Even if I wasn’t a writer by profession, one of my wifely duties to my seminary attending husband would be to help proofread his papers. When you’ve spent hours pouring over a document, you tend to miss those little things (the the “of” that should be “if”) that a second pair of eyes will always catch.
It was during his first semester of seminary, and Timothy and I were locked together in a struggle to turn in his research paper by midnight. I’m by no means a night person, but I wanted to stay up with him; to fight this battle by his side, like Eowyn rushing to aide Aragorn in battle against the dark lord.
So, he was on his computer, typing and editing, and I was running back and forth to the printer, getting hard copies for us to read over and edit.
But our foe was greater than the deadline. Its evil had spread to inhabit other intangibles, wreaking havoc on the internet, wifi, and the cables connecting his desktop to the printer.
I had to go outside every time he printed, because the printer is housed next door at his Grandparent’s house. The air was cold and damp and so was my temper. It was about the three-hundreth (possible exaggeration) time Tim had sent the printer job. I sat down in the office chair beside that blasted piece of grey and white plastic and waited for it to connect. Miracle of miraculous miracles, it’s innards began to click and whir. I sat up straight, hardly believing my ears. My feet moved without my knowing it, until I found myself leaning over the machine with tears in my eyes. The title page of his paper rolled out of the machine. I picked it up greedily and held it to my chest. Glorious victory! I had moments before been a weary warrior, beginning to contemplate if it would not be better to lay down my arms and crawl back to bed in defeat. But no. No! Patience and diligence had won out over…
I hardly need tell you what happened next. So I’ll describe to you what I heard in onomatopoeia:
FISSSSSSHT-whirrrrrrr…click…click……. Beepbeepbeepbeepbeep! Beepbeepbeepbeepbeep!
I pounded my fist on the desk and said some rather unpleasant words in my head. After I had regained my composure, I sent a text off to my husband to try again. I was not going to cross the enemy lines again until necessary, for fear that, once I reached home base, I would lose my will to return to the fray. I sat down to edit the three pages in front of me, while my husband fiddled with the connection on the other side. Eventually the printer relented and coughed up a copy of his paper, like a signed treaty of peace, and I stumbled home, bitter with what seemed unsatisfactory reparations for the loss of life and limb I’d sustained.
I came into our room and put the edited pages on Tim’s desk, slipped the top cover page from the pile, and read to him the following words I had composed during our painful separation. It was not a letter of love from a warrior who missed their homeland, nor was it anything so deep and thought provoking as some material that foxholes produced during the great battles of yore. But it spoke of the feelings from my deepest heart, and I knew my husband would appreciate it. I will now share it with you. *A-hem*
The printer is blinking,
That means it’s not printing,
I’m standing here watching it flicker.
The silence is killing,
I wish it were willing,
To click and to whir and to blipper.
I swear if I knew what,
Was screwing it up,
I’d do everything in my power,
To help it connect,
Via wireless internet,
And print out my husband’s damned paper.
*bows low to the ground while the crowd cheers and throws roses* Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I will be here all week.
© Rachel Svendsen 2015