The Apple Of My I

I recall the last time I had the discipline to shun digital distractions and online access. It felt like paradise, the Garden of Eden, when the apple was still whole. I didn’t feel like I was missing a bit/byte.

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Due to technical difficulties with my phone, I’m at the Apple store. Again. I’m also here because I’m tech-challenged; to me, copy and paste involves scissors and glue. Think you’ve seen disgruntled people at the DMV? Wait until you’ve spent a few hours in the Apple Store. The Geniuses at the Genius Bar are not only brilliant; they are also made of steel. And iron. And Teflon.

I’m kind of envious of the Geniuses. I want to be just like them when I grow up. They are immune to the complaining, wailing, exasperated moans, the frustration and the yelling.

After spending several hours with my own personal Genius, it would only be right to make some friendly small talk. After all, he’s saving my life (i.e., all the stuff on my phone). I smile and say thank you as often as I can. That’s because I aim to be nice, and I don’t want the Genius to download my life onto his hard drive. I’m not sure if showing my gratitude will make a difference, but a girl can try, right? Have you seen how quick they are with those SIM cards? Swipe, swipe, swipe. My old phone. My new phone. His laptop. His iPad. All in under a second. Did I mention that they are also illusionists?

“It must be me,” I say several times when my brand-new phone acts just like my old, broken one.

We are approaching the third hour.

“Do you get at least one yeller a day?” I ask pleasantly as thousands of my photos are uploading to some elusive cloud, only to be blown away by some equally mysterious wind—causing us to have to begin the lengthy process all over again. I ask this because several people in the store look as if they are about to lose it. They just want to go back to the good old days, when everything was simpler. When, if you needed an apple, you just headed to the refrigerator. No hour-long drive plus four-hour wait. Like it’s the Geniuses’ fault that someone else bit the Apple.

“Oh, we get several yellers a day,” my very helpful Genius says. “Then it spreads like wildfire, and before you know it everyone is in a really bad mood.”

I marvel at the Geniuses’ patience. They don’t flinch.

“We take a three-week class,” he explains to me. I assume that the training also includes how to deal with those who look like they are about to fall far from the tree.

A disenchanted gentleman is sitting next to me who seems to have had it up to here with his misbehaving laptop. He threatens to start buying other types of fruit. You know, the micro, soft kind. It’s the Geniuses’ job to convince him to stick with the crunchy, red and delicious type.

There’s ’80s music playing in the background to soothe all the older folks (like me) so we can feel as if we are absolutely thrilled to mega-bits about all this complicated digital stuff. Just like the good old times. Yeah, right. Everything about this place reeks of skillful orchestration, including the digital nostalgia. I would say that I’m not buying it—except that I already did.

I sigh. It’s such a beautiful store; it would be a shame not to visit every so often. Or in my case, at least bi-monthly.

The hours of waiting trigger some shimmering insights about…apples. With my phone and computer MIA, it’s lovely to have time to think. I recall the last time I had the discipline to shun digital distractions and online access. That was when my family and I were in another country for two weeks. It felt like paradise, the Garden of Eden, when the apple was still whole. I didn’t feel like I was missing a bit/byte.

My eyes wander to the sleek logo, with its not-so-innocent-looking bite taken out of it. There’s a big juicy story there, and it’s still unfolding.

It’s that small bite that is causing all this frustration at Apple. Not the fruit. They are upset at the one who bit into the apple in the first place. That’s what started all this human madness, wreaking havoc with its digital inventions. Basically, everything that’s happening right now in your life is because of that illicit (and seemingly delicious) first bite, and we are still suffering the repercussions. Your digital devices look and sounds tempting, but I assure you they will only steal your peace.

Can’t we just go back to eating real apples and call it a day? Instead of chasing people and things, we could go apple picking. You could choose from all shapes, sizes and colors. If you like old souls, there’s the Granny Smith. Prefer blondes? Have a Golden Delicious. For the more feisty, the Red Delicious. Are you the social butterfly type? Try the Gala. Into music? How about some Jazz? Love to travel? Don’t leave home without the Fuji. If you prefer witty-but-sweet, there’s the Honey Crisp. If you are especially bored and need a crowd, there are always the Lady Apple and the McIntosh (you should pardon the expression), which Shakespeare would have definitely dubbed Lady McIntosh.

You know what they say:

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

But the Apple that’s never away, keeps the joy at bay.

Disconnect? Delicious.

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