Death Rattles in the New Year, part 3


As I said, it has been nearly a year now since this current laptop began its death throes —  when the screen would go blank, throwing up a solid blue nothingness while making that sickly little blipping noise.  It happened randomly and regularly for a good chunk of time.  With all due diligence, I emailed every single copy of every single thing I had ever written to myself, as back-up.  I read computer magazines, and user reviews, and chats, and everything I could get my hands on to begin the agonizing process of determining just which package of circuits and casings and keyboard positions and all that technical stuff that goes into a laptop computer was just right for me.  I went to stores and asked friends and accosted unsuspecting coffeehouse patrons, all in an effort to make the best possible determination about that most ephemeral and ethereal of traits – good writing juju.

“It just seems to me a perfect unwonder,”  J.D. Salinger wrote, “that writing’s almost never terrific fun.  If it’s not the hardest of the arts–I  think it is–it’s surely the most unnatural, and therefore the most wearying.  So unreliable, so uncertain.  Our instrument is a blank piece of paper–no strings, no frets, no keys, no reed, mouthpiece, nothing to do with the body whatever–God, the unnaturalness of it.  Always waiting for birth, every time we sit down to work.”

Birth!  EVERY TIME WE SIT DOWN TO WORK!!  Holy cow!!!

Clearly, the only thing to do was to keep my laptop until its very last electronic gasp.

Which is precisely why I am writing on it, still.


Thanks to my sister-in-law Karen for this quote.


8 Replies to “Death Rattles in the New Year, part 3”

  1. As the noted american philosopher, Yogi Berra, observed, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Take heart, you may have the laptop equivalent of a Volvo.


  2. Tech is our friend, except and most devastatingly when it isn’t. FYI Salinger is the focus of American Masters tomorrow nite on PBS


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