When it is unexpected, uncontrolled, and unwanted, two days without Internet is two days in hell. My cable modem has for months been slowly but steadily withering. Did I take care of the problem in a timely fashion? No. I jiggled and wiggled and plugged and unplugged and started and restarted and bought myself a few weeks, until finally, there was no more life in the beast.
I called the cable company yesterday, and spent the requisite two hours having things checked and rechecked, holding and reholding, my blood pressure rising. Serious deadlines loomed. This went on, into the gloaming. The support staff switched to the other side of the globe. I was transferred to someone in India. He decided I needed a visit from the cable guy. No problem. There was a long silence, and finally he said, brightly, cheerfully, We can get you an appointment for May 5.
I sat in stunned silence while my brain inched towards a calculation: That would be eight days away.
Then I deteriorated faster than a modem can blink. Within minutes, I was sobbing. And pleading. This is unacceptable. You don't understand. My life depends on Internet access. I work from home. The Internet is the only support I have. I am crippled without it. I am on deadline. I will lose my mind if someone doesn't come immediately. Please. I beg you. ETC. A sobbing, raving, furious, impotent maniac.
I know, more honey with flies. Next time I will pretend I am from Louisiana. Or I am Dolly Parton. Or something. Screw the flies.
Several supervisors later it is agreed that I need an appointment for the next day, sometime between 9 and 7. So I waited, and pondered how my life had come to such a brittle pass. I waited, and mopped the kitchen floor. I waited, and washed the bed linens. I waited, and made a watercress sandwich (white bread and lots of mayonnaise.) I waited, and read a book. I waited, and wrote, and gazed out the window. It was strange not to know what was going on in the world. I don't have television. No news.
I could not meditate, which might have helped, in case by some evil twist of fate the one time I might see the Blue Light of Nirvana would be the time I didn't hear the phone call from the cable guy.
And I wondered. What was wrong with me?
I decided that there is nothing wrong with me. I need email. I love checking in on my friends. I love knowing that soon, Ed will tell me the names of things coming up in my garden. Caroline will make me take a walk. Sarah will tell me what new plastic item I should throw away. Frances will tell me what exhibit I must see. Theo will tell me when he is coming home.
I might not have office colleagues. But I have Internet colleagues. I look forward to laughing over the comments from the always bemused Reverend Terry; I'm grateful for the support of William,Warren, Bruce Barone, Thea and Mary; I admire the stimulating comments of Vivien, VL, KarenSandburg; I love the reliable cheer of Karena; I wish I could tell Bradley Thoennes how to get her kid into Berkeley; and I wonder if Anonymous is right, that the law will toughen my son. I have editorial delightful meetings every single day.
And then there's the paying work.
If I can't meet my deadlines, no one would know that it was because my Internet connection has died, and how many days would my editors wait before they actually set out to find me....stuck in my pajamas, waiting for the cable guy, food supplies dwindling. Who uses the phone?
Hey! Did anyone miss me?
The guy did show up. Never have I been so happy to have a Helpful Man darken my doorway. New wires, new modem, new lease on happiness.