My mouse retired last week. For years it had faithfully tracked, pointed and clicked its way around various monitors without a squeak of complaint. Then, silently, it just started to slip away. Intermittently the left click began to fail, before packing in entirely. I was left with half a mouse, prodding lumpenly at the screen like early man. That right click still worked was a minor torture of sorts, I could do half a job, but couldn’t satisfyingly seal the deal with a left click.
I pottered along with keyboard shortcuts and Mouse Keys for a bit, but it wasn’t the same. The computer seemed suddenly alien to me, with a vague feeling of unease I left it alone until such time as I could get a new mouse (which, clearly, has happened, and very nice it is too, a zippier, smaller, younger model, I eye the old mouse, wrapped in its cord and tucked away on the desk, like a penitent adulterer).
Strange to have a part of your life excised by something as simple as a left click button. No computer meant no paperwork for a few days, but also no social media, no email, no sitting down to write these mini-essays. Whilst you could read into this that the internet has a worrying hegemony over our daily lives (partly true), and it was, in a way relaxing to get a brief break from the computer, the relief when that mouse was plugged in was palpable, normality resumed.