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zaterdag 27 augustus 2011


My Internet connection is down. Just gave up, while writing in an online editor. Bye, bye, social contacts. Bye, bye life as I know it

At least, for the last couple of years. Internet isn’t that old that I can’t remember the time before, working in a large studio, with real paint on canvas, and in dirty clothes. The time before Photoshop, Illustrator and all those other programs, which wandered the sweating and stunning artist into a prisoner, captured on a chair and to a screen. The big illusion of life nailed into 21 inch.

In the mean time it’s so long ago that we can’t live without helpdesks anymore. As a specialist I can solve most problems, but what when the signal goes down? When downstream and upstream are cut, before it reaches the working space?  Modem offline, and your whole life, as you know it, depends on others.

F*cking Hell! The phone down as well, using the same gateway as the Internet connection. Do I have to use my mobile for 65 cents per minute, plus costs. And the metal voice says to call back later, because of the long, and even longer cue. Jammed between bytes!

I try again, and again, and finally a sweet young voice whispers. I can imagine her, a student, clustered to a chair as I am, looking at a screen with my details, and the details of my modem. She’s only there for the small amount of money to make her studying life easier. Maybe I’m number 50 during her shift, and she doesn’t care in the least if I’m connected or not. Neither is she interested in what it costs to talk to her.

‘You’re offline, sir.’ And she can’t help it. It is not her to blame that my connection has fallen death to the past century, when we actually had to travel to meet someone.

‘I need it for my work.’ I can hear her breath. I even can hear her think. Not about my problem, but how much time lasts to her next break.

‘I have to send a mechanic.’
‘How long will that take?’
‘I don’t know, sir. You’re not the only one in your neighbourhood. It’s a general failure. Someone hit a cable, and we need to dig to solve the problem.’
‘Yes. And when can that be done?’
‘I don’t know, sir. Digging means licenses. We are depending on the local government. Bureaucracy, you see’, she smiles. ‘Four till six weeks…’
‘You can’t be serious… I depend on that connection.’ Her voice is even sweeter then before, but I could kill her, and kiss her at the same time. She’s not to blame, but however, she’s the one who triggers my anger. Six weeks, for god sake! ‘Can’t you do anything to speed things up?’
‘I’m sorry, sir. I wish I could…’ She waits, and hopes that I will disconnect. But I can’t. Her voice… She’s the only connection left. Six weeks! For 65 cents a minute I will keep her occupied for all the time it takes to re-establish my window to the world.

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