Sometimes I really wonder about me.

I had sort of promised myself a new computer this summer, if I had any money left over after the Chaz World Tour this month, and inasmuch as there are definite advantages to having a computer along on a trip, especially if one has a Web site that needs to be updated once in a while, I spent some of yesterday morning looking at some of the less-unaffordable notebooks being proffered by the local merchants.

And that's all I could do: look. In fact, I came this close to closing a deal for a Toshiba Satellite that met pretty much all my requirements, and wound up practically running from the store.

Now this isn't the first time that I've been overwhelmed by fear and loathing and god knows what else in a retail setting. And it wasn't because I couldn't deal with the expense; I wasn't particularly wanting to spend $1000 just then, but it wouldn't have killed me financially. In fact, it might have been advantageous, since yesterday was the last day of the Special Promotional Rate on my Zirconium (or whatever oddball metal it is) MasterCard. But something got hold of my viscera and gave them a triple twist, and I couldn't have signed a charge slip for a box of socks just then.

Does timidity inevitably come with advancing age? If it does, I'm in for a truly miserable time. I've certainly made my share of crappy decisions over the years, and they've always come back to bite me, but throwing a couple of handfuls of dirt on top of my existing mountain of debt in no wise compares with some of my more ghastly lapses in judgment. Still, if I can't handle a routine (if largish) retail transaction, how am I supposed to handle a five-thousand-mile road trip that presents far more opportunities for anxiety?

Before you ask: no, I'm not cancelling the trip. The main reason I made the announcement so far in advance to so many people was to make it more difficult to back out, because I suspected I'd be suffering from a case of the fantods and might well be tempted to abandon the whole enterprise. (As more than one person will testify, I tend to be way too predictable.) And I know that the regrets for not going will likely far outweigh the pitfalls of going — most of them, anyway. But just the same, this worries me, and if there's anything I don't need now, it's more worries.

And yes, there will be site updates during the Tour. The estimable Nova Hotsex had offered to lend me a portable for just such a purpose, and while I had some trepidation about hauling someone else's machinery cross-country — another reason for considering buying one of my own — at no time did it instill any actual panic. So, hi-ho, Presario, we're going. What the hell.

The Vent

#251
1 July 2001

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