I write this on the night of December 13, 2004; I type it on the day of the 14th, far from my unenlightened abode.
I am become weak and helpless, a man suddenly become a ghost of the 19th century, thrust helpless, naked and alone into the virtual world of the 21st.
My interweb connection is down.
My service provider is upgrading. Last week, a new modem arrive at my office, promising up to 3 times the speed of the old Nortel mastodon. What didn't arrive was news that I had to make the switch by a certain date - that being today, the 13th (oh cursed number!).
I arrived home to find the interweb dead, unresponsive as ancient granite - no email, no livejournal, no alt.sci.planetary.
Calling Sympatico's help-desk, I was informed that today was the day, that I had to set up the new modem now. I was told it would be easy - plug 'n play! (just about) - and was given IP addresses and subnet masks with which to rebuild my
Diligently, I set to work, disconnecting the old device for the new. But tradedy struck and I was cast adrift, sliding into the dark past.
"www.getemail.sympatico.ca could not be found. Please check the name and try again", and no matter that my device shows as "Active".
I am alone and frightened. In the darkness, the slavering wolves gather and howl ...
It was a brisk Monday evening that saw Young Geoffrey strike with purpose along Queen Street to his destination, an unassuming storefront just past the intersection with Bathurst Street.
The hideously re-labeled Brewers Retail outlet, now signed with slavish deference to a post-literate age, The Beer Store was his unsurprising destination.
The line was short. An appropriately short woman ahead of him placed her order and paid for a 6-pack of something or other. The clerk looked at Young Geoffrey, his body language indicating that he (Young Geoffrey) too should place his order as well.
"Twenty-four Steamwhistle," he said, foregoing his usual preference for Red Cap's estimable stubby brown bottles.
When the clerk returned, Young Geoffrey laid his money on the counter, but the clerk did not deign to pick up the bills.
"Do you have some ID with you, sir?"
Young Geoffrey shook his head - surely he had mis-heard. He leaned forward across the grey steel counter. "Pardon?"
"Do you have any ID?"
Young Geoffrey grinned. Young Geoffrey laughed. "Really?!?" he said, unable to conceal his delight.
The clerk nodded. Not grinning.
"Young Geoffrey produced his walled, flipped it open to his driver's licence, showed it to his antagonist. Who (finally) did grin, with nervous embarrassment, as he read the date of birth beneath the gruesome institutional photo: 1965*02*04.
"I love you!" said Young Geoffrey as the clerk handed him his nickle's change. He hoisted the twin cases and laughed all the way to the streetcar stop.
It's official. Laura counted them.
I have 26 wispy hairs growing from my chest, two or three of them loathsome mutants towering above their normal brethren like gigantic, biological antennae.
I don't mind at all.