I am always surprised at how infuriated I get when my internet connection refuses to collaborate. Usually, when I am angry about something, I manage to keep a parallel monologue going on in my head: One voice is angry and keeps yelling at myself about…whatever is wrong in the world. The other voice is commenting on the idiocy of my anger from a safe ironic distance. But when I start going off the rails because of a problematic internet connection, the ironic commentary track momentarily goes quiet and all there is left is raging fury. Pure madness.
Yesterday, I was having problems with the internet connection both at home and at work all afternoon. I just checked my phone and I apparently called the internet provider’s customer service six times starting at 11:23 and until 5:11. Each time I waited approximately 15 minutes before having to explain, yet again, the gravity of the situation to an inexperienced semi-adult with no customer skills. At 2:09 pm I sent a text message to my wife: “I am in HELL!!! Have been talking with internet support and trying to get network to work since 11. Still not working”. The sole purpose of the text message was obviously to get moral support and to get my wife to feel a bit guilty for putting me through this horrible, horrible ordeal. Somehow she was also to blame for the madness.
To me, experiences such as these serve as a nice reminder that the orderliness of my everyday life is but a thin varnish covering over a sea of chaos. Seriously! I slept really badly last night - I woke up at 3 and never really fell asleep again - and I am pretty sure the reason is the dysfunctional internet connection. When the problem with the internet connection was finally resolved yesterday night, I still had a feeling that something was wrong. Everything seemed calm but I knew that chaos was lurking.
Today my parallel monologue is working again so I have been thinking about how I deal with disorder. Apparently, I don’t deal with it all that well. A problematic internet connection should probably not be able to activate those mental defenses that are used in times of dire crisis. But to me, a problematic internet connection confirms what I already know, namely that the world is soon going to end. Ruthlessly and without warning.