The common metaphor that comes to mind so easily when I think of my relationship to my various laptops is that of milking a cow. Milking it for all its worth.
This sad metaphorical cow, exhausted and nearly dried up, but someone is still down there trying to pull the last traces of moisture from its body. But seriously, when applied to my laptops, so fucking accurate.
I am writing this now on a HP something or other from 2009. The plastic frame around the screen is falling off, several of the keys require concerted effort to elicit a response from, it has a battery life of five minutes, a processor that is bogged down by such tasks as scrolling down a webpage, and it is no longer willing to run programs it does not like. I'd say it's on its last legs. And it precedent holds I'll still be using it when those legs have been crippled and it is on its last handstand.
This grumpy piece of equipment cam into my life during Christmas break, on a visit home from college. My previous computer would no longer hold itself open, so I kept it nestled in a cardboard box which had once held canned peaches, and I dragged it from California back to Washington to make its own case for retirement. Having been convinced, my parents took me to shop for a new laptop, and we settled on this HP, mainly because my Dad had found a post-Christmas deal in the paper for this model. Fine by me, I was raised to be frugal, and I was just happy to have something that worked.
But now, five years later, this thing is falling apart, and the solution? During my most recent Christmas trip home I dug up that old laptop, the one with the cardboard box prosthetic, and brought it to live with me as a backup for this computer. Because maybe there is a little more milk in that old cow.