Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early, pressed the coffee, and turned on the computer, as is my custom. My intention had been to cancel an unwise Amazon order I'd placed the previous evening in a fit of nostalgia and Ambien. When I opened the browser and fired up my email program, I noticed things were running sluggishly.

And by sluggishly, I mean not at all. Page Cannot Load. Server Not Found. Flagrant System Error.  I turned to my husband still lying abed. "Hey, we don't have any internet," I informed him. He told me he'd go buy a carton of it later and rolled over.

A short time later, Mr. Boyce declared our household internet service dead in the water. This was bad news, as Chez Boyce is highly dependent on the internet. We use it for the computer, obviously, but also for our home phone and streaming entertainment to the television. Without the internet, we had been dropped into a virtual oubliette.

We had to wait until Monday for help, so we hunkered down for a weekend sans web. Saturday passed slowly. I kept thinking things like, Since I can't check Facebook, I'll just look up that recipe I've been meaning to try. Oh, wait. It's on the internet. Then I'd decide to call a friend, instead, but I couldn't do that, either, because we had no internet. I could still use my cell phone to text, thankfully, but bite-sized morsels of conversation aren't very satisfying.

Sunday wasn't any better. It's strange to realize how much you rely on something only when it's gone. I read and worked some puzzles and took a nap. Mr. Boyce kept wandering into the room where the modem lives to watch its lights flicker.

By Sunday night, despair had begun to sink in. We were alone. Stranded on a deserted island in the middle of suburbia. It felt as if we had always been isolated like this, and that we might never contact the outside world again.

After some hours, my tears ran dry.

On Monday, Mr. Boyce got word that help was on the way. Someone was coming in a life boat / cable company van. We arranged our afternoon to make sure one of us was here every moment to meet our rescuer.

The promised help never arrived.

Bitter and betrayed, we gathered the tatters of our dignity about ourselves. We didn't need the internet, anyway, I declared. We were fine without it. Just fine. I helped the Boycelings get ready for Trick-or-Treating. We had a fun evening walking the neighborhood, saying hello to neighbors, and congratulating children on clever costumes.

I realized we could still be connected without the internet--if on a much smaller scale. I arrived at a place of peace about our lack of internet. Of course, it was vexing to not be able to dial 911 in case of emergency, but we could always run to the neighbor's house if necessary. We have neighbors, a fact I sometimes forget as we isolate ourselves inside our house, connecting to everyone in the world except for the other humans in our physical proximity.

Today, obviously, the life boat arrived. I rolled out the red carpet as my hero replaced our terminally vegetative modem with a new, lively one. So here I am, reconnected. No longer alone. Alone as ever.


  1. Wait. Couldn't you make a phone call from your cell phone?

  2. We were in your boat for a full five days last week. I thought I learned some serious lessons, but it looks like not so much.

  3. I frequently make unwise purchases when I take ambien :D