Recently, my internet’s been finicky. It went on and off several times each day. I considered that, since it’s summertime, perhaps lots of people were home sucking up those internet resources.
But then the internet went out completely. After a few hours, I called my provider. I always get a tickle out of the recorded message telling me that, if I’m having problems, I should to go online and check the company’s website.
“But I have no internet!” I want to scream at the robotic voice that keeps steering me away from contact with a real human.
After being disconnected for no apparent reason—maybe I said something to offend the AI operator—I tried again.
“Our wait times are currently very long,” the voice explained.
I didn’t hang up.
“Just a reminder, you can go to our website…”
I wanted to throw the phone, but held my ground. After a about ten seconds of silence, the voice said, “You’re still there.”
I jumped! It sounded like an accusation.
“Let me get someone to assist you.”
I let out a breath. After a conversation with a real person, I learned that, indeed, the service was down all over my neighborhood. They hoped all would be well at about 6:00 PM that evening.
But twenty-four hours later, I still no access to the Web. After standing around with my hands in my pockets wondering what to do, I tried to remember what life was like before we all became addicted to e-mail and social media and instant messaging. And I considered the number of times each day I would run to check if I’d missed something vital.
You know…like some huge publisher wants my newest book.
Or Netflix is interested in producing an eight-part series on my fabulous life.
Or some impressive university wants to bestow upon me an honorary doctorate for my literary brilliance.
Then, I had to admit that generally I find nothing horribly important in my daily correspondences. And yet, I can’t help myself. I remember a similar feeling each day when I was a kid anticipating the mail, the kind with paper and ink and stamps. (For you youngsters, Google it.) But back then we understood the mailman only arrived once a day, a vast difference from our current 24-hour model, that has many of us desperately seeking…I don’t know…some kind of validation, maybe.
I checked the mail on my phone—not so easy since I have four accounts—and confirmed just how unimportant I am. I tried to deal with my social media accounts, but dislike working on the tiny screen, so I put the phone down.
It was in the evening that the horrible reality hit. No streaming! There we were in Season 6 of Peaky Blinders with no access. We were forced to try TV from the antennae, compelled to sit through endless commercials. I wanted to weep.
Yep, I’m a spoiled brat.
Later, I considered what I might do instead of “working” on line. I closed my eyes and considered the things I do for joy: bake brownies, read a book, call a friend, play my guitar, plan a nice meal, see what’s still eatable in the garden, go for a swim.
When I opened my eyes, I was embarrassed, because I realized what I needed to do: Be grateful for what I do have.
Still, right now, the brownies are winning. So, pardon me while I go mix up a batch.
The past and present collide when a tenacious reporter seeks information on an eleventh century magician…and uncovers more than she bargained for.
February 2, 2022
In 1939, archeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, bedecked in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers stepped back from the grave, knowing what the Moochiwimi sticks meant. This man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.
Former television journalist Kate Butler hangs on to her investigative reporting career by writing freelance magazine articles. Her research on The Magician shows he bore some European facial characteristics and physical qualities that made him different from the people who buried him. Her quest to discover The Magician’s origin carries her back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.
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