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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2021: Gamble


Looks like I need a monitor.

All was well and humming along nicely. Or, at least as nicely as answering emails and instant messages can, I suppose. I had run downstairs to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with grape jelly because only grape will do on a pb&j) and when I returned to the office the right monitor was a spectrum of static. I conducted all the usual advanced troubleshooting like turning it off and turning on and unplugging it from the laptop, counting to 30 and plugging it again.


The only other monitor that could serve as a stand-in until I purchase a replacement is in the attic. It's smaller and probably last provided usefulness when it was connected to an old desktop several years ago. Do I want to gamble on such an archaic device in this age of wonder? On one hand, I like having three screens to manage the work. On the other, I would have to explore the attic, the entrance to which is directly down the hall from my office door. That hall is currently dark. The two bedroom doors are closed due which means no natural light is spilling from those windows. The overhead light is off. An uneasy silence settles in as I weigh my options. I take a bite of my sandwich and contemplate. It is ridiculous to think so hard about walking down the hall and into the attic of the home I've lived in for 11 years. Silly. I'm 54 years old. This isn't like those latchkey days as a child who jumped at every weird noise.

I stand.

The imagined need for a third screen sufficiently rationalized in my mind, I enter the hall and reach the bedroom door which sits halfway down the hall. The other bedroom door at the end of the hall catches my eye. The natural light from inside spills from the bottom of the door.

A creaking of the floor from the other side stops me cold. This is silly, I tell myself. My house. 11 eleven years. 54. I reach for the attic door to the left when the creak happens again. And another. Steps. Sounds like the careful movement of someone trying very hard not to be heard walking but the floor betrays them. My gut knots and my mouth dries. Should I go in? The internal debate over this again goes back to the usual two points. Who exactly would be in there if I know I'm alone? What exactly is my plan if I open the door and see someone there?

A thud.

Like someone behind the door dropped something on the floor.

A shadow passes over the light sneaking out from under the door.

I don't need that monitor right now.

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