Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Wired to another device

Of my many hesitations in life, some of the more predictable pertain to technology.

I didn’t buy a computer until my therapist talked me into it — well after every other writer was using one. I didn’t switch to Apple until about 3 years ago — after countless viruses and data catastrophes. My TV is over 20 years old and so is my VCR — neither of which I ever use. I am the last person on earth to get a cell phone. Well, my partner took longer, so I guess I’m the next-to-the-last.

Thus it was a big deal for me to finally buy an Ipod. I couldn’t think of much use for one. Typically, people I know use them in the gym and it’s a continual source of annoyance when I speak to someone and he has to unplug himself from his Ipod.

Also, I like to read in the gym. I can’t do the treadmill without a book or magazine. I even carry a book around when I’m lifting weights. At my old gym, Peachtree Center Athletic Club, I was teased pretty relentlessly about this habit, but the young guys at LA Fitness, where I’ve been a member the last 3 or 4 years, rarely make a comment. That’s because they’re all wired up and on another planet. (Reading makes me look even older!)

That does bring up another reason I’ve resisted an Ipod. I already spend too much time wired to my computer and another device threatens to disassociate me all the more from real life. In fact, I tried portable tape and CD players in the past and quickly gave them away after feeling disembodied during my workouts.

But I finally broke down when I saw the Ipod Touch — basically the Iphone without a phone. Besides playing music and videos, it has WiFi reception that allows me to browse the Web and, most important, pick up email. It also has an on-screen keyboard that allows me to make notes at restaurants or about column ideas, something I’m always reminding myself to do and then forget. (I didn’t get an Iphone, because I don’t want AT&T cell service.)

I bought the Ipod at Best Buys after trying to order it online and finding it back-ordered. As usual with Apple, everything about the device is elegant and intuitive — astonishingly so. If only the rest of life could be as simple. But I already knew Apple was more reliable than most of life.

Almost three years ago, I walked out of the Apple store at Lenox with my new Powerbook in my hands. My already injured knees gave away and I fell, throwing the laptop into the air. It landed flat and, laying there, unable to get up, I turned it on. It worked perfectly.

So, now I’m wired to yet another device. I’ll let you know how it goes after fascination with the technology itself wears off.

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