A few days ago our family DSL line was disconnected for no reason that we, or the Internet provider, could figure out. DH’s polite phone call to the service center was answered with an equally polite admission of some technical mishap, but sorry-can’t-fix-it. A technician will have to come to the house, and oh, so sorry, the earliest will be a week from now. By the time I’ll post this our connection would have been restored. But I wanted to record this moment. Besides, what else does a writer do?
The experience of a super-wired household losing connectivity is both stressful and illuminating. In the grand scheme this is not even a dot, no dot com either. But holding a flashlight and surveying the situation revealed this picture.
Us: two teenagers, one tech-savvy adult, one writer, and a temperamental fluffy cat.
Two teens- flailing, trying to figure out how to do their homework. This is not an excuse. Who knew that high-schools and colleges now assign homework online, and some of it can only be done on the Internet.
DH- feeling not only disconnected, but disrespected. Getting a ‘good deal’ from an Internet provider that turns out to mean lousy service can do this even to the most polite and accommodating. Muttering to self a lot.
Writer- I find myself wondering if there’s a story in this. At least a blog post (this!) for sure. Wondering how many people think I am mad at them or plain cold for not answering their Emails.
Fluffy Cat- she’s faring the worst, absorbing all those irritated-but-holding-it-in vibrations. That is a cat specialty- to sense her humans’ condition.
Something knocked on the door of my memory house. I recall my early childhood in Israel before anyone on our block had a telephone. I’m not that ancient. Most Israelis did not have private phones until the sixties, and even then, the country was wired slowly.
How did we do things then?
Earliest memory: We were the first to have our own telephone, and neighbors lined up at our door to use it. They brought coins to cover our cost, and my mother waved their offerings. What are neighbors for? Everyone wanted to make a call even though there were few who could receive their calls. For a couple of years there was an almost steady line at our apartment door. It was a neighborhood meeting. A block party that went on and on.
This memory, surely distorted by time and glossed over by a polishing cloth of sentimentality, made me wonder: were we less connected then?