The R on my keyboard sticks. In fact, every single time you see an R in this blog post just know that I’ve typed it in repeatedly before it showed up. I’m not quite sure when it started, but it was probably about three weeks ago. It was subtle, too, at first, so that I merely found it mildly annoying. In the beginning. Then it began truly bothering me this past week. With a vengeance.
I thought about prying the key up and trying to figure out what was happening underneath, thought about being the keyboard doctor, but I stopped myself with one very real fear: what would happen if I couldn’t get it to go back on? Then not only would I be without a perfectly working R key, but I would then have also maimed my keyboard to no avail. At least it’s not my space bar.
When it began messing up my Facebook posts and responses, that’s when I knew it was more than just an inconvenience. I mean, it’s Facebook! That’s probably an extension of my anal retentive nature, needing everything to be perfect, and being extremely disappointed when it reveals itself to be different from my ideal. It’s why I’m hardly ever satisfied, even when things go as well as they can possibly go. I’m always looking for that perfect scenario, that fluid R to complete my keyboard.
When I was young it first manifested in my bedroom while I was counting bars on my window. I would sit on my bed and stare through the glass at those thick black bars that made me feel like I was in prison. I counted them over and over again, even though they never changed. There were eight in total, and it eased my mind to have such a solid footing. I knew there were eight, and everyone else who counted would have seen eight as well. It was soothing in its way.
But then I would get on the school bus and sit in the farthest seat in the back, and the other kids would start in. It might rain, and why didn’t I have my umbrella? Who was going to be picked last in the kickball game at recess? Did I know? Why wasn’t my score the highest on the math test we had the other day? And the questions always seemed to keep coming. Then I realized it wasn’t the other kids asking. It was in my own brain, the consequence of my controlling nature.
And I seem easygoing to the casual observer, or even to people who know me tangentially. They see my smile, my quiet gait, and my joking nature, and they don’t realize the sarcasm that it hides, the irony of a lot of the things I do and say. I never miss any of it, though. I just want an R that works right the first time I hit it, not having to pause after I’ve struck it because I know it won’t show up then.
It’s like the proverbial ghost in the machine, and I think it’s trying to tell me something important. Maybe I need to reassess my expectations, to stop counting every single mile marker as I go down the highway. Because, honestly, an R isn’t life-or-death, and most people can read a sentence from me just fine without them. I just need to tell my brain that, so I’m not so frustrated when things don’t go the way I want them to go, when the scenario comes out differently from what I had hoped.
But I’m definitely prying up this R key, and hoping for the best.