Today has been one of those rollercoaster days; a day of several disappointments and a very big hurrah!, which inevitably evens out into a stasis of blah.
As some of you may know, my laptop, Valefor, has been having issues for a while now — nothing so major that warranted any serious repairs, but still, things that were adding up. The other night, Valefor’s charger decided it didn’t like charging things anymore, and became completely responsible for a minor 2 a.m. meltdown. To get it repaired, it would have cost over 200 dollars. But my parents gave me, as a graduation present, a thousand dollars towards a new laptop — so, brilliantly, I decided to use that today.
So I am now using a new computer, who I have named Drusilla. (Mind you, I name most of my technology, minus Tinyphone, after fictional characters; Valefor is both a demon and a character in a book called Flora Segunda, my iPod since its “restore” is named Spike from Buffy, and thus I felt since my iPod and Macbook are intimately connected, Drusilla — also from Buffy — was very fitting). Drusilla is very lovely. She’s got Snow Leopard and everything, and all my files, applications, settings, etc. were transferred over from Valefor, who, granted, is still alive and kicking. So it’s like using Valefor, but also … not using Valefor.
And this leads me to the weird problem that makes a good thing very depressing: I empathize with inanimate objects. Not all of them, but — enough of them to make my life very difficult. I feel guilty about cute greeting cards left on the road, as though I were the one who put it there, and as though the greeting card actually has feelings. This is a true story: one day, I was walking to the bus from my apartment. There was an adorable Easter card sitting in a parking lot. I thought, “Aww, how sad.” And then, the very instant that thought entered my brain, I started feeling guilty. This is a common process for me, one that I know intimately well, and it always goes like this: the very second I start thinking about how sad something left behind is, or how ugly someone’s shirt is, etc. I start feeling immediately guilty and know that I won’t stop feeling guilty until I have somehow made amends. If it’s someone’s shirt that I find unattractive, I apologise. It’s not the shirt’s fault. If I start feeling bad for an inanimate object I can actually take or buy, I have to resist a very, very strong impulse to take or buy that item.
So, inevitably, when I saw the Easter card, I said, “Aww, how sad — who would leave a greeting card on the ground?” and therefore I knew I had to do something about it. I didn’t, however, have time to ponder it because I was cutting the bus close, so I said, “If it’s there when I come home, I’ll pick it up.”
Guess what? It was still there when I came back a few hours later, and I stood over it, agonizing about how stupid I was to feel this way, but also how horrible of a person I’d be if I just left this abandoned, sad card on the pavement. So I picked it up. And it’s still in my room. STILL. It wasn’t even my card.
Now, imagine that attachment to inanimate objects when it’s an object I sincerely care for, have a relationship with, and have relied on for fourish years. I had to call my parents three times just to decide if I <em>really</em> should get a new computer, because I wanted to be faithful to Valefor — and obviously, I caved.
But because my files were copied onto Drusilla, not transferred, I now have two computers. One is old and sad. The other is new and shiny. One I am immensely attached to. The other I have not broken in yet. And yet — I told my roommate, “I think I’ll switch off using them,” and she stared at me and said, “Why would you do that?”
The answer: I am attached to inanimate objects, I don’t know why I feel so guilty about moving on but I do and always do, and I don’t know how to fix it. I know how crazy that sounds, but I can’t stop.
And that is why my day has been sad.