Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back Home Again

I suppose that if misfortune is going to strike you early and often, the least it could do is stick to a schedule.

October. October was all right. In October the worries lingered across the month, like you were paying them on credit. I had to find a new room to rent, but if I didn’t find it all in one day, the next day came with more of the same. I had no money and waited for checks to arrive in the mail, but again, long. Once a day to check the mail, the rest to think about something else.
Since then, however, calamity came like a few jolts of current or a pokes of a stick.

November 4: Election Night. Too much to drink. Too bad of a neighborhood. Too easy of a target.

Mid-December: Up the scary stairs, apartment door smashed gaping open. Inside the pickaxe leans casually, seemingly unashamed to be an accessory to robbery. My laptop is gone, and nothing else. It is time to move.

Jan. 5: The day after moving day. Rob and I spend the entire night of the 4th moving all our things into the new apartment, back near my old neighborhood but a nicer flat. It’s dusty and slightly unfinished, but we can handle that. Then Monday comes, and after 4 hours’ sleep on the floor I head off to work. I am freelance now, just writing, and could do a lot of work from home once the wireless is ready. Well, the landlord neglected to set up the new building with the phone company, so we’re stuck. Stuck without Internet at home.

Let me tell you this: if you’re a professional and you don’t have Internet at home, you’re nothing. Two years ago I had no laptop, no money, and I didn’t care in the slightest because I built houses all day and drank beer all night. But in New York, having to steal Web time at work or going to a friend’s--I might as well be wearing sackcloth. I am a digital bum.

At the very least, finding out that we can’t get Internet hooked up for a month answers one burning question: What was going to be January’s disaster. Now we know.

If anyone wants to enter the pool for February, it’s open.

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