There are little things even today that catch my breath in a paralysis of remembrance -sometimes sad, sometimes joyous – of the still palpable loss of Jaymz. There are the plates from a trip to Greece I never took on the kitchen wall, because they were from his trip, on his kitchen wall. There are shirts carefully packaged away, not to be worn. There’s the puppy on my lap who is a warm tangible tie to nine years ago.
One of the biggest little things was the iMac.
Jaymz was no computer aficionado. He was happy with his little laptop, being able to search fashion and hair with Google, and be able to play Bejewelled for hours at a time. As it happened his system crashed, whether from careless handling or spilled beer, around the same time that my lumbering desktop died spectacularly, succumbing to so many viruses a hazmat suit was needed before it could be taken away.
I being eternally cheap was slowly trying to figure out how I was going to get a new system. He was not going to wait around, and though in early stages of our relationship had already determined that he was keeping me, thus we would make our first big purchase together. He was also most eager for me to break in my brand new, first ever credit card.
He wanted an Apple. I did not object, thus off to the Apple store we ventured. I had a rough idea of what I wanted, and the money that I wanted to spend on it. He swept in the store, stalking the cutest sales rep he could find, with a casual “excuse me, darling, we need you.”
The rep began to speak specs, and I nodded in happy agreement. He began to speak specs at Jaymz, who merely stroked a finger along the top of the nearest unit and declared “shiny…” with eyes glazed open. The rep to his credit began speaking specs to me, and analogies to Jaymz, clearly an engineering student with a penchant for Star Trek.
Enchanted, Jaymz sought more. “Speakers, we need to make pretty music! Printers that copy and other stuff!” Cheerfully, the rep kept going with spiel after spiel. I was impressed. He was knowledgeable. And most certainly aware that he was being flirted with shamelessly.
Finally, I had had enough and made my decision. “That computer, those speakers, this printer. We’ll take them.”
Both Jaymz and the rep turned startled. “REALLY?” they both chorused.
I nodded, sweating profusely and pulled out the Visa, Jaymz beaming proudly. Seconds later the rep was over, letting me know that Visa was on the line about possible card fraud. Visa put me through several rounds of questions before accepting that the maiden voyage of the card was almost the card limit.
“Ooh, let’s keep shopping, you’re on a roll!” Jaymz cooed excitedly.
“No. Cigarette. Before I bring this back.”
Laughingly, he led the way, not pressing his luck. It was a cool day, which worked well at lowering my heightened anxiety. I had lost a job after all, and had no prospects lined up, and just dropped a bundle. We stood outside the Eaton centre, boxes carefully guarded between us, as he lit my cigarette; my hands were shaking so much trying not to think. He took a satisfied drag, and sighed as if with post coital bliss.
“Well THAT was fun!” he declared loudly.
We drew the attention of a mother trying to get her giggling infant daughter into her coat. One arm would be in a sleeve, but as the mother tried to juggle her daughter around to get her other arm into the little red jacket, the devilish cherub would pull the first arm out, a wide smile flashing only two teeth as she crowed in mischievous delight.
Little Oshkosh B’gosh overalls, pink shoes matching pink turtleneck, pink bobble hair twists held two pom-poms of hair were enough to set Jaymz off: “Oh my god, look at her she’s delicious! My ovaries are going to burst.”
The mother turned amused and exasperated. “You think she’s cute now, but she’s been up since 3 a.m., and has not slowed down all day.” Seeing our purchases she added “and you’d have to watch out with toys like that… what I wouldn’t give for one of those!”
“Trade you,” Jaymz said without hesitation.
“Done,” said the mother holding out the child.
“No, Jaymz,” I said flatly.
“But she said…”
“No. I need this for work.”
“But this one is available now and she is chocolatey-caramel goodness! Think what I could do with that hair! OH…my chi-chi bobos!” he wailed, pushing up imaginary breasts.
“He’s a hairdresser,” I explained calmly to the woman. “And your daughter is gorgeous – as are you. But he would take her in a heartbeat, so don’t let him have her or you’ll never see her again.”
The mother laughed. “You two are too much…but obviously she’d have a good life with you. Are you sure?” She wiggled the baby tantalizing.
The baby laughed more reaching out arms towards Jaymz. He looked at me with woe-filled eyes.
“Work now, money next, then child.”
He arched an eyebrow. “I’m holding that as a promise,” he said with a sniff.
Full circle to now. I’ve been reticent at getting a new system, as there never seems to be a good time to do so. But time is speaking to me more about the need to get a new job, and the computer speaks to me less, groaning as tries it’s best to do the simplest task I ask of it. I simply couldn’t make a decision, even having done my homework, and knowing what I wanted.
Then in the mail unexpectedly came a credit card replacement, as the old was about to expire. It was the sign I needed, so I took it out for it’s maiden flight.
This time there was an equally cute service rep, but I told him my specs and he got it from the back. My Visa went through no problem, as my limit is greatly expanded since then, and I’d already paid it off. I don’t smoke anymore, so there was no reason to pause outside. As I walked through the mall, I passed a group of eleven year olds and wondered if any of them had known they could have ended up with me as a father for an iMac.
I’d trade this new one to have Jaymz back again.