Losing my life line

jeudi, le 01 octobre 2009

What a party! In celebration of her 50th birthday, The Jeweller pulled out all the stops. The garden was bathed in flaming torchlight, beautiful bunches of St Joseph Lilies were everywhere to be seen. Smartly dressed waiters walked around with trays of flutes filled with the driest of French Champagne. Then the snacks where handed round. An endless stream of the tiniest, bight-size delicacies.

My Witty Friend was the instigator of the party. She lives in a town about a two hour flight away, but her husband’s illness prevented her from making the trip. He’s not doing well at all. In fact, I think the end of his suffering is near. The Jeweller tells me that she has strict instruction from My Witty Friend. In her absence, I should have her quota of wine for the evening as well.

I seek out some old varsity friends. The wine flows, the snacks are devoured and the years that lie between us, are talked away until it feels like we are again sitting around a table in the quaint, leafy town where we attended varsity. Except back then the wine was much cheaper and the snacks were primarily crisps and peanuts. Only on very special occasions we may have had some dips to go with the crisps. But the chatter and the laughter is still the same. Thinking of My Witty Friend, I take another glass of red wine from the tray.

This morning I pressed the snooze button on my alarm clock many more times than I could afford. Waking up after an evening of drinking for two was not going to be easy. Clearing my head was not going to be possible.

I drag myself to my laptop and stare at the screen through the steam coming from the tea cup in my hands. No mail is downloading. This is too good to be true, the hangover gods must be on my side. But then I realise no mail is going out either. Then I discover that I have no connection to cyber space.

I make a frantic phone call to my service provider. All is in order. I make a frantic phone call to my ADSL supplier. Nothing is in order. There have been road works to some major throughway not far from where I live and the cables have been damaged. Sorry. No telling when they will be repaired. I stutter a few buts, try to explain about deadlines that I need to meet. I get told to check every half hour or so. I can tell my appeals are falling on deaf ears. Without bothering to explain about my pounding head, I put the phone down. I stare at my screen in disbelief.

I open a report I need to write. I battle to find the words through the red wine haze in my head. I have some more tea. I make something to eat. I stare at the screen. I start typing, but use the backspace key a lot. Eventually I make some progress.

Driving to the office late this afternoon with the finished report saved on a memory stick, I realise just how dependent I have become on the line that connects me to the outside world. Not only to earn my daily bread, but also for recreation.

Walking The Princess helps to clear my head. But I’m delighted when we bump into her best friend. All the ball throwing and ball picking up with a fuzzy head was becoming tedious.

I linger longer than usual with The Princess while she has her supper. I feed the fish and water some plants. Back at my desk I check my line to the outside world again. A solid green light appears on my router, mails start tumbling into my inbox, the remains of my hangover drift out the door. Delighted I pour myself a glass of wine and start bashing away at my keyboard.

(Our barge broke down on our trip through the South of France last year, a few hundred meters from a restaurant with really fantastic food. The wine, however, more resembled the cheaper variety we used to drink in our varsity days.)

1 comment:

  1. I relate to your story. Those slow start mornings and the frustration when technology conspires against you!!