I said I wouldn’t blog this week, but this story is just too marvelous to pass up.

Just as I was celebrating the arrival of my very comfortable home-office chair, my six-year-old iBook crashed—in the middle of a random weather-check. It felt like I was being taunted to choose between one or the other: working laptop + deep vein trombosis paranoia; or shiny paperweight + posture-perfect seat?

I immediately made an early appointment (at 7:20 am—they’re open 24 hours!) to visit the Genius Bar at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue—that lovely glass cube near Central Park. It was dark and rainy when I’d alighted from the train and I’d been too preoccupied (and computer-less) to have been prompted to carry an umbrella. I hopped over puddles and rushed to the store’s gleaming crystal steps, and a fellow named Wil greeted me at the ‘bar’.

“Your computer is vintage,” he announced, upon examining the porcelain white exterior of my iBook—my ally in writing, travelling, and daydreaming since 2002.

“Should I buy a new power cord? I mean the battery is dead, and so is the cord—it loses power every now and then.” I inquired.

“You shouldn’t spend money on something this old,” he said flatly.

The next hour was spent laboriously backing up precious files, photos, and remnants of my packrat life. Wil was surprisingly patient and steady, as he entertained two other Mac-users-in-(tech)crisis.

And just as we were ready to wipe the hard drive clean and start afresh, a lady in her late fifties slid into the seat next to me and whipped out her spanking new MacBook Air. *GASP* I stared and gawked in disbelief.

“Um. You have the computer I like.” I muttered feebly.

“And I have the computer I like. And it’s not working,” she snapped.

Apparently there was something wrong with the way Windows was installed. I looked on, still gaping and flabbergasted, as Wil sprinkled his Mac Genius dust. Here I was, a twenty-eight-year-old Manhattan transplant, clutching my ‘vintage’ box and holding onto it for dear life, hoping these mumble jumble of words turn out to be literary jewels that will later on pay the rent; while this beyond-wise—and very tech-savvy—senior lady was pondering superdrives and dvd installers. Alas, life is full of ironies and surprises. But on the contrary, I felt a glimmer of hope, upon finding out that the woman in observation was also a writer—meaning, if I kept at this, I would have the financial means to purchase a brand-new gadget myself later on. I just wonder: How much later on? Hopefully NOT when I’m fifty!

This entry could have been easily called “R.I.P. iBook G3” but instead, it is now named after a morose—but soothing—Chicane song that has stood the test of time. Thanks to the fantastic folks at Apple, my laptop has been given a new lease in life. Wil, the very knowledgeable Apple ‘bartender,’ reinstalled Panther—another ‘old’ program no longer available in stores—and bid me off to a fresh start, grey skies be damned.

And I promise you, if and when my iBook turns seven,

images courtesy of Apple