Coffee Talk Life Writing

If We Were Having Coffee and Déjà Vu

25th November 2020
Two mugs 'I love you' and 'I know'

And so, in August, I had a coffee-meets-laptop mishap. I wrote in real notebooks flipped upside down. Real notes in green ink.

Frank the Laptop went into the shop, where my husband promised the laptop gods didn’t laugh at me.

I had words to write, so Truman the Giant Eff-off Desktop was set up on my kitchen table. Since we’ve not so recently moved, there is no longer a wall between my kitchen and my living room, and since we’re renting none of this space is mine, anyway.

Moving on, or trying to.

Before the laptop was in the shop, I’d go and write in Neil’s office when he wasn’t in it. No one goes anywhere, the office is off the kitchen which is off the living room. I’d go in there and crank country music (something that is my own, nobody else has claimed it.)

So, office-music-writing-typing. Sometimes until two am. I’d finish and then wake my husband to help me in our bed, that isn’t actually our bed. Because this bed is too stacked up for me to get up there on my own. And I’m not even short. And my husband sleeps as fast as anyone I know, so I always feel bad waking him. Most of the time.

So late-night writing sessions. With the laptop.

And I’d get up in the morning and write after the kid left for school. And on one of these mornings, there was the coffee dump. We tipped Frank upside-down and put him in a bag of rice.

After a few days of nothing doing, off for repairs. But I had the desktop, which I couldn’t hide with. After I changed all my saved passwords, because who remembers, I got used to the desktop again.

His name is Truman. He’s old and slow, but if I talk nicely he works. Until he doesn’t. Usually when I’m about to save my pages. Truman’s keyboard sounds like a typewriter, which is quite nice. Even though I hate the phrase ‘quite nice.’

I stack words, but still wait impatiently for Frank’s return. I pine. Most of those country music love songs are now directed towards a laptop.

The shop says a week. It is not a week. We call, and every time we are told to call back. Well, Neil called. I hate the phone, and with every week that passed, my swearing became more complicated.

Until finally it was fixed. I posted that giff of Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, and welcomed Frank home by hitting 20K on my current project.

Now. Two people read my current pages. I love more than two people, but I also want to actually finish this book.

But maybe don’t let your partner read your pages. Neil reads me because I like to check where he laughs.

Wait for it.

I should also say that Frank’s return saw another change in my routine. Instead of coffee and writing in the kitchen, I did coffee and reading in the bedroom in the morning. Coffee nowhere near technology.

I slipped up. One day, I put the coffee on the writing table. Which is the kitchen table. On the edge. On the other side, even. But still.

I’m on a break. So I ask Neil to read. He usually asks me leave the room while he reads, and I do laps in our very short hallway.

But this time, he leans in above my head, which is also well, quite nice.

Until he leans up and whacks my coffee mug. Far enough away that it should have landed on the floor, away from the laptop. But it somehow landed ON THE LAPTOP.

More complicated swearing from me. This time Neil took the laptop straight in on his lunch-break, and the table was again empty.

I’m still married and Frank is really retired this time.

I’m thankful for file backups and copies of photos. And even clumsy husbands.

But it’s possible he won’t read my book until it’s done now. And far away from any beverages.


If you’d like to send me writing fuel, please consider buying me a coffee. Which is now The New Laptop Fund. Or if you’d like more shenanigans, sign up for my weekly newsletter through the form at the end of any post.

Two mugs ‘I love you’ and ‘I know’ Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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  • Reply Angie 25th November 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Oh, no! Poor Frank. I’m glad to hear you still have Neil. I always have my cup of tea (or coffee) next to my laptop. I am now a bit concerned. And no way is my guy reading over my shoulder. Because with him, your tale could easily be repeated. Maybe I’ll just move my tea.

  • Reply Rebecca Moon Ruark 28th November 2020 at 2:07 am

    I love that your husband reads your stuff–not the drowns it in coffee part though. One of my 11 year-olds is writing a novel (fantasy–Harry Potter-ish) and getting more words in than I am at this point. But I can see the end of the tunnel with mine, just need to press on. I can’t wait to read your stuff. Keep going!

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