Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Computer vs. the Human Heart

I've just spent the last five hours dealing with computer issues at work. Something nasty got into my machine and just decided to fuck with me. And of course, a bunch of other people across the company came down with the same virus at the same time, so IT was overwhelmed. Fortunately, I'm goddamn awesome, and I was able to crawl up Windows 7's ass and force it to do my bidding all by myself. Because just like everything else in the entire world, if I wanted this problem fixed, I was going to have to take care of it alone. So I did.

If you're keeping score, that's now me and one overworked IT geek at my corporate office who think I'm awesome.

I've also been wrestling with some emotional-interpersonal stuff all morning. And I say, give me a virus-ridden operating system any day over a beat-down human heart. Because I know what happens when a rogue piece of malware sets up a shell desktop and blocks access to your programs. I know how to circumvent the commands that keep you from getting to and deleting the source of the problem. I know that if you apply the proper mix of tech savvy and loud cursing, any computer can be restored to operating condition.

But the registry of the heart is full of worms that can't be controlled, prevented, or neutralized. Imagine having a keyboard that randomly decided that pressing the A key got you a Q, and pressing Enter deleted your last sentence. It's not logical, it's painful to navigate, it's frustrating as hell. And I've been banging on that metaphorical keyboard all morning.

My company IT geek - who couldn't thank me enough for whipping my computer into shape without his assistance - says that this is the time of year when viruses and worms run amok. Happy Holidays, your ass is hacked. And I guess it's also the time of year - you know, the butt-end - when you start to think about priorities and goals, dreams of the past and dreams of the future. It always makes me a little melancholy. After all, I can't change anything I did this past year. And no matter how carefully laid my plans for 2012 are, God's waiting with His heavenly salad tongs to mix them up and fling them all to hell and gone. Strange sense of humor, He has.

The thing is, sometimes I want to get mad at all the things I can't fix in my life. Just like I get mad at my computer when it decides to listen to some random packet of malevolent code instead of me, its putative master. But I can channel that computer frustration and use it to get the damn thing humming again. I've never quite gotten the hang of actually harnessing my heart-rage to make things better in the future than they've been in the past. So instead of taking control of the machinery, I just let it convey me where it will, to places good and bad. And although you learn a lot that way, you never quite end up where you thought you would if only you were a little better at navigating the commands.

Have I mangled this metaphor enough for one post? Probably. Just the fact that I can publish this post means that I've tamed the computer demons for today. And the fact that I was able to write it indicates that my brain is still functioning despite the emotional glitches elsewhere. Score one for the blogger.

Yeah, the rest of this week is probably going to be more year-end navel-gazing like this. Don't worry, I'll try to work in some politics or monkey art or whatnot to keep it entertaining. And I'll try REALLY hard not to throw any viruses your way. Just don't click on anything you see here that promises to make you rich or increase your stamina. That's probably not going to end well.

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