a new machine is still a stranger

I am in mac-love. Again.

I remember this feeling – I remember the new computer smell in the same compartment of my brain where I remember the smell of my dead grandfather after he’d been treated with embalming fluid. You never forget it.

Six years ago I unpacked my brand-new iBook G4, and last night I did exactly the same with my Macbook Pro. Pulled the white box onto my lap. Marvelled at the packaging. Smelt my new machinery.

It’s hard to remember thinking the old iBook was a sleek and beautiful thing when these days it looks more like a Storm Trooper’s lap top than anything else. I’m trying to convince myself that one day my Macbook will seem just as clunky.

I’m failing.

But the weird thing is, despite all the joy and wonder of a new purchase, of fast internet and almost frictionless tracking, I feel rather ambiguous towards the new machine. We don’t know each other yet. The track pad of my old computer is sticky because I have used it for hours. And hours and hours. Every time I focussed my mind to the task of writing, reached into that part of my brain, sat, breathed, drank too much coffee, I did it in the company of my computer.

Now here’s this beautiful, impersonal new machine that probably finds me wanting.

People tend to see machines as depersonalising. In this case at least, that is not true at all. Just as with any human stranger, time is the only thing that will bring me and this machine into accord.


About anna cowan

I look around, and here I am - housewife and aspiring romance novelist. This seems unexpected.
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