I may well be addicted to computers. After spending 8 hours at work today tap tap tapping away at the keyboard, I came home only to turn on my home desktop. After a clunky start it began to install a new Windows update. 10 minutes later it’d completed five out of 126 processes. Fuck. What the hell was I gonna do if not for a computer? Surely I, a grown fellow, would know how to entertain myself without the aid of a computer. Of course I could just resort to my cellphone, but that was basically admitting defeat. I can’t say I didn’t always have a computer, because I did. Back in the day our family rocked the old IBM compatible. We’d play Street Fighter, Scorched Earth, Treasure Math Storm. Not today. Today I was determined to find leisure outside the frame of a computer monitor. I racked my brain for fun things to do that didn’t involve a hard drive. I think I blew a gasket.
So instead of leisure, I just started a bunch of tasks. Turns out that when I’m without entertainment I get shit done instead. I tossed Dark Side of the Moon onto the turntable and started prepping a late lunch. While my marmite, tomato and cheese toast grilled in the oven I grabbed a stack of dirty clothes and chucked them in the washing machine. I folded a neglected pile of washing and sorted it into little stacks while chomping away on my lunch, gooey gouda stretching between my lips and the plate. Gazing upon the folded stacks of clothing with pride, I remembered the wobbly chair lying over the other side of the table. I pulled out an Allen key and fixed it up, then went around the table to tune each chair. My computer had only installed 25 of 126 files, so I still had time to kill.
I took the washing back and opened my drawers. My mind flickered back to that “filing system” for shirts. While I was skewing Martha Stewart, why not go the whole nine yards? The shirts were such a success, I figured I’d get to my underwear/socks too. As boring as this is to read, I was transfixed on getting stuff done. I’d kind of forgotten that procrastination was my M.O. and actually started loving it. I was hungry for more to do, so I dove into my closet to replace all my old wire hangers with hardier plastic ones. Upon finishing, I noticed the spot where I’d gotten a splinter caught in my finger and sought to dig out the detritus (one tiny little black dot). I fetched my sewing kit and sterilised a needle, then poked around a bunch. Success. I washed up from lunch and surveyed everything the light touched. My domain was glistening with promise.
Domestic, menial and banal as the afternoon was, goddamn I felt strangely accomplished. The affirmation that I can actually survive on my own isn’t a new revelation, but something about sorting my shit out in a big burst was a kind of rush. I’m independent. Shoes on my feet, I bought ’em. I depend on me. I can not only not die without intervention, but thrive. I don’t need others to help me on my way, I’m my own man who marches to the beat of my own drum.
Which is as good a time as any to announce that my girlfriend is moving in. Glad I clocked bachelorism first.