When The Internet Shuts Down

When the internet shuts down it’s like a big box of crazy has finally been closed, arms frantically struggling as the lid smashes upon the retreating fingertips of millions. That’s how it feels, at least, and then the world is calm, birds chirp, the breezes breeze, plants grow, paint dries, and writers search for that old word processor they shelved long ago with the little green screen and floppy discs, knowing that a window of possible concentration has opened and they best make use of it fast.

But sitting now in front of that word processor, perhaps a heavy early model, half typewriter, half computer, confronted with that green blinking cursor on the tiny green window, feeling like a World War II radar operator, the writer realizes that shrinking options is really just less–less everything–and even if she (or he) can write a few words, only a few, the ink in the internal printer has likely dried up, the floppy disks are all lost or bent beyond hope, and any words she creates will live briefly on the screen before the plug is pulled.

The Devil is in the details, a cliche, the writer also knows, trained to spot them–everything is in the damn details, there’s plenty of room for originality, brilliance, stupidity.

The writer begins to wonder if some people still are able to post on Facebook. Facebook has always fascinated this writer, so out front and “in your face” with its intent, a “book” for “faces,” the circle of friends, ever circling, sometimes growing, shrinking a little after that last outburst about the Tea Party, but the requests still coming, be my friend please, I won’t complain, I’m mostly quiet anyway, I don’t get caught up in loud public shout-downs, they promise, and then betrayal at the first mention of your mother-in-law’s political preferences, when who cares really?

No, someone will turn the internet on again, you know that is true, there is still time, even if things are really messed up and the deep sea cables have been cut, there are fail-safes, back-ups, action plans, and so much money spent; people will reverse comically back to their computer chairs, backs hunched, wires will grow and connect like invasive vines, and people will talk.

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