At least with snail mail there was no panic

“Dry Mouth”

busy talking, the words coming out just so
the connection clicking… sudden silence and
I keep typing, not noticing there’s no reply

hit refresh and watch horror stricken as
the work of hours vanishes into the blank
and unforgiving screen where ideas die

close the page, reopen browser and watch
in panic as it spins round and round, dizzy
and frustrated message connection lost

reboot, restore, retry to no avail, the web
has fallen apart and cut off from her I feel
crushed knowing this was the last chance

when later, much later, the connection
restored, send email, send pleas, send
explanations, only silence in return

The Daily Post prompt


6 thoughts on “At least with snail mail there was no panic

  1. This is probably one of the most dreaded things, on a personal and professional level, that could happen to me right now. It’s incredible just how much we all rely on the ethereal network to communicate, to connect, live, love, feel alive. I’m not sure which is more tortuous, though: The sheer panic that comes with Internet breakdown, or the plummeting stone that lands and stays for a long visit in the pit of your stomach, when you realise that the mail still doesn’t contain that special message. Maybe tomorrow…or the next day…a month from now…?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having grown up before the internet, before cable, the world has changed so much in terms of accessibility. National Geographic, Life, Time and afternoon newspapers used to be our window on the world. Now, a click of the browser and the entire panoply of human existence and suffering is live streamed. Email seems quaint to many, but it is something I never get tired of receiving… provided the service company who gets paid a fortune doesn’t trip over the extension cord.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I don’t want the plug pulling out of the wall, either…

        Reading your reply made me smile, thinking about my days as a student: we hand wrote our work, using actual books from the library as the only means of research, and hand-delivered our essays to the office. One girl I knew had a dodgy computer with a dot matrix printer, using ink you could barely see. I think the machine was seen as an alien being! Now, online research is key, and can be accessed internationally, essays are typed, they’re put through plagiarism software, and results are all tabulated, using some weird form of standardisation that no-one really understands. Is the work any better? Well, it should be, I suppose. But is everything always authentic?

        The flip side to this is the number of students who will PAY to have their work edited by someone else (these are students, working towards a qualification, remember, not people in the commercial sector), which I can just about get my head around, or worse, have it WRITTEN by someone else. What value is placed on the qualification then, when a request for an assessed piece of work is emailed over, and a finished article comes back? I’ve been asked on numerous occasions to edit someone’s doctoral thesis and I’ve refused. I’m absolutely positive I wouldn’t write a student’s work for them, and deliver it in fully formatted typescript. I earned my qualifications; I expect others to do the same, or where’s the benchmark?

        Erm…rant over. I still love email, and I love other forms of electronic messaging. It’s easy to feel close to someone that way. It might have something to do with the way I don’t shut up…even the dog want to put his paws over his ears…! 🙂


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