A Tale of Two Hard Drives

Back when I wrote a blog for a local paper, I started off as a fictionalized person, with the approval of TBTP (The Powers That Be). I had this idea in my head that I could write a kind of “Diary of V” for the Seacoast, and the adventures of Catherine Trevor (the name I had given to the Internet Geek) would be infinitely more interesting to recount than my own life. After a short-ish period of time though, I found it hard to participate on the site as myself (married, homeschooling mother of three) without people confusing me with the fictional Geek (single woman who got dumped by her boyfriend of ten years).

The following entry was partially true, but it was my husband (not my imaginary ex) who redid my rig for me. The drinking tea, being offline, and watching “Invasion” really happened though. *grin*

Two Hard Drives geek graphic from SeacoastOnline, redo big

A Tale of Two Hard Drives
Posted by InternetGeek at September 30, 2005 11:29 PM

Life is strange.

First, let me apologize to those of you who have become accustomed to my MWF (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) posting schedule. Due to circumstances beyond my control (which, ironically sums up my life pretty well), I was offline Wednesday, Thursday and part of today. The reason for my lack of connectivity actually segues nicely into the subject of this entry.

My ex is full of surprises. He first surprised me about a decade ago, when he called my place of employment with a transparent story about needing my expert opinion on some office chairs (my dad, at the time, owned an office supply store). Since I’d only met him briefly at a friend’s party a week before, I wondered first how he found out where I worked (aforementioned friend) and then pondered the real reason such a charming, outgoing and gorgeous person as himself would be calling (he wanted to go out to dinner with *gasp* me!). The next surprise came in the form of an invitation to move in with him a mere two months later – but that’s a story for another time.

This latest surprise began with a phone call Tuesday evening. I almost didn’t pick up, because I’d just gotten off the phone after an hour long conversation with my best friend, and I figured she was calling back to tell me what times “Serenity” was playing this weekend. I was trying to get the popcorn ready before “Bones” started, and figured I could just call her back during the first commercial break. But when I glanced at the caller ID, I almost dropped the phone – it was a number I hadn’t seen in almost three months.

I took a deep breath, picked up, and for some strange reason heard myself say, “Sorry, you have the wrong number – I already bought some Girl Scout cookies.” There was a slight pause, then he chuckled and said, “Hey to you too, Cat.”

You know those romance novels that describe hearing the voice of your beloved and immediately your knees buckle, and you feel as if the oxygen were sucked from the room, and it seems that time has stopped while you let his familiar voice wash over you? Well, sorry to say those hack writers got it right. And please don’t ever ask me to admit that I ever said that.

We did that typical chit chat thing about how life was treating us, then he said, “I know it must be weird for me to call after all this time, but I went to a computer show last weekend, and I was thinking of you.”

I laughed and said, “So, what does hardware guy need to ask software girl?”

He stunned me by saying, “Nothing, other than if it would be okay for me to come over tomorrow afternoon and replace your old hard drive with the one I promised I’d pick up for you about six months ago.”

It took me a sec, then I remembered that back in March, he’d gotten himself a rather expensive piece of computer equipment, and promised that to be fair, he’d upgrade my rig as soon as the next show rolled around.

“You’re not serious – you really bought me a new hard drive?”

“Yeah, well I got a bonus check at work, and it’s been bugging me, so could you do me a favor and accept it so I can stop feeling guilty already?”

“Well, since you asked so nicely…”

“How about tomorrow around 4pm?”

“Sounds like a plan.”

“Okay, Stan.”

We feel into our old patterns so easily that I almost slipped and said, “Love you” as I hung up. Thankfully I had enough clarity of thought to shut myself up before it slipped.

So Wednesday afternoon was a surreal journey into the world of computer hardware. As always, my ex felt compelled to explain everything as he went, even though the mere mention of gigabytes and RAM makes my eyes lose focus and glaze over. He kindly set up my old 80 gig hard drive as a slave to the sparkling new 200 gig one, so I could use it as storage.

“Don’t you want to take my old hard drive and use it in anther computer?”

“I’d hate to see you lose all those stories and papers to a virus. Makes more sense for you to keep it.”

Towards the end of the evening, we discovered we’d both started watching “Invasion”, so I asked him if he wanted to stay and have some homemade microwave popcorn. For a gut wrenching moment, I thought he was going to say “No thanks,” and I would feel like an idiot for asking. Instead, he accepted with the stipulation that I include a cup of Irish tea in exchange for his labor on the computer. I felt a rush of relief, followed by an immediate mental butt kicking, as I wondered what the hell I was doing. While I got our munchies together, I told him not to bother to hook up the router yet – I wanted to resist the temptation of going back online until after I transferred all my files between the hard drives and essentially tidied up my e-space. He laughed, and bet that I couldn’t hold out longer than a couple of hours before I logged back in. Which, needless to say, is why I’m just getting online again now.

Watching the show helped a bit with the awkwardness of how to end this strange little visit. When it was over, he said he needed to run because he had work in the morning (as did I), so I walked him to the door and thought, “Frell – now what?” Seeing a similar look on his face, we both laughed and he said, “Do you still hate me too much to give me a hug goodnight?”

“Nah, I gave up hating you for Lent.”

We hesitantly reached our arms around each other, and I experienced another one of those sickly Harlequin moments – I couldn’t breath, and it felt like my heart would burst out of my chest. To cover, I began patting his back, and murmured, “hmmm, where would be the best place to stick the knife?” He laughed and broke the spell.

So now I own a super fast, mega huge hard drive, and the strange suspicion that I may end up getting my heart stomped on again. But now I can download the latest RvB episodes in record time – that should help with any mental anguish I might soon experience…

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