Down can be uplifting

Our internet service has been down since Saturday evening, and my only pre-occupying thought concerning its absence has honestly been, “So what am I missing?”

It hasn’t been particularly inconvenient to cinch up local plans by phone. The news is in terminal re-run season anyway, and I could follow it weekly in a WiFi café and be just as uninformed.  I don’t do games and I don’t look at videos or You-tube.  My disinterest/dislike/avoidance of social networking sites would be legendary, but no one who’s not on any social networking sites stands much chance of becoming a legend, so my sentiments are secure in their obscurity. I admit to having a terrestrial life.

The news hadn’t been very interesting when I borrowed the Virgin account stick my husband uses at his office, and which he could use at home. Before our service went down, I was sufficiently caught up to wonder what nefarious things lurked behind the smokescreen of national scandal. Washington DC outclassed Hollywood slightly, featuring interesting, educated characters with a lot to lose, in an otherwise trite and tawdry plot.

I’m writing this a little after 8 a.m. and will launch it this evening, when my husband comes home with a hotspot device, our return ticket to internet space.

Revision:  My husband is home. He has the hotspot device and four cases of cat food from Wal-Mart.  The cat food is a hit. T-mobile incorrectly claims to provide hotspot service in our area. They do not; we cannot connect. It works in town, at my husband’s office. I have inherited the Virgin stick.

I can’t deceive myself into thinking we can live a brave new terrestrial life. We’ve come too far. We have family and friends in space—they think they’re terrestrials too, just like we do—and circumstances are providentially ordered in ways that would make ground time together more impracticable than I like to contemplate.

We’re bravely parting ways with our unlimited-use plan—though de facto it is limited by a tower’s disability, resulting in zero use—for a limited-use plan, since we use so little. Our now erstwhile ISP, Clear, apologetically confessed it had no clue when or whether a tower repair would restore our service.  They were so sorry for the inconvenience. The modem lights blink and blink.

My husband told one Clear customer service rep—I think she was in Thailand—that we could see the tower from where we were, and that perhaps we could bring the crew some coffee.  He was joking of course; there was no crew on the tower. I scanned the offline horizon with binoculars. She didn’t get it, but she was so very sorry. She knew how we felt.  After three days, we were less and less sorry. It was an amicable termination of service, the Clear people professing much sorryness.

I honestly thought I was more of an internet junkie. But the steady-state doldrums of the news have ceased to be awfully riveting. I have enough books in my Kindle to last, assuming my reading pace would remain constant, an average of 26.583 earth years.  I could live without Amazon. But not for long, because, while I don’t need to order books, I actually order a lot of my food from Amazon. Another inconvenience to an internet-free life would be certain household financial routines, an alarming number of which can be accessed only in internet space. I would need to go online to get their phone numbers, which in turn would probably lead to a whole new trail of sorryness.

Skype remains essential, but now that my granddaughter is 15 months old, she’s commandeering my daughter’s iPad and panning the room in a vertiginous big-screen spectacular featuring an upside-down bird’s-eye view of the underside of her nose. She’s just marvelous!


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