Down

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About thirty seconds before the internet went out, I could hear the sound of a power drill doing something at the first tee of the telephone pole. Suspicious. A technician with a box that went high in the air was doing something on the lower lines. I walked out of the studio and down the driveway to see, not a face or a name badge or anything, just that they’d opened up the box that sat on the line and a set of hands doing something involving screws. I didn’t know what it was called (it was probably just called a box) but I assumed that was where filter equipment would be placed, and had been placed before about a year ago and this same thing happened, and now they were back again, doing something to the line. It probably wasn’t a good sign that they were screwing something into place.

I’d wanted to just shout up at them and let them know they’d just shut off our internet, but had more writing that I could do without the internet (and usually the writing, or really anything, always went better if you disconnected) and so went back to it. I figured I would check back in when they finished with what they were doing. But by the time both my father and my sister had separately inquired to me about the status of the internet, the technicians and their trucks were gone, and it was still down, and everyone was now tethering to the phones.

I really should have shouted up at him, like Inigo down at the Man in Black, “Hello There!”

Because when the internet is down, it always falls onto someone, and that someone is always me — as if I’m willing the final hundred and fifty feet in that long series of tubes together in some exertion of psychic dexterity. But proximity doesn’t seem to be a factor. I’ll be three thousand miles away in really any direction away from those last hundred and fifty feet, or twenty-five feet from the pole, and the internet falls down and then I get on the phone with someone else to get it back up. Or begin a long series of logical if-then statements for which I only recently realized it was something approximating logic that always got it back up.

Or, more frequently than I would wish to occasion, a fair amount of bullying insistence after a series of touch-tones.

But don’t get me started on the multi-month, and now the multi-year drama of the four five different types of the internet I tried to get into a building from the nineteenth century.

I mean, I’ve clearly started on it myself, I’m just still waiting on the punchline.

 

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