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 in the dumpster at the RV park now and yes, I threw away 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.