Keeping it all together

My back went out this morning. Then the computer froze up and wouldn’t recognize the passwords I typed in. Fast forward a few hours clouded with muscle relaxers and mounting stress, and strange error signs were coming up on the root screen.

My tech help was missing in action. Someone took the mouse from my back-up computer, but everyone’s out of the house today as I nurse my back.

I run the radio station remotely from the laptop. I write my stories on it. I can walk to the studio down the street and spend hours there fine-tuning schedules for the upcoming week. I can read and answer emails on my phone, and type pieces like this blog on my wife’s laptop, on Google and other systems.


My life’s a delicate balance of the technological and the magical. Magic in terms of the mysteries involved in so many of the systems I rely upon. And others rely on me to keep it all running.

One of my tech people’s in the middle of Iowa, where the power’s been provided by generators for a couple of weeks now. Another’s in Austin. A third radio-tech dude’s in Wisconsin. Our server is outside Phoenix.

The dog stares at me as I curse and pace. When I leash her, she gives me a wide doggy smile. We head out to walk up the hill towards Lincoln Park and the giant circular pool built there when FDR was governor. We stand at the fence and watch kids frolic.

The music plays. The challenges of the day start to recede. We head back down the hill to a spot where I can let the dog run free.

As I’m bending down to unleash her, my back spasms. But it’s now nearing the end of this day. I’ll put everything all back together tomorrow.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Paul Smart.