One City

It was a quiet Sunday morning, just before a thunderstorm was to break out over New York City. The sky was bright and gray at the same time, with clouds closing in over 27th Street like a camera shutter. Little did Emily know that after she finished eating her bowl of cinnamon flavored cereal and powered on her laptop, disaster would rear its ugly head (although perhaps the dismal atmosphere outside should have given her a clue).

There are a few topics that make me want to close my eyes, stick my fingers in my ears and sing “La-la-la-la-la!” One of them is computers. Well, that’s not true. I like computers. I rely on computers for my writing, bill paying, news-reading, TV show-watching, and basic organization and communication, so in general I quite like computers. But when something goes wrong with my computer, this is when I have to fight the urge to throw up my hands and yell at whoever is next to me that does not know how to fix the problem because it is obviously all their fault. This past weekend, it was a computer virus. And it was almost really bad.

Maybe Squeezy Laptop Buddha can help me to be mindful during these trying times.

For me, dealing with a computer virus is what I like to call an exercise in Mega-Attachment. Because it’s so much more than just plain old attachment. And even if you’ve learned your lesson from past computer crashes and actually do back up your files on a semi-regular basis, you still wonder if you’ve missed something. And then there’s the feelings of indignation:

How could this happen?
But I didn’t do anything wrong!
Why does this always happen to me?
What else could go wrong today?
These people who make viruses are so mean!
Why does Geek Squad charge money?
Why isn’t my tech-smart friend picking up his phone? This is important!
Why? Why? WHY???

Even though we don’t think of computers as living, breathing things that have a birth, a life, and a death, they sort of do. They get old and run slower, they get sick, they crash, files are lost. We can take precautions, but sometimes things just go wrong.

Maybe I should meditate on this: This mechanical body, too, will be a corpse.

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