• Nightmares, Computers and Wifey

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    I’m having nightmares of endless blue screens of death, of support cables that tangle across my desk and breath life into my laptop morphing into snakes, wrapping around my arm, slithering towards my neck, tightening like an anaconda around prey. In one dream I was bitten by my mouse, a mouse huge as a NYC rat with the attitude of a honey badger. Disturbing.

    Using a computer is driving me nuts, and it’s starting to show. In my latest dream, a skinless bionic arm reached out in 3D and pulled me inside the computer, I became part of a matrix. I’ve seen that happen in a sci-fi movie, but in my dream? As I sit on the edge of the bed I hear wifeys’ voice, “Another bad dream?” My mind is crashing, a re-boot is in order.

    My irritability while using my computer doesn’t go unnoticed, so wifey decides to take action. One minute I am blissfully sitting in front of the computer spewing expletive deletives, the next moment I am sitting in a chair at a psychologist’s office.

    “Tell me about your day”,  she says, eyes on her pad, pen in hand. “I understand you spend a lot of time on the computer, apparently it’s mostly unhappy time.” Her voice has a Garrison Keillor monotonous drone to it, but she’s not humorous, she is putting me to sleep. It’s undeniable, I’m in a real live nightmare. If I could just click to a different scenario, that would be o-so-nice. The repeated brisk tapping of my index finger on the chair piqued her interest.

    I suggest to the therapist that a Rorschach’s test, or word association exams would not yield any useful data. I mention that I can play Whack-a-Mole with the best of them. She was obviously impressed at that revelation, off came her glasses and she put down her pen and pad. She began massaging her temples, which reminded me of the endless circling small icons do as a program is loading. I can only hope this doesn’t last that long, I’m paying her by the hour. I don’t think she understood my Whack-a-Mole metaphor. It’s good to be alive, so many things I can relate to.

    Special-K cereal is on the table. I get up, go to the computer and start searching for the latest patch. Now … what was that K something or other they were talking about yesterday? I resist saying “I need a patch” out loud, least wifey starts looking thru the hamper for torn clothes, or starts asking me who Susan is again. That’s a circular discussion I don’t care to revisit, she thinks I am cheating on her.

    “You need help honey”, wifey says from another room, “There are people that can help with computer addiction.” She enters the room, I am wearing the headphones she gave me as a birthday present, the noise reduction type. They are noise reduction type only for her, she doesn’t have to listen to my music while I toil away on the computer. She puts her hands on my shoulders and asks me what I am listening to. I respond, “Bach”. Wifey loves Bach. She removes the headphones and puts them on. Bach?, that’s not Bach! She puts the headphones back over my ears and leaves. I did stretch the truth a bit, I was listening to BTO.

    ” I sure could use a Captain Morgan’s,” I call out, but I get no response. It must be to early to start drinking. I hear a door slam

    I’m not addicted and I don’t need help. All I need is a good night’s sleep, one absent from URGENT UPDATE! and DEVCON1 scrolling across a neon lighted marque. Either I mumbled, or just thought those words, but I imagined wifeys’ eyes staring at my back, as if she was standing behind me.

    “We can afford a new computer, let’s get one you don’t need to fight with every day, or constantly update,” she says. I resist the urge to argue and respond, “Yes dear.” Wifey hasn’t a clue, she just doesn’t understand.

    For a moment I entertain the idea of a new computer, one can never have to many backups. I ponder all the configuring I can do, all the bundled junk I can delete. I smiled for the first time today.

    Before all the code became a jumbled mess or started rearranging itself on my screen in slow motion, I type in a rem statement, save the changes and turn off the computer.

    “I know I suggested a hobby after you retired, but I never expected this,” wifey complains.” Why don’t you go back to playing chess or poker with your buddies?” I mention I can play both games on the computer, and I don’t have to listen to anyone when I win. She is nonplussed. I was joking about winning though. I’ve never beaten the computer at chess and the wrong card always drops when I play poker online.

    Before closing my eyes that night, I think of sailing across clear blue waters, wheel in one hand, wifey in the other, sails full, reaching for the setting sun just past the horizon. I hoped visualizing would set the tone for a night of serene dreams, I’ve heard that works. My choice of blue waters and sun as imagery proved to be a poor one. I only dreamed of computers laughing as they chased me, all of them had blue screens with large, bright, yellow emojis.

    My rem sleep will never be the same.


    Viewing 7 reply threads
    • #1763147

      Apologies if in any way I am causing marital discord.

      October 21, 2013. Can’t remember exactly what happened in patching but I was so upset with Microsoft that day that I purchased the cheapest Chromebook and Ubuntu laptop from Amazon. Still have them. Handy for googling error messages when your Windows machine doesn’t work. 🙂

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Susan Bradley.
      7 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1763160

      Can’t help but associate with this.
      I think many of us techies suffer this kind of thing, married or not. We get engrossed in our computer work, our eyes become square (or rectangular, depending on the age of our monitor), and we can’t carry on a conversation without turning to check what’s going on in the browser/program/video/tweet/…..
      It so hits home

      Thanks, @Bluetrix

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1763161


      I do hope y’all understand that was a parody rant.  While wifey is long gone, it was something she would do. I’m happy it was enjoyed.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1763204

      I’m sure she’s up in heaven going… “so just who is Susan?”  😉

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1763233

        I’m sure she’s up in heaven going… “so just who is Susan?”  😉

        Knowing her, your name would be baglady. She wasn’t into computers at all.

        “Who’s this Susan baglady you are always talking about to your computer friends?”

    • #1763663

      /me passes Bluetrix a double Captain Morgan . . .

      /me sips his Irish Whiskey, sheds a tear or two, and nods empathetically . . .

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1763960

      I fully expect that I’ll be on my deathbed, checking the Microsoft newsfeeds.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1765059

      Rod Serling (Twilight Zone) reincarnated.
      After all, computers are here to serve man. Well.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1765148

        “To Serve Man”
        — Damon Knight short story

        On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
        offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
        online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1835945

      Good imagination ehh??

      “I need a patch” out loud, least wifey starts looking thru the hamper for torn clothes,

      should be lest, no??

      Rod Serling (Twilight Zone) reincarnated.
      After all, computers are here to serve man. Well.

      Well done or rare??


      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by wavy.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
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