Falling in love with the program

I miss my old program. Five years of working on that one large system. I came in with it already built. A massive collection of wheels and cogs and DLLs and EXEs that execute this or that code at this moment in time due to this or that happening. I slowly began to learn it. Not for any curiosity or only for the money. But because every once in a while this wonderful monster would falter. There would be a few glitches here or there, and with discipline and concentration I would spend hours dissecting apart pieces and rewiring areas to see how things work. While trying to find the cause of a glitch I began to understand how things work and then figure out a solution.
There were professionals to help of course.. the originators of the machine. But it’s a curious little thing I noticed. Even the creators forget or don’t know everything about what they just made. I think, “as the creators, shouldn’t they know everything about this creature? Shouldn’t they be able to just instantly tell me how to check line number 342 in systemConf.c?” But they don’t. They themselves forgot or they have no idea why it’s breaking. We creators.. we aren’t perfect.. and we created an imperfect creature. And how long will this creature last? We silently in our hearts hope that it will live forever. That it is useful to us, humans, and we will keep it alive.
I remember spending hours at some little problem. I would feel like it was an animal, thrashing about sometimes, not cooperating. Being challenging. And I would try to plead with it, “C’mon, c’mon.. work.. just.. I don’t care if it doesn’t make sense, just start working please.” Even though I know that what we created is more of a rational machine than we are and there’s always a cause to why it’s behaving this way. And that keeps me from giving up. Because no matter what, the ultimate truth of programs is that there is always a reason. Experience has shown me time and time again that just give it a while and the truth will be found.
But the irrational side of me prays to some god that maybe it’s not true, maybe some sort of wire inside this laptop got loose.
And soon I began to own parts of this creature myself. I began to know this or that piece almost inside out. And there’s always a chance that it’s not perfect so I’m always sensitive to it. I make sure that I over-hear some sort of problem that might be related to it. “What was that? The weather radar glitched? Did they see the ‘invalid data’ indication?”
And every once in a while I’ll think, some day I will be gone, and this piece of code may live for another person to fall in love with, to take as their own. And I wonder if they’ll think back on me, the last person to own it, and say “Wow..”
Or will they say “Jeez.. what the hell did he do to you?”


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