Cycle count

Hearing aids: left, right. Disposable batteries lasting two days each.

A tiny Bluetooth remote + condenser mic paired to three devices, as well as both hearing aids. Rechargeable battery somehow lasts for 10-14 hours (depending on how desperately I claw at those radios).

An iPhone whose battery is always drained 18 hours later. iPhones are for people with short days and simple lives.

An iPad. Sucker can hold a charge. I use it for reading and writing. It is a screen for words, and words are what we have. Also, the iPad’s little keyboard, which has disposable batteries that change with the seasons.

A Macbook Pro. Several golden hours. Many more if I’m just looking at the computer rather than doing anything with it.

A Nintendo 3DS. Rechargeable battery, good for four hours or so. More than I ever play, these days. More than enough for a trip through the cataclysmic end of a pocket universe. Last days, last rites. This world collapses and is not rebuilt, again and again.

A small faceless watch (also pedometer and sleep tracker). Disposable battery lasting about two months.

Living with these devices means that I take a short midnight stroll around the house before bed, setting small, expensive objects in place and plugging them into various chargers. It means I have a nest of whatever-to-USB cables that I drag with me when on the road.

Because of these objects I can speak with the people around me and the people far away from me. I can make things, and try to understand and explain them. I can listen to music. That’s good enough for me, and I am grateful for them.

Because of these objects I am reminded that we are all set against the clock; that we can be renewed, albeit temporarily; and that we can only do what we do a certain number of times before the possibility for renewal is itself depleted.

And I suppose am grateful for that, too.