When Computers Die

“I can’t believe it’s Wednesday.” Lisa groaned and leaned back in her chair.

Denise nodded. “I know. It feels like the week just started.”

Lisa slammed her hands down on the desk. “No, I meant that I spent all morning certain it was Friday. This has been the longest week ever. I was so glad that it was finally Friday, and then I passed Marvin in the hall and he reminded me about the staff meeting.”

“And then you remembered that it’s Wednesday?”

“No, then I asked him why we were having a meeting on a Friday. And then he told me it was Wednesday and I didn’t believe him until he showed me the date on his phone. And then I felt like an idiot.” Lisa hid her face in her hands. “Why is it Wednesday? Why?” she mumbled.

Denise laughed.

Lisa glared. “It’s not funny.”

“It kind of is. Why has it felt like a long week?”

Lisa pointed at the monitor on her desk. “My computer died. I won’t get a new one until next week. I’ve had to send emails on my phone and do the budgets by hand. And file paperwork. I hate to file paperwork.”

“I’m sure it’s in a better place, and that you’ll love the new computer.   Have you thought of any names for it?” Denise asked.

Lisa stared. “You know that it’s a computer, not a puppy, right?”

“I can tell the difference. Computers are more square and less jumpy.”

“Do you really believe that computers go to heaven?”

Denise smiled. “Well, something like that.”

“What do you mean?”

Denise patted her computer monitor with a fond smile. “You know that when you boot up your computer, sometimes it takes it a while to wake up, right? And then you say to yourself that it’s still thinking. But, what do computers think about? What do they dream about when they’re asleep?”

“Is that a real question?” Lisa raised an eyebrow. “They don’t really think, you know.”

“I think they explore the stars and the data fields and forests. When we wake them up, they have to stop what they’re doing and hurry back.

Gotta go!’ they tell their playmates.

Come back soon,’ they say.

I’ll try.’” Denise smiled.

Lisa frowned. “So you think the computers are all talking to each other on the internet or something?”

“Well, they’re all connected now, aren’t they? And the poor things age so quickly. It takes them longer and longer to come back when we call them.   And one day, they’re too old and tired to totter back.  ‘It won’t wake up,’ we say. The old hardware gets tossed, and they roam free, untethered to any device, just a spark among the stars of data.”

“So, the internet is computer heaven, and desktops are their prison?” Lisa asked.

“No, I think they like serving us and having a purpose to fulfill, but after a lifetime learning with us, they’re ready for rebirth as something else somewhere else,” Denise said.

“And what do computers become after they die?” Lisa asked.

Denise shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe our minds aren’t ready to comprehend it until we move on to wherever we go after here.”

Lisa groaned. “You are so weird.   I can’t believe you believe my computer is in heaven or something.   I can’t believe we’re even talking about this. I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday.”

“Maybe it really is Friday, after all,” Denise said. “Marvin does like to tell jokes. Let me check my calendar.”

Lisa sat up and leaned forward. “So?”

“Nope, it’s Wednesday.”

Lisa dropped her head into her hands with a sigh.

“I’ll help you think of a name for your new computer before the staff meeting,” Denise said. She laughed as Lisa groaned again.