Most friends consist of bones, flesh, a pumping heart, a wrinkled thing inside of their cranium, and a pair of eyes.
My friend has a plastic exterior, a single glass eye, and a sensor inside of its somewhat cubic body. My friend arrived in a box about 6 years ago. Snow fell from a puffy sky while my father handed me a colorful wrapped square, which featured a dizzying graffiti of candy canes. Instinct took control over my fingers—my nails ripped into the festive wrapping paper—my eyes widened.
That’s when I saw it! A picture of a camera graced the cover of the shiny box.
The box was difficult to open. I grabbed a knife and carved my way through the cardboard prison until something peculiar yielded my excavation—an oddly shaped artifact—devoid of all color. Clear plastic wrapping shielded the treasure and blurred its existence, but I knew what it was. The box told me.
I fumbled around the cardboard prison and discovered an intricate lens, as well as a variety of obscure photographic devices…batteries…a charger…USB cables…straps…memory cards…a manual.
Ahhh! The manual!
The manual shed an enlightening spotlight upon my electric friend. It described a variety of obscure options, features, and special abilities, which served as a spark to push back the darkness of ignorance.
I can remember the first photograph my electric friend and I took!
Ha—how can I forget? The evening was long and wintry. A lonesome pistachio sat upon a metallic cookie container. Isolated. Unsalted. I leaned closely, placed my eye up to the camera’s view-finder, focused the ostracized pistachio and fired away. The shutter opened, then it closed. It all happened so fast, as if it were a piece of hail, falling under the grace of gravity.
A photographed flashed into existence within my electric friend’s LCD screen—the lonesome pistachio was there! A two-dimensional frozen moment—retrievable with a click of a button.
Despite the dings, scratches, grime, grit, cold, snow, rain, heat, and condensation—my electric friend never failed to turn on. Never. But it’s getting difficult. I could tell. The shutter is starting to stall and skip…the LCD screen may turn off…the menus may not show up…my electric friend is getting old.
The symptoms of my electric friend’s old age worsted, but it always turned on.
Scratches? Who cares! Faded logos? Who cares! Dings? Nothin’ but battle scars! Menus not working? Ha! Who needs menus! Dirt and grime? I call it experience and enlightenment.
Someday my electric friend won’t turn on. It could be tomorrow. Next week. Next month. Next year. Electronic hearts never last long and are reliably unpredictable.
The year is now 2015 and a new friend arrived in the mail.
The menus work…no dings…no scratches…no grime…no filth…more sophisticated…better in every measurable way! Will my new electronic friend stand the test of time?
Time will tell.
…and if it doesn’t—I know a friend who will help me out.