I’d like to introduce Anemone. She has been my companion for the past six years – mostly inseparable, except for those times when I feared for her safety and left her at home. She’s my confidant, the valued keeper of thoughts and ideas. She has a fabulous memory, reminding me of names and numbers long after I’ve forgotten. Anemone dutifully listens to my vast collection of Brazilian music without uttering a complaint. She has acted as a go-between in long-distance relationships. She has mediated break-ups and romances, witnessed my course of education, watched me dance and cry in several countries.
Anemone is an inanimate object. She is my laptop. Or, perhaps I should say, she was my laptop. Technically, though, she still is. She’s sitting right beside me. But poor, dear Anemone is getting old. Her beautiful, gleaming white exterior has slowly dulled to a scratched and battered off-white. She’s still fast, thanks to some surgery I insisted upon last year, and a fresh battery thrown in to boot, but my beloved MacBook is starting to fail. I guess that’s what happens when you hit old age; I wonder, is six considered old in computer years?
Anemone turns off spontaneously. Her keyboard sometimes won’t work. Her screen flickers fit to give me a seizure. Her mysterious interior workings get so loud and hot that the noise is overpowering. Her fan works overtime. Maybe I’m a terrible friend for not continuing to revive her, but I’m afraid her time has come. After much deliberation and discussion with the resident computer expert – aka Husband – a youthful upstart has now officially entered the house to replace Anemone.
I don’t quite know how to respond to this one. Tiny, sleek, lightweight, with a chic brushed metallic finish and racy black keys, my new coworker, though distantly related to Anemone, is a force to be reckoned with. I almost feel like I need to touch up my makeup and put on a change of clothes before approaching her. What will this one, with her seeming worldliness and sheer glamour, think of my writings?
Does she wish she’d been placed in a fancy penthouse downtown Toronto, belonging to some brand-name-slathered lady who could carry her around in a Prada purse and show her the world? Or is she actually quite content to have joined real family life, constantly endangered by sticky baby hands and cups of coffee? (No, don’t worry. I’ll fight tooth and nail to keep those threats at bay!)
I suppose her opinions don’t matter. Oh, right; they don’t even exist. As she grows into her new name, which is Nymeria (thanks to my recent obsession with Game of Thrones), she’ll take on more of a personality, and gradually find her place in this crazy, wonderful family. Together, she and I will tackle the writing world and, hopefully, take it by storm.
As for Anemone, she’ll be moving to a retirement home in Muskoka, to be cared for and used gently by my rather computer-illiterate mother. Her days (Anemone’s, not my mother’s) are numbered, but not over yet. She served me well as a laptop and no fabulously splashy new device can replicate the glorious sense of independence that came with gaining that first-ever computer of my own. For that I am eternally grateful.