any ideas?
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love: a new contemporary fiction about love, lust, and family secrets.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters