I Blame The Computer
I blame the computer.
Truly, this supposedly “helpful” device could not be less helpful if it tried.
Now, don’t take it the wrong way, computer. You are doing your job just fine. You don’t freeze very often, you’ve never gotten so mad that you cursed me with the Blue Screen of Death (as I have sadly seen many a computer do), and I don’t believe you’ve lost a file for me yet.
For that, I must thank you.
I am sure that once you have reached that certain age that all computers eventually must, that you may begin to do these things with increasing frequency and cause me equally frequent headaches because of it. However, I don’t want you do feel upset about the fact or dwell on it too much as I fear we are all prisoners of time and therefore these things cannot be avoided.
But I digress.
The fact remains. I blame the computer.
Quite simple really.
You see every time I have a brilliant thought, I open a blank document, ready and eager to write as though my fingers were on fire as my soul is ablaze, those word plays, phrases, metaphors, and rhymes flowing through my mind like a river swelling over the banks during a flood. The document opens up. I choose my template with a quick key stroke, not really caring what it will look like but simply that it let me write. I lean forward in my chair, anticipation rising within my chest until I feel it might burst in the span of that half second wait that seems to stretch out like an eternity. I reach out, poise my hands over the keys, setting each finger in it’s place like dancers preparing to leap across the stage. I look at the white before me and...
In the blink of an eye the flood turned to drought and I am left standing in the dry riverbed wondering where all that cool, delicious, melodious water went in that single second. Dust blows by me, caught by the hot, dry wind that now whistles hollowly over everything I see. There is nothing where the waters had been but endless, barren earth, cracked and parched as the lips of one who hasn’t seen water in days, and a painfully bright sky that holds a blazing sun, beating down on my head mercilessly, taunting me with every ray. How could such a flow be stopped so utterly and abruptly? Where did the phrases and rhymes disappear to in that instant? How could it all have vanished without a trace?
And I stare at the one thing before me that is to blame.
The white rectangle on the screen.
That blank document.
And I remain baffled.
You see, I have more notebooks than I can count, filled to bursting with more words and poems and stories and songs than I ever remember writing. From my hand to the pen to the paper flows so easily that at times I simply marvel at how fluidly it comes.
Of course that’s not to say it happens all the time. After all, I’m sure even Poe, Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Alcott had those same days that most every writer faces. You know the ones I mean; where you just want to scream in frustration, rip your notebooks to shreds, break every pen you ever owned, and take a chainsaw to that writer’s block filling your head. Unfortunately, those days generally end with the chainsaw still lost, the block still in once piece, and (if the day was truly bad) not a single whole sheet of paper or properly working pen left with a three mile radius of you.
And so I puzzle as to just what it is about the blank document on my computer screen that baffles me so. A sheet of paper is no less white and no less blank before being written on. I know that my fingers can dance far faster over the keys than they could ever scribble, in a still legible fashion, across a piece of notebook paper.
So why is it that convenience has become such a burden to my mind? I certainly do not advocate the killing of trees and yet it seems to inspire me far more than the saving of them. I suppose I can never be called a tree hugger or nature lover for an indiscretion such as that.
So I sit and I stare at the piece of paper made of plastic and other tiny parts who’s names I do not know, nor have any desire to find out, and wonder just why it is that all of this is so. In the end, I can come to no definite conclusion about any of it and it remains one of the many unsolved mysteries of my life.
However, there is one thing I know for sure, one definite fact that I will always hold onto during times like this, and possibly the only thing stopping me from the destruction of notebooks and pens because it proves their innocence in the matter.
I blame the computer.