Okay, so there I was in bed, minding my own damn business when a sound exploded in my ears. Startled and a bit dazed I ran down the hallway to discover its source. Had I a mirror, I'm sure I would have seen the grim and stricken expression on my face, caused by the discovery of the sound's source and laughed in spite of myself. My computer had died in the night. When one hears of death, there are two possible reactions...acceptance and denial. As a firm believer in doing all you can do, I was heavy in denial. After several hours of intense surgery and darting glances to my monitor, I pronunced the computer officially dead. What would I do now? My computer was my life, my source of income, my best friend when all others had walked out on me. No. I would not allow it to surrender to darkness and the grim burial it would find in a dumpster out back. Instead, I sought a specialist....or so I thought.
I arrived at CompUSA a day after the crash. Yes a whole day later...it took that long to decide to do it, and do it I would. With a hopeless expression, I handed my Sony Vaio Desktop Tower to the man behind the counter (who finally showed up after an hour of waiting). He told me he'd do his best and I was left to wait at home with nowhere to turn and nothing to do. Then, I looked at it. Sitting there, light glistening off its black frame, was my Playstation 3. I'd purchased it two days before my computer died. Yes, the irony did strike me funny that I could have purchased a new computer for the cost of the PS3, two games a spare controller and extra display cables. Laughing at this ironic situation in an almost hysterical way, I turned it on.
Magically, all my concerns, all my fears, melted away. So what if my computer couldn't be recoverd? Who cares if I'd be out of a paycheck until the thing was fixed? I had the PS3 and all its sultry, intoxicating, devilish pleasures. Two weeks later and 12 days after the day CompUSA's "expert technician" had said I could expect my computer, I was feeling the symptoms of withdrawl. My computer was still in the shop. Not even being fixed...merely waiting for a part that seemed to never come. I found myself checking the phone every other hour, anxiously expecting a call that didn't come. All the while, the PS3 mocked me from its perch beside my television. Thoughts I originally discarded without concern reared their ugly heads again. I can't get paid. I've not worked in two weeks. No check was coming. What about all my work? The models I'd made? The video tutorial I was creating? The demo reel I needed to finish so I could land a job at Pixar (one to which I hadn't applied and was pure fabrication)? Alas, there was nothing I could do. I'd finished the two simple games I'd had for my PS3 and lacked the motivation to create as a small depression sank in.
In the middle of the third week, I'd called CompUSA and was told my computer would be ready in three days. Three! That meant Sunday! Oh glorious day! O wonderful day! Never had I known just how deeply my life revolved around the little black box beneath my desk. Without it, I could not work. If I couldn't work, I couldn't get paid. If I couldn't get paid I couldn't eat or pay my bills, etc., etc., on to homelessness and such. The ramification of losing such a small (but oddly expensive) thing as my computer, was something I'd never considered.
Life had given me a wake up call. It was time to protect myself. Get back ups of everything, a spare PC and most importantly....get out. Get outside. See the world, and the people in it. For the days when I was feeling trapped and bored without my Personal Computer (yeah, that's what PC stands for...which kinda applies to any computer, even Macs) and disgusted with myself for buying a PS3, I went out. I took walks to clear my mind. In doing so, hand clasped on forehead to shield swollen eyes from the bright sun, I realized I'd been missing much. Day by day, consumed by the machine to which so much of my life depended on. In a way, the PC was like a parasite but one which served a dangerous purpose in my life...but it WASN'T my life. The machine was just that, a machine and not a friend. Just a tool, a means to an end. The real life, the real friends were waiting outside my door. Thanks to my PC's brush with death, I was able to see that again, to see what working at home caused me to miss so much of.
So be wary true believers...your PC, while important, is also meaningless.
Don't get too attached.