408. My Motherboard, My Self
One frazzled Friday, four overbooked girlfriends came from four different directions. The East Side, the West Side, Park Avenue, and Samantha. It was the ultimate New York power lunch, also known as the power catch-up.
I'll start. I can sum up my life in one breath. Work, work, Au Bon Pain, work. And you?
Ok, let's see.... Aidan, Aidan, this pimple, Aidan.
Maybe we don't need an hour.
Charlotte, I can't believe you made this sandwich. I love you not working, you can be my wife.
I thought I'd have more free time, but redecorating is very stressful. Did you know there are over 40 different kinds of dimmers?
Remember back when the economy was good and we had a table?
- Carrie? - Yeah?
Are you a janitor now?
I know, it's ridiculous. I need these seven just to get in Aidan's building.
Aidan gave you his keys?
Yeah, but I always make him come to my place. He buys that two-in-one shampoo.
- Wait a minute. Does Aidan have your keys now, too? - He does. All two of them.
- You exchanged keys, That's big. - No, that's the opposite of Big.
Good for you. It took me six months to give my cleaning lady a key.
I happen to have the key to a lasting relationship right here. 1001 sexual positions. I got it on the corner from a guy. $1.50. I love this city.
- Whoa, Nellie. - Whose legs bend back that far?
- It's like sex for the boneless. - See, that's what I love about this guy Nick I'm seeing.
He's the wrestling coach at NYU and he's like an extra-strength rubber band.
''My congregants, please refer...'' to Position 91 in your prayer books.
''And let us say, 'Amen.'''
That night, I came home to find Aidan in the most shocking position of all. Cooking to the oldies.
You're deflowering my pristine kitchen. Fajitas!
Meet my new George Foreman, lean, mean, fat-reducing grilling machine. George, Carrie.
Charmed, I'm sure.
- What are you doing back there, ladybird? - I'm just looking for something.
- Not in front of George. - Leave George out of it.
- Ok, that's it. - You're going down!
- What about the fajitas? - Fuck the fajitas.
If giving a man the keys to your apartment means unlocking the door to home cooking and great sex, ''why were so many independent women…''
Don't, it's not done yet. Don't read it.
Oh, my God. Come on, come back. What.... Why is this happening?
- What's up? - My computer just crashed right in the middle... I just…
- Ok, just relax, darling. Breathe and reboot. It always works on my computer. - Well?
Let's get your manual out.
I don't have a manual! I got rid of it in a feng shui attack. Oh, my God, I want to kill myself.
Just hang in there, sugar. This thing's faking you out, that's all.
Aidan, please. Please just stop touching it. Stop it! You don't know what you're doing, just stop!
Two meltdowns later, we rushed my '98 laptop, in my '99 pashmina, to Tekserve.
Can you please not do that?
- 64! - Oh, God, come on!
- Number 64. - Yes. Hi, thank God. Please tell me...
- I tried a few home remedies on the thing, but you know... - that you can fix it, please.
Whoa! One at a time. Which one of you crashed?
Me, I did, it's mine. But then he did something to it. Tell him what you did to it.
I hit the ControlAltDelete.
That only works on PCs. You a PC user? You're not compatible. Tell me exactly what happened right before you crashed.
I was typing and then he came over and he kissed me... and then I got the bomb.
Not ''da bomb,'' you know? Not the good kind.
Is this funny, do you think that this is funny?
- Just trying to... you know. - You are mortifying me.
- When was the last time you backed up your work? - I don't do that.
- You don't back up? - No.
Anything else before we go in?
Yes! There was a mean little man who popped up, and he had ''X's'' where his eyes should be.
And his tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth.
- He didn't have a tongue. - He had a tongue.
That's the Sad Mac. You Sad Mac'd, you should've told me that before.
Oh, my God, why? What does that mean?
Could be your motherboard, the guts of your computer. It could be bad RAM. We'll keep it here for a couple of days, run some tests. I'm Dmitri. I'll call you if we find anything.
- lf? - 78! Number 78!
Oh, God, Miranda, I'm freaking out. What if everything I've ever written is gone?
When was the last time you backed up?
You know, no one talks about backing up. You've never used that expression with me before ever. But apparently, everybody's secretly running home at night and backing up their work.
Dr. Adleman, please call Extension 213.
Where are you?
I'm at the hospital in Philadelphia. My mom had a heart attack.
Oh, my God. And you let me go on about my stupid computer?
That's very upsetting, I've been through that.
Is she ok? How could you go to Philadelphia without telling me?
I had about six minutes to make the train. I didn't know how bad it was till I got here.
How bad is it?
They keep telling us different things. She's pretty out of it. Although, she did open her eyes just long enough to veto my lipstick.
Is there anything I can do to help? I'll jump on a train. I'll come down there and keep you company.
No, it's fine, I'm fine.
- Miranda, the doctor is waiting. You can't use a cell phone in the hospital. - She called me.
Great. Now my sister's mad at me. I gotta go.
- Keep me posted, all right? - Ok, bye.
Meanwhile, Charlotte's afternoon was filled with ovulating and decorating. She was 12 days into her cycle and three rooms into her lighting project. She had become a bona fide dimmer expert.
