I lost someone very dear to me last week.
My hard drive.
She took her own life.
She took her own life.
We were on a trip together. I was filming a commercial in Bangalore, the IT capital of India and maybe she thought it was an appropriate place to end it all.
But I still don’t know why. I’ve always treated her right. Given her the latest anti-virus software. Designer screensavers. Taken her around the world with me and always shucked out the extra bucks for costly wireless access in hotels and overpriced adaptor plugs from gift shops. And I was monogamous to a fault. I never had another hard-drive on the side. And I trusted her so implicitly I never even backed up. I pampered her with regular defragmentation treatments. And I was always attentive to her needs. I tried my best to make sure she was never left turned on -- although often, after I was done, I’d want nothing more than to just roll over and go to sleep. But I’d lovingly wait till all her processes were finished before gently shutting her down for the night.
And then she goes and does this? We were together barely over a year. Did she feel I was neglecting her lately? Was she jealous of my iPod? Did she overhear me say I was thinking of getting a BlackBerry? Maybe she felt ignored because I went off for a long night of filming leaving her turned on, unplugged and with iTunes running…? Maybe she perceived this as the start of a trend. But it was just a one-time oversight. I was busy. Tired. Working, so I could buy her more new software, a better firewall, more RAM to ease the pressure on her DIMMS. Didn’t she know that?
I called the hotel tech department at 4 a.m. in a panic. They sent an emergency team to try and resuscitate her. They tried everything. But they couldn’t save her. And what made it even more heart-wrenching was that with her, went what was inside her.
She was carrying my life. And she took it with her. Those solemn words from the IT paramedics will haunt me for years to come. “We’re so sorry, sir. We couldn’t save your data, either”.
I can understand her wanting to take her own life but why did she take my data from me? My innocent, unsuspecting data. “These things happen, sir”, was all the techies could say.
On the plane back, I remembered how carefree and happy our flight over had been as I played FreeCell with her. How she loved flying first class. She loved the high quality in-seat laptop power adaptors that ensured her battery wouldn’t run out and leave her jetlagged. And I could swear she was developing a taste for the champagne that would fizz from my glass onto her screen. She didn’t even mind the stewardess plucking her off the empty seat next to me during take off and landing because she loved the spacious overhead bins.
And now she was just a corpse in her Samsonite coffin. And I, a man with an empty heart and an emptier C: drive. The stewardess, perhaps sensing my grief, silently allowed her a final landing on the seat next to me.
There will be other hard drives, of course. And I will produce more data. But I will always wonder about the one that chose to end it all.