I woke up today and went to turn on my computer as I always do. The little lights turned on, and I waited, and I waited, and the screen did not. Unsettling. Tap tap tap went the keys, click click went the mouse, and still nothing.
I pressed and held the power button, and the computer turned off. Then I started it up again.
It booted up, the screen came on, and I was relieved. But then it started being funny again. In that no windows would open. Not in Internet Explorer, not even Windows Explorer.
Word opened, oddly, though it opened a bit slowly for my taste.
I tried to shut down again, but upon clicking the Shut Down button, it would not shut down. Restart worked, several minutes after I selected it and endured a slow and frightening parade of End Program dialog boxes, but after the restart I was right back in the same place.
I stared at the computer, waiting for something to happen. Our story so far easily encompassed about forty-five minutes during which I did not leave my seat.
I didn't want to turn off the computer manually again, what with it intermittently and unpredictably accessing the hard drive. I know at one point I sat for three minutes without moving, barely breathing. I know it was three minutes because I saw the computer clock tick by. After the first minute, I was startled. Did a minute just go by? It felt like seconds. After the second minute, I started waiting for the third. What a long minute this was. I felt I could live lifetimes within that minute, like that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where that lost civilization hits Picard with that ray and he has a long happy life on the planet and then wakes up back on the Enterprise.*
Finally I stood up and ate some cereal.
Ten minutes after I had told it to shut down and let it sit there, nothing had happened.
I gritted my teeth and turned off the computer manually. I started it back up...
And everything was (is) fine. (So far.)
I'll keep my fingers crossed.
This story may seem dull to you, but it was easily one of the most tense and emotional experiences I've had recently.
*Lest you get the wrong idea, this is in fact one of only two Star Trek episodes that I have ever watched all the way through.