I returned from Costa Rica to a sick machine. Can’t fool me, I knew it was a goner, and it did too. I used it to research its own replacement honey, what were your specs again? I know I can do better. Haunting Micro Center. Performing Last Bytes.
I had somewhat recent backups on an external drive, but I was waiting for the weekend for a final, full sweep when the video bucked and roared.
P A N I C ! W O E ! O F O R T U N A !
According to my DriveMate, my files are fine—all my words n pixels safe, in the right place. It’s hardly convenient, though. I have adventures to relay! Big water lung swells! Beach dogs and bravery! Over 450 photos of pura vida wonder.
After I returned, I couldn’t sleep and wake and know what was going on. I’d been living in hostels, sleeping amongst strangers, swirls of different languages and rooster crows every hour of early morn. Home at last alone in my own bed, it felt unusual, primal deep dread in the middle of the night, afraid of the familiar made strange. Unheimlich. Too few breathing bodies. Too many heartbeats in my chest.
I did not reflect on independence, of living alone as an adult woman, of the pride and power and luck of being financially fit enough not to need roommates. I night-terror wanted my mommy. Every shadow had teeth. Several nights in a row, I didn’t know where I was.
The sharp of it would pass momentarily, but that chemical fear stuck in the blood, a red flag nag, a shade you can’t shake like you get when you know you forgot something.
Meanwhile, in waking, for days I paw sleek laptops, watch reviews and absorb the advice of internet strangers and friends. Perhaps stubbornly, I determine the technology I want doesn’t yet exist. While I await my knight in shining chassis, at my dad’s last weekend I dusted off good ol’ Teabombelly, my library school ‘bot that had crapped out at the time but was relatively revived under the tutelage of Ubuntu. I still use Windows from the dual boot, but even that’s been behaving.
It has Photoshop, which means… I have a lot of work to do. Hundreds of moments to review, to weed and improve and remember. Worship the sand and sun, tame the torrents of rain. Temper the jungle and render the sea.
And that’s not the half of it, I’ve posts neck-deep, narratives and shouts and all the crazy things I see, I’m all backed up with that something I’m forgetting but then it crawls before me:
When Teabombelly sleeps, she reminds me to breathe.