When I hear the word tablet, I imagine something I used to carry to school, made up of paper. Buying a new one, or two, was like Christmas in September. I loved the feel of those silky white pages, begging to be filled with profound words and ponderous thoughts. But then I was the weird kid who felt depressed on the last day of school. While the other kids sang no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks, I walked home dejected, scuffing my already scuffed shoes in the loose soil on the way home.
I would count down the last days of the term with a sense of increasing dread. The summer loomed hot and vast. The chore list would expand exponentially cutting down severely on my reading and writing time. For during school I could claim I was doing “homework”.
Conversely, I would count up the calendar days leading to the first day of school. My mood would swing up, up, up toward the no longer blazing sun and shopping for school supplies was way more thrilling than shopping for clothes or shoes. Who cared what covered my body? It was what uncovered my mind that mattered. And writing was one way to delve into the deepest part of my psyche. Writing was what helped me deal with the realities of life that were thrust on me much too soon.
It was always an adventure when I put pen to paper. I never knew what would materialize onto the silk that was the page. What words would spring into existence simply by the power of my mind. My parents did not understand, or accept, my need to read and write. To my mother, it was an unhealthy vice. Not only would it make me go blind, but it kept me from my never-ending chores.
My siblings did not get it. They only touched a book when forced. Heck, my friends didn’t get it either. My girl friends were more interested in boys and my boy friends were more interested in being my boyfriend.
I was more interested in the dynamics of behavior. The observation. What made people do what they did? Yes, I was a weirdo to all. And I reveled in my weirdness. A badge of courage. A badge of distinction, for I was distinct all right. A square peg refusing to fit into a round hole. A misfit
But it appears I am no longer a misfit in my world. My family not only accepts my need to work with the written word, they support it, and most of all encourage it. Amazingly. And one concrete way of showing that was to gift me, you guessed it, a tablet.
This tablet has no pages; instead it has a smooth backlit screen. It has the ability to do just about all that my laptop can do and is far more portable. It can even hold my entire Kindle library, no mean feat, and no more running out of triple-A batteries for my reading light in the middle of the night.
Because of their faith in me and my writing, I have been trying to get comfortable with its keyboard. Their vision being that I can carry this tablet with me and write wherever I am. But this is not an easy thing to do since my fingers are used to a regular keyboard. One that is not so touch-sensitive, and one that has all the keys I need in one flat layout. One flat, longer layout.
But I am nothing if not persistent and though typing with only a couple of fingers has been hard, I have managed to tap out this entire post on said tablet. And though it’s taken triple the time, it appears to have let me probe deeper into my sentience. Perhaps because my brain was more concerned with the technicality of writing and therefore successfully quashed my internal editor for a bit.
Or perhaps it is simply the fact that I feel freer composing on a “tablet” once again. And there is much to compose for it is true that I am no blank slate. I have been written on for quite some time.