03.20.09

Her Final Days

Posted in Monthly at 11:10 am by Pasha

By Pasha Carroll

For so long she was all I knew; my constant in a life that was full of unknowns. As long as I had her I could go anywhere, be anything. Yesterday, as she followed her final command, loaded her final page and clicked her final key, I knew it was the end for Miss Fuji, my Fujitsu laptop.

I bought Miss Fuji on my graduation day from college. Immensely proud to be graduating with journalism experience, I not only deserved a computer to tote around and call my own, I actually needed it for practical purposes. I researched for weeks and even pulled the trigger on buying a iBook from Mac. The Mac was totally incompatible and definitely not my style (so sensitive the face scratched when someone breathed on it.) After paying a $300 refurbishing fee, I returned the Mac and continued on my quest for a suitable laptop. I spotted a woman using a small, sleek, silver machine. It looked durable, cute and she didn’t seem to hum and haw over its speed or ability to grab a wireless connection. The only branding word on the machine was “Lifebook.” She told me that it was a Fujitsu and only available online. I was one step closer to a laptop that would stay by my side through the years.

Within two days I had researched, bought and paid for my new Fujitsu Lifebook. When Miss Fuji arrived she was easily programmable, the customer service that helped the clueless me set it up was phenomenal. And from that day forth I have been a devout Fujitsu supporter.

She was the wireless grabber that lead me to apply to newspapers around the globe. Miss Fuji came on my trip to Destin when I was offered and accepted my first job as a reporter. She moved with me to Atlanta a year later and became a coffee table staple. Once again, it was on her Word documents that I produced resumes and sent clips to newspapers. I worked on her instead of the dinosaurs provided at the Neighbor Newspapers office. I owed my sanity to her as she never lost even one of my documents, never shutdown on me and certainly never crashed.

Miss Fuji held all of my secrets, as my adult journal and recorder of how I feel. Letters written to lovers, poems only meant for me, confessions that only I knew where to find, they were all contained in her memory files. I cried on her keys and shut her defiantly to keep my secrets from reaching the wrong eyes. She was my diary for all these years.

Miss Fuji was in her first real accident when we moved to London. While sitting at my desk (by desk I mean the twin bed in our tiny room, which was used for everything) one of the shelves above me broke free from the crumbling drywall and swiftly fell onto my head, but more crucially, onto Miss Fuji. The impact bent the entire screen back as the wood impacted the keyboard. After I crawled out from under the clothes that fell on us and even before I examined the goose egg on my head, I checked Miss Fuji. She was as fast and reliable as ever; not a scratch, not a single memory lost.

I thought the humidity of Costa Rica might be the maximum that she could take. I had read that the weather was harsh on computer systems and many don’t survive. One morning, as I opened her to follow the yoga I had saved to her desktop, I received an error message of a “stuck key.” I called the still stellar customer service immediately and they told me it might be the end, that working on it now would cost hundreds, not including astronomical shipping fees from the Central American country. I put her away for several days. When I finally tried to turn her on again Miss Fuji immediately booted back to life, her key now unstuck.

When we moved back to the states, and every jaunt in between, she was with me. Miss Fuji is the conduit in which I created this blog, where I have stroked so many keys, written so many words.

For the past four months she has been sick with a broken battery and a failing motherboard. I had kept her in the seclusion of my office, harboring her from the elements outside. I bought a replacement computer (a Dell mini as to conserve costs) and backed up everything from Miss Fuji weekly. I knew her days were limited.

It was by my hand that her keyboard was damaged for the final time. I spilled my coffee on the desk and in that moment it was over. She booted back up after I cleaned her off but I received the message of death, “stuck key.” I knew this time she would not come back.

This morning I took Deli out at the desk in my office for the first time since purchase. She was slow and did not contain all the memories that are now stowed on a hard drive on my book shelf. She is even smaller, even sleeker and prettier than Miss Fuji. Deli works well (and will be even faster when I add memory) but I knew I could never feel about her the way I felt about Miss Fuji.

Her lifeless shell is still sitting here now as I mourn the memories, the life, and the time we shared together.