It's been 7 hours and 30 days...since they took my job away.
David Byrne of The Talking Heads said that "Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens." Most days I agree with him. It's not that I'm a pessimist. It's more that I prefer to live in the present here on earth rather than focusing on what may or may not exist for me after my time on earth. But my experience at the Apple Store today has got me believing that sometimes things do happen in Heaven. Big things. Things between me and U2.
It was officially confirmed this afternoon by a "Genius" at the Apple Store: My U2 Ipod has passed away. (In lieu of flowers, please send checks made out to cash.) I knew deep down my U2 Ipod had departed two weeks ago when the sad little man with the cross eyes and frighteningly disproportionate frown appeared on my Ipod. In order for you to grasp the gravity of this most grievous situation, I must tell you the origin story of my U2 Ipod. All great super heroes have an origin story. My U2 Ipod is no different...
The year was 2004 and I received the brand new U2 Ipod for Christmas from The Artist Formerly Known As My Husband. That very night Bono visited me in a dream. He told me that my U2 Ipod was actually a magical radar that would always point me in his direction. Over the next year I met Bono in the flesh twice, so clearly my subconscious dreamscape wasn't deceiving me. I possessed the one and only Bono Radar in the universe. Through the years the Bono Radar has served me well, with music-playing as the front operation and Irish-rockstar-tracking-abilities in the back room.
But like the 80s, all good things must come to an end. And being the graceful klutz that I am, I dropped my Ipod onto the subway tracks last month. Awesome. However, miracles never cease when it comes to me and U2, and after a day of tears, a battle with the MTA, and one lesbian date with an MTA worker named Barb, I got my Ipod back. And it worked! Well...for a couple of weeks it worked. Then came the sad little Mac man with the scary crossed out eyes. I spent the past 13 days music-less and radar-less, both of which have been slowly stripping me from the core of my essence. I avoided going to the Apple store as long as I did for two reasons -- denial and fear. I kept thinking that one morning the sad scary little Mac man wouldn't be there. I also knew deep down inside that he'd always be there, haunting my playlists and heart, and I was afraid to hear it directly from an Apple Genius. Cause they're always right. I think they all sprung from the head of Steve Wozniak. I read that on Wikipedia.
The purchase of a new Ipod would be a large purchase for me even when I was employed. So springing for one while jobless seemed desperate and stupid. I mean, it's not a really smart thing to do, to buy a new Ipod when you think you might be couch surfing and eating squirrels for dinner next month. But I'm desperate and stupid, so in the end I opted for the hot pink Nano. When I got to the register, an Apple Genius demi-god made me an offer: If I handed over my old Ipod to be recycled, I would get 10% off the purchase of my new Ipod. The battle that ensued between my brain and heart is comparable to the Battle for Middle-earth. (But the Bono-Radar is my precious, I can't live without it! No, the Bono-Radar betrayed you and totally crapped out! But the Bono Radar loves me! It doesn't love you! But it lead me to Bono! There is no Bono, only Zuul!)
In the end my brain won. With tears in my eyes, I held my precious Bono Radar out to the Genius. Wait! I sobbed, let me get one last shot of it. I took my camera out, positioned the Bono Radar delicately before me, and took one final photo of it. My Genius pointed out that there was a line behind me, so I turned my head away and handed her my credit card. And that's the last I'll ever see of the Bono Radar.
I slumped to the subway, weeping the entire way. I was so sad that I gave up something that was so special to me just to save 20 bucks. I considered running back for it. Then I thought of all of the other material sacrifices I may have to make in the near future. I'd have to get used to simplifying my life if I ever planned on achieving my dreams. I didn't run back.
I arrived home an hour later to a series of mini miracles. Two phone calls and three emails regarding job leads. My eyes welled up again. Somewhere up there in Heaven, I thought, an angel just got a U2 Ipod. An angel got a U2 Ipod and is one step closer to musical salvation and Bono. My guardian angel.