Going Dark

I’m moving. Physically. From one place to another.

People ask me from time to time how many computers I have. In my mind, this is a pointless question. It’s akin to someone in their 40s asking a new partner how many people they’ve been with. At cocktail parties and with my partner’s parents, it leads to fantastic conversations about Sorites Paradox. It’s great with the future in-laws because ancient philosophy rarely touches directly on hot-button subjects.

I have a lot of computers and some of them aren’t mine. I’ve never stolen a computer. Google and Amazon own some of them but I buy computing time. Even considering just the ones for which I own the physical hardware… not including the one I’m writing this post on despite shutting everything down… you get the picture.

It’s a magic thing when you shut down your computer. Not the other ones that you have in reserve. Not the other one that you have running at the other place where you’re not at presently. The one. The special one.

It’s the one you’ve spent thousands of hours in front of. It’s gotten parts replaced or upgraded. The OS has been upgraded and re-installed more times than you care to mention. It’s just hardware but it’s special. It’s reliable. It’s your go-to. It’s like the comfy couch that makes you feel like you’re home.

There’s a little emotional trauma and anguish when it gets shut off. Like the slots in a Vegas casino, it’s fan hum has become part of your life, part of your existence. It’s been rebooted plenty, but rarely full-on shut off. That just doesn’t happen. It would take a cataclysmic event for that to happen. It’s like your phone running out of battery for more than 20 minutes (while you’re awake). This just… doesn’t happen.

Yet it’s strangely liberating. Life continues to be. The one constant in the world doesn’t cease: time transpires at the constant rate of one second per second. The websites are still up. No frantic calls like a couple weeks ago when the supposedly Automattic update broke things. Just… quiet.

And peace. Happy, unforgivable peace.