Back in June, Alecto’s feeding us writing prompts and she comes up with THIS one:
If you disappeared today who would be affected?
(other than immediate family, etc.: I added that to the thought process)
It was June 11 and I was driving the girls to the nether regions of Virginia where CG and I met. I didn’t take my computer with me, but I did play around with Alecto’s idea old-school….using spare pages from my “brain” that hadn’t been used. You know that statistic about how we only use 7% of our brain power? Evidently the same holds true for my calendar/organizer book that is supposed to help me remember where I’m supposed to be when. Darn thing doesn’t work unless I write in it, which I don’t as I should, which means I have 93% empty paper.
Rabbit trail: yesterday I tried to buy a new brain at WallyWorld for 2010-2011 and they WOULDN’T sell me one. The check-out lady scanned it, the computer said “item not sell-able” and she said “I’m sorry, I can’t sell you anything when the computer says that about it…” and she confiscated my new brain. Sigh….oh well, it was made in China anyway, which is probably why she took it back. Lead poisoning in the vinyl cover, perhaps. Lord knows I don’t need any more brain damage right now. Maybe I should have taken Office Depot up on their offer to replace or upgrade my memory for forty bucks.
So anyway, I’m driving to the mountains and thinking about disappearing and trying to be all philosophical about it. Then it hit me, hard.
Because I was, in fact, returning to a place that I had literally disappeared from in 1974.
So, what then defined “affected”? Did anyone notice I was gone? Did anyone CARE that I was gone? Was anyone’s life transformed, positively or negatively, because I had been there? Did I leave a footprint?
Concentrate… concentrate… I’ve got to concentrate… concentrate… concentrate… Hello?… hello… hello… Echo… echo… echo… Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon… Manny Mota… Mota… Mota…
I’m pretty sure CG noticed. There were a couple of home town girls that lived on my street that noticed our trailer was gone, definitely. Back in June I drove by the spot where our trailer used to be. It’s a mess of tangled trees and barbed bushes now. I had one close friend in town at the time; she and I kept in touch for about a year, then on and off over the years right on up to now. I had a boyfriend to leave behind. I remember how it felt for me to leave him. Did it really hurt him that I left? Probably not much. Thought about him a lot over the years, but I don’t really believe any of those thoughts were reciprocated.
Truth is, I disappeared from places all the time growing up. Moved around a lot, went to about 10 different schools in 12 years, started at one college, finished at another, worked as a piano teacher, a manual laborer in an electronics factory, went to community college and learned some geek-speak and got a programming job, then another that required moving to NC, and then another 11 years later, two blocks away from the previous one. Did the relationships between me and my ex-corkers stretch over those two blocks? Nope. And when the world fell apart and I left my job, what about those relationships? Did they last? Nope. I’ve practically disappeared from my church over the past year or so, been there 20+ years.
What does any of this mean, anyway? Does it matter??
Well, yes and no. Does it matter that my life, all of our lives, intersect and weave in and out of hundreds of thousands of others during our all-too-brief visit to planet Earth? Yes, and no. We can’t expect to impact everyone we meet in some huge, profound way, nor should we. If we did, then there would be that whole “the paparazzi are hounding you, what did you do?” issue to deal with that I never got to because I got stuck on this one. But, when I look back at the single thread that is my life and how it is woven into the fabric that is “us”, I’d like to think that the fabric is enhanced, just a tiny bit, by the color of my thread.
Now, what the heck IS the color of my thread?
Welcome to my mid-life crisis.
Yesterday I got a reminder from the DMV about renewing my driver’s license. I don’t have to renew it until JANUARY, but since I ain’t no spring chicken anymore I guess it’s nice of them to give me plenty of time to prepare for the new photo that will be required with the renewal. And why is it time for my renewal anyway? Because I’ll be 50 in January. Gee, thanks for reminding me so EARLY NC dmv, bless your heart.
Welcome to my nervous breakdown, brought on by the mid-life crisis.
One more thing: Humpty, my computer, has been seriously ill since mid-July. Took it to the computer hospital and the doctor took a week or more to diagnose the poor thing, said “it needs a new screen, that’ll be $185.” We brought it home and hooked it up to an old monitor and it limped along for a week or so, then it went into a coma again. Thanks to some advice from one of those “threads” I crossed paths with in high school and first semester of college, I purchased a screen, took Humpty apart and gave her a facelift, then put her back together. She smiled, said “that’s nice!” then immediately barfed up a blue screen of death. I hate Windows. After much weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth accompanying several applications of the dreaded screwdriver to Humpty’s face, she has stopped barfing. I also gave her a new brain to try out, Ubuntu.
Maybe the color of my thread is “Geek Squad” blue? (hmmmm, which looks a lot like BSoD blue. I smell a conspiracy.)
Synergy: I’m not about to pay someone to take Humpty apart and give her a facelift. I’m a grown-up with geek experience, and besides, Humpty’s new face cost about one-third of what the computer doctor would have charged me. Might oughta call ITT Tech and discuss thread colors?