I'm in the kitchen on the phone with Norton's Symantec, trying to get some help with my Internet Security program. About five months ago, my subscription ran out and Norton began telling me I had to activate the product again, even though I still had a good seven months left on my subscription. When I try to activate the product, I keep getting an error message from Windows that says "symlcsvc.exe stopped working and was closed." I have been on hold for twenty minutes and still have not spoken to a single human being. The computer-voice operator told me that I could pay to get priority over all the other calls...but damned if I'm going to pay Norton to fix a problem that is their fault. When my subscription is up, I will NOT be renewing. I refuse to ever buy a product again if I can't reach a human in customer service within ten minutes.
I'm pretty cranky. I miss Echo and it's really empty here without her. It feels like there's this little hole somewhere where stuff is leaking out of and I don't know how to plug it, or if I even should try. I expect to see her on my bed when I walk past my bedroom and in the nook in the hallway when I walk to the bathroom. Petting Emily reminds me of petting Echo and I keep having these terrible thoughts, like Emily is so great, but she's not Echo. The two of them balanced each other out completely; opposites. Emily is timid, skittish, quirky. Echo was confident, snuggly, predictable.
I just spent an hour on the phone with a woman named Oliver from the Philippines. I was planning on giving her a piece of my mind because Norton has pissed me off royally. But it isn't Oliver's fault, so I was polite instead. She fixed the problem. My computer is working fine now.
Every time I hear the word "sleepyhead" I imagine my tiny little Echo, asleep in her bed. I imagine a sick, unhappy cat. I imagine telling her, "sleepyhead, wake up," as she lies, limp and not breathing on the exam table at the animal hospital. My favorite folk artist has a song with those words and I am afraid to listen to the CD because I know that hearing "sleepyhead, wake up" set to sweet music will tip me over and spill out all that hurt.
I know this will get easier with time. I know that when school starts, I'll have less time to think about Echo, though I will miss her homework-interrupting presence.
At least I'll have a laptop that's entirely protected from viruses.