Monday 24 September – Day 20 of 30
Steve woke up this morning with the words “You’re literally becoming a new person” in his head. Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross had told him that yesterday at their emergency session, and he wanted to believe it. For four days now he had successfully avoided the temptation to go up to the tenth floor of the iTower and check the news.
Of course, on one of those days he simply didn’t report to work at the iTower. And he had spent all of Saturday at Irving Berlin’s Deathday party. But on Sunday he was up there, typing out the invitations to his own party, and on Monday he worked on the seventh floor. So for two days, then, he had been the “new Steve”, who did not care what happened on The Earth.
Resolving to continue his transformation into a new person, he set out for his morning walk in The Square. He was hoping for a chance to chat with Ghandi, if the guru wasn’t surrounded by devotees as he had been for the past week. The Lord Ganesh festival still had three days to go, and the Hindus adored their elephant god. Might as well give it a miss.
Steve took a different route through The Square and as he walked past the benches and stone-sculpted seats, he overheard bits of conversation from the couples and small groups who were enjoying the morning together. Most of the talk was about ordinary business on The Cloud, but then he heard the word “Apple”.
“Old Steve” immediately took over, and “new Steve” was forgotten. He stopped and listened to two middle-aged men who were discussing the stock market.
“I’m really worried about my family back on Earth,” one said. “A long time ago I put most of our savings into Apple stock, you know, bet on a dark horse, even though everyone said I was crazy. But I believed in Steve Jobs and I was right, and the stock was just starting to pay off when I died, and it’s been doing really well lately.”
“Right,” the other man said. “I heard it broke $700 the other day. I just wish I’d bought some! So what’s the problem?”
“The problem? Haven’t you heard? They made a terrible mistake with their latest phone release and now the stock is going down, and the analysts are saying it will keep going down, and my wife never paid attention to our retirement account and she probably won’t sell the stock and before you know it, my family will be broke!”
“You should have diversified,” the second man told him. “You shouldn’t have put all your apples in one basket.”
“How could I have known Steve Jobs was going to die so young? This never would have happened if he were still there! He wouldn’t have let it happen!”
Steve moved quickly on, afraid they would notice him listening. Obviously those two checked the news everyday, at least the financial news, and they would know his face immediately.
What should he make of this? An ordinary middle-class guy afraid his family would be on welfare because Steve died? It would have been laughable, except that Steve agreed with the guy. It wouldn’t have happened if he were still there.
But he was not there. And he would not be there any time soon. He mustn’t care about what happened to Apple! He wasn’t responsible for this man’s problem! He shouldn’t have stopped to listen! He wasn’t CEO anymore!
His only job now was to become a new person, just as Dr. Ross said.
(to be continued tomorrow)