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I’m a semi-insomniac. I constantly wake up between 12:30 am and 3:30 am and go back to sleep for a nap, but that’s not the problem. And, believe it or not, the problem isn’t my alarm going off at 5:00 am so I can walk my miniature poodle, Pete, and get ready for work. (I’m a professor of World Literature and English Composition [Also called English 101] at Indian River Community College in Stuart, Florida. My office hours are 6:30 am to 7:30 am. Thankfully, it’s half way through the semester and none of the students have shown up for my office hours, so I doze then, too. But besides that . . ) The problem is Pete is diabetic. So, I’m up at 1:24 am tonight and decide to work on my novella, which is academia talk for a short novel (between 75 to 200 pages). Indian River Community College prefers their English professors to be published. Great, so besides teaching students and reading the students’ dumb butt essays, I have to write a gosh darn novel or novella. What a great idea. I’m sure all these future scientists’ll really care about their old professor’s novella. Right. But, Pete is next to me, snoring, thank God, and so I carefully get out of bed and go to my laptop. 

Native Americans say you should name all the objects in your life, since all objects supposedly have the Universal Life Force in them. So, they believe inanimate objects are alive. I’ve done this, even though I’m not a Native American and don’t believe the objects are alive. I’ve named my car, Menorah, so it will use one day of gas to get me through eight days of driving, I’ve named my TV, Getaway, since it helps me get away from the world, I’ve named my bed, Siesta, since that’s what I do there, and my computer, PITA, which stands for Pain in the . . , well, you know. I didn’t name Pete or else his name would’ve been, PITA Junior. But, Pete’s still snoring. 


So, I softly sit in my red, leather office chair by my desk and look at the computer screen. It’s black, which is normal. Then, I press Control, Alt, Delete and nothing happens. Big black screen. So, I push the three buttons again: Control, Alt, Delete. And again: Control, Alt, Delete; over and over and over again. It becomes rhythmic. Maybe this can induce R.E.M. sleep. Probably not, but maybe. But, after five minutes of pushing these three gosh darn buttons, I finally get a blue screen, not the death screen, but a blue screen, which isn’t good, but better than a black screen. I speak to my computer sometimes (yes, I know. I know). 

“Come on, you gosh darn piece of . . .”

Then, after thirty seconds, miraculously, I get to the screen which shows a beautiful mountain with an ocean behind it. The dumb-butt screen saver. I keep telling, PITA, if I wanted to see art, I’d go to a Gosh Darn art museum, but I don’t want that, I just want to get in, so I keep pushing Control, Alt, Delete, hard. Maybe PITA will let me in quicker if I push harder. Then, after two minutes, I get to the first screen I’m looking for: Password. So, I enter in the password with the right letters capitalized, the right numbers, and the right symbols and I’m in. Yes! I’m in! So, I open up the word processing program called, “Open Office” and I see my two least favorite words in the world: “Not Responding”.  I hate these words: Not responding; Why the hell not? So, I push, Control, Alt, Delete and it says I can wait for the program to respond [it would take less time for the messiah to come than this PITA to respond] or I can close the program. So, I close the stupid gosh darn PITA program and reopen it and the computer takes three minutes just to open this dumb program, then I finally see the program open with the blinking curser for me to type and I’m just about to type when guess what I hear? 

Pete. I hear Pete. Pete’s up, he’s whining, and his gosh darn diabetic bladder has to go outside. Really? 

So, I talk to the computer, PITA. 

“You. Stay there. Don’t do anything. Don’t ‘not respond,’ or anything. Just stay there. Stay” 

So, I unlock the front door, get a bag to pick up Pete’s poop, we go outside, and Pete sniffs the grass and finds an oak tree to mark as his. 

“Ok. Great. You done?” I ask.

But, oh no, Pete has to explore all the trees so he can smell where the other dog have gone and then he takes a dump on a neighbor’s lawn. I praise him, since this is what he’s supposed to do. I turn the poop bag inside out, pick up his poop, turn the poop bag inside in, outside out, and force Pete to go inside by pulling on his leash. I give him a Bac’n Bit and tell him, “Good boy”. 

Then, I go back to PITA and we’re back to the bleeping screen saver.

“Come on? Really?”

Twenty minutes of pushing Control, Alt. Delete to get back to where I was and I decide to put Mark on my lap while typing, ‘cause maybe if he’s on my lap, he’ll think less about going potty.


Half an hour later and I’m back to the screen where I can type. Thank God. So, I start typing and I’m writing a story about a young man coming of age, but dogs tend to follow our footsteps. If we start digging outside, they’ll start digging. If we go potty inside, they’ll go potty inside. So, Pete decides to start typing with his paws on my keyboard writing such intellect things as lnsvnlsn fdsafdanan. Great. So, I put him back on the bed, erase Pete’s typing, and start typing again and five minutes later, Pete starts whining. God? Why did you give Pete diabetes? Why not arthritis or Lupus or anything but this stupid gosh darn disease, where he has to go all the time? So, we go out, Pete pees, and we come in. I move the mouse on the computer and it’s still on the right screen. Thank God. Pete gets another Bac’N Bit and everything’s okay. I type for half-an-hour, go back to sleep, get up at 5 am, and walk Pete again. Then, my day is started. Tonight though, after work, I’m either getting a new computer or a new dog and I don’t know which yet. I really gotta think about this. I gotta think.

April 17, 2020 20:50

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