Day the monitor died
Happily woke up at 4:30 a.m. as intended. The evening before, worked on proposal and Booster column but realized too tired. Knew I’d be fresh and clear in the morning. I was.
Planned to send Booster column, finish proposal and head out for breakfast with two favourite people. When I returned, I’d proofread the proposal (due that day) and email it well before noon. Excellent! At 4:45 a.m. monitor died.
This cannot be happening. Irrational thoughts.
I know, I’ll just put my partly-written column on a memory stick and…Wait. Can’t put it on a memory stick because I can’t get at it because the monitor is dead.
Okay, let’s try rational thought. Sometimes when you reboot the computer it fixes itself. Rebooted. All the right noises. No monitor. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Completely black.
Sometimes when you disconnect and reconnect cables, that fixes things. Two cables. Disconnect them both. Reconnect them both. No monitor. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Completely black. That’s the end of my repertoire. I’m hooped (or words to that effect).
Notice my pulse is elevated. A few deep breaths. Think calm. Think serene. Nah, face it, I’m panicked.
Try to reason with myself. On a scale of disasters, this is not death, serious illness, earthquake, volcano, or tsunami. No small children will die. My mind agrees. My body has an anxiety knot, shallow breathing, rapid pulse and I’m pretty sure my pupils are dilated.
At 5:15 a.m. text my computer guy. Know he won’t get the message now, but it will be there whenever he gets up.
This is the only person on the planet I trust with my computer. I trust him so much that he has remote access to my system, which has on several occasions allowed him to fix my computer within minutes of a phone call.
At 7:30 a.m. decide it’s late enough to phone one of my breakfast friends to tell her my monitor has died and I need to deal with that so won’t be at breakfast.
She says, “I have a spare monitor.”
“You do?” Who has a spare monitor? “Yes. I used to have two monitors on my desk but I decided I only wanted one so I have a spare. I could bring it over.”
At 8:00 a.m. phone Booster to say I won’t be sending a column just yet because my monitor died. At 8:45 a.m. friend drops off spare monitor. Try to hook up her monitor but cables don’t work on my computer. Still hooped.
Ponder how dependent I am on one machine. Hard drive, keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers all working–but all useless without a monitor. True of other things too. One thing out of whack can make everything else useless.
At 9:15 a.m. computer guy phones. Yes he has a monitor in stock. Yes he can bring it over but it’s at the shop. Will be about an hour and a half. Okay. Tight for finishing the proposal on time but still workable.
Maybe I could do something manually, write column or proposal section, then type when monitor back. Sit at table with pen and paper. Discover I can’t write any more without a keyboard. My brain-hand connection has died.
About noon, computer guy arrives with new monitor.
Checks cables between dead monitor and hard drive. Seem okay. He’s mystified. It’s a fairly new monitor. He knows because I bought it from him. It’s one of two highest quality brands. He doesn’t understand why it died young.
Then he notices something else. Seems unrelated to the monitor but…more checking…another cable…keyboard...mutter mutter…Discovers a cable that looks fine, but has an invisible flaw. Tries something else…Voila! My monitor comes to life!
And so–for the cost of two cables and a service call, I have a functioning monitor. Sun comes out. Anxiety knot dissipates. Life is good. Mark Twain once wrote, “Reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated.” Same could be said of my monitor.
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