Original Wingman


This is the story about a little girl and her Robin at the beach. 

This little girl preferred pigtails and skinned knees over frilly dresses and Mary Janes. She favored trees and man hunt to dolls and playing house, and her favorite Barbie was a little action figure Robin from the DC Comics with limited motion and the paint chipping off his face. She kept him in her pocket, and he knew all her secrets. She loved him. He trusted her. 

One day, her family went to the beach. She was very excited because she and Robin were sent on an important, top secret rescue mission. She knew she had to send in her best operative, so she did. She scouted the area, Robin did some recon, and when they found the target, they knew what they had to do. She buried Robin in the sand. 

“You’re going to be okay, Robin.”

I know I am, silly. It’s you.

“Of course it’s me. I’ll be right here the whole time. You just call out if you need me.”

I’ll get them out. I’ll save everyone. 

“You always do. Be careful.”

I don’t need to. I’ve got you. 

“Always,” and with that, she covered him. 

This is where it gets foggy. Somebody or something distracted her mid-extraction, and she didn’t dispute, for even as a girl, she wasn’t very contrary. By the time she got back to her mission, it could have been seconds, it could have been hours, and by the nature of the tide, and the nature of the ocean, and the nature of the magic of the sand crab demons underneath, she couldn’t unbury Robin. 

Now, it might have been a normal day, with the sun shining and the beach full, but in her memory, there was only a gray breeze and wet sand and chaos as her heart pounded in her ears and panic set in. She frantically dug through the sand, then methodically, then frantically again, then everything stopped. All sounds, mute. All thoughts, blank. Her breath stopped and started, shallow in her throat as she realized that Robin was lost. 

Her mother pulled her arm, forcing her to her feet. She reached out to him. She told him she was so sorry. She never said anything to her mother; she never told her, never could. The guilt was unbearable. She buried her best friend. She abandoned him in the sand. Alone. Forever. Lost.

Back at the house, she took her remaining two best friends, Blanky and Mutsy, into her arms. “I’m so sorry,” she said with tear-soaked words, promising she will never abandon them the way she did Robin. Twenty years later, ragged, ripped, and ratty, she whispers these words to them still. 


Laptop: my girlfriend.


It’s remarkable, the relationship between a human and his technology. Our phones, tablets, and laptops become like friends to us: able to console, entertain, and betray. They can frustrate us, stand us up, and even completely blow us off, and, just like any of our close friends, when betrayal strikes, trust is lost.

I’ve had my laptop since my sophomore year of college – I’ll let you guess how long ago that was; a lady never tells her age – and she has been on quite a few adventures with me. She was there for me during every lecture, through every paper I handed in (late), six seasons of Lost, seven seasons of Boy Meets World, and eight seasons of Doctor Who. She was my companion when I began my journey as a writer, ditching five paragraph essays for quirky poems and short stories and even the odd screenplay. Now, I have a Mac, so I’ve never had the constant fear of my computer crashing, getting sick, or going crazy. She was reliable and unwavering in her loyalty to me.

And then she crashed.

I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was one spreadsheet too many, but suddenly, my screen froze, I got the pinwheel of death and everything went black. She woke up after a few agonizing minutes, asking if I would like to send crash reports. No. No crash reports, I thought, solemnly. Nothing can make up for this level of betrayal. For, she didn’t crash in the middle of an episode. She didn’t crash while I was about to Complete Check Out on Amazon. She crashed when I was twenty pages in on a Meditative Writing stint I’d been on for two hours.

“What an idiot you are for not saving, if you’re writing for that long!” you may say. Well, I say that, too, but when you’re “meditative writing,” the point is, you’re not thinking about saving your work, getting up to pee, or grabbing a glass of water. You’re thinking about writing. only writing. non-stop writing. stream of consciousness. The only rules in Meditative Writing are 1. Tell the Truth and 2. Don’t Stop Writing. So, she crashed.

If you know anything about Macs, you know that this incident is not the end of the world because, most of the time, the product is saved or recoverable. Yes, it is, but though this was not the end of the world, it was absolutely the end of our relationship. I had no choice but to break up with my laptop after that. The trust was lost. gone. forever. irreparable. We tried to make it work for a few weeks, but the trust couldn’t be built back. I was saving my work every five minutes, thus interrupting my meditation, blocking me.

So I got an iPad.

My laptop is still here. She’s still in the picture, and I use her for my other work. Spreadsheets, bookkeeping, as a DVD player, but that’s it. Nothing more than a booty call.