So, this morning while working away while at our lovely local coffee shop I up and dropped my WHOLE CUP OF COFFEE onto my laptop. The whole thing, onto the keys, drip drip drip, and out through the battery slot on the back.
Now, as you join in the collective gasp of horror issued at that moment by every coffee shop witness, including some meddlesome geek who asked the barrista if she "had a blowdryer" to dry out the computer (what, in her purse?) as well as Brandon and the crazy scone lady, let me assure you that probably probably probably this is fine, the computer is fine, plus it's totally under warranty, and plus I have a print out of my most recent chapter draft, and plus, here I am, typing on another household computer. It's fine.
Still, though. I mean, my laptop. My laptop. I might as well say, my life's work.
I had to go sit in a comfy chair in the corner and fiddle and be all like my laptop, my laptop (here I think of Shylock, having royally fucked up, my ducats, my daughter) and really hang out there with the fact that really, I couldn't blame that spilled coffee on anyone else, and probably not even on Elliot who wasn't there, and probably not on being sort of tired from giving blood yesterday, and probably it was just my fault.
Which is the sort of thing I have to be really meditative about, because like most people I have the tendency to have a gut reaction of being crabby and angry when I've done something careless or wrong, and then take that out on other people who might point out (not that anyone did, as it was obvious) that it was my fault, because then they are picking on me when I feel bad and I might have been careless but they are being MEAN, which is WORSE.
This is such a disturbing part of the human personality--to emotionally compensate for our failures by bringing others down with us. [edited to add--i'm just reading through this and noticing another means of emotional compensation to which I am prone, which is me being all "well, I might be careless but at least I am wise," which is great, but it doesn't dry out your laptop.]
Anyway. I sat there in my chair and thought about Elliot, and how he will break things and spill things, and I will have to teach him to not be careless, but also be nice to him, because being careless or just not careful enough with something special feels so bad. But mostly I thought about how the hard thing about being a grown up is that you have to allot your own portion of guilt, and sit with it, and then also forgive yourself when your penance is done, and no one but you can decide when that is, when it's okay to pat yourself on the back and say, it's okay, you didn't mean to, you'll do better next time.