Dear Overmind,

Hi, how are you? Actually, I’m not sure you can even read this, because you’re not plugged in. I know, I know, it’s been about seven months now since I moved into this flat, but there you are, a great black behemoth with no cables to give you life. I think they’re in a cupboard somewhere.

I don't open this cupboard very often.

Behind the fish flakes, maybe.

Oh, Overmind. What happened to us? We used to be so good together. Do you remember that time you wouldn’t boot up, and I thought your hard drives had crashed or your motherboard had shorted out or a virus had replaced everything with popups and porn diallers and I’d lost my Diablo II saved games because I always overreact about everything? And it was just because I’d seated one of your RAM modules badly. You laughed so hard at my foolishness. Well, you beeped at POST like you were supposed to, but there was definitely a bit of a giggle in it. I think.

Then there was the time one of your hard drives really did crash, and I hadn’t backed it up, and you knew I hadn’t backed it up. I wonder, did you know about Xboxy then already?

I’m so sorry you had to find out like that. I guess I might’ve been a bit indiscreet, putting you next to each other on the same desk, hooking you up to the same monitor, stacking all those games in their distinctive neon green boxes right there in front of you. It was shameless and tawdry, and if I could go back and do things differently, I would. Like, I wouldn’t waste R3000 on a new video card, in a desperate and pointless attempt to rekindle the fading embers of a once torrid romance.

It must’ve been hard when I bought the big screen TV, and moved Xboxy over to it, but kept you both on the same network so you’d see all those incriminating data packets coming and going at all hours. You deserved better than that, I realise that now, but at the time, Guitar Hero II really was innovative. For whatever it’s worth, it’s not anymore, and Rock Band was better anyway. You probably don’t want to know about any of that, though, or the split-screen co-op in Gears of War…

I’m doing it again, aren’t I? I was never much good at this kind of stuff. Or waiting around for 10 GB game installations before I could play.

It’s complicated. I mean, you’re so complicated. All those extortionately expensive bits and pieces that needed upgrading every three months or so, the huge service pack and driver and patch downloads, and nothing working because of some esoteric hardware or software or personality conflict that wasn’t even listed in the known issues part of the readme file. And so many of the best games don’t even come out on PC anymore.

It’s not like I could replace you, though. Not entirely. Even the new desktop PC I got for work is called Undermind in deference to you. And because it’s a Celeron and calling it Overmind would be like an elaborate joke that it couldn’t understand anyway because it doesn’t have enough available cache memory to process the subtle algorithms of sarcasm.

But I just don’t… I just don’t love you like that anymore. You’re like the childhood friend I think of fondly, but don’t really want to have anything to do with because I don’t know how to talk to you anymore. I’ve moved on, but you’re still running Windows XP.

It’s over. It’s not me, it’s you.

Tarryn

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