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Off Line

I relish the darkness surrounding me, the soft hum my only companion. A soft pad beneath me and a faint green glow to my side – this is my favourite time of the day. It is a welcome rest from the thumping on my head and frantic movements back and forth. I become drained with the constant click, click, clicking action as he searches the square panel, shining brightly above me. The light penetrates my grey body and finds entry through my sections, causing me to respond slower. His hand grows hot with his fury and droplets of sweat clump the dust particles on my circuits. In frustration he bashes me several times on the wooden surface dislodging my battery and causing a complete failure. I am plunged into total lifelessness – to be re-booted moments later with his curses ringing in the air.

If only he could be more gentle with his finger and wait a nano second longer for the screen to reveal his request. It would only take a little care to clean me occasionally and remedy the furry growths cross-circuiting my components. I have no hands or tongue to do the job myself and I am at his mercy. Will I, too, be flung into the rubbish when I don’t respond? Shall a new model take my place, to endure the same treatment and the same unceremonious end?

A sudden brightness heralds his arrival. I am thumped down on my mat. The screen illuminates and colours populate the square. Click, click, click, back and forth, back and forth, I’m dizzy with the movement and can feel the clumps of fluff dislodging then reattaching to resistors.

“Come on, you damn stupid thing – work.”

I’m doing my best – I want to shout but with no mouth it is impossible.

“About bloody time.”

A few more clicks and a respite for a few moments as he reads the text. A quick right click and I am turned upside down. A gush of air blows through me. I feel the dirty furred clumps being removed. At long last my circuits are free. No more misguided synapses and confusion. I am so thankful for whatever it was he read. My responses are lightening fast again.

“Heh, Tom thanks for the tip – worked like a charm, mate.”

“No problem – just remember to clean your computer mouse regularly from now on.”

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