Weekend Update:

About a year ago, I suffered a tremendous nervous shock, something between a conversion experience and electrocution. I saw in a flash that the principles upon which I organized my domestic life were very broadly mistaken. I was running my home as though it were an information-age bomb shelter. I provided for every interest that I might conceivably have in the event of a connectivity blackout — or, in other words, the onset of what used to be called desert island conditions. What books and discs would I want to have on hand in case… but I never spelled out the ghastly eventuality that would throw me back upon the resources of my apartment. Part of last year’s shock — only part — was the realization that I am now quite at home in cyberspace. Without a connection to the Internet, the failure of my books and discs to amuse me would be total.

So, I started gettting rid of stuff — a lot of stuff. This was no orgy of disencumbrance. Oh, no. I’ve had that inebriated pleasure a couple of times in my life, but never again will I impetuously dump my possessions for the sake of feeling light and free for a week or two — only to have to buy them all back at twice the price. The reason I’m still getting rid of stuff a year later is that it can take a lot of time to determine the point at which the marginal utility of something faces to zero. Sometimes, the heave-ho is obvious, and that’s a great feeling. But it’s unusual.

(I haven’t started giving you the idea yet, just in case you’re wondering.) A few months ago, I bought an Aeron desk chair. Aeron desk chairs are completely passé now and not remotely cool — they always looked funny but now they look funny — but it turns out that the Aeron chair is the right chair for a man of my size. The problem was, the Aeron chair made it clear that my desk was also defective, because its drawers and such kept the chair from pulling underneth the work surface and allowing me to get close to (ie “read”) my computer screens. (Also, they pinched my legs.) So I had to find a new desk. The problem was: I liked my old desk. It might be that I couldn’t use it to write blog entries anymore, but I wasn’t ready to part with it, and this reluctance wasn’t just sentimental.

The new writing table, which arrived in a box from Levenger yesterday, has not been set up yet, because the old desk can’t be moved to where it’s going to go until the dresser in the corner finally moves on to wherever it’s going next — and now, I hope, you’re getting the idea of why I haven’t been writing more. The dresser is going either to charity or to my grandson’s bedroom — it’s his mother’s call. It happens to be the dresser that I grew up with, and I hope that its next stop will be Will’s. But if it’s not, I’m ready to let it go. My old desk, which was never meant for computers anyway, will serve me well at the many jobs that (alas!) aren’t yet digital. (Such as sorting the mail.)

D’you know, this is all so boring that even I can’t figure out where I’m going with it. More accurately: I can’t see what comes next if I’m not going to share with you this morning’s rapture, when I stood in the room and saw — another, milder nervous shock — that if my old desk went there, then I’d need to get rid of a wing chair as well as the dresser, but so what; the old desk really ought to go there. If that, then a thousand other small outcomes, most of them too microscopic to be described in the English language. Let me just tell you, though, that the old desk is going outperform the dresser as a dresser. It’s going to do a much better job of holding my socks and handkerchiefs — I can scarcely believe how much better a job. Aren’t you happy for me?

Or do you want to shoot me? If so, there’s a line.

One Response to “Weekend Update:

  1. Ellen Moody says:

    Yes I couldn’t survive w/o internet, but I love things too. They are a way of comfort oneself with a world around one. Ellen