It’d be impossible to not mention the passing of Steve Jobs at this moment. I feel as if 600 million people are currently buzzing about his death, and of course, perhaps due to me being part of the generation I belong to, I feel like my Jobs story is unique.
My family was Mac from day one. We had an Apple that I played Manhole on (in black and white), and that my brother Dark Castle’d his days away on (along with plenty of other role-playing games before we discovered interactive role playing due to the likes of D&D). That same Mac was where Dr. Dad showed me Prodigy, where I unwillingly learned to type on Typing Tutor, and where I discovered floppy disks were not in fact floppy.
That personal computer led us to an upgraded model in color, on which I first used Instant Messaging, where I explored the internet and got an incredibly ridiculous email address (labyrinth@moonshinehollow if you must know) and spent much of my senior year combating anxiety. And that took me to bringing an Apple 2E to UCSB with me when it came time for college, and the professional webgeeks of ResNet laughing at me for attempting to load the internet onto such a historic device. Once again, Dr. Dad came to the rescue with an iMac (blueberry) because he believed in Mac. And me? I believed in cute colors.
As college wound down I found myself upgrading to a PowerBook, never once considering a competitor, and when it came time to upgrade I went along with a deal that allowed me to get an iPod while donating money to breast cancer along with the computer. And of course, when I finally invested in a smartphone, the idea of an Android was unreal – of course I was getting an iPhone, even if it meant an extra few dollars (and in my case, hours) to get the darn thing.
This is all to say I was bred to be an Apple user. It has rarely occurred to me to seek technology elsewhere, and those thoughts have been fleeting at best. So when I heard Steve Jobs had passed away – and please note I heard this at the start-up before any news sources could verify it; literally, we were all sitting around refreshing SF Gate/CNN/Apple/CBS/MSN/Yahoo! for confirmation while Skyping the heck out of one another and perhaps some of us were crying – I felt as if a closer than distant uncle had moved beyond. I had a personal relationship with Mr. Jobs because I’ve had a 20+ year relationship with the products he spearheaded, and his departing took me by surprise.
So tonight, after a lingeringly long dinner with Mala, I came home and put on one of my favorite a capella groups, On the Rocks, to fold laundry to. Strangely enough, as this song came on, I found myself ceasing with the controlled movements that come with hanging corduroy and instead was dancing for the love of moving my body. And yes, geekily I thought of Steve Jobs the whole time. I used his equipment to apply to the University of Oregon, to attend the University and graduate, and eventually to go on to graduate school and complete a thesis in fiction. More songs came on, and yes, I kept dancing.
Because sometimes, you can’t help but dance when someone has died – it’s all you have to affirm life.