Samantha called in a bona fide positions expert who came fully equipped. Turns out a half Nelson was very much like Position 411… One half Nelson, one full orgasm.
- Hello? - It's me, I'm sorry to wake you.
- That's ok. - My mom died. - Oh, my God.
She was stable last night. And we all went home. And then they called and said she was crashing. And by the time we got back, she had died.
Miranda, I'm so sorry.
I just wish we hadn't gone home, you know? Nobody wanted to, but they kept telling us we ought to get some sleep.
I'm sure that she knew, on some level that you were with her.
But I wasn't with her. Nobody was!
What can I do?
Nothing, I'm fine. I'll be fine. The funeral's on Tuesday and I don't have anything to wear, because I didn't think I would be going to a funeral while I was here.
I'll be there, so I can.... I'll bring you something from your apartment.
Don't bother. I'm just gonna go out and buy a shitty black dress I'll never wear again.
- Are you sure? I'd be happy to do it. - Don't.... Don't do anything. I better go.
- I'm so sorry. - Thanks, I gotta go.
- Miranda's mother died. - Come here, you ok? - I'm fine, actually.
Do you know when the funeral is? I'd like to go if I can.
I don't know. You don't have to. I don't really know.
- Where have you been, and where's Miranda? I'm starving. - What's wrong?
Miranda's in Philadelphia. Her mother had a heart attack yesterday and she died, early this morning.
She wasn't even sick. I can't believe it. Poor Miranda, how is she?
I don't know. She's not good. I just felt so awful for her and I just... I didn't know...what to say to her and...You know Miranda, she was trying to be so strong, but she sounded so alone. And I just kept saying all the wrong things, I think.
- No, I'm sure you didn't. Here. - Thanks, I'm sorry.
- I guess the first thing we should do is send some flowers. - Right.
- Or a fruit basket. Or muffins, what do you think? - You all right?
What? I'm fine. Flowers are fine. Just tell me who to send the check to. I'm just hungry.
After breakfast, Charlotte showed her support for Miranda by becoming the Martha Stewart of death.
I want the clear cellophane and the navy ribbon. Samantha, have you called Miranda yet? I just spoke to her. She thinks it'd be faster for us to take the train to Philadelphia and I agree.
We're going to the funeral? I thought we were just sending flowers.
Of course we're going to the funeral and you should call her. I think she'd really like to hear from you.
What am I gonna say to her?
You could say, ''I'm so sorry for your loss. ''I love you, I'm here for you.'' That's enough for ribbon. ''You're in my thoughts. May she rest in peace, I'm so sorry you lost''
Fine, I'll call her, goodbye.
In times of sorrow, some people have trouble reaching out. Samantha wasn't one of those people. Wanna wrestle? Keep doing that!
But today something was just out of reach. So they tried another position. 299.
I'm almost there.
Just hang on one more second. Hang on, hang in there. Keep hanging on, stay with me. Stay just like that. Get 'em off me! You're distracting me.
And when none of those worked, they went back to Old FaithfuI. Number 17.
Ok, now that's it. Now we got it. Here we go. Home free. Just keep doing exactly what you're doing. Exactly what you're doing. Don't stop.
- I gotta pick up my stuff at the cleaners by 5:00. - Ok, stop.
I want you to make it very clear to the Philadelphia florist. Tasteful, all white. The Casablanca lilies, the calla lilies and the Phalaenopsis. I don't want any crap.
You told her.
These flowers will be the centerpiece on the church altar. It's important that they represent us, don't you agree? Samantha?
- I don't know, I'm not even listening. I lost my orgasm. - In the cab?
- What do you mean, ''lost''? - I mean, I just spent the last two hours fucking with no finale.
- It happens. Sometimes you just can't get there. - I can always get there.
- Every time you have sex? - She's exaggerating. Please say you're exaggerating.
I'll admit I have had to polish myself off once or twice, but yes. When I R.S.V.P. to a party, I make it my business to come.
- See, I've been a noshow on more than one occasion. - Sex can still be great without an orgasm.
- That is such a crock of shit. - She has a point. - What's wrong with me?
Listen! You've got plenty of orgasms under your belt. You're gonna be fine. Now, let's retrace your steps. Were you on top?
- How is that relevant? - You mean you can have them on the bottom?
- Top, bottom, upsidedown. - All right, now you're just showing off.
- I'm asking for help! - Sweetie, I'm sure it will pop up when you least expect it. Like...jury duty.
- Unless... - What?
I read this article about a woman who's having orgasms around the clock. And then, boom! Orgasms stopped for good. It was like she had used them all up or something.
That's the meanest thing you've ever said to me.
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Miranda realized she needed a shitty black bra to go with her shitty lack dress.
- Can I help you find something? - No, I'm looking for this in 36A in black.
You don't look like a 36A to me.
I am. Excuse me? Lucille? I've been a 36A my whole life. I think I know what size I am.
- Didn't think so. Try these. - There is no way that I'm a 34B.
- Just try them. How's it going in there? - Fine, everything's fine.
From the age of 14, Miranda had a strict ''no visitors'' policy in the dressing room.
