"People have different relationships with their computers," I say.
I am standing at the Apple Store on the corner of Wooster and Prince Street, trying to explain to the Genius behind the Genius Bar why I don't want to send my computer away to be "fixed."
"It will be back in seven business days," he explains. For the third time.
He is losing patience with me.
This is supposed to be a simple exchange: I hand over my three-year-old laptop so that he can send it "in" (whatever "in" means) and fix the cracked keyboard and the white spot situation on the screen.
Only, it doesn't feel simple to me.
And I can't seem to stop talking.
"But what if it is like a car?" I say. "You know how you give your car to the mechanic because it is making a strange noise, and then the car comes back, it still has the noise, plus now there is a huge problem in the engine, and it never runs the same again?"
He looks at me for another second, to see if I am kidding.
Sadly ? for everyone ? I am not.
See, before my current computer, before Celia (yes, I named my current computer Celia...so what? Why you gotta think things about me now?)...before Celia, I had another computer ? a non-Mac ? that broke on me daily, froze on me hourly, and spent almost as much time on the fritz as in good working order.
Meanwhile, Celia has been a dream. Until recently. After 2.75 years of never once shutting down or freezing up or causing me even one minute of grief ? she's cooked. I know it. I know it in how long she takes to load up, how long she takes to save files.
I know it in how long she takes.
And even though I run out of the Mac store ? with computer in hand ? leaving a perplexed Genius behind, I know I have only won a small battle and not the war.
She has been around longer than most laptops, but this computer's days are numbered.
And I'm down in the dumps about it.
Ellen, if you're thinking about calling me up, today would be a good day. I'd like to dance around.
I always like to ask writers how they write: do they use a pen? A typewriter? Do they sit outside? Do they keep their headphones on, or close an office door? Do they make changes in bright red marker?
For the last three years, I have written every article/every story/every draft of London on this computer.
(Okay, on this computer and on the occasional square shaped napkin. For some reason, those work for me, too.)
And it feels bizarre and strange and wrong to think about not doing my work on this computer anymore.
In a very sweet attempt to be understanding (and get some sleep), my boyfriend is in the process of backing up all of my files onto a special external hard-drive.
And, not tonight ? but soon ? Celia and I will sit down for a last night together. We won't do anything serious. Just watch our favorite movie; and maybe an episode or two of our favorite television show, too. (Why didn't they get any Emmy nominations? Where is the justice?)
And that will be that.
Besides, it could be a whole lot worse. I have one friend who feels about a specific Bic pen the way I feel about this computer. A Bic! Really? You can't even watch a movie with one of those...