Friday, April 12, 2013

A Computer Relationship

Friction, frustrated gesticulations, and talking-to-myself-issues happen when my computer is disobedient and refuses to listen to me.
It happens too often. My computer seems to take the day off from time to time. I can understand it--somewhat. It does work overtime. I wait and wait until it decides to switch pages. It sometimes turns itself completely off when I get too antsy.

One day I sat and cried tears over my computer. I felt it was unreasonable and non-cooperative.
I want to work with a friendly computer, one that works with me, not against me.

So, words came to me. A conversation. I wrote it down and it ended up in the hands of judges at a flash fiction competition in the UK. They long-listed it.
At least something good came out of my conversations with my computer.

Here is the story.
Have you had days like this? Or do you even have conversations with your computer?


“That’s it. I’ve had it with you.”
“What? When did this happen? What are you saying?”
“I have tried and tried.”
“Obviously not hard enough. You can’t just come and spring this on me. Not now.”
“Why not now? I’m frustrated.”
“What have I done wrong?”
“You’re so unpredictable. You’re like a yo-yo.”
“That’s it? You would die from boredom if I didn’t add excitement in your life.”
“I wouldn’t call it excitement. I really need someone I can depend on.”
“I’m dependable.”
“You are not. Admit it.”
“When was I not dependable?”
“Last week you just fell asleep in the middle of . . . you know.”
“Oh, that. But that couldn’t be helped. Come on, you need to come up with something more than that.”
“How about the way you don’t answer? That happens often.”
“Yeah, you get that wild look in your eyes and nag and nag.”
“It’s not funny. Why don’t you answer me?”
“It’s not that simple. I’m different from you.” 
“Different? How is that?”
“You’re a woman. Sometimes you ask me five questions. I need time to think about those answers. I get confused when you hand me a zillion problems at a time.”
“But don’t you see how frustrating it is to me. You’ve even made me cry when you don’t answer.”
“I didn’t mean to. It just became overwhelming at times.”
“Besides, you’re slow.”
“Slow? Well that comes with age, don’t you think.”
“You’re not that old.”
“Maybe not, but I’m certainly not ignorant.”
“No, that’s true. But a relationship is more than facts and knowledge. It has to work.”
“I’ve done my best.”
“Maybe, but then again maybe you could’ve done more.”
“Me? Have you thought that maybe you could have done more? Maybe asked the right questions?”
“Perhaps. Anyway, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this.”
“I can be trusted.”
“You? Ha! Don’t make me laugh. Anyone can just get information from you if they want to.”
“Not really.”
“Oh, yeah? It’s not that hard.”
“Any pretty girl who knows how to push the right button can get you to talk.”
“We all have our weaknesses.”
“I know, but some more than others.”
“So what do you want from me?
I don’t know. I just feel like I’ve had enough.”
“What’s the real problem then?”
“You don’t seem to satisfy my needs.”
“I thought I was. I really tried. Please don’t say it’s over.”
“I’m afraid so. Honestly, you are replaceable, you know.”
“Haven’t we had a wonderful life together? Surely, you haven’t forgotten all the good times?”
“No, you were exciting once. Especially in the beginning.”
“And we grew close. We spent hours together every day.”
“I know. I admit I learned a lot from you.”
“There you go. You can’t just throw that away.”
“But, you’re such a hand-me-down.”
“Excuse me, isn’t that a little harsh? You weren’t that young when we met either.”
“Yes, but you must admit, you were not exactly untouched.”
“That’s hitting below . . .”
“Below what? What do you know about relationships? I mean, really?”
“Not much.”
“There you go. You admit it.”
“I’m sorry. I’m only a computer.”
“I know. I’m just tired. I’ll turn you off now and restart you in the morning, OK?”
“OK, good night.”

Today's water color: chicken realtionships.

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