Wake up call
The other morning we were
awakened by a call from my
frenzied child. All that she
wanted was to talk and get a
virtual hug from Dad. Soon
things calmed down. While
I didn't solve her problems,
our link via vapor seemed to
help her through a hard time.
The telephone often plays a
key role in major life events.
Maybe that's exactly why
I hate talking on it... click...
During my youth it was rather
challenging to stay connected.
One rented their phone from a
bureaucratic monopoly. Doing
so was a pricey and pretentious
process which included veiled
threats plus complex contracts.
Hence Ma Bell was anything
but benevolent. She could cut
you off on a whim... click...
In olden times one didn't always
get the service they wanted. We
had a party line for years. Not
because Dad was cheap but due
to our service area's inability to
accommodate additional service.
Sharing a line with strangers was
weird. But listening vicariously
to their online chats was beyond
thrilling. Until caught... click...
Way back then when dialing in
Manhattan, a phone exchange
identified where one lived.
PL (Plaza) was midtown, RH
(Rhinelander) upper east side.
EN (Endicot) the upper west
side, etc. Later on, if you weren't
212, and instead 201 or 203 you
were a suburbanite at best! Your
operator was your primary link
to the outside world. When was
the last time you dialed "O" or
411 and got an answer... click...
Can you get that?
One call can instantly change
your life. Whether it's a plea for
help from a loved one, news of
a death or illness, an invitation
to dinner, or simply gossip, any
contact can ring one's bell. For
years I simply let the answering
machine do all the work. After
all life was complex and the last
thing I needed was a new crisis.
At that point, the only thing I
could control was my telephone.
And so I did just that... click...
Let's talk again soon
While I still have an aversion to
tele chit chat, I've worked out
most of my phone phobias. It's
highly doubtful that I'll ever be
a dedicated dialer again. Now
my preferred form of connection
is e-mail. Almost as immediate
as the telephone, it's all the easier
to control. So reach out and touch
someone you love. But please-
don't call before ten or after nine.
Better yet, send a quick e-mail...