last monday morning as i was blissfully answering email, my connection to the internet suddenly blinked out at the same time the television libby was watching in the next room went black. above libby's screams, meg wandered into the mix carrying baby jake.
you better go outside, mom, she said. some guy with a big truck just ran into a wire.
with dark foreboding in my heart, i went out to investigate. it turned out that the garbage truck which had come to remove the full dumpster and leave an empty one, backed into the main cable wire - the one that connects us to the world - as it was coming down the driveway.
with no internet and no television, i felt as if i'd been sucked back into the nineteen-forties. (there's even a war i can listen about, too, on the radio.) with a shaking hand, i dialed comcast the cable company. (i see i date myself unwittingly. a close reader would surmise i am old enough to remember a time when phones had dials, not buttons. so technically i punched in the buttons.) i explained the situation, the person on the other end listened sympathetically and pronounced the first date available for a cable repairman to come.
AUGUST FOURTH? i repeated.
that's three weeks, i said. i can't be without internet for three weeks. that's insane, that's absurd. don't you have anything at all sooner?
august fourth, she said.
and so i did what any good forties housewife would have done, although maybe not in the throes of whatever it is junkies call it when confronted by the possibility of abrupt, long-term withdrawal. i called Beloved.
what's wrong, annie, he asked the moment he heard my voice. (i think he was afraid someone had died.) don't worry, darling, he said, when i finished my sorry tale, sounding as manful as ever errol flynn did when speaking to olivia de haviland (or maybe desi talking to lucy.) i'll get right on it.
i'm not quite sure what Magic Beloved worked, but within forty-eight hours, a very nice man showed up in a comcast truck, climbed up the side of the house and fixed the problem.
and furthermore, (if only) the war must (could) end (so easily.) blessed be.