Set me a seal upon your heart,
As a ring upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death...
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
A flame of the Eternal.

Song of Songs viii 6-7

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Max's Churning Computer

Journal Entry 27
Sunday 05/02/2004
Waxing gibbous moon
Around 11:00 a.m.

            Today I glanced through the files Max kept on disc.  I knew that hundreds of his files were contained in several directories.  So, having set aside a block of time, I decided to review them all, then delete those of little value and retain those that seemed to be important.  I’ll just copy the “good” ones to CD. 

            Then I can dispose of his computer, I thought.

            One time not long after he died, I logged on to his machine to search for some documents.  The computer ran well that day – no problems whatsoever.  Luckily, I found the needed files in no time at all. 
ᴥ ᴥ ᴥ

            So with every confidence, I sit down at Max’s computer and boot up.  But about three seconds into the logon, I hear a nefarious noise, a thud followed by an ear-splitting bellow.Whoa!”  I jump up from my seat and back away.  You see, the computer’s “bawling” like a car that won’t start in the dead of winter.  Stunned, I move about halfway down the hall.  Wouldn’t want to get any closer to the thing.  I mean, what if it explodes?  Now that may sound silly, but believe me, I am not willing nor even able to get any closer to the roaring roadster – or in Max’s case, the “Croakin’ Toadster”.  (Catch The Toad, his nickname in an earlier post.) 

            Suddenly, as if the computer is changing it’s tune, it starts to make a chugging sound.  “Oh God, it’s dying!”  I want to turn it off, but I can’t.  That might screw up the hard drive.  I can’t lose any of these files until they’re backed up. 

            “Stop, stop!”  I scream like a fool.

            Then, as if on cue, the chugging actually stops!

            “WHAT the HECK?”  I shriek, as if a few fricatives might placate the pounding in my chest.

           Nevertheless, on hearing the happy hum of the CPU, I begin to pull myself together.. somewhat… and plop down on the chair.  Still I’m not getting anywhere, staring at the clock like this. 

            “Okay, after that bizarre scene, coffee’s not desired.  It’s required.  Lunchtime…. Besides, I must give the old guy a break.”    

            “Oh, sorry dude, you’re not that old.”  You see, we must try to appease the Toadster.

ᴥ ᴥ ᴥ

            After a welcome lunch, I’m armed to the teeth with a humungous slice of peach pie and my trusty mug.  And on the way back to the office, I holler at the ceiling, “Hey, Max!” just in case he’s around.  “Honey, I won’t delete anything from your hard drive except garbage.  I promise.”

            “Darlin’ come on listen to me, I won’t do you no harm…” I’m singing that John Lennon tune [1], boogying with pie and coffee in hand... behaving myself... unlike some “croaksters” we know.  So I set my reinforcements on his desk and sit down with purpose, something like the operator of a guided missile system.  I clear my throat. 

            “Okay, alright, here goes….” 

            “DEFCON Three…”


            “DEFCON Two...”

            My hand reaches out to the computer.

            “DEFCON One!” 

            And I push the button. 

            Lifetimes in that one moment.

            Eventually some beeps and clicks.  What, no racket?  

            I exhale and check the hard drive.  Nothing weird at all.  So I take another breath, and wait, and wait…

            Click… click… click….

            “Right,” I say, and the machine boots up.

            “Yes!”  I cry, arms to the sky.

            Breathing freely now, I tell my ineffable one, “Guy, the computer’s finally ‘behaving’ itself.”  (As if he doesn’t know.)

            Soon I’m reviewing the files without further incident, working long into the night. 

Post Script

            Since that strange Sunday, I have logged on to Max’s machine several more times.  And I am relieved to report that nothing creepy has happened since that day.  Just the same, I’ve decided not to dispose of Max’s computer – no, not for a long, long time!

            1.  Lennon, John. "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night." Walls and Bridges. Capitol, 1974. LP. 

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