What is the appropriate way to mourn a mechanical device?
A few moments ago, I was thinking it would be cute to draw a christmas card on a couple of my characters, so I rambled from my warm bed to the cold night of the den to fetch my notebook, which was left in my scanner when I started working on a doll base a couple of days ago.
I lifted the notebook and found a disaster.
I'm sure many people would say its ridiculous to grieve or shed tears over something that's just a mesh of glass, plastic and electrons, but I am a child of the material and digital age. I am almost expected to bond with anything and everything I come across with, trees, books, computer parts.
And this HP scanjet was special. I earned half the money to buy it by doing physical labor all the way back in sixth grade; I chopped down a pen of cedar sprouts.
I remember going to staples and finding it, it cost about $130, about what the camera did that took this picture.
I brought it home; I'm pretty sure it was a sunday afternoon; I opened it up in the living room first and pulled out the huge foldout pictures-for-dummies instructions that HP loved that year (anyone get an hp pavilion in 2001? you remember what I mean)
Slowly I carried it to the den to plug into my computer (the ast adventure! 400. those hp pavilions wouldn't come out until xp did in october). It had a parallel and usb connection, which was important because windows 95 didn't support usb and we didn't have a port for it anyways.
The first time it ran it was so loud! GROWNGROWNGROWNGROWN and since it was parallel, it took forever to scan. But I scanned all the harry potter fan art I'd been drawing that year and knew what it was like to be able to color my own pictures. I had a scanner
. Not many people did back then, and still many don't today.
When we got the hp pavilion, the AA!400 got moved to my bedroom, and the scanner went with it since the install software didn't work in XP, so I assumed I couldn't scan anything with that computer. The quality of those old scans then was so terrible xD Never do image adjustments in the hardware stage, kids.
When my brother showed me the love that was windows camera and fax wizard, the scanner resumed its rightful place in the den at the foot of the desktop desk. And it scanned and scanned and scanned. Little samples of handwriting, random objects, and even faces went next to that glass, and now its shattered. I guess it could only live as long as we had usb1 and xp (I never got to try it on vista. My macbook refused to talk to it)
I have my new scanner in my dorm at school. I didn't bring it with me because I had enough junk to lug back here and I figured I still had a good scanner that had several years left in it (does it still?) So no more scanning things until January 10th. (I took my sketchbook back with me out of the den, although it seems futile now).
I dont know what broke it. Common sense and instinct both point towards my nephews that were here thursday night and this afternoon both and are so rambunctious. Legality states it could've easily been my dog as well, but logic states that a dog, even jumping rowdy wouldn't have the weight of even the youngest nephew, plus it would've been half as much anyways, given the number of legs.
I guess I'm making this post mostly because I have this intense desire to TALK about my emotions, look for sympathy, anything, something. My parents are asleep and so is stu, and most anyone who would read this, but I can't wait the hours until morning to get this out.
Something that's also hard to deal with is the idea 'is it maybe still usable?' I noticed the irony pretty quickly that the green power light and the little lcd asking how many copies I wanted to print were still on. what a faithful beast. I don't think the moving mechanism or the lights are broken, but I'd have to clean the glass up first. There's tape on the corners of the glass. Did you know that?
Every so often as I would look inside, I would wonder about the quiet airless world where the light lived and I could never go. Now I can. I picked up the three large pieces that had fallen inside and set them on top of the rest, and tugged at the large piece in the corner that was still taped up, but I don't want to mess with the scene too much (first reason why I took a picture actually).
The cover isn't damaged at all. My sketchbook has some weird green dots(old crayon caked on, no doubt) and a small tear on the page and little slivers of glass.
It would be ridiculous to enfold the thing in my arms, and yet I feel guilty for shutting the door and turning the light out on it. That is no fit mausoleum.
I guess tomorrow will have a phone call to ask if any of my nephews stepped on something they want to tell their aunt allie about, delicate glass removals, and either a tearful goodbye or a lip-biting operation. I don't know. But thank you for reading this demieulogy.