Ode to a New Laptop

I turned you on.

Before we got started, there was just the blank screen, the inner sanctum. Everyone else sees only the outside shell, a flashing Toshiba logo stamped in fine metal. The flip side—after I unlatch and unfold you at the joints—is what only I will see, for hours on end.

I will dive in, deep into the inside while remaining, I must admit, in the shallows this side of the flat screen.

The flood of my thoughts will scandalize future grandchildren. They will have to clean up after me, like throwing out the old pill bottles an old person saves for some indistinct future use, memories I’ve held onto. Like cleaning the moldy muddy damage left after a global-warming-scale hurricane, this smear of life. Strip the hard drive, they will say.

Revelare! I open and reveal you.

A face stares back at me, from a darkly reflective glossy screen. Startled at first, we stare at one another, me and my indentured bank account projecting back to me as me. I set my forefingers above f and j and wait for Windows. What a blank, uncomposed expression, caught unawares in the Toshiba mirror. I might have composed myself, had I anticipated my face.

Toshiba, why did you have to install a mirror for a dead screen? Should I smoke while writing? Is your mirrorlike screen for the sophists who check their appearance in every passing window—why do you give us our face before you undulate the calming blues of Microsoft?

Right before I pen, you know, just a little literary story (that someone will try trace to experiences in my own life, as if it’s always about me and probably is, that some journal will accept in return for a free year’s subscription)—why must I first ponder this face, pale white flower, like the stars that shine against the drowning waters, already curling, browning around the edges, now fading, as I fall, fall, into the beckoning blues of Windows.

Mizu no kokoru. Mind like water. If I imagine my mind like the surface of clear, undisturbed water, I can reverse narcissism, according to the East, mind expanding out and encompassing everything, including nothingness. A clear, calm surface reflecting everything around it perfectly. No turmoil, peacefulness.

I should leave it at load and not go on Word, ripple what is quiet, ripple up a hurricane.

Mizu no kokoro. Mind like water. You win, Toshiba, against Western mythology. You give us what we want so we can drown, with the speed of centrino technology, in our own solipsistic waters. Starting out with our blank face.

The blues have arrived. My middle finger points, just a little ways, inevitably, up and a bit west—to i.

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