Bad habits

It’s been a few days since I posted, and for good reason. I’ve only been near a computer for 3 days out of the last 7, and  have experienced what I believe to  be the beginnings of computer withdrawal symptoms.

The perpetrator of my torment was my dog, albeit indirectly. It was her aforementioned illness and subsequent relapse that dragged me away from my cyber cocoon and off the island to seek urgent veterinarian assistance. As  I didn’t take my laptop with me, I negated any chance of a cyber-fix for the  few days that was I camped out at my father’s place – who just happens to live right next door to the vet.

It started out okay. My dog was examined and I was told that she would need surgery as soon as possible – but not on that day. It would have to be the day after because the vet had a full schedule. There was really no point in going all the way home with a sick dog and coming all the way back again, so I decided to stay with dad and bring her in early the next morning. One night with dad would be no problem.

The following day dragged as I waited for her surgery to be over so we could go home. By the afternoon I was pacing the floor, not only with anxiety, but to take my mind off my emails, my forums, my Internet banking and my database work. I accessed my forums and checked the net on my mobile, but it was slow and wasn’t quite like tapping away like a demented ferret on my keyboard. I went to the news agency and bought myself a couple of computer magazines to see me through. I sat through a couple of old Clint Eastwood westerns with dad to take the edge off.

At the end of the day the vet rang. She wanted to keep my dog in overnight. I refused. I wanted her with me rather than be unattended overnight in the surgery, I wanted to go home. We negotiated. As long as I stayed close by and brought her in first thing in the morning, she would release my dog into my care. Close by meant dad’s place.

By this time dad was starting to get a bit toey. He wasn’t used to having visitors, especially with 3 dogs in tow. I was almost tempted to purchase another laptop and get a prepaid modem – until I got the vet bill, which was more than 2 laptops. It would have been very tempting, however, to immerse myself in my cyber world again to save me from another black-and-white movie viewing that evening, that’s for sure.

I greeted the last day of my stay with a sense of relief and expectation. Relief that my dog was all right and we were going home. Expectation of a much-anticipated reunion with all the buttons and gadgetry that I could lay my hands on in my home office. The day dragged yet again, as I missed the first barge back to the island and had to wait two hours until the next one. I twiddled my thumbs and sat through another black and white with dad.

When I finally walked in the door, cleaned up, fed 3 dogs and medicated 1, fed myself, and showered – I was too tired to even push 1 button on the clock radio, let alone a few buttons on the computer. I went to bed and slept about 14 hours, missing my cyber connection yet another day.

When I finally made it to the keyboard on the 5th day I took a deep breath. I felt a thrill when I pressed the on button and my screen came to life.  It was at that moment that I realised that I had a habit. I guess I should be grateful I don’t drink or smoke.


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