My computer died.
I feel like I’ve lost a friend.
Mal came into my life 7 years ago, when my laptop was stolen out of my apartemt while I was out of town because my roommate left our apartment unlocked.
He has been with me ever since.
He was named after Capt. Malcom Reynolds of Firefly. He had his Serenity moment. Two years ago I spilled a huge cup of ice water all over him. I toddled down to the Apple store in Bethesda, hoping they could retrieve my files for me, and when the blueshirt plugged him into their system he came back to life, completely uncorrupted and ready to go. I laughed at the shocked face of the young man. In stuttering sentences he told me that he had never seen something like that happen before and he couldn’t believe it.
I have no hope this time. Mal was fine when I used him the other day. This morning, preparing myself to answer work emails, and fight of a migraine from answering work emails, there was no life in him. He gave up the ghost sometime in the night.
I want to cry. And More than looking at my meager savings I see that I don’t even have half of what I need to replace him. I feel real sadness in my heart. For a computer. Which makes me want to punch myself. It is just a rectangle of metal and plastic after all.
But Mal has been through all the changes in my life. He was the one thing that every time I moved always came with me. I can’t even say that about the framed photograph of my father, who died almost 19 years ago.
I wrote graduate school papers on Mal. I failed to finish graduate school papers on Mal. I applied for jobs I didn’t want and didn’t get, as well as the job that I love on Mal. I showed television shows that I adored to friends on Mal. He stored the history of my horrid taste in music (which is all safely kept on the backup drive, thank you very much). I made worksheets, lesson plans, awards, games, and conference reports all on Mal. (Also saved externally, I’m not a total idiot, even if I sound like one right now.)
More than anything, Mal was my savior in early sobriety. On Mal I wrote emails filled with fear, pain, hope, prayer, and a whole lot of nonsense to friends and family who patiently and lovingly supported me through I time when I didn’t know if I was going to live or not. I sat with him for hours, pouring out the poison that had destroyed my mind, ruined my body, and damaged my soul. Through him I read words of comfort and encouragement, strength and peace, without which I would not have survived. Alcoholism took my words and Mal helped me get them back.
And so I’m crying, like a giant dumbass, for a computer. For a tool that can give no more back than what I put into it. But what I put into it is that which was devestated, and what I could back was that which thrives.
(2 Years, 10 Months, and 23 Days Sober)