Worse things happen, obviously, certainly. But it was the suddenness of the event that most surprised me, after having the damn thing switched on for around five years and using it around the clock. One moment it was there doing my bidding, the next it is casting grey questions marks at me through a grey mist in a singularly humourless way.
I probably shouldn’t have spent so much time on the roof with it. It must have had a touch of the sun. But then again, I have heard that the generation of macbooks late 2006 to mid 2007, such as mine, suffered a design fault, but Apple, not wishing to lose their impeccable image, did not do a general recall but simply put a notice on their website saying if anyone wanted a change they could have one. Bunch of bastards.
And now I have lost some not inconsiderable notes on a half-written novel, a couple of stories, who knows what else. As well as millions of photos and lots of music. I am going to have to send the machine to one of those specialist forensic outfits that you see on programmes like ‘Spooks’ and await their decision. But I reckon Apple should pay, since it now appears that whole generation of macbooks had dodgy hard drives.
All this talk is sending me to sleep. Still not recovered from a couple of very late nights followed by early mornings.
I knew a man called Question Marco once, a skinny rodent-faced Spanish beggar, in San Sebastian. A haunted-looking fellow with a bent spine, hence the sobriquet. This was in the days before people started thinking nicknames were cruel and heartless. I was hanging out with a big German called Kurt who was always falling over and consequently his face was covered in bruises and welts and scratches. He told me a joke once that went on for ages and ended with the line ‘so why don’t you cement your garden?’ followed by this manic obscene laugh, hyeugh hyeugh hyeugh, which, like Pig Bodine’s, ‘was formed by putting the tonguetip under the top central incisors and squeezing guttural sounds out of the throat.’
Question Marco was shaped like a question mark, and his heart was a question mark, and everything he said ended in a question mark. With such a man there is never anything to be gained by a direct approach. For such a man the world begins and ends with a question to which there is never a reliable answer.