So yes, I am doing an in memoriam post for an object. A calculator. My calculator to be precise. A slightly battered TI-84 with my name engraved in the back. Das Machin, as I nicknamed him. Today I have said goodbye to what has been my faithful companion in the best years of my life. Not because he was broken, no. Because my parents said I didn’t need it anymore I had to give it to my sister. To me this is the definite end of an era, the final blow to what has been the most wonderful period in my -admittedly short- lifetime.
Das Machin has seen more than just the classroom. I took it with me everywhere, in my purse, in my handbag, even in my pocket if necessary. I was attached to it, it gave me a sense of security to have such calculating power at hand in every situation. You see, I have a head for patterns, but I’m not one to do the math just like that. I figured that I knew the mathematical solution to most problems, but I would need some help in counting them out. I even took Das Machin with me to the madhouse. In all my psychotic de-realizedness I still managed to take that with me, go figure.
I don’t think there is a way to say all this without sounding terribly corny and obsessed, but since this is an In Memoriam I think I can get away with it. Even though it is dangerous for me to do physics or math again, even though I admittedly neglected Das Machin a bit (no math means no calculating), I will miss him. I will miss the soothing presence of that block of circuitry in my handbag. I am on my own now. All problems are now for me alone to count out.
In a way I am glad that Das Machin has found a second home, that he will be used again as he is supposed to… And in another way it saddens me. Das Machin was the most expensive thing I owned for four years. My name is engraved in his plastic. His graphs and tables have sometimes given me the insight I needed to solve crucial problems. In short, we have history. To my sister, who will be using him from now on, he will be an “it”, a mere piece of equipment. To me, he was a friend. No matter how bizarre that sounds.
So, this is goodbye. Even though the calculator’s circuitry isn’t broken, Das Machin as I knew him has left me for good. Here’s to him; thank you for helping to make those four years the fucking best years of a lifetime. I will never forget you.
Mine is an HP 50G. You may pry it out of my cold, dead fingers if you dare.