On Black Friday, my brother saw a 50% off deal on a refurbished desktop, so he asked me whether I wanted it. The idea was that he would pay for it, I’d start using it as soon as it arrived, and I’d give him a bit of money each month until I had paid him off. There were only a few units left for sale and they were going quickly, so I had to make a decision pretty much instantly. Without thinking about it, I said yes. The computer arrived on Tuesday and I’ll pay my first instalment out of the December check.
I’ve had some time to reflect on why my top-of-the-head decision was to have a computer again. My two-plus months without a computer had begun well, with me feeling liberated and alive, but had gradually deteriorated until I was mired in ennui. I found myself increasingly watching television as a substitute for my old computer activities, still stuck at my desk but passively staring at the display instead of interacting with what’s behind it. The absence of a computer turned out not to be a long-term improvement. I had nothing to lose from having a computer again other than the ever-keener awareness of the pointlessness of existence. While that awareness is our species’ most authentic experience, I find that I cannot sustain it for 16 straight hours a day, week after week.
So here I am. Hopefully, you’re still here too. Let me know how you’ve been doing.