I was sitting on an uncomfortable wooden stool in an Apple Store, holding my iPhone. My butt was hurting.
I had gone to an Apple Store to get my dented, scratched, stained three-year-old MacBook Pro—one of the unibodies where you can still swap the battery—fixed for like the 6th or 7th time. The logic board was dying, again. The optical drive was dead, again. I think the display was going bad too. And the trackpad was getting wonky. I had a few days left on Apple Care.
The Genius scrunched up his face as he looked at my MacBook's history. I was afraid he was going to tell me they couldn't do anything for it this time, that I was screwed and it'd cost me hundreds of dollars to fix my computer, in the gentle, nurturing tones that Geniuses use when they tell people they need to spend another large sum of money on their Apple products. The head Genius, or whatever they call those guys, walked over. My Genius pointed at the screen. They murmured, and both of their faces contorted, together. Fuck. The big genius sighed. Then he erupted: "GET THIS MAN A NEW COMPUTER."
So he did. Apple replaced my basically destroyed MacBook Pro with a brand new Core i7 model, for free, days before the warranty was going to expire. Days before I'd have inevitably given them another couple grand for a new computer, which they're now not going to get from me for another year or two.
That's why I buy Apple products.
I picked up my iPhone and opened Twitter to condense all of that into 140 characters. And then I saw. It's one of those things that's literally unbelievable until you have no absolutely choice but to realize the truth.
Steve Jobs was gone.
I let the feeling of having the air sucked out of my gut wash over me for 30 seconds, numb. I told the Genius. I couldn't not. He didn't believe it either, until I handed him my phone. I think we were the only two in the room who knew, at least for a little while. The rest of the room, packed to the stone walls, kept buzzing the way Apple Stores always hum. That was the weird part, like being part of a horrible secret you would give anything not to know.
I took my new MacBook and left.
The architecture of that particular Apple Store always made it feel like a slightly religious space. So I guess there's nowhere I'd have rather been.
Where were you? Let us know on Twitter with the hashtag #wherewereyou.