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Wednesday, December 14, 2005


i recently spent an evening in new york with a friend that i met there about 10 years ago. we don't get in touch that often ("i HATE the phone." "well, i HATE email.") but when we do get together, there's a lot of talking to be done. this time he told me, after two tequila-based cocktails, a story about how, when he and his siblings were young, their mom left their negligent father. she packed all four of her kids in a car and moved as far away from him as possible to a trailer park in florida. they left with nothing but what they could fit in the car.

one day their mom stepped out to get some milk. it was the first time she had left them all alone. my friend was the eldest at 7, so he was in charge. as soon as she pulled out of the driveway, the kids started to run amuck. they took off their clothes. one of the brothers started trying to light matches. the others were digging up other sources of trouble. once the brother succeeded in lighting a match, a bit of the sulfur fell off and burned his hand. his instinct was to throw the match. he threw it onto the curtains. it started a fire. my friend rounded up all his siblings and got them out of the trailer. once they got outside, their mom pulled up. they all stood and watched their house burn down. the mom and her naked children. everything they had burned to the ground.

"oh my gawd." i said. "you lost everything - you didn't even have any clothes."

"no clothes. all of our pictures - pictures of us as kids. that's all gone." he said.

this past weekend, i tried to transfer all the info from my old computer to this new one. nothing would work: the new computer would freeze, then the old computer would freeze. it took three days to get absolutely nothing done. i finally got on the phone with applecare. i spent hours on the phone with them.

"what's on your screen now?" the 2nd tier technician asked, completely exasperated with me.

"a flashing question mark."

"oh...." his voice trailed off. "okay. listen up, we have a couple of options now."

with each option, i got lighter and lighter headed. my hard drive had exploded. it was no longer recognized.

it took about two days for the news to sink in. i tried not to cry, but it didn't work. i lost my pictures of prague, videos of my niece in her jolly jumper, videos of martha's vineyard, emails from friends that i keep because they inspire me to write... none of these can ever be replaced.

we often see images of people's homes that were destroyed by hurricanes, tornadoes, fires... and the owners always return to the ruins and dig up their photos.

i'll start over. i'll start building up this new hard drive. worse things have happened, as i'm constantly told. but i wonder what i would have been able to construct with those images and those emails, that i calculatedly saved. they meant nothing to anyone else, but they meant the world to me.

so why the image of jessica simpson and her ex-husband whatshisname? because i currently don't have any images and i figure jessica might bring up my number of page hits.


At December 15, 2005, Blogger Kell said...

Sorry about your computer. I finally brokedown and bought a DVD burner - just to avoid such sadness.

How sad for you - I'm so sorry.

At December 15, 2005, Anonymous demetri said...

its not the size of your hard drive or number of hits but how you use them.

At December 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the h?! dammit...sake never solves anything!

i'm sorry that i don't have any of your pictures. i'm sorry that i don't have a usb stick with your important stuff on it. i would be devastated if anything happened to my hard-drive. everything is on there.

i'm just sorry. apple-DOESN'T-care can kiss my fat ass.

Buxom S.

At December 16, 2005, Blogger frogpajamas said...

that majorly sucks dude. but at least you're not naked in public.


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