Let's see how that's working out.
AIthough her mother never observed it, and neither did Lucille.
I just said that I didn't need any help.
You say you don't want help, but you were picking out the wrong size. See, this one fits you.
I think that I can adjust my bra straps by myself. Would you please get your hands off of my breasts?
I'm not being fresh. I think I know what's best.
You don't! I think that I know what's best for me!
Suddenly Miranda realized she would never have a fight with her mother again.
- I'm sorry, it's not you. My mother just died, and.... - Come here. - No, I'm fine, l... I'm...
And there, behind the curtain when no one was looking, Miranda found a kind of support that actually fit her.
This is perfect. You were right. Thanks.
Wait! Damn, you're always sneaking up on me. Surprise! It's your new computer.
Yeah. It's a lot more fun than your old one. It's got this handle, so it's like a little purse.
That's a very expensive purse. When did you get that?
Today. And I got you one of these Zip drives so you can start backing up your work now.
I don't even know how to use that and I don't need it, I have my own system. Works just fine.
Right. You sure about that?
I am. I'm not ready for a new computer. I'm still waiting to hear back about my old one. My whole life was on that computer.
I get it. It's all you. I'm not a part of any of this. You don't want the laptop. You don't want me to go to the funeral. I feel like a fucking…
I gave you my keys, what more do you want?
Your keys? Great, now I can get into your front door. How do I get into there?
I'm sorry, but I've been taking care of myself for a really long time. You may not like it, but this is how I deal with things.
This is your receipt. So you can do whatever you want with that computer, all right?
Meanwhile, Samantha was troubleshooting her own laptop. She was determined to just relax... unwind... and let the rest of the world fall away.
Good, you're there. I'm picking up bagels for the train ride. Sesame, right? And have you called Miranda yet?
I'm whole wheat and I haven't called her because I don't want to bother her. I'm masturbating.
I told you I'd be doing that all day today.
By nightfall Samantha called off the search party. Somewhere in the city of lost dreams and missing persons, Samantha's orgasm remained at large.
The next morning, my own search party called with news of a breakthrough.
Hi. You remember me? I'm Number P438W, you have my computer.
Yep. Ok. And here's what we could recover from your hard drive. Any of that look familiar to you?
There it was, my past. It was a mess.
Can you please tell me why this happened in the first place?
We don't know. Sometimes these things, they just crash. We can replace your motherboard, but you have to get yourself a backup system. Pick out a Zip drive, start saving. Next time, you won't lose everything. Ouch. You saved your warranty, right?
Hello, furniture company.
It's me, the girl who doesn't back up. This is my attempt to breathe and reboot. Are you smiling at all over there?
Ok, I'm just on my way to Philly and I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. This is hard.
We're gonna run into stuff that's hard. That's why I was trying to help.
- I know that, but if you start helping me and then I get used to having that help... - Yeah?
No good can come of that. I mean, then what happens when, you know, you're not around one day?
Where am I going?
I don't know. You could be out of town or be busy or things fall apart. We could fall apart.
- I know that. - Then what?
Then I guess we'd be a couple of Sad Macs.
Philadelphia. Just a hop, a skip, a cab, a metroliner and another cab away.
- I'm not gonna find my orgasm in this town. - We are at a funeral.
- Be right back. - I'm so sorry.
- I'm so sorry. - You look great. She does. - How are you?
I'm fine. But everybody else is very concerned about me because I'm here alone. I didn't realize I needed a date for my mother's funeral. My sister and her husband want me to thirdwheel with them down the aisle ‘cause God forbid that I should walk it alone, because that would be the real tragedy, right? lgnore the coffin. There's a single 35 year old woman walking behind it.
- Miranda? - Coming, Betsy.
- This is hard. - ''You look great''? That was not one of the things I told you to say.
Excuse me, Betsy? Hi, I'm Charlotte, we spoke on the phone. I just wanted to say again how sorry I am. And to make sure that everything worked out with the flowers.
Yes, thank you. In fact, there they are now.
- I said tasteful! - I think now we know what $500 worth of glitter looks like.
Death is the eternal mystery. It defies our comprehension. There are no explanations, no answers.
No magic words to soothe us.
You're a spiritual leader, can't you make something up?
Those flowers were supposed to say ''We're so sorry, we love you.'' Not ''you're dead, let's disco.''
...so many wonderfuI stories about her from her daughter Betsy and her husband David, her son John and his wife Miranda, her daughter Catherine...
Did he just say...
No spiritual stuff and he can't keep the family tree straight? This guy's a hack.
Sara, Alexandra, Nathan, and little Emily. After the burial, John and his wife Miranda, invite you back to their home. Directions can be found as you exit the sanctuary.
Finally, Samantha found the release she really needed. She cried for everything she couldn't say and for things she didn't even know she felt.
There's the kind of support you ask for and a kind of support you don't ask for. And then there's the kind that just shows up.
After all, computers crash, people die, relationships fall apart. The best we can do is breathe and reboot. And when that fails, a little gizmo called a Zip drive can provide a surprising amount of comfort. So can a boyfriend, if you can learn to let him.