It was one of those days where I just wanted to crumple into a ball and sob until there was nothing left of me but my skin to blow away in the wind. I wanted my mind to go blank. I wanted to run, to scream, to fuck, to move as fast as my limbs could take me until I couldn't feel anything anymore except the peaceful nothingness of absolute physical exhaustion.
But I couldn't . . . because I was stuck in my cubicle, installing Microsoft Outlook 2016 on my work computer.
Soon I'd have more storage, so I could save more emails, more of the same conversations over and over and over and over and over again. I couldn't wait. Apparently, this is what joy feels like in a corporate existence.
I took a break from looking at pretty pictures of trees to finally follow through on this required software update before I received another reminder email from IT. Since I couldn't run, or scream, or fuck, I'd taken to trying to escape in my mind to some place beautiful, some place calm, without artificial boundaries and artificial light. I'd noticed recently that I've had that urge to just stay in my dreams again lately, and it could mean one of two things: I simply have an imagination much too active for 8 hours of spreadsheets, or I'm losing my mind again. It's a thin line to walk, especially as summer starts creeping in.
The installation went faster and more smoothly than expected, and it was time for me to choose my super-secret security question, just in case I ever had to prove to my computer it was me on the other end. I started scrolling through the list of options:
What was your grandmother's favorite dessert?
This question pulled a serious string in what was left of my heart. I had no idea what either of my grandmothers' favorite desserts were, and I would never know for sure because they had both passed. Of course, I could speculate for the one I knew better, but I felt that wasn't being entirely truthful with the computer. I sat for awhile staring at these words thinking of my own mortality and that of the generation before me. I thought of all the things I have always wanted to know and learn from my parents and how, inevitably, time will slip away from me.
So far, this software update wasn't perking me up as my company had promised. I decided to move on to another choice. Picking a security question is a very important matter, and I wanted to be sure I chose the correct one.
What was your dream job as a child?
The question made me want to simultaneously weep and laugh maniacally like a madwoman at the thought of a little me daydreaming of a depressing office, computer, and years of my life lost to something I not only don't care about, but steals more of my essence and intelligence every day. Who wouldn't dream of never getting to see the sky while new bony bumps of calcium formed on their wrist and finger from click, click, clicking a mouse all day long? I remember caring about words, having ethics about words, believing language was the most powerful thing we had . . . now I was using my brain to make strings of sounds to sell things that didn't really help the world at all. My younger self shook its head at me, and rightfully so.
What did you earn your first medal or award for?
Words. I came out strong, then nothing, then this. This is far too depressing. Where are the pictures of those trees?? Moving on . . .
Where did you meet your spouse/significant other?
Fuck you, computer.
Where were you on New Year's Eve 2000?
Wow, this was quite a thought provoking security question. The year 2000 -- the Y2K scare -- how could anyone forget?
I was rolling on E in my Rainbow Brite costume in post-coital bliss, trying to fish a lost tampon out of my body while the Twilight Zone Marathon played in the background.
Don't judge me.
It could've been the end of the world. Nobody knew if the computers could deal with all those zeroes. There was no time to waste. We had no time for the war on drugs! We had no time to care about deviant labels!! We had no time to pull the tampon out!!! We were living, man!!! We were living . . .
And with that memory -- and my adult decision NOT to type that answer into my work computer -- I started to realize, it may be time to shake things up a bit. Live a little.
Or at the very least, get the fuck out of my cubicle and feel the breeze on my not-yet-blown-away skin.
In Case You Were Wondering . . .
Sometimes Ronnie D writes funny stuff. Sometimes she writes desperate teenage prose. Most times she just slams her feeble, little woman-hand onto the keyboard in an attempt to feel something, anything.