Noticing that several hours had elapsed with no repair truck in sight, I glanced at my watch as a mild sense of urgency approached. “I can’t miss ‘American Idol!’” I shrieked at the dog and wondered why I had not mastered the art of smoke signals while at Camp Arrowhead, lo those many years ago. Promises notwithstanding, seven o’clock came and went and the sun set on another day without cable. Like an idiot, I checked the phone line, which was (duh) still dead, and revved up the truck, determined to find a television signal and my precious vocal contest, which I (sigh) can’t live without.
Ensconced on someone else’s couch, trusty iPad in my lap, I surfed. I read my email and updated my status on Facebook. “I’m experiencing a nightmare,” I wrote, “and am unplugged, up the creek without a paddle. If you need to reach me, you can’t.” I typed and turned my attention to someone wearing a fright wig and singing the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ while twirling a baton.
Before taking my leave, I checked in with the folks responsible for my line repair, and informed them that no one had shown up. “I’m sorry to hear that, sir,” said the operator (who is based in Queens, NY), “but I see here that your account has been ‘red-flagged’ and that help is on the way. They’ll be there tomorrow for sure.”
Friday came and went. After another promise, Saturday bit the dust.
“No service on Sunday,” chirped the operator from Middletown, “and Monday is a holiday, so I’m afraid you’re out of luck.” Having noted that I was due to join the Yarnslingers (like ‘em on Facebook) at Café Devine (them, too) in Callicoon on the 27th, I figured that I still had plenty of time to tweak the piece I would be reading and made note that “Be Mine Forever” was coming up at the Alliance Gallery in Narrowsburg (www.artsalliancesite.org) on the 26th.
This annual ode to love, which pairs poetry and photography, is a perennial favorite and is on my list, along with the “Look Twice” exhibit ongoing in Livingston Manor (www.catskillartsociety.org). Day five. No phone, no net, no TV, not a single luxury.
Today, I’m sanguine (look it up!), while jonesing for entertainment. Guess I’ll pretend it’s the Dark Ages and I might actually read a book, but I’m not making any promises.