Me & My Mac

Bangkok

Having been a gay bachelor for so many decades (and is that the proper phrase?), I had long since abandoned any notion of falling in love. Sure, there had been a few opportunities along the way, starting with my junior high girlfriend. Slow dancing to The Carpenter’s Close To You, it seemed we’d always be together and in fact we were, right up to the first week of high school at which point the upperclassmen (meaning guys with cars) muscled their way in. It was an early, painful lesson about my lack of sex appeal, a trait endemic to the people in the IT profession whose ranks I would one day join.

With women out of the picture, it became necessary to find new venues of entertainment. During the solitude of the early years of my career, it was the TV and local movie theaters. Then, with the advent of personal computers, my focus shifted when I got my shiny, new Gateway 2000. Many an hour was spent parked in front of it, playing games or surfing the ‘net. These activities became such a source of comfort that upon re-locating to Thailand two years ago, I made sure I brought a laptop along. It was a wise choice; were it not for my Compaq PC (and the two dozen or so bar and go-go girls I’ve gotten to know), I’m unsure if I could have survived life in tropical Asia.

It was therefore a sad day two months ago when my Compaq, after a long period of steady decline, passed on. I had done all I could to nurse it back to health, but with no luck. Towards the end it had become so enfeebled, it could no longer write to any of my antique diskettes and when I shut it down for the final time, there were tears in my eyes.

Losing a PC is something we all go through at some stage of our lives and like most, I despaired of ever finding a new one that I could feel the same affection for. But then a friend recommended a special Apple-spon-sored support group for people suffering from technical bereavement. It was there I found it was indeed possible to start anew with another PC. In fact, Apple just happened to have a few machines I might be interested in. Talk about coincidences.

Apple’s Online Store operates in a similar fashion to a dating website such as Match. Both feature intriguing offerings with the difference being that with Apple, you know exactly how much you are going to be shel-ling out up front. Having no interest in a one-night boot-up, I spent hours looking for a stable laptop that would understand me and not treat my outdated technical skills with disdain (like a particular Redmond, Wash-ington-based operating system we all know).

I will never forget the afternoon of November 14 of this year. As I was lounging by the apartment pool with my Thai girlfriend, working through my grief, a red-and-gold jacketed DHL man delivered the MacBook Air I had ordered the prior week. Tossing aside both my towel and lady friend, I eagerly took the package and rushed up to my room. Carefully, I opened the maze of boxes the shipment came in until finally, I beheld my new companion! It was so slender and lightweight, I at first mistook it for a user’s manual.

Since that magical day, it is like a void in my life has been filled. My Mac is gentle and understanding with a pleasant learning curve. When I make mistakes, I don’t feel like I’m being scolded. And if I have esoteric questions, there’s an online support community. I have to confess, it is hard to put the thing down once I turn it on and begin playing around.

But maybe the allure is too great. It’s admittedly been a few days since I’ve showered or shaved and my girlfriend, whats-her-name, hasn’t been by in maybe a week. But that is alright. Her concern over my disheveled appearance and the Mt. Dew and Snicker’s Bars meals are entirely mis-placed. Clearly the woman has never been in love.

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