Johnny loves tech,
say all of his work friends. Knows a
shitload about it. They ask him
to fix stuff all the time. Just a week ago
no one could print, Johnny
figured it out before the help desk
ever got here. They don’t even call the help desk
any more. They just ask Johnny.
Johnny says ah, it’s nothing. He learned
a while ago that all there is to tech
is sitting with it and thinking, asking
a question or two, following up, being patient.
He learned that from his mother. She knew nothing
about such things but would
solve everything else that needed solving
by asking a few questions
and then sitting with the answers, and it always
worked for her, so…
Johnny still lives in the house he grew up in.
His mother’s long gone. It’s still neat
and clean there, the way she kept it, would
have liked it. He sits at night and never
touches a keyboard at home. Sits and
asks questions, sits with no answers,
sits and sits and falls asleep sitting up
in her old chair.
Johnny loves tech, they say at work.
Johnny thinks that’s nothing, loving tech.
He sits at night and loves his mother
who didn’t love tech at the end, the beeping,
the steady pump of the machines, the knobs
on the consoles, the way it all looked so clean
and foreign to her body as she melted away.
That’s what Johnny says to himself
while he’s sitting and sitting and sitting:
it all worked perfectly and still,
she melted away. Some tech
isn’t worth loving. Some tech never
answers a single question. Johnny
sits there in front of an error message
on a screen and screams inside
about how easy some people
must think this is for him.