This missive comes to you from the blasted wastelands of Berkshire. My last post came amidst the uncertainty of a move to strange new lands and the availability of the sweet, sweet balm of the internet super highway.
This place is not so much a brave new world as it is a world where you must be brave, at least if the crime statistics are to be believed. Where the occurence of nearly every type of crime is double that of my home in the north, something I find staggering considering the kind of vibe it emanated. Despite this I’m endeavouring the settle into my new surroundings. There are some issues that remain unresolved. The matter of internet remains up in the air. My new landlady (who lives next door) very kindly supplies me with the internet at no additional cost, at least in theory. There’s a wireless router in the conservatory in the garden, the signal from which, stops a meter and a half from my back door. I’m writing this entry on my desktop and I’ll be uploading it by carting my battered old laptop out into the garden and hoping it’ll pick up the signal. My laptop is old, I’ve had it since I was 17. Were it a person it would be a nonagerian, festooned with wires and tubes, its every breath a wheezing death rattle that could well be its last. Its battery life is measured in seconds and the speed at which it works? It’s as if my requests are being relayed via post. But still I struggle on.
In many ways the situation I find myself in has its benefits. No matter how fancy the words in which you couch it, the internet is a drug. It’s a drug whose clawed hand clamps itself round your brain stem and doesn’t let go. Time away from it leaves you with an itch at the back of your mind that just can’t be scratched; a yearning to be connected to something far greater than yourself. That’s before it progresses towards the withdrawal, the nagging feeling that you’re missing out on something important, that things are happening and you’re being left behind, that your disconnection will make you a social pariah, that you’ll be ostracised and left all alone. The shakes and headaches however are likely the result of dips in my caffeine intake. I’ve been making do with the connection on my phone. But with a limit of 500 megabytes a month and a screen smaller than the palm of my hand it is very much a switch from heroin to methadone. Sure it might fire up all the same receptors but it’s just not quite so deliciously moreish. Up until my somewhat abrupt disconnection from cyber space I was enthralled by the internet, addicted some might say. Being without it for any length of time was abhorrent and unthinkable. Although initially I found it a trying experience, it bothers me less now that a week or so has passed. I can still fire off musing into the void, check my emails and casually stalk my many acquaintances from the comfort of my sofa via the broadcasting powers of my telecommunications device. With the core bases of my apparent addiction covered I can survive without the endless hours of randomly stumbling around the net like it were a dark warren of caves. The comedown is over and I’m not quite so dependent as I once was. I’m better and I’m clean…
As soon as I find a way I’m going to relapse, and by God I’m going to relapse hard.