I threw away my twenty-year-old Gateway computer today.
Probably sounds like no big deal, but she was my first tech love and my best computer ever.
She was also a virgin. I never put her on the Internet and somehow, she survived without all the little patches and urgent updates.
She was working the last time I tested her.
That was about a year ago, and she was fine, so when I sold my house this month, downsizing to a 17-foot trailer, I grabbed her, and I squeezed her into my tiny home.
I knew right away that she was too big, so I was going to double check that I had emptied her files and put her into storage, where she could live out her life in dignity, but when I plugged her in, she was gone. Dead.
A blue DOS screen pushed out white letters, asking to be connected to the Internet to boot up.
I whispered, “Hell, no. No, I don’t think so, not you, my sweet lady, you would never ask me to connect you to the Internet.”
That’s how I knew she was already gone; an imposter had taken over her system.
I’m afraid she suffered a gruesome finale because I got it in my head that I wouldn’t throw her away without taking out her hard drive.
I soon realized that twenty years ago, they didn’t exactly make it easy to get into your computer. I think they never expected us to learn how to replace our own hard drives and mother boards.
It took three screwdrivers, a hammer, a pair of scissors and a lot of stubbornness, but I pried her open and I got the hard drive out.
It was sad, really sad, because I wrote on that computer for many years, and she was my ride or die girl during the five years that I wrote for the IHRA’s Drag Review Magazine.
Aging out is rough but, I guess we all have an expiration date, even computers.
She wasn’t awake when I took her apart and I’m grateful for that and for the fact that she didn’t know how she was going to end.
She’s gone. Yes, I got rid of another thing that I thought I couldn’t live without.
My twenty-year-old year Gateway computer, once the trusted saver, organizer and keeper of my creative efforts, she was a proud lady, strong and reliable. I’ll never forget her.