Password Protected

Hi ho. It’s back to full-time work, I go. This time to one of those large organisations with its own IT Department. Gotta love those IT guys. Every day is a no-uniform day, another opportunity to remain nonplussed with head down while all about them are losing theirs. And go by the name of Gary. Usually.

Gary set me up on the system on my first day before sauntering back to his mothership with an over-the-shoulder warning I’ll need to change my password regularly. It took a nanosecond to lash in the first: my Daughter’s name and birth year. There was a time I would’ve approached the task by having a generous stare into space before being jolted back into real time with precisely the right song title for there and then, only for it to be rejected for not containing the requisite mix of numbers and letters. Napoleon36. A historic figure and a few random numbers to you, an Ani DiFranco song and the year of my Mother’s birth to me. [“Everyone is a fucking Napoleon”. Except you, Ma, you’re just naturally short.]

Passwords represent rare opportunities to smuggle a teeny wee piece of your heart and soul into a soulless workplace. The hidden bit of you for when a framed photo or potted plant won’t do. When the frame is empty and you couldn’t give a fuck about plants. The password protects those cordoned off files and feelings you can’t share with anyone.  Except on the rare occasion a Gary needs it, and they’ve probably heard them all.  I wish I could remember all of mine and print them off like the keyboard-track of my life.

I’d forgotten the scale of my Ani DiFranco habit back in my 20s. Her middle finger was perpetually aloft to the latest man who’d broken her heart, and to The Man who breaks millions to make millions. Notsosoft – the first, and sole remaining, password from an early email account. A relic of me as the idealist, brimming with enough angst to take Him and his sort on. Like many of us thundering up the highway towards World Change, I was seduced by a boy down a back alley where we both overstayed our welcome. Subsequent passwords from that love affair: firedoor00, untouchable02 (as in Untouchable Face), and thereyougo04 [..”swinging down the boulevard..”]

Damestreet08 didn’t expire till ’09. Scene of my first kiss with my now husband up against a fancy streetlight outside the Brian Boru Pub on the corner before you cut down to Burdock’s. We parted an hour after it started from where I floated back to the car-park. It was locked so I had to cough up eighty quid to get my car out. I’d have cheerfully paid double that. Fakeempire09 and Slowslow10 came later followed by the date and place of our wedding. Now I bring our little one in to work every day. All kitted out in lower and upper case accessorised by a one and a two. Till home time, when she comes running towards me with her lopsided ponytail and Minnie Mouse t-shirt giving me a few ideas for the next password.

There’s a change in constellation. Something’s been re-arranged. Even Ani is lighter of step..

Got a password story to share?

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