SAN FRANCISCO, CA - A small group of Apple faithful gathered outside the Moscone center late last night to hold an informal vigil several hours after Apple announced that Steve Jobs would not be delivering his wildly popular keynote address at the 2009 MacWorld Conference & Expo.
The impromptu gathering was sad at times while at other times jovial and energized as several Apple fanboys shared amazing stories from past events, remembering the former glory of MacWorld as they all held hands. Some expressed fears that Jobs will start to become a recluse now like Howard Hughes, holed up naked in a room, pissing into mason jars.
"I'm still in shock and denial," said San Francisco resident Dionna Merkin. "I miss Steve already, but being here with others really helps. It's very comforting. I'll never accept Phil Schiller, even though he's like a big teddy bear. I hate bears!"
Several faithful huddled around an iPhone to watch Jobs in past MacWorld keynote addresses via YouTube. One mourner played back Jobs delivering his trademark "one more thing" line over and over again. Many watching were visibly shaken, choking back tears. It was a somber and magical moment all rolled into one. "It's still so hard to let go," muttered an older man underneath his coffee breath.
I was taken off guard by the intensity of emotions displayed at the Moscone gathering, feeling obligated to remind people that Jobs is not dead, or retiring as Apple's CEO, he's just not speaking at the MacWorld expo. That's all. My words were little consolation to a few who wept openly with head in hands.
A handful of attendees were planning to spend the night to honor Jobs in a more private manner according to one bystander. Everyone participated in a moment of silence, signing a make-shift tribute to Steve Jobs nailed to a tree before leaving. It was gratifying for me to be an intimate part of something so beautifully authentic and almost spiritual, yet so completely senseless in a multitude of ways.