Sunday, November 20, 2011

a moment in the day: the chatty printer

I'm printing my whole novel for my own reading for the first time. As I print in the back room, Stephen is out in the studio on his own laptop, which he just recently hooked up to be able to print wirelessly* to this printer through some voo-doo magic I don't understand. 

One of the first times the printer runs out of paper and I need to fill it, I realize I should let Stephen know I'm going to be printing for a while so he doesn't try to print something, too. When I step down the hall into the studio, Stephen is looking at me with a smile on his face, a pinch-mouthed and mirthful smile like maybe Nicholas has done something cute and he's about to tell me about it.

He says, "Quit sending me out-of-paper alerts."

Apparently when the printer communicates to my laptop that it's out of paper, it communicates to Stephen's laptop too. Like that thing they say about twins knowing each others' thoughts.

The next time the printer runs out of paper, Stephen calls from the studio, "You're out of paper," and I laugh.

The next time the printer runs out of paper, I call, "Out of paper," and Stephen laughs. His laugh comes soft down the hallway and straight to that place in the middle of me that feels like joy.

Knowing our history, how we fell in love first through words on a computer screen, I shouldn't be surprised. Any kind of communication, even printer-to-computer, can be a way for two people to touch.

*Blogger flagged the word "wirelessly" as being spelled wrong. It offered four words in its place. The last was my favorite:


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