Wednesday, January 22 2003
The universe might be regarded as a long series of verbless statements. Tree. Road. Fallen snow. Melting snow. Possibly-insane man walking past with an Australian Shepherd. These statements all invite questions. How did that tree get here? Was it fabricated and put there by God, complete with dead branches and woodpecker holes, only a week before I moved up from Brooklyn? Does the road follow an ancient path first blazed up Dug Hill by a herd of elk? Does the presence or absence of snow mean anything significant, like the dots and dashes of a Morse code message? Or is it just God's - Jesus's - way of fucking with us. If it is, it isn't working. I've never known anyone to look for an encoded message in a pattern of snowfall, not even now that process can be entirely automated.
I was supposed to go out to the house of one of Gretchen's clients today so I could help him with his computer troubles. But when I went to start my truck, the engine turned over a few times lethargically and then would do nothing more than click. The thermometer on the dining room window had been reading eight degrees Fahrenheit, but I think it was skewed upwards by heat radiating from the house. I called Gretchen on her cellphone and told her about my transportation difficulties. At the time she was at the Kingston Humane Society playing with cats. She said she'd come home immediately.
So I ended up driving Gretchen's car to today's computer housecall gig. It was nearly out of gasoline and I'd forgotten my wallet, but there are apparently lots of miles left in the tank of a Honda Civic even when after gauge falls to E.
My job is that of a wizard. I make complex magical systems work without bothering to explain how. But today, in the end I wasn't very helpful. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get a newfangled Hewlett Packard printer to work with a G4 laptop. It's a scandal sometimes how poorly computer equipment interfaces to peripherals. This sort of thing keeps computer equipment magical and thus me in business, but sometimes the malevolent magic is too extreme for even me to figure out. I can always tell when this is the case, because I find myself abandoning my diagnostics and resorting to useless cargo-cult rituals.
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