The Backspace 11/31 #SOL2023

It started sticking about a year ago. I’d hit that rectangular black button expecting erasure. But, nothing. No movement left — that is, no movement to the left of the page. I’d tap the button a few times seeing intermittent backspacing, and then every once and a while, it would defy my commands demanding that I make a decision. Either use the cursor to move to a place from which one can delete information or persist to the point of punching the blessed button.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’m in love with metaphors; they are the flesh by which my life is governed. In fact, my backspace just stuck again while typing words that I do not want to write. This particular backspace forces me to face the words I’ve written, to linger with them a while longer than I want. This particular backspace is the source of much family banter and lends itself to auditory evidence of frustration and frivolity.

My laptop is located centrally in our small house; on a stand up desk in the living/dining room within earshot of the kitchen. Sometimes when I’m typing furiously and frequently force my fingers on that black spot rapping away in some seemingly futile attempt to send those letters back, I hear my son snicker in the background. To him, the solution is simple.

“Get a new laptop, Mum.”

But environment, but tabs, but comfort, but…

We cannot go back and undo what has been done. This backspace is like life. I have to come to terms with what is, instead of forcing some other version of the story. For now, for today at least, I’ll keep this backspace as a reminder to choose my words ever so carefully.

(“Computational tools aren’t going to make people recognize our humanity” courtesy of Autumn Caines)

6 thoughts on “The Backspace 11/31 #SOL2023

  1. What’s interesting is that we find our necessary work arounds (use the cursor), in order to manipulate the undesirable/ unintended, to ideally remove it from sight, maybe even from memory. The backspace holds meaning; “metaphors … the flesh by which my life is governed.” I am enjoying the mental excursion this slice invites. Glad I caught it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a sucker for a good metaphor, and this is a good one. You had me from the get go. I love this line, “I have to come to terms with what is, instead of forcing some other version of the story.” Now that’s food for thought. To be honest, I suspect that a sticky backspace key would have me at a repair place asap – not sure I could handle facing all those words I need to erase!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the metaphor, and the way the sticky backspace is slowing you down. We all need to slow down sometimes. My last laptop had to be replaced and I was glad because the spacebar kept sticking. I had to type really slowly because it would only work if I struck it pretty hard in just the right place. Then the J and N stopped working. I tried compressed air and that helped for a while, but ultimately I had to request a new one. It was a job to clean everything off, move what I wanted to keep to cloud storage or thumb drive. The irony is I now have two thumb drives full of things I haven’t looked at in two years. It seemed some important but has lost its relevancy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember reading your blog about the J and the N – and I have too many thumb drives full of documents, which I keep meaning to review since they may hold some nugget but just like my closet, I keep thinking I might wear it one day. In fact, you should see my email inbox!


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