I got my MacBook Pro computer in the spring of 2010 and it has served me well for five
years. It has been with me through various drafts and productions of my play, Syphilis: A Love Story, and through my 30-month tenure with What’s Up Yukon.
But in the last half-year or so, various behavioral ticks have asserted themselves more aggressively. Recently, for example, it went through a spell where it would simply shut off every time I tried to move it. And though this was only a temporary condition, it raised serious concerns about the future of my relationship with the old girl.
So it was with a dollop of sentimental sadness that I became the owner of a new machine in March of 2015: a slick little unit called the MacBook Air. When one gets a new laptop like I just have, one must confront one’s aesthetic preferences re: the top of the computer, the part that opens and closes on a hinge.
There are two schools of thought. The first maintains that the top of the computer should remain as unsullied as it was on the day of its delivery. The second argues that it is a canvas in which the computer owner can place stickers that represent him in one way or another. I firmly subscribe to the second school.
There are six stickers on the back of my old laptop. They are: a large decal from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics, a nearly worn off circular logo from the Kwanlin Koyotes Ski Club (2011), a Crossover Physiotherapy patch (2012), a small three-leafed clover from St. Patrick’s Day (2013), a “beer matters” declaration from the beer festival in Haines (2014, I think), and most recently, a Hogs and Heifers stamp from a bikini bar I stumbled upon in Manhattan. By putting stickers on my laptop I create a biographical document.
During the past five years I have experienced many things and changed as a result of those experiences. One look at the top of my computer provides me a visual representation of this progression. This supplies me with both perspective and purpose.
My new computer has only one sticker on it. It’s from Vans Shoes and it says “Off the Wall.” My former roommate, nurse-extraordinaire Kim MacDougall, gave it to me and I have placed it in the top left-hand corner of my MacBook Air. The rest of my computer top is a vast silvery expanse that spreads out from this initial sticker; but it’s more than that.
It’s unwritten history; it’s potential. It makes me optimistic. And you’ve got to take optimism where you can get it; because it is one app you can’t buy.