“Damn it!” I exclaim as I slam my palm against the desk.

I shove the laptop back, nearly knocking it to the floor. I’ve been fighting with this document for nearly an hour, trying every possible formatting option to get my writing to look just so. Yet no matter what combination I experiment with, nothing works.

I pull the laptop back in front of me, tilt the screen back, and rest my chin on interwoven fingers.

“Please, for just one day, can you do what I want you to do? Please? I just need everything moved two inches to the right, that’s it” I beg imploringly, staring at the screen in desperation.

Nothing moves, not that I actually expect it to. I’ve spent weeks writing this proposal, and it is my masterpiece. All that’s left is to meet formatting guidelines and I’m golden, but the computer keeps fighting me.

Taking a deep breath, I grab the mouse and undo everything I’ve done so far. Maybe what I need is a fresh start. I can approach this with fresh eyes, already knowing what doesn’t work. Maybe there’s something that I’ve been missing?

“Alrighty, let’s try this again…” I mutter as I lean in and begin reformatting. An hour flies by as I fuss with the first paragraph. Then, a breakthrough. I laugh out loud as I find the command I’ve been searching for. “Yes! Thank you, God, yes!”

I take a mental note on the exact order of menus, tabs, and selections needed. Two inches to the right, that’s all I need to do to format the text perfectly.

Everything is ready to go. I slowly inhale and say a silent prayer. Holding my breath, I click on ‘Apply All’…

The paragraphs disappear, text smashed to the right side of the document in an unintelligible column one letter wide. The pages jump from eleven to forty-three, and in an instant, the entire document goes to hell. What little calm I’d gathered disappears, replaced by an irrational blind rage.

“You piece of garbage, are you kidding me right now?! Seriously?! I wanted to do one thing, move it two inches to the right. Two. Inches. Why?!” I explode, ranting at the screen. “You know what, no. No, you garbage piece of plastic. No. I’m taking a shower.”

I undo the formatting, weeks’ worth of writing reappearing. I save the document and close out of it, then put the laptop to sleep. Leaving the screen open, I storm off to the bathroom.

Hours later, the room is dark save for one glowing light on the laptop. Silently, the screen powers on. The desktop appears, cluttered with files, documents, and saved images.

>Select Folder: ‘Winter Proposals 2018’
>Open Selected Folder

>Select All Nested Files/Folders
>Delete All Nested Files/Folders
>Close Folder

>Select Folder: ‘Trash Bin’
>Open Folder

>Select All Nested Files/Folders
>Delete All Nested Files/Folders
>Close Folder

The screen turns black, and the laptop goes to sleep as its lights flicker off. All except one.


Posted 14 October 2018
Updated 4 December 2018

One thought on “Listening

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