Flying quickly from northern Cali to southern Cali to NY and then on to Reykjavik and changing planes all the while, my as-of-yet-unnamed companion/spaceship/central processor of all things Dana Jae, took a detour. She stayed on the plane at JFK while I busted hiney hauling myself across terminal 2 at JFK to hop my flight to Reykjavik. She was likely giggling all of the way to wherever that plane was bound next, averting the cleaning crew between flights.
I discovered my loss hours later upon my arrival in Reykjavik. The minute I found the empty slipcover in my backpack, I knew. I had charged her on the last plane, carefully wrapping up the damn charger, but missing the entire point of the charge: to take care of my brainiac partner since 2012 who has been my trusty aid through online teaching, digital media-making, most of my new life communications, and the recipient of all of my story ideas and edits. She’s loaded with special software and connected to my entire life. Gone in a fleeting instant. Oddly, I felt super calm as an immediate new Dana emerged. Something took over my mind and heart setting me free of worry. “It is what it is,” the voice inside gently spoke. I sifted slowly through two more pockets knowing full well that she wasn’t there. I walked around the teensy, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, Reykjavik airport. I found an agent in a construction zone handling missing baggage. “Oh, that’s too bad. The best we can do is to have you contact Delta at JFK airport and they may have it in their lost and found. Do you remember the terminal you came in on?” My mind sifted through the numerous delay messages transmit from cockpit to passengers about the delay and I knew he told us several times which terminal, only it was clouded by another terminal he said some would have to catch a shuttle to. Was it Terminal 2 or 4? I had a 50/50 chance. “Terminal 2”, I said, wondering if this would hinder my chances at retrieval. She said, “I’ll Google the number for you to call.” (All English exchanged in that lovely Nordic English accent with the over-pronounced “R” in every word it appears.)
After capturing some Krona at the ATM, I walked out to the first cab I found and asked the strapping Erling for a ride to The Blue Lagoon where I was to spend the first several hours in Iceland soaking and simmering in a hot lava body of sulphuric water. “Good luck, laptop! I hope I find you among the myriad digital toys lost everyday at JFK.” Erling and I exchanged stories about losing important items. I was still calm even though just 30-hours prior, the old me would be fending off a heart attack in sadness at my loss. I called JFK upon arrival at the Lagoon in the welcoming cafe I found on the premises after checking in my luggage (they expect travelers coming in from the airport), and heard a very nice agent with a thick Brooklyn accent tell me to call after 1p to see if they had it. She assured me that they bring in hundreds of laptops and iPads a day. I figured on beginning the process of fully letting go since it seemed a chance in hell of them actually having it, let alone be able to find it. Imagine having her job…
Hours later while enjoying an amazing lunch in the Lava restaurant at Blue Lagoon, I saw an unusual email from Ireland. Audrey, a Delta agent at the wee Shannon airport office, contacted me to inform me that an electronic device was in her hands which she believed to be mine. NO WAY!! I smiled and felt rainbows burst from inside me. Ireland!! My unnamed digital companion flew to Ireland! And how odd that Ireland and Iceland are but one letter from each other. Universal trickster tried me and I won!
She answered my email today informing me that they cannot ship it anywhere but rather I would have to arrange for a FedEx/UPS pick up from them. They were only open until 1:30 today and Monday is a bank holiday in Ireland. Alas, after an hour of arranging all of the details this morning in an online chat with Bally of FedEx-UK, all will be well by Tuesday’s courier pick up to deliver to me in Belgium on Wed.
Shannon (the now earned name of my spaceship/companion/laptop) will be with me once again then. In the meantime, I’m sure she’s kicking it at O’Malley’s airport bar this weekend conjuring up stories with the flight mechanics after their long day of work, knocking back a Guinness.
A year ago, I had the pleasure of reading stories and media creations turned in to me by one of my students who always referred to her computer as “Chester”. It tickled me to name a laptop as I searched for something to call mine. Nothing came through at that time. Shannon she is now and forever will be.