This is not a dream recounted. The Apple Store is real.
After many years of stubbornly hanging onto my identity as a PC-person, I finally relent and buy a damned MacBook Air. PC people have a tendency to take an absurd defensive stance whenever the Apple folks roll out a new product. We say: Fuck you, Apple. I don’t want an iThing. We puff our chests out, proudly. Then, eventually we buy the iThing, even though a part of us dies with each iPurchase. Because, let’s face it: Apple is good at making stuff.
My plan is to order the MacBook online and then pick it up at the local Apple Store. The transaction would be thus: Walk into store, locate desk marked “Pickup”, provide ID, get box, take box home. I call it Plan Q. I do not want to converse with the Apple people. Conversation with happy Apple-ites seem like further betrayal to my former tribe. Let’s just get this over with.
I read somewhere recently that when a person walks into a room and then forgets why the hell he walked into that room, it’s because his brain hits a sort of Reset button whenever he passes through a doorway into a different space. That quirk of psychology seems to work in the Apple Store’s favor. And so I walk down the Boylston Street sidewalk toward the Apple Store with Plan Q firmly in mind. But when I find myself on the other side of the massive glass doors, I think “Oooh, shiny!” Plan Q be damned: I will now touch all of the Apple things.
After 20 minutes or so of playing with the latest iPhone (So cool!) and an iPad Mini (So mini!), I approach a smiling blue-shirted Apple employee and ask her where I could pick up my MacBook Air. She smiles and directs me to the pickup desk: “Upstairs, second floor, second desk on your left!” As I make my way up the intimidating spiral glass staircase, I hear her say, presumably into a mic: “Pickup desk, somethingsomethingsomething.”
I am greeted at the top of the spiral by a young, handsome, college-age fellow in a blue Apple shirt. “Hi! Are you here for pickup? Great! I’m Justin.” I introduce myself. Justin then joyfully escorts me to the pickup desk and introduces me to Meghan, another young and attractive Apple employee. She’s overjoyed that I’ve made a purchase. “You’re getting a MacBook Air? Yay! Are you SO excited?!”
“Yeah, I’m pretty excited.”
Meghan is so excited. As we wait for someone to arrive with my box she shows me some “amazing” new speakers that look like seventies-style bongs to me, but I don’t tell her so. “Oh, cool,” I say. I have no idea how these speakers work or what they would attach to, but I don’t have time to ask because here comes another blue-shirted dude with my box. Meghan is beside herself with happiness. She recommends that I have someone help me set my MacBook Air.
“Is that something I couldn’t figure out by myself?”
“Yeah, probably, but you’ll get some super-helpful tips on keystrokes and shortcuts!”
I agree that this would be super helpful. (When did I start talking like this?) Meghan calls Justin back, and asks him to escort me and my white box to another table to get set up. Justin is no less stoked than when I last saw him. As we walk to the next table on the third floor (again up the glass spiral), he extols the virtues of the MacBook Air. “Most people don’t even know about a bunch of great programs that come fully installed on all Mac laptops.” He starts to tell me about a video editing program that I know I will never use.
Something strange is happening.
I become aware that I am grinning stupidly and nodding. I also have the odd sensation of just floating through space to the next table, without having to use my legs to propel me. I am as light as my MacBook Air. I am beautiful and I am light. Maybe it’s all of the glass. Maybe those speakers were bongs.
Somehow we make our way to the next table. I meet Jason, who is stoked over a new music program that he just downloaded to his MacBook Pro. He shows something to Justin, who is equally stoked. But then back to my important box, which Jason takes out of the bag and places in front of me. I’m puzzled for a moment. “Should I open it?”
Justin and Jason both agree that yes, of course I need to open MY box. “You HAVE to open it! It’s like a birthday present!” one of them says. I look at my white, shiny box, knowing that it is not truly mine until …
Jason and Justin merge into one very stoked, blue-shirted being in my consciousness: Jaston. Jaston grins in a stoked manner as I tear away at the plastic wrap, tear into my new identity. I am as the air. I am beautiful and light. I am Apple. I am Air.