Dear Macbook: A Eulogy


My 2008 MacBook Pro is circling the drain. Too soon, old friend.

Just last week, as I was working (or entertaining the delusion of productivity as it allowed me to), the thought crossed my mind that it and I could go on like this forever. A foolish thought in these days of disposable technology and yearly upgrades. A friend had just texted me that she'd replaced hers just that week (and bought a spare for good measure). Not me, I thought; I'm good, thanks. I typed away and wiped off the dust gathering on the screen for good measure.

I'd named it Rocket Man because, in my old more solitary life, I'd imagined it was all I'd need if I ever felt like taking off—a writer's fantasy that seems silly now that I have a family. But it felt true back then.



It wasn't alive, but we'd done life together. A 15-inch behemoth compared to the light as air newer models, I packed it in every suitcase I had on every trip to everywhere. At the beach, on a deadline. In a borrowed house to check a redesigned cover (using our most expensive photo—for an issue that didn't sell too well). In a borrowed office in the Oxford winter to put an issue to bed through the Cloud (from three continents!). In a hospital bed after a miscarriage, before the surgery that wouldn't stop me from working, even as I grieved. On so many airplanes after the "ding"; in too many caf├ęs to name or remember.

The start-up wheel is still spinning. I've an article due. Though a freelancer now, I've been an editor for too long to think that the death of a laptop matters to a magazine team on a deadline. I was an editor for so long, but I've just started freelancing again after resigning to be a stay-at-home mom, so I know there won't be a Rocket Man 2. And maybe that's what hurts just a little. But what hurts a lot is realizing that I've left my laptop at home for all the trips we've had since having my daughter because work and a child on an airplane or a train or even at home at my desk just don't mix. And I'm wondering if the universe is, again, asking me to choose.