Thursday, March 19, 2009

OUT OF ORDER PHONE

Shh, we have 17 phone extensions. I counted them. The history of how each extension got to be where it is, is mine as well. A friend had a friend who used to work for the phone company -- the company that seemed like a permanent corporation to deal with forever -- was it AT&T? Before or after it was sold to NY BELL, or NYNEX? (Names names go away, come back and haunt me another day)

When, two months ago, JD (our son) finally convinced me that I had to get DSL and stop using a dial-up modem, I picked Earthlink. Wham, I was suddenly into wires, wall boxes, wireless, old phone, new phone, filters? What's a router? Oh? There might be problems, oh dear!

The original phone that feeds all the phone connections in this building that's been my home since I was 17, was installed with a $25 deposit and wired from the rear of this building, a courtyard 5 storeys, 75 feet below. (Our home was a loft building with a lamp manufacturer, a wood shop, a trucking company as tenants). Into our top floor rear window, came one wire.

One now very old wire that has been fixed, secured, taped, split, re split, umpteen times, from which JC and I, with screw drivers, made an extension, another and another, till our friend's friend for $100 made us professional phone extensions -- about 8 of them were necessary since the top floor is 2,000 square feet...about 25 x 85. Numbers numbers -- I'm singing the names names song, ("rain, rain go away") again. The extensions were made when we were renting just the top floor loft. When we bought the building with a down payment my mom lent us, and finally took over the floor below as well, 9 other extensions got created by our fingers, and the fingers of the crew who were renovating for us, with money JC was making doing SHENANDOAH, a musical he was starring in on Broadway. The extensions, most of them, are now hard-wired into the new walls, new partitions. Just like my life and JC's life and JD's life are hard-wired into this building.

So, last Thursday I was working on my Website, merrily answering calls when I became aware that the phone seemed to be disconnecting whenever I answered an incoming call.

When you have trouble, nowadays, you call services with recorded instructions, do this, do that, and wait wait, select another button and hear more music you don't want to hear, and then a person who often doesn't speak clearly, wants to hear who you are all over again, and gives you a new number to call.

It was heavy duty trouble. 4 hours Thursday, 1 more hour that night. It was hours again on Friday, running around ducking under tables, flashlight in hand, trying to plug, unplug, replug, trying to explain to a mumbling technician how this building was wired. Obeying him; looking for where he needed me to install a filter, then another filter -- oh dear, there was no time to take my barre (I do a barre everyday -- barre is what dancers do to keep in shape and I've been doing it since age 12, lotta barres!) No time for anything because life doesn't tick-tick right, if you can't communicate with the other people who are building your website, cleaning your house, delivering a package, needing JC or me for something we promised to do.

Scary it was. It is. It's finally fixed, but MY LIFE, OUR LIFE was paused, stopped. Yes, we had a cell phone. Yes, we even held onto an unnecessary extra land-line that belongs to Verizon, the latest, newest, current phone company in NYC. Yes, it's fixed -- it's been good, fine, normal okay for almost 5 days, b u t ... our life, our tree is shaking, quivering in the wind though the wind isn't blowing.

1 comment:

Carola Norton said...

I know how you feel. When my computer goes down I feel as if life has stopped. I go into panic mode.

Post a Comment

Got a comment? Em will get back to you.