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Control Alt Delete: Buying a New Computer and the Subsequent Heartbreak

5:19 AM EST on January 25, 2021

My computer, on which I written these missives for many years, is my absolute life-blood. So, when working on an article last week, that trusty laptop of almost a decade went haywire on me, leaving me with at first a blank screen than a flashing one, only to eventually completely die on me.

Here’s to almost a decade, I thought as a mild panic began to set in.

That night was a stressful one, one that caused my sickly editor Patrick to climb out of bed and bring me one from the trivia days. And, as many thanks as I give him for doing that, I still needed a new one. With most of that $600 left from the recent stimulus—some of it going to my dog’s recent surgery—I decided to travel out of my comfort zone and buy a new laptop at Best Buy.

This Best Buy, located on May Ave., near NW 58th or so, I believe, has always been a clarion’s call of great savings for me, ever since I was a teenager in the then-expanding Oklahoma City. I remember walking up there from my house almost every weekend, usually to buy compact discs and VHS tapes. But now, I needed something workable and something fast.

As “shop local” as I am, believe me, I would have liked to purchase a new computer from a reputable area dealer, but, really, are there any in my general area? Even though I scoured the scene, it seemed as though Best Buy was the only computer dealer left in town, for better or worse. Hopefully for better.

The doors opened automatically when I went in, the cool breeze of electronic viscera washing over me as I entered. I haven’t really been in there for the past few years, with my self-esteem of recorded merchandise slipping to record albums as of late. I think the last thing I actually bought there was a Blu-ray player sometime ago.

Walking swiftly to the computer section, I had a budget of roughly four hundred bucks, so anything that was frontline went directly to the back of me, the laptops getting smaller and smaller. I remembered in a recent advertisement one for sale at roughly $325; even though there were a few that I could have probably taken out on a credit card of some sort, I wasn’t sure I would have made that cut anyway.

Regardless, I eventually found and purchased an HP device and, God willing, it will last me quite a while—it has to. Of course, needing Microsoft Word as well, I picked up that 365 card, which was added to my receipt. With so many add-ons that I’ll never get a hard copy of, I realized just how far I am from the future. Possibly 2010, I guess.

Excited as I was to get it loaded up and right to work, as we pulled in to my shared driveway, my significant other asked if we could take a minute to talk. That, of course, always means a break-up speech was coming which, of course, it was.

She asked if we could be friends, to which I amicably agreed, my heart slowly pounding as I got out of her car, presumably for the last time. Inside the house, through my masculine tears, I plugged in the new computer and went to work setting it up.

That part is always work.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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