Hanging by a thread

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Probably the first time in over a decade, I've lost the urge to write here. Yet, here I am. 

My laptop died last evening. For the first time in over eight years, this bit went down, and I've got to say, it caught me off guard. I've lost touch on how to handle an unprecedented travesty and how to be prepared for those, mostly cause my laptop's been entirely reliable for such a long period now that I believed this is far from gone and has another decade to offer. 

Truth is, this was also my worst nightmare. Along with a few others, I've been keeping this thought on the back burner to the point, I didn't want to contest my cynicism with the reality that it is working for now and when push comes to shove, we'll see it. 

Push came to shove on a night I was PMSing beyond belief and had procrastinated big work deadlines. 

Big work achievement? I've been commissioned to write for one of the more prestigious fashion magazines in the world, one I didn't think I'd ever land, cause I never thought I'd be good enough to make it to the other side. I read those magazines for years, saw the author's name and wondered what would it be like to be one of them.

Cut me some slack, I was young and fed on SATC bullshit. Still, it holds value when you romanticize something and it happens. Never mind, the payment isn't great and that you're quite unhappy yourself with the style you need to follow. 

I can rant later, but for now, back to the crashed laptop and smashed dreams. I am also scheduled to give a masterclass to other writers/creators next week, which is also coinciding with the deadline, so a lot is riding on my laptop and the fact that it decided to die on me freaked the fuck out. 

"My grandfather died on me the same way. One day he was fine, at home, and the next day he was hospitalized, and soon after he got on life support and we never spoke again." I told a former Tinder man turned good friend at 3 something in the morning when I was panicking. He assured me there's no correlation and at best it might be a simple part replacement issue but my head decided to go down the anxiety route and pick on my insecurities. "M's laptop died this way and it never got back." I tried to get my anxiety to thought and he insisted on letting go of these comparisons for the sake of my sanity. Not to forget he was juggling with power outage himself and his concerns were slightly different than mine. 

My concerns are where I think the universe is conspiring against me and all the shitty things are aligned to be in my platter, one after the other. Just when I'm done dealing with one, the other explodes in my face.

I went to bed at 5 and continued to toss and turn for an hour, all the while thinking of the unwritten pieces my laptop contained, and the journey we were supposed to be on. From negotiating first job offer to writing tart over 6-page doc to men to sending a pitch to this fashion magazine while flirting with a man two continents away— the machine has seen it all with me. It may not hold memories but it has helped me make so many of them, my life is inconceivable without this.

That's when I thought of this page, and the time I bought a domain name and how excited was I, the night my friend and I sat together and over takeout he helped me take the plunge into getting this for a few years (expires next year, iirc). I thought if there will be another chance for me to write here. That's the only time I truly felt the urge to write. 

Write about how this time last year I was begging the universe to give me one shot and help my grandfather recover and how I felt helpless each time the phone rang from my parents or the hospital as we waited in the car park to get an update. I tried to sleep while thinking of these things and felt the unrest, as I hovered between a state of trance, my mind wouldn't shut but the body had given up. 

I woke to the sound of religious processions twice, and twice again to my mother trying to locate the spare charger and giving me the call to start the day to fix the laptop. It felt like I was reliving the mornings when my grandfather was in the hospital. 

Around this time last year, I got my first international byline and I met my grandfather for the first time on life support. That moment plays in my head through the nights when I can't fall asleep and go back to reddit or some dumb game to shut off. All of that went through my head over and over, and how I lost him and how my laptop's the next one giving up on me. 

In what was a really long and uncertain episode at the service centre later in the day, my dad managed to get some temporary fix for the system. I'm writing using it, but the days of this machine in its present form are dated. I'm infact terrified to even think when and how this is going to give up and where will I be, work-wise, when that happens. 

The best way possible is to record my emotions in real-time and see if I can compensate fuelling my brain with 3000 calories but not the most frugal idea. 

In other, cheerful updates, I've felt more like myself, than I did in the last month. I attended a wedding, survived a week of the wedding without getting covid and without anyone in my family dying (no wait, someone actually passed away in the extended family). I ate more than my stomach could hold and drank a wee bit, things I have not done in a while and found myself realizing that it's possible to simulate normalcy if you convince yourself you're safe.

I felt safe all these days until my laptop gave up. 

I'm in my personal hell and I need an out. 

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