Computer Drive

Part 1

Some things seem to have a mind of their own, and you need help to figure them out.

audio Audio By
Ben Whisman

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Revision History

§ § §

“Hi Kevin, thanks for coming over. I swear, sometimes, I think this computer has a mind of its own.”

“Nah, it just has your mind. That’s what’s scary. It does what you tell it, that’s all.”

“Yeah, well, I never told it to do that! How was I supposed to know it’d go all weird on me?”

“OK, c’mon, lemme see what you did this time. We gotta teach you some stuff.”

“I didn’t do it, the computer did.”

“Uh-huh. What did it say, before you…. Whoa! Hahaha, that’s messed up! OK, lemme get this back how it should be. Then I’ll do some cleanup on your hard drive and make sure your system and apps are all updated.”

“Kevin, you know I have no idea what you’re talking about, half the time, don’t you?”

“Yeah, you know you love it.”

“Riiight. How long’s this gonna take? I’ve got an English essay and a report for History to do. I was supposed to get ‘em done last night, but then this hunk o’ junk went and spazzed out on me. Again.”

“Relax. When was the last time you did a system update?”

“Uh….”

“That long, huh? OK, it’ll take a little longer, then.”

“Crap, I’ll never get done!”

“Don’t sweat it, Mitchell, we’ll get ya all fixed up. C’mon, turn on some tunes while I slave over this hot computer.”

“Uh, sure. Whatcha want to listen to?”

“I dunno, you pick. I’ve never heard what you choose before, just the radio or other people’s stuff.”

“Well….”

“C’mon, just play something. I won’t tease ya too bad.”

“Kevin….”

“Relax! Hurry up, or I’ll have this done before you play anything. I only tease you, ‘cause you’re my friend. Haven’t you ever noticed, I never tease Joey?”

“Yeah, but you don’t even talk to Joey.”

“Uh, I guess you’re right. But it’s because he doesn’t like me and I don’t like him. He wouldn’t like me even worse, if I teased him, and it’s not worth the effort.”

“What about Chuck?”

“I like Chuck. He’s like you. He wouldn’t get it, if I teased him, and it’d hurt his feelings, so I try to treat him nice. Chuck’s cool.”

“Yeah? You saying I don’t get it?”

“Yup, you don’t get it when I tease you. You take it personal, like I’m really tryin’ to hurt ya. I tease you ‘cause you’re…never mind. I just like to tease you, okay? Just like I tease Rugrat.”

“Don’t call him that, he’s your kid brother. He’s almost twelve.”

“See what I mean? You take it way too serious. I only call him that to annoy him. I don’t do it anymore when he’s really wantin’ to impress somebody, or when he really needs it. Then, he’s Xavier. I’m not sure if that’s better than Rugrat, actually, but unless he gets a name he likes better, he’s Rugrat or Xavier. See?”

“What were you gonna say about me? You stopped and changed the subject.”

“Haha, that’s for me to know and you to find out. Maybe I’ll tell ya someday, maybe not. Neener-neener-neener.”

“Kevin, sometimes, you are really weird, you know that?”

“Look who’s talkin’ about weird. And it’s just gonna eat you up, wondering what I was gonna say, isn’t it?”

“Hah, yeah, I guess so.”

“Hahaha, good, it’ll keep ya out of trouble. – Come on, play some tunes. I’m growin’ old, here.”

“OK, OK. How long ‘til it’s done?”

“A while. OK, got it doing the updates, now.”

“Good. Thanks.”

“And we need to get you a new hard drive and backup stuff.”

“What? Why, is it about to crash? ‘Cause last time….”

“No, it’s OK for now, but it’s old enough, we wanna keep your ‘puter going fine.”

“Well, OK, if I can afford it.” Mitchell finally chose a couple of CD’s and pushed Play.

“Mitchell, that’s wild! You like that, huh?”

“Uh, well….”

“No, it’s OK, it’s great. I like that. You got any of their other stuff?”

“Um, yeah. You aren’t teasing again, are you?”

“No, dingus, I’m not. I seriously like this. I’ll bring over some of their others, next time, and some other bands I think ya might like. I had no idea you’d like that. It’s cool!”

“Hehe, thanks. I-I didn’t even mean to play that one. I was gonna pick something else.”

“Yeah, what?”

“Oh, you know, Top 40 stuff. I figured you wouldn’t mind it….”

“You thought it’d be safe? I’d like the generic stuff.”

“Yeah. Sorry.”

“No biggie, Mitch. I get it. But take some risks, huh? Try some other stuff, see if I like it.”

“Thanks, Kevin. OK, here goes….”

