Computerless Nights.

[Earlier this week, I surrendered my faithful iBook to the Geniuses over at the Apple Store for a few small repairs. It was a matter of have to, since my warranty runs out next month and I would like to keep her (the computer, that is. A she, definitively) around for a while. But it was no small surrender--I live by myself in a small apartment without television or fancy stereo system, just a hand-me-down radio/record player for which I am very thankful. Therefore, the vast majority of my solitary life revolves around this computer: music-listening, movie-watching, word-typing, Photoshop-playing, etc. Surrendered, I did, with obvious trepidation. I wrote the following on successive computerless nights, typed into Facebook notes with more than a little frustration with my phone keypad. At the behest of fellow Burnside writers, I have reproduced those notes here with somesmall alteration.]


Night one of no computer:
Listened to Love Is Hell [parts one&two] on vinyl seven times tonight already. My blood knows it by heart (having only a handful of records Here, I've determined to hear a different one a night until iTunes is returned to me).

Five cups of Cajunblack coffee, several pages filled with words in my best handwriting. Three books begun and abandoned for now. Next, there will be drawing and after that, anything but sleep. It is an exercise in being still & allowing the abrupt silences [after the needle has run out of circles to make sing] to linger before turning the record over.

And tonight, I am remembering and Texasdreaming. Romanticizing a move Away, but lived hermit-style long enough. Now it is time for human beans and fellowship and communion. Now it is time for true sharing of Story.

Night two of no computer:
The record was Simon&Garfunkle's Greatest Hits and I was Julian of Norwich. A coffee bean in my palm became "all that is made."

Yet, everything in my anchorhold began to bore me too easily and I crawled into bed clean and warm as a baby after the longest shower, and fell sleep aroung 11 pm. This is a never for me, and This is why: because I've woken up three times since and now it is 4 am and I am fully awake, chronically. Yet, today there is much to do, in contrast to yesterday-its-brother. I will not easily be so blankly bored, hopefully. Learning to fill my time with the unexpected things, little pleasures. But books will always be my knights in pulpy armor--Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is lovely, a meditation on aloneness and the beauty of nature and words. I think I shall continue my journey with Miss Dillard. Now. Cheers.

Night three of no computer:
Thoughts split and crack, spit fire like some good kindling. The record tonight is Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and I am drowning in its melancholy loveliness.

All of me smells of bonfire from the night's Gathering. It is a warm, delicious smell, evoking times gone by. A woman on the radio today described nostalgia as a 'warm bath,' and I think the right memories that are exactly that.

Tonight I am mourning something, and looking to Hope too. Some future hope, splendid bright with feathers for flight. The pigeons spied today while walking round Portland's park blocks served as reminders of what may soon Be, some where far away.

Oh Comely, what am I to do with me now? There is a sleep sweet with dreams, if I can manage to chase the nightmares out. Here's to trying, and here's to tomorrow--another day to conquer, another chance for magic-making.


[Computer is back now, clean and shiny and in perfect working order, though I admit I was somewhat reluctant to retrieve it so soon. I was prepared for a week without it...but I am weak and walked the many blocks to pick it up soon after I received the phone call.]


  1. I think it's the loneliness I appreciate most in Ariele's writing. Deeply personal, but even more than that, ultimately I just find it comforting.


  2. Wow, that sounds difficult. I don't know how I'd cope without my BlackBook, but then again, isn't it beautiful to think of a world without these daily types of technology? (laptops, mobiles, those damned Kindles, etc)

  3. When I didn't have internet for a couple days, I was actually pretty productive doing homework, practicing music, and reading

    I agree with chris' last point, I think we should investigate the advantages of not being on the internet so gosh darn flippin much (at least I am), and attempt to abandon it for say, books and/or people people