When the Lights Go Out in MacTown

My MacBook is going to be six years old this spring. That makes her, in computer years, a dinosaur. She’s in excellent shape though, twice having replaced the topcase (the top of the keyboard, where the wristrests and letter keys are) due to shoddy materials which cracked and broke over time. Those replacements brought her back to her shiny, white self complete with the texture of the original case. Two years after that replacement, her white has changed to a slight gray with smooth surfaces replacing the subtle bumpy texture of the new and a fading colon/semi-colon key. She’s been loved. In fact, when firefighters tell you not to go back inside to retrieve something in your burning home, she’s one of two things that I’d run back in for. She is my most prized possession. But, as previously stated, she’s getting older.

Mac laptops from 2006 onward have a power cord that connects to the computer via  magnet and five prongs. Thus: On both sides of the plug itself are small lights indicating the charge of the laptop (orange means charging, green means charged). A few months ago I noticed the lights weren’t coming on consistently but the computer was still charging. Curious, not enough to panic over. Then on Wednesday, I woke up and reached for my computer on the side of my bed (as is my tradition when I have the time in the morning, catch up on the world news from under flannel sheets…heavenly. Admittedly, sometimes I stay there well through early afternoon…and maybe evening…). I noticed that while she was plugged in, she wasn’t charging per the little battery icon in the upper right corner of my screen. Hmm. Jiggle jiggle. 10 minutes of jiggling. Charging. Pit in stomach. Worry lines.

Wednesday night. Moved her to a different location against my better judgment. Plug in. No charge. Jiggle. Jiggle for 20 minutes. No charge. No nothing. Full pit in stomach. Ebay, cords, Amazon, plugs, Apple Store Genius Bar appointment made. No dice, cord is dead alright. $60 in the store to replace it, $20 on Ebay.

Thank God my man bought me an iPod Touch for our anniversary, I can still get and send emails and catch up on the news of the world (so long as there is a WiFi signal to snipe nearby). So here we are, five days later and something interesting has happened. As of Thursday, I had the very distinct feeling that my arm had been dislocated. I fell into a funk. A full-on melancholia to which I had no explanation. A day off normally brings a sense of duty (laundry, Target, housekeeping) or complete non-duty (such as staying in bed all day with Netflix and email). This day off, to put it plainly, sucked. Rattling off emails on an iPod is a whole lot harder than my normal 86 words per minute on the Mac. I drained the DVR of old programs within two hours and realized that by 8:30pm I hadn’t eaten a single bite. Depression? Just because of a lousy computer?

Yes. Indeed, yes. My lack of internet combined with the cold outside and a very light wallet made for a powerful mix of boredom, loneliness and a general sense of loser-y malaise I didn’t know I could feel at this stage of my adult life. I’d felt it before, a basic sadness, it lives in me. Sometimes in bigger houses than others. That day, it occupied a city block. I kept wondering to myself, “all this because of a freaking computer? What is WRONG with me?” and I still don’t have an answer. It worries me a little bit that the Mac occupies so much of my mind that it’s actively bothered when I don’t have it. Even though I have access to email and the internet as needed.

But… a new cord has been ordered online and paid for at a much cheaper rate than Apple tried to charge, therefore relief is on the way. Coincidentally, the man’s computer took a nosedive last night. Tonight, we are stepping back in time to a land of movies, cocktails and board games. Should be nice, actually.

Oh and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I hope Green Bay wins tonight because we need the Bears in the playoffs and not against Carolina. There. Your sports input for the week. Go Bears!

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