“Oh, ow, that reeks! Haha, relax! Just bump up your playlist.”

“Playlist?”

“Oh… that’s a CD changer, isn’t it?”

“Sure, what’d you think?”

“I think we’ve gotta get you into the 21st century, Mr. Luddite.”

“Huh?”

“Hahaha, never mind. Keep goin’, let’s hear what you like.”

“OK, Mitchell, your computer is now fixed up. Again. Now see this button here?”

“Yeah?”

“This is the Don’t Press Me button. Don’t ever press that, Mitchell. No matter what.”

“But-but I press that all the time!”

“Yeah? You sure you don’t have hair on your palms?”

“Kevin!”

“Hahaha, gotcha! There’s no button on here you’re not supposed to press. You’ve just gotta learn how to do stuff on your comp, that’s all.”

“Yeah, I guess. I still say it hates me.”

“Nah, it loves ya. It just doesn’t know how to say it.”

“Maybe.”

“Definitely. And relax about the hair on the palms thing, too. Have some fun, buddy. I dunno and I’m not gonna ask. I do know Rugrat likes it. Me too. Hahaha. You really are too uptight, Mitchell.”

“Kevin, I’m not really comfortable….”

“Exactly. And I’m your best friend. Or at least, you’re my best friend. So relax about it, huh? Go have fun. I’m not lookin’, and I’m not gonna tell. – OK, your comp is all fixed up, bro. I’d better go, so you can write those papers. Or check your palms. Hahahah!”

“Great. Byeee, Kevin. Thanks for fixing my stupid computer. Now go on, before you get us in trouble with my mom, or something.”

“Hahaha, sure. See, you almost said, ‘get out.’ That was almost teasing me.”

“No, that would’ve been almost kicking you out, and I can’t do that. You are my best friend too. Lookit, I gotta do my homework. See ya later. And thanks.”

“No biggie. Actually, I’ve never seen it. I dunno how big it really is!”

“Kevin! You’re terrible! Hahaha, OK, see ya later.”

§ § §

“Hi Kevin. What’s up?”

“I thought I’d come over and see how you’re doing, how your comp is doing.”

“Thanks. Doin’ OK. I got a ton of homework.”

“That’s what you’re doin’, not how you’re doin’, doofus.”

“Huh?”

“Never mind. Here, I gotcha a new hard drive and a flash drive for your pocket.”

“Wow, thanks! These are great.” He looked over the packages, noting the sizes.

“Sure thing. These’ll hold a lot, and you can take your data with you on the flash drive, plus burn rewritable CD’s or DVD’s for backups.”

“I have no idea what you just said, but kewl, thanks a lot, Kevin. This is great. How much do I owe you?”

“Nothin’. Just help me with my English homework. I suck at grammar and spelling.”

“OK, and yeah, you kinda do.”

“Hahaha, thanks for noticing.”

“I didn’t mean….”

“Oh, I know, I was just kidding. Besides, I really am bad at English stuff. How’s your computer?”

“My computer’s doin’ OK lately. It’s still updating, though.”

“Yeah? Lemme see. Yeah, OK, it’s doin’ fine. Just let it finish, then I’ll look at it.”

“Kevin? I’ve decided, I think I know what it’s doing.”

“Oh yeah, what?”

“I think it just says it’s updating itself. I think it’s really playing with itself.”

“Hahah, really? Hahaha.”

“Yeah, I think it just says it’s updating, so it won’t be embarrassed.”

“Hahah, oh yeah? Maybe you’re right.”

“I dunno. I mean, I wouldn’t mind so much, but you’d think it’d wait until it had, like, some private time, instead of while I need to get stuff done.”

“Hahaha, so you’re sayin’, it’s playin’ with itself while you’re watching? Perv! Hahaha!”

“What? No, I’m not watching, I…. Oh, I guess I am…. Omigosh, I mean, I’m sittin’ there, while it’s…. Man, that’s weird. I never thought of it like that.”

“Ohhh, Mitchell, it’s more than that. You’re sittin’ there workin’ it. You’re pressing its keys. Touching its mouse…you’re…. Mitchell, you’re fondling your computer. Hahaha! I bet you make its hard disk spin, too. You naughty boy.”

“Kevin! Oh geez, I shoulda never said anything. You’re not gonna let me live this one down, are you?”

“Probably not. Listen, it’s cool. I think it must be something with computer guys. Hard disks, floppy disks, and joystick really is, no joke. There’s all sorts of stuff that, if you think about it, is kinda suggestive like that.”

“I guess.”

“Hey, and I was just kidding you, the other day. Seems like you’ve been thinkin’ about it. Maybe the computer’s not the only one. You been practicing?”

