It is a dark and stormy October evening as I race east down the parkway. As usual, I’m running late, my last appointment having difficulty grasping the difference between Group Policy and Active Directory. It’s the second time this month that I had to cancel dinner. If I let myself, I would probably feel a little guilty. She’s a great lady and deserves someone better than me. But she knew going in what kind of man I was, and that in my business you never know what’s going to happen. At any rate, before I left she texted that she would meet me at the theater.
The rain is still coming down as I drive up Broad Street. I circle the block a few times before I find a spot on Sixth Street to park. It’s only a couple of blocks walk, but in this weather it might as well be forever. Stepping into the downpour, I dash for the theater, the rain falling around me like the torrent of big data filling the NSA data center just a few miles away. I shake off the rain as I enter the Miller, and that’s when I see her. Just by the way she stands and looks at me, I could tell something was wrong.
“I saved it. Where did it go?”
That’s what she asks as she walks up to me just before the performance was about to begin. It was a serious question. I could tell that from her piercing gaze and the urgency of her words as they leap from her lips.
“That’s a difficult question,” I respond back. Her face shows nothing but a firm determination to get to the truth. “Some things aren’t as simple as we would like for them to be. This could take some time to explain.”
A momentary burst of anger shows in her eyes that she quickly suppresses. It’s replaced with a sly smile as she turns toward her seat. Pausing for moment, she looks back, her profile in silhouette against the darkness.
“Time? My dear, you have nothing but time.”
By the time the performance was over, the hard rain yields to a quiet mist, and silence fills the car as we drove out of the city. Her question still hangs in the air unanswered. I want to explain to her how it worked, NTFS, WebDAV, cloud storage with auto-sync… but that isn’t going to cut it tonight. No, she needs to hear the truth, no matter how painful it is.
“Sweetheart, the spreadsheet we made together is gone. You need to start with something new. I’ll always keep a copy of what we have, but you’ll be so much happier if you maintain your own system.”
The harsh realization causes a tear to drop from her eye, but deep down inside, I could tell that she knew I was right. I reach for her hand and grip it firmly. She looks over at me and smiles.
Until next time, I’m off the grid @gregory_a_baker.