Wireless

Routine.  That’s how many of us make it through the day.  If it weren’t for routine, I’m sure I couldn’t force myself out of bed each day at 3:30 without an alarm.  What makes me stand on a street corner, often in the dark with wind chafing my neck or rain soaking my feet, waiting for a bus?  Routine.  Sitting before a computer all day in a windowless cubicle?  Routine.  One of the little joys in this regimented life is this blog where I can discuss academic topics or monsters, books or movies, things that are anything but routine.  But the blog is a creature of the internet.  Now that our lives revolve around it, what do we do when the internet is gone?  Interpocalypse.

Last night I arrived home to find our internet service had ended.  Knowing that my service provider is one bill I always pay, I had to call to find out what had gone wrong.  My panic-struck mind kept coming back to the same thing: how will I post on my blog tomorrow?  It may seem a small thing, a first-world problem, but it has become a matter of identity for me.  I’ve had to go overseas three times over the past four years for my jobs.  I’ve had to travel all around the United States to universities that would never consider hiring me.  Even with all this disruptive travel I’ve managed to post on my blog every day.  Holidays and weekends are no exceptions since my mind doesn’t take days off.  One of the first things I did when the power came back on after Hurriane Sandy, was post on my blog.  Now, I was cut off at the very ground of being.  Paul Tillich would’ve dissolved into tears.  Martin Luther would’ve thrown an ink pot.  My service provider walked me through dark corners of my basement and asked technical questions about blinking lights.  “We’ll have to send someone out tomorrow,” he grudgingly announced.

Tomorrow?  Is it possible before 3:30 a.m.?  I have a bus to catch—a routine to fulfill!  How am I to track my packages? Find out what the weather will be?  See just how few people read this drivel?  This little hiccup in daily existence has made me aware of just how vulnerable we are, at the mercy of the world of our internet avatars.  Pull the plug and it shuts off.  Twenty years ago, I barely checked email.  Today I don’t know how to pay bills without the internet.  I can’t fruitlessly show my wares—daily writing going on six years—I can’t impress all those people who don’t read my blog anyway.  Helpless, I stand before my router with its green Internet light firmly off.  I guess you’d call it mourning.  The death of a god is never an easy thing to behold.

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