“Kevin! Geez.”

“Oh get over it. I told ya the other day, I know Rugrat does. I do. So what? Ya got it, you’re gonna practice with it. It’s every boy’s best toy. Don’t be so embarrassed, doofus, it’s not like you’re the only one who’s ever done it, either.”

“I guess, but that’s private. I mean, you can’t get much more personal.”

“So? I’m your best friend. You don’t have to worry about it.”

“Hello, boys!”

“MOM! Omigosh….”

“Having fun playing with yourselves, boys?”

“Mother!”

“Take it easy, Mitchell. Yes, I heard. I came up with the laundry. You want an extra towel or two? Does the computer want one?”

“Mo-om!”

“Hahaha, son, I grew up with three brothers. I know what boys do. Just because your dad and I don’t mention it doesn’t mean we don’t know. It means we want to respect your privacy. Sorry to embarrass you, but I think Kevin’s right. You don’t need to be so worried about any of this.”

“M-mom, you have no idea how embarrassed I am, right now.”

“You’re blushing, son. Any more, and you’ll be like Christmas tree lights. I bet you’re blushing all over.”

“What?! Mom!”

“Hahah, easy, there, son. I’m only teasing. And Kevin, I know I’m embarrassing you too. Sorry, honey. It’s OK. I’m glad Mitchell has a friend as…ohh, I won’t say it, that’d be a bad pun. Heheh.”

“Mom, why are you doing this? You never….”

“I never talk like this, do I? Well, maybe your dad and I should relax a little too. Get a grip. Oh my, that’s a good one too. Son, I love your father very much. He loves me. Nothing at all wrong with that. It’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s healthy and loving. It helps us through tough times. We should be more honest. We should have a sense of humor about it too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Your dad and I love each other, and we don’t mind who knows it. We just keep private about what we do. But as long as I’ve completely shocked you, I’ll say this: Your dad and I really do make each other very satisfied.”

“Oh, Mommm….”

“Heheheh, well, you need to realize, you can be happy too, sweetie. Your dad and I want that for you. Kevin’s a good friend to see you’re too nervous about things.”

“Geez, Mom. Do you have to say this now, in front of Kevin?”

“Yes. Yes, son, I do. He’s good for you. And he’s right. He’s also never been ugly to you or a bad influence. – Kevin, you don’t get a free pass, now that I’ve said that, though. Hear me?”

“Yes, ma’am. Mrs. Adair? I’ve never heard you talk like this, either.”

“Well, I promise, it’s not my evil twin, the wild woman. Maybe I’ve seen it’s time for us to be a little more open about things.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Hah, relax, Kevin. You too, Mitchell. Mitchell?”

“Yes, ma’am?”

“Three ‘yes, ma’am’s.’ Now I’m getting worried what else you’ve been doing.”

“Uh, Mom, we….”

“I’m kidding, honey. I wouldn’t be terribly worried, with you two, anyway. That’s not a criticism.”

“OK, I guess.”

“Mitchell, I know this one will embarrass you, and I’m sorry. But it might be something you and Kevin should talk about.”

“Oh no, now what?”

“When your father and I were your age, your grandparents were worried because we were dating. They were worried what else we might be doing. Times have changed, and I’d like to think your dad and I are better about things than that. But maybe we’ve been sending you the wrong messages. Or not enough messages. Or…well, I don’t know. But most boys your age are thinking about who they like and what they’d like to be doing. Most boys your age are dating.”

“Yeah, I know. I, uh, I do think about….oh, geez.”

“Yes, so I heard. Your dad and I were pretty sure you were. But that’s fine.”

“Mo-om….”

“No, I mean it. This isn’t something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It’s life. It’s love. It’s one of the best parts of it all. It’s what keeps us together, one of the things that forms those bonds. Not with everyone you meet, but with a few people who are the most special to you.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Oh, don’t tune me out, young man, I’m almost through with the lecture.”

“Uh, sorry, Mom.”

“That’s better. It is OK for you to like someone. It’s OK for you to say so, to talk about it. Most boys do. It is OK for you to start dating. It’s even, heaven help me, OK for you to…well, if you ever do, mister, it had better be the right one, and you’d better use protection. That’s all I’ll say. Your feelings, though, are far more important than the physical parts, but I want those to stay healthy and happy too.”

“Mom!”

“I mean it, honey. You’re old enough that several boys your age have done it. I expect you will too, at some point. I just hope it’s someone you truly love and that they love you as much.”

“Mom…thanks. I don’t know what to say.”

“Then just listen a little bit more.”

“OK.”

