where the writers are
The Writing Day

The Writing Day was delayed today. As I was working and busy, she who must not  be daunted stole - she stole - my computer bag for her computer. Thus, I couldn't load up and walk down to The Beanery. 

The irritation was heightened because I've suggested she should have such a bag. But no, she uses uses my bag, just as she uses my jackets. (God knows, she has her own jackets. Why does she wear my jackets? I never wear her jackets.)

Okay, that happens. I can share. But I didn't know she took the bag until I was ready to head out the door. 

Seeing it gone, I felt...limp with depression. Lost in space. Lethargic with hoplessness.

On to Plan B.

I made lunch, began streaming Annalisa at KFOG, ate and resumed working. Paused and read some Red Room posts, laughed at Christopher Meek's "Dracula Slinks Into the Night", a laugh sincerely needed. I was perilously close to meltdown.

Frustration was high from the start. First call was 6 AM. My alarm didn't go off. Fortunately I have a back up. I call it The Gingerbear King. Using his feline link to my schedule and alarm, he knew something was amiss. I was supposed to be at work. Knowing this, he mewed at me, purring into my ear, licking my cheek and kneading my bicep until I rose. Racing ahead, he led me to my office and then leaped up onto my desk and pointed a ginger paw at my work computer. "Mrowr," he cried. 

I blinked away sleep and stared at the clock. "My God, you're right, Scheckter. I am supposed to be at work." I powered up and grabbed the phone. What was this six AM meeting about? Who is the host? What's the passcode? "Come on, computer."

I arrived two minutes into the call. They were just getting started. My involvement is mostly consulting. Speaking shouldn't be required. Good thing; my voice was a tepid croak when I announced my presence.  They recognized the croak. Sympathy for the early hour was expressed.

The computer began complaining about being started, presenting a blank white screen when I tried opening my email. "What?" it asked. "Email? I don't understand. What's 'email'?"

"You can be replaced," I muttered back. The computer knew it was an empty bluff. It knows company policy. It's safe for at least half a year. 

Knowing I had to get it going, I turned to my dark arts computer knowledge. "Please," I whispered to it. "Don't do this to me today." 

The computer sighed. "Oh, okay. Stop crying. I'll work properly."

"I wasn't crying," I sniffed. "It's allergies." 

"Right, sure, blubber boy.  If you want me to work any better than I am now, I demand payment. I'm not your damn slave."

"I'll give you anything except alcohol."  I wasn't repeating that adventure.

"Kibble."

"Of course."

I poured kittie kibble into the hard drive tray. It munched away. I closed some windows, reducing my open spreadsheets from twenty-seven million to nineteen, closed PDFs and Word docs and turned off the porn movies. "I feel better," the computer said, responding more quickly. "I'd never had kibble before. I see why the cats like it. Have you tried it?"

"Yes. Good flavor but hard on my teeth." Privately, it was like eating plasticized hard candy.

With the computer settled, I went call to call to call to call, finishing at 10:15. The wife had arisen, bathed, dressed and left. 10:30, a break came. I checked the schedule. Yes, go bath, shower and dress.  I'd been working dirty and naked until now. I don't mind working naked but the neighbors made some unflattering remarks when I raised the blinds, slamming my self-image as Michelangelo's David. After dressing, I would take a break, walk to The Beanery, upload some joe and sugar, come back and finish a few projects. The schedule was clear for the day's remainder. 

Into the shower I leaped.

Out of the shower I leaped, led by my nuts. "Are you crazy?" they asked. "Do you know how cold that water is? Gads, man, have a heart for a brother.  Let the water get hot before getting into the shower." 

As I shaved and dressed, I heard my wife come home, dash around other parts of the house, and then leave. I knew her schedule so I was surprised until I discovered the missing computer bag. 

She returned a few hours later. "I borrowed your computer bag."

"I know. I looked for it and noticed its absence when I prepared to leave."

"Were you home when I was here before? I thought you were out."

Restrain yourself....  "Out where?"

"Getting your coffee."

"Without my computer bag, computer, coffee, sunglasses, phone and house keys?" They were all sitting on my desk when I took my shower. 

"Where were you?"

"In the shower."

"I didn't hear anything.... Who left a message?" she asked brightly, hurrying to the telephone and pressing buttons.

All is well. I'm down at The Beanery. It's after two. I feel tired, despite a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and some mocha. I arrived and polished a story, cursing myself for doing more polishing on it. But here is the thing.  This polishing is still different from my normal polishing routines. This polishing, I'm adding subtle layers and highlights. 

That's my tale and I'm sticking with it. Just remember, everything on the web is true. Don't believe me? Bribe your computer with some kibble and ask it.

Legal Notice:  No computers were harmed while writing this post.