Sitting alone in one of the many sprawling back rooms of the place of work. The shutters are down over the windows creating a lovely view of metallic lines to be enjoyed in the unsettling glow of three uncomfortable strip lights. The only sound is a gentle unplaceable hum. It may be from the walk-in fridge in the next room, or the boiler through the wall behind me, or it may be from the laptop fan. Not Connected: You are currently not connected to any networks. No I’m shivering in my jacket in a weirdly disconnected room. I don’t start work for another hour but it made sense for me to accept the lift into work as opposed to getting the bus. Either way I would have had to leave the house at the same time.
There is no internet at work; no wireless network I can jump onto automatically every time I turn the laptop on. Apparently this is one of the first rules of writing in the modern world: do it on a computer not connected to the internet. Avoid the endless distraction of videos of Americans head butting walls, cats falling into fish tanks, poorly spelt captions, second hand cars, midget porn, stocks and shares, discussion boards about hunting grounds and music and environmental concern and nationalism and cooking and any of the other weird, wonderful, terrible, bizarre, pointless things that interest the internet people. Random aside: youtube is basically just a message board for racists to express their hate, the videos have become secondary.
What I wouldn’t do for a bit of internet now. You see the extra struggle of dealing with incoming bits of internet sends my laptop into overdrive creating vast amounts of extra heat. Extra heat is exactly what I need right now; something to subside the shivering, quell the quaking. Brrr. I’ve got fifty minutes before stepping out into the vast cavern that is my workspace, to be subjected to more cold amongst the echoing chamber of kid’s music and customers complaining about having to spend two quid. Oh, I just want to check my emails, why do I need internet for that? There must be some other way. Laptop, just grab onto a passing satellite and download it from that. Come on, even the sat nav can see the satellites, and that’s a tenth the size of you. Latch on to a passing radio wave and unscramble my emails. Quantum theory tells us the fundamental particles take every single route between two points, and can pop up anywhere in the universe (or something like that...), so surely a quark or a lepton or thing that is currently in your motherboard was also in my emails a billionth of a second ago. Make the connection; download through subspace. And while you’re at it can someone please invent wireless mains electricity; its absence is holding back the progress of civilisation. Just look at digital photo frames; there is a half arsed idea. Digital pictures displayed on the wall: good. Having a mains wire trailing down the wall, or a battery that constantly runs out: bad. Thank you.