“Son, I am not sure why you haven’t been running around, all eager about who you like and what you like, and letting us know it in little ways, like boys and girls usually do. And that’s just how it is, it isn’t bad. But for whatever reason, you have kept all that to yourself. Maybe you haven’t been ready. Or maybe you haven’t known if we’d approve. Maybe you just wanted to keep it private. I can understand that. Your dad and I are pretty quiet about ourselves too.”

“Yeah, I suppose so.”

“All I want to say is, whether it’s that, or something else, I love you. Your dad loves you. That will never change. I’ll say it directly: I am not making any assumptions, because I really don’t know. That’s how private you’ve been about it. And Kevin, I hope this doesn’t shock or offend you, because I am very glad you’re Mitchell’s friend. I think maybe you’ll understand.”

“Mrs. Adair…are you gonna say what I think you’re gonna say?”

“Possibly. I’ll just say it, boys. Mitchell, I don’t know for sure who you like, girls…or boys…or maybe both. And as long as you find someone nice, I will be happy with her…or him. I know—”

“MOM! How could you say that! In front of Kevin! How? How could you? I—”

“Whoa, Mitchell, stop! Before you freak out on your mom and me, I think you oughta know something.” Kevin said.

“What?! What else, Kevin? This can’t get any more embarrassing anyway. Sure, tell me.”

“I don’t know for sure, either, who you like. It won’t matter. I don’t think your mom is asking you if you know, or asking you to tell her. You’re so uptight about what you do feel, that I’m not sure either, and your mom and dad aren’t. Let go, a little, OK? I’m your friend. I promise I’ll be here for ya.”

“You…you…I don’t even know where to begin. Mom, Kevin, thanks, but…I don’t know whether to thank you or to say you have no business making assumptions like this. I mean, I love you guys, and thanks for saying you’re OK with it, but…I just don’t know what to think about you guys saying it.”

“Son, you don’t have to. I know this is too much. But if I hadn’t said something now, when could I? When you’re older, graduated, and even more afraid to talk about it? When you’ve found some nice girl, but you’re too shy to ask her? When you’ve found some nice boy to love, and you’re not sure we’d accept you, or him? Sweetheart, I want you to be happy. Period. Kevin and you gave me the opportunity to say something in as gentle a way as I know how. I didn’t want it to pass by, like it did for…someone we know very well. He’s still single. He’s never gotten close enough to anyone, as far as I know. It’s a terrible shame, because he’s wonderful, a sweet man. I think I might know why he hasn’t, but I…I don’t know. I don’t know how to ask, or if I should. But he deserves to be happy with someone. And yes, son, you know who I’m talking about, but you probably haven’t figured out who, and I’m not going to say, out of respect for him.”

“Mom, I…this is totally overwhelming.”

“Hey Mitchell? It’s cool. But I want to say something, too.” Kevin said.

“Is this about what you said never mind about, the other day?”

“Yes. Yes and no.”

“Kevin, that’s no kind of answer.”

“Sorry. Mitchell, I like you. A lot. I don’t know for sure if I love you, besides as my best friend. I…I’ve sorta thought about you, before. I…was gonna say the other day, I tease you, because you’re…I dunno, but whatever it is, I like you, enough that I’ve wondered if you were, or if I was, or…oh crap, this isn’t coming out at all how I wanted. I don’t know what I’m saying, Mitchell. Except, you’re my best friend, and I don’t wanna lose you, whatever it is we’ve got. I…sometimes, I’ve wondered if you like me too, or if it’s just me. I’m sorry, if you don’t, I’ll get over it. I just still want to be friends. Please.”

“Wow. I—now, I really don’t know what to say. Kevin, I don’t really know what I feel, either. I…Mom, this is too embarrassing. I’ve thought about girls, some. I’ve thought about…guys, a little. I’m all mixed up, about how I feel about you, Kevin. I like you too. I’ve…wondered. I don’t know what I feel, though. I am not gonna dump you. You’re my best friend. I can’t dump you. I won’t. I just…I don’t know what I feel, or if I wanna go there, yet. OK? Can you be OK with that, for now?”

“Yeah. Definitely. Very! Wow, thanks, Mitchell! Thanks, Mrs. Adair!”

“You’re welcome, boys. This is just fine. You boys take your time. Test the waters. Figure it out. If you are best friends and feel like showing it that way, or if you find out it’s something else, then we’ll love you, either way. Now, maybe I should let you be, and let you get back to the computer.”

“Uh…thanks, Mom. Kevin? I don’t know, I’m really glad you’re my friend, though.”

“Me too. I’m glad you’re my friend. And see, a new drive helps.”