When my computer has a hiccup I have a kind of neurotic tremor rather like a nervous breakdown or an emotional earthquake.. And I do know it makes no sense but it doesn’t stop me for a second, I telephone my love for my password – like she’d know! I talk to my web master in frantic tones, they – insensitive bastards – laugh. I am a three-year-old in full tantrum mode. I want to kill. Fortunately I have not done so yet but the spirit is definitely willing.

When my computer crashed some months ago, before I had found Twitter or Facebook, I went into huge gloom and wept real tears. Not for long but I was without a computer for more than a week during which time I became intimate with my nearest internet facility which has pictures of Tibetan horsemen galloping across the walls and a Babel of eastern European languages mixed with Arabic, Punjabi and Pashto. As I understand none of these languages they float over me quite pleasantly if noisily with a few Russian words that intrude into my consciousness from a couple of kids playing games. A guy sings along to some religious music and an African guy and myself pull faces at each other and grin. All this sounds attractive but it doesn’t make for concentration and it was a big relief to get back to my normal nice isolation with the dog.

This time, with the added loss of Twitter I was even more destroyed. All that fractured energy while I read the odd dozen tweets from people I don’t know at 2am. It has become a habit and I don’t approve but I enjoy it anyway. In fact this time it was a mere upgrade – something I have resisted for years. I must have been feeling over adventurous this week and the computer is demanding an ancient password and bombarding me with news of how good this particular facility is, how it is protecting me. Protecting me from what? My own emails?

But I do worry about my reaction, which is totally out of proportion. I can only think that all my nascent lunacy has gathered itself into one vast screaming panic that gushes out wantonly as soon as somebody takes my toys. I know it smacks of a deeply sad person and saddest of all I have a sneaking feeling that my computer is doing it on purpose. That it is punishing me for my lack of careful file keeping, my untidy way of keeping eight files open simultaneously as well as the sneeze splattered screen that I forget to clean for months (I am a morning sneezer). And I haven’t been backing up either.

So, I must conclude that rather than accept that these things are random – like life – I have some grim belief that I am being punished by my computer. That it is a spiteful entity that sits looking back at me with malice waiting for a time when I am feeling particularly pleased with myself and hits me a whammy. I worry about my mind.

Of course I don’t believe this, not really, still I rush around bleating like a wet hen and I know hens don’t bleat but my voice does and I hear myself tearful over the phone to my lovely Belfast voiced internet supplier. Shrieking at my friends because they can’t help, abusing the poor old guy in the computer repair shop and rage and shame overcome me so I have to go and do an abject one later.

It’s only a bloody computer after all. Isn’t it?
And I know people who go off for weeks with no communication at all, and they tell me they enjoy it too! Clearly not for me but I must get out more!

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