I always used to have a desktop computer. When I still lived with my parents, during university, during teacher training, in my five years in Istanbul. Most of these times, I also had a laptop: a heavy old iBook (the one you could carry on its fancy little handle, my only ever Apple product to date) that I also used when I spent my Erasmus year in Ireland, a tiny netbook later on. I didn’t use either much.
I actually love sitting at my desk, type on a properly sized keyboard (touch-typing), move the cursor with a real – well as real as it gets in plastic – mouse and look at a big screen. While I recognize the convenience of laptops, I love the effectiveness of laptops. They also force me to sit at my desk and not slouch on my bed or the sofa. To not litter my desk up and then use the dining table as a workplace. Or the coffee table. They make me sit straighter and a little farther away from the screen.
Having a desktop computer means I have found home. It doesn’t mean that we won’t move again, but that we won’t move far away. I threw out my old desktop when I moved from Istanbul to Boston because international moves are expensive and desktops are rather big and heavy. It took me five and a half years in the United States to be sure that I won’t move countries any time soon again, to know that I am at home. Only now have I purchased my first desktop in the U.S. I will use my laptop every day at work, but the desktop at home.
This elevates my mood. Also because I am home in Midtown Manhattan. My desk is by the window. Right next to almost all our house plants. While working at my desk, I can also look out at Lexington Avenue. At all the high buildings around us. At the busy street with the dry cleaner and the tiny café on the other side of the street. Right now, as it is after 9 p.m., I see all those lit-up windows. The people in the window across from us watch some love movie. They forgot to switch off the light in their kitchen. All there neighbors don’t seem to be home tonight. Except for in that one corner apartment where the roller blinds are already down.
Our window is also well-lit thanks to a string of colorful holiday lights and an electric candle arch. The kittens curiously eyeball the new desktop. They already challenged me for my desk chair, but then gave up because they found it more exciting to pitter-patter over the new keyboard and push the plastic mouse. They submit only when I have conquered all pieces – and then try to play with the plants in order to catch my attention.
I have almost always had a desktop computer. But now I live in the middle of one of the most exciting cities and work effectively at and despite the window. I have two awesome kittens and an amazing husband. I am at home.