Losing Your Edge

A Stowaway Computer and the Mellower Me

My computer died, taking my last article—a tirade on the prevalence of thongs and stilettos in everyday women’s wear—with it.

The PC that came to dinner
It’s a good thing I’ve been storing a friend’s computer and stand in my apartment for almost the past year. It wasn’t supposed to be for that long but one month led to two, then to four and six and now eleven.

It sits in the bedroom of my crowded Manhattan apartment, and I alternatively forget it’s there and then notice it, cursing it’s owner for dumping it on me with a year’s worth of promises of its eventual removal. Finally it’s come in handy.

But I’m still pissed off that it’s here at all. In trying to be helpful to a friend in need, I feel my kindness taken advantage of.

When I was younger I would have handled this situation with an eviscerating tongue and some volume, but now I find that approach more difficult.

You got a problem?
I spent a long string of my youthful days behind slicing commentary, described once as “sticking the knife in and then twisting it around,” by one on the receiving end of my mouth, but as my spirituality has grown I make an effort to try and grow mellower. At times I’m glad for this, like when I am able to not jump to conclusions and to generally increase the amount of peace in my life and those of others.

But at other times I feel like I’ve just lost my edge.

Those weren’t the days
I notice the change in particular when I meet up with old friends from childhood. In talking to one such friend she said she could see me as CEO of some corporation “telling people what to do and where to go.” Others said they were “afraid of me.” And there was my first grade teacher who swore, “Elizabeth, you raise a riot wherever you go.”

A comment so striking to me that I used it as my high school yearbook quote.

Contrast that with a comment from a more recent acquaintance, who went on, at great length, about how I was “like a nun.” My friend, an amazing singer, has had a string of medical problems and was questioning why God was so mad at her as to let these things happen. We talked about it a bit, and then taking a drag on her cigarette, she said, “Y’know, I feel better when I talk to you. There’s such shit. Yeah. You’re like a nun.”

Out with the garbage
Some days I just want to throw his damn computer out—just put it there with the heavy trash. Just to get it out of my face and off my mind. I reason: it’s his own fault.

Let there be peace on earth
But I’m not going to do that. Now that my computer looks defunct I could be happy that his is still here to write on. If I were truly enlightened I’d take this as an opportunity and take it off his hands permanently to replace mine and feel very happy about it all.

It‘s fully loaded with software I don’t have and comes with a more recent version of Windows to boot (no pun intended). After all, it would be a peaceful way to end this long-term conflict.