I moved into Best-Friend’s apartment a few months ago. It made sense at the time. Best-Friend travels so frequently with work there was no point leaving the place vacant. The location of his apartment is ideal. My daily commute to work is no more than a ten minute walk. Joy!
Since vacating Ex-Boyfriend’s house, I have no laptop. I mean to buy one. I just have not got around to it; clothes are more fun to buy. I can do all my essential internet things at work. The only websites I use in the evening are Facebook and Gmail. Having internet access is not essential.
Best-Friend has a Mac that’s about ten years old. It functions adequately for my needs. Its power adapter is a little finicky. One evening, it completely gave up the ghost . I had no way of powering the Mac but for the remaining battery life. In desperation I intricately moved the adapter box and cable until it delivered charge.
Last week, Best-Friend observed me doing this. He came over and examined the cable.
“The cable is split,” he noted. “Be careful you don’t get a shock. It could be dangerous.”
“Ah sure it will be grand,” I responded dismissively.
On Monday night I sat on the couch with the Mac on my lap. The adapter was again misbehaving. I tweaked the cable and sure enough it delivered power.
A few minutes into my surfing, I smelt smoke. It can’t be the adapter, I thought. Was that I spark I saw? A curling, string of smoke spiralled up from the dodgy section of the cable. Ah sure it will be grand, I thought.
Best-Friend walked into the living room. Just as he did, the adapter decided to give off another spark, followed by more smoke.
The alarm in his voice was clear. “Stephen, the adapter just sparked!”
“Yeah, it did.” I looked towards him confirming his statement.
He flapped in panic. “Quick … Ehhhh …. Unplug it … Quick … Smoke …. Fire …”
I removed the power plug from the laptop with a small movement of my hand. I looked up at him from the couch. The Mac still remained on my lap. I am undecided whether it was a serene calmness or dumb stupor that filled me.
“Ehh … Quick … Flames … Unplug it from the wall! Get it off the couch! The couch will go on fire!”
“It’s grand,” I said. Humour filled my voice. “There is no charge in it since I’ve unplugged it from the Mac.” I unplugged the adapter from the wall to keep him happy.
“I knew that adapter was dodgy,” he said.
“Yeah, I now agree with you.”
Best-Friend has incredible patience when it comes to my technological faux pas. Once, in our apartment in the IFSC, I was in the kitchen while he watched the evening news in the living room. Suddenly, the apartment descended into darkness and silence.
“Ohhhhh” I cooed from the kitchen.
“Did you just put a knife in the toaster again, Stephen?”
He got up from the arm chair and tripped the switch on the fuse board. He compared me to his grandmother who apparently used to do the same.
My nonchalant attitude towards technology concerns me a little. I appear to have no respect for electricity and its potential dangers. Will this be the cause of a premature demise? I imagine a neighbour breaking down my door to find me dead in the bath – electrified – with a GHD hair straightener, dangling from my right hand, submerged in the murky water. Am I dismissive of the dangers of modern technology or am I just calm when faced with danger?
Would I have been good in the rescue service? Picture me standing outside a burning building of six or seven storeys in a fireman’s uniform. My face is covered in soot. I look good, if I do say so myself. I appear calm, cool and collect in the face of danger. The building is engulfed in a fiery, orange blaze. Dark, black smoke pours out and fills the immediate area. While scanning the building, I see a young woman banging her fists of the glass of a window on the third floor. She is panic stricken.
An onlooker standing thirty or so feet behind me cries aloud. He points at the window. “Quick! Save her!”
“Ah sure, she’s grand,” I respond.