Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Price of Dawdling

Ordinarily, I write on a laptop, but for the next few days, I'll be paying the price for dawdling. You see, my power cord has been leaving yellow post-it notes on the computer screen for the past few weeks, informing me that it won't last forever. I've read them, dutifully, and even stacked them neatly like pages in a book in plain sight to further remind me to get a new cord. Well, yesterday the inevitable happened and all my efforts to convince my cord to last another day fell on deaf ears. Instead of powering up the laptop, it just laid there, with blank, unseeing eyes fixed on a final note of farewell which read, "I told you so."

In terms of writing, this means resorting to the table-top model in the upstairs bedroom with its now alien Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. A gift of the gods while writing the final draft of our book, I loved this thing. I'm a big guy with proportionately large hands and months of late nights in its company convinced me I'd never adapt to the comparatively tiny geography of a laptop. Man, was I ever wrong. Now here I am, fumbling around doing a virtual hunt and peck because my fingers seem to have forgotten what to do with the equivalent of West Texas beneath them. If you've never driven across West Texas, think "vast expanse" and you'll get the idea.

Anyhow, that's how this keyboard feels. I've alternated between laying it on my lap, hoping familiarity will overcome awkwardness, and using the desk top, and either way, the keys don't seem to get any closer together. Not that I expected it to morph into the neat shape that nestles tidily onto my lap, but a little approximation would have been welcome. I suppose you could equate it with the resumption of dating after a long relationship. It's unfair to expect someone new to feel quite as comfortable as did Ms. What-was-her-name-again?, but you'd at least like them both to be the same species.

I know, computers are computers, and it could be worse, I might still be hammering away at the manual Smith Corona typewriter I had in college, the keys of which I pounded nearly into oblivion. So, yes, I am grateful for what I have, especially since errors like the thousand or so I've made since starting this post, are corrected so easily. I mean, it really would be inconvenient if I had to clean the White Out off the screen before beginning each day, wouldn't it?

(Creative Commons image by canuckshutterer via Flikr)
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