My iPod Nano died recently.
It passed away peacefully in its sleep – one from which it could not be awaken, despite much frantic efforts to resuscitate through charging, syncing and cajoling.
Before that, the last encounter I had with the iPod was three days prior, when it joined me on a 25km run in scorching hot weather. The heat was so suffocating, and the run so arduous, that I slowly descended into a foul state of mind. In fact, it was so unbearable that I irrationally snapped at my iPod for being such an uninspiring companion. For insisting on playing such a boring, repetitive set of songs that I have heard a million times before. I abruptly turned the iPod off at the 20km mark and violently shoved it, together with the earphones, into my shorts pocket.
That was the very last interaction I had with my iPod Nano. In hindsight, I wish it was different. I wish I had parted ways with it in a more amicable fashion.
That little shiny, square fella had been my loyal running partner for many years. We had gone through a countless number of 14.0 kms, 21.1kms , 42.2kms and many other distances in between. Together, we had endured runs in tortuous heat, torrential rain and freezing climate. It had seen me at my best, it had seen me at my worst. Whether I was running well or sputtering like hell, my iPod had always been by my side.
It never scolded me for a bad performance, nor ever raised hysterics about a strong one. But it was always there, just there – a constant companion whose mere presence provided eerie comfort and reassurance.
And now … it’s gone.
Of course, like most things in life, the iPod Nano was never going to last forever. What will, however, is the memory of all those times it accompanied me while my thoughts were running wild, the immense distances that we travelled side-by-side, and all the jubilations and heartaches it witnessed of me feeling over the years.
Two days after the passing of the Nano, I went for a run.
No music, no earphones and, of course, no iPad Nano by my side.
It was just me and the sound of one foot pounding after the other.
It felt strange.
And for some stranger reason still, I began to think about my mother. I don’t know why, but I had a sudden longing to talk to her.
After the run, I came home and called her. We had a long innocent chat … about nothing in particular.
Keep on pounding.