I imagined twist ties, Velcro, double stick tape. At some point during the job Steve talked about bringing in the chainsaw.

For 6 years across three homes the computer cords have driven me crazy.

I’ve asked him to tape them up, wondered why the engineer who packs the car”just so” for a 45 minute car ride can leave these danglers like so many steamers from New Year’s Eve 1999.

We have what I imagined to be a minimalist set up. Clean looking Mac on a Paul McCobb table from the 1960s. Slowly things have migrated to the table. The phone base. The router. The theoretically better router, Apple TV, some sort of sonos bridge. The back up drive. The drive that looks like a Lego that holds our photos and music from half a decade ago. It became a bit cluttered. And each of these devices seem to have tails. Yellow, black, orange white, they tangle towards the floor and make their way across the room. Making themselves known. At least to me.

Sometimes I wonder if the ability to see cords is mapped on the X chromosome. Each x can see 4 cords. So Steve is topped out at 4 cords. The rest disappear to him, making these dissonant cords just a minor nuisance.

I am forceful enough in my critique that he agrees to take on the project. Instead of heading to the drawer with the tape and string he is off to the garage, he has decided to disassemble the media cabinet and have these electronic pets join the wii u and the portal of power (and the old portal of power) and the other blinky winky devices. This required the removal of shelves and the drilling of back and the wishing for a slot wide enough for all cords and Steve suggests the chain saw and I have to stop that.

He is in the basement drilling through the floor to re route the cable and everything is everywhere and the router is down so we have the full attention of Leo. All of a sudden those little streamer tails seem not so bad.

He takes a break for dinner and picking up Oliver and he is back at it.Deciphering the language of blinking lights of the modem, holding each box one at a time, considering its future placement.

The router has not reconnected.

The electronic pets do not have a new home.

I would have finished this job an hour ago, but it would not have been so different from where we started. I wonder about the A- effort that got me through school and graduate school. I’m pretty sure it never required a chain saw. Why was this Steve’s job anyways? I am good with Velcro. I can even braid. That might have been nice, some chromatically braided cords.

He is on the phone having comcast reset the router. I don’t know if I am more amazed that it has come to this..requiring action from outside our house, or that he is willing to make the call. I want to apologize. I shouldn’t have seen the cords, and if I did see them I shouldn’t have complained about them, and if I did complain about them I shouldn’t have asked him to fix. The job has mushroomed to a size beyond my abilities so the best I can do is stay in the room, and try really really hard to neither smirk nor suggest.

He is muttering now. Drill down, doors wide, shelves fully extended. It is as though the media cabinet has turned itself inside out. There is some important small piece missing. Indescribably really except in its importance. Oliver, the one who can’t see shampoo in the shower, is helping to hunt it down. You need a strategy…you need to think like it. He takes the flashlight and finds some strange noisemaker and is reclined on the couch whistle singing, shining the light in Steve’s eyes, now mine. His helpfulness such as it was has ended and he has repositioned himself as entertainment. He is either mildly or not at all entertaining depending on who you ask. We have a kids cd (no means of playing a cd in our entire house) an oversized branch pencil, co-Ol, a cat nip toy..no important plastic piece. Now I know what it is…a second leg for the wii. This is the first potential use for a 3d printer that I can imagine. A replacement wii leg. A wii prosthesis. Big market for those.

Now that I think of it I could have printed some clips that might have bundled the cords together. But they wouldn’t have worked as well as the twist ties.

I wanted to live blog this whole experience…but I am out of words before it is over, and of course, I can’t post it anyways…we’d need wifi for that.

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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