Dreams are important.
Sometimes they help us develop skills we never thought possible.
Other times they’re just dumb.
When goofing around at home recently I managed to drop my iPad on a tile floor. While the glass on the front of the computer did not crack, I heard a little tinkling sound from the inside.
As my bad luck would have it, the iPad stopped working. My work life is hooked to the little computer and I take it with me everywhere I go.
We had become dependent on each other.
The computer had all of my records, files and internet connections on it. I couldn’t work without it.
From the computer’s standpoint, I had the battery charger which kept the iPad alive. It couldn’t work without me.
We call that joint dependency.
Because we had been together for so long, I somehow dreamed that I had the skill to repair the broken computer. I was sure it was just a little something that popped out place and that I would be able to stick it back in.
That is the sum and total of my computer repair knowledge.
But I dreamed the repairs would be simple.
So like your typical “I can do anything American male” working on a lawnmower that would not start, I decided to crack open the computer and fix it.
I dreamed it was just something that popped out of place.
So I opened up the little iPad (without the knowledge that any existing warranty was now totally invalid) and got to work.
I soon discovered that inside an iPad are lots of little complicated pieces that are about as thick as a sliver of paper. Some of those little slivers had become dislodged and were obviously the reason the computer was no longer working.
So I pulled the little aimless slivers out and put them on my desk. I was pretty sure I was going to be able to find the right place to put the slivers back — if I could only pick them up. I have this dexterity issue where my fingers sometimes feel like little hot dogs.
I occasionally have trouble picking up a quarter off the counter.
Those tiny computer slivers were about 1/100th the width of a quarter, so the task grew in difficulty.
But in my dreams, I could fix anything.
The two dogs laying at my feet knew something bad was going to happen so they quietly exited the office.
In a related matter, I have this allergy problem that Dr. Grillo explained to me has something to do with Cedar trees. I live in Crystal River — once the home of the largest pencil factory in Florida. That pencil factory was dependent on Cedar trees.
Hence, I live in a neighborhood that was once one of the largest Cedar tree forests in the Sunshine State.
Which is the long reason to explain why I sneeze a lot.
When I sneeze my whole body convulses and I make a very loud noise. Dogs bark when I sneeze.
And with my sneezes comes a very large exhale of air.
As the dogs somehow knew, at the very moment I was just beginning to explore my dream of becoming a computer repair technician, I sneezed.
And then I sneezed again.
And when I looked back at the desk top and my dismantled iPad, all the little pieces were gone. They were blown away in a Cedar tree-induced fit.
Which explains why a few minutes later my wife walked into my office and asked me why I was crawling around under the desk.
“I’m repairing the computer,” I told her. “It’s a new skill I’m working on.”
She has known me long enough that she didn’t ask any further questions. She just walked out of the office.
Apple reports that my new iPad will be here any day.
Gerry Mulligan is the publisher of the Chronicle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.