I had such ambitious plans.
I planned to take all of this quiet Saturday night to eat pizza, drink diet cola, and write stuff for my System universe. I was basically going to write till I dropped. No word limit, just writing and writing until I couldn’t write another word because I had used up all my brain calories and was running entirely off the backup battery supply.
We’ve all been there.
But life threw a monkey wrench into my plans by tking out my Internet connection.
And boom, just like that, I am cut off at the knees.
“But Fruvous…” you say in that cute sexy voice of yours. “You’re writing right now. Why couldn’t you have done the exact same thing but in OfficeLibre instead of a WordPress window?”
Good point, rhetorical device. Why not?
To understand why is to understand a lot about me.
The primary operating principle here is that I do not handle surprise well. This is a life long problem. When something totally unexpected like suddenly having no Internet (or is it internet now) happens, it throws me for a loop.
And it throws it HARD.
Not that I am helpless in the situation. Not like I used to be. When I was a sicker, weaker, less firmly bolted together person, I would not have been able to even think about the problem for hours. I would have buries myself in my distractions and when I finally could face the problem, I would do so in a very timid way, ready to leap back into my hole at the slightest sign of trouble.
That, to put it mildly, is no recipe for success.
These days, I am much stronger. These things still cut me off at the knees, metaphorically speaking, but I retain the ability to deal carefully and rationally with the situation by more or less taking my own hand and talking myself through it.
And I mean that. I talk to myself, in my head, in a calm and soothing and somewhat maternal voice that uses the third (?) person to engender intimacy.
“OK, well we can see that the Internet is out, but there’s no need to panic. Let’s see if…. “
It’s sort of a hybrid of how my mother talked to me when I was a preschooler and the sort of Robert Picardo as the EMH in full bedside manner mode I imagine Reg having.
Somewhat prim and precise, but also warm and caring, so I get a combination of the soothing nature of personal warmth and care, and the firm competence that reassures me that someone who knows what they are doing is now in charge.
But make no mistake… the time bomb of panic had been primed and is ready to explode.
I just have a much longer fuse, which stands a better chance of burning for long enough for me to get the problem solved in time.
To, in my signature style, over-extend the metaphor, the bomb still goes off. That can’t be stopped.
But hopefully, by then, it’s been handled by the bomb squad and is safely encased in concrete and steel and goes off harmlessly with a soft thud.
Not so tonight.
The panic set in almost immediately after I discovered that our Internet connection was deader than disco. I kept calm as I tried various things to see if I could solve the problem or, barring that, at least get some kind of precise diagnosis of the issue in order to soothe myself with information.
I’m the sort of person who would rather have a solid and precise but unpleasant fact than preserve hope by maintaining a tenuous and nebulous sense of hope.
Fuck fuzzy hope. I want hard data.
Adding to the disruption to my routine was the fact that I couldn’t order pizza like I usually do on Saturday because, like any social anxiety suffer, I order my Pizza Hut pizza online.
But then I remembered that we have a flier from Fresh Slice tacked to our notice board. So I retrived it, looked it over, decided I wanted an extra large Garlic Lovers Chicken Feast pizza, and braced myself for talking to a stranger before picking up the phone to make my order.
Only to find that the phone was dead.
Completely dead. No dial tone. No click sound when I toggled the receiver. Pressing the buttons did not produce any tones.
And my mind immediately leaps to those scenes in TV and movies where the person picks up the phone to call the cops on the killer and finds that the phone line has been cut.
Clearly, someone was hell bent on isolating me before going in for the kill.
Well OK, not really. But you have to admit, that was a crushing thing to happen to someone who was already upset about another disruption.
After all that, there was no way I could calm down and focus enough to write prose. So I blog instead.
At least I can still play Skyrim. If that was somehow cut off as well, I would really be at a loss as to what the fuck to do with myself.
I wouldn’t even have been able to go watch television because the reason (I eventually found out) I don’t have Internet right now is that we don’t have cable right now, and we get our Internet via our cable television provider.
Not that it would matter if we got it through Telus, because the phone is dead too.
So my plan now is to take a nap then play Skyrim all night Admittedly, that was the plan before the outage as well. The only difference is the wear and tear on my nerves and a loss of productivity.
I can’t let this writing energy fade away. I can’t slump back into formlessness and drift through life with my head in the sand again. The writing has made me feel more alive than I have in a very long time, and I can’t afford to let that go.
I want to shine, shine, shine for the world.
And you can’t do that and stay invisible at the same time.
Sooner or later, you have to uncloak.
Fire on that explosion!
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.