Connectivity—Elaine Bonow

Connectivity

“This is a time of unprecedented solar flare activity,” the blonde newscaster intoned in a breathless voice from Sara’s brand new forty-six inch screen TV. “If you are living anywhere above the forty-seventh parallel you will experience a massive disruption of your…” Her ring tone sang out “each star it’s own Aurora Borealis” Ella’s version of Midnight Sun. The digital display read R_NA_WY instead of RENEE. “What the fuck?” she said into the phone, “Hello Renee? Renee are you there?” The display was now blank. She pressed the little white square in the circle. The time appeared 12:34 and then went blank.

She turned the TV volume up as the newscaster babbled, “disruptions of our global satellite news network here in the Northwest will continue for the next five days at least. “

Suddenly the TV picture went all-static like in the fifties when the stations would actually turn off the signal. The doorbell rang, two short buzzes and one long one. “Henry? Thank god Henry,” she said as she opened the door into her apartment.

“Are you having trouble with your connections too? “

“Yeah my WI-FI doesn’t work at all.”

“Whew, I thought it was only me.”

“I never heard of solar activity doing this before.”

“It’s like the whole world is disconnected.”

Sara sat on her small IKEA sofa and picked up her I phone. It was still blank. “I wonder what the hell is actually going on?”

Henry plopped down next to her on the sofa, slipped off his loafers and tucked his feet into full lotus position. “You know, I wonder if the government is hiding something from us. I mean we can’t see any sunspots really and those photos could be easily doctored in any Photoshop menu?”

“Gee Henry, I never thought you were a conspiracy theorist.”

“Well, This is weird and I mean who made all those crop circles anyway?

“I don’t think aliens swooped down on us 58,000,000 years ago and created man. Where’s the proof?”

“We don’t have proof for or against so there is a fifty percent chance of alien creation. It’s better than thinking some dude made the earth and all the cosmos.”

“ Aye ayi ayi, all this talk is just making me hungry.

“Sue, all I’m saying is that today has been weird. I don’t have any Internet connection, my phone won’t work, my stereo is kaput, and they tell us sun spots are causing this fiasco.”

Sue grabbed her I Pad from the coffee table. “At least this thing works or it did an hour ago.” She pressed the buttons on her brand new I Pad on and off and on and off again. “I guess every device I own is off the grid.”

“That’s why I came over. I was freaking out. You know how hard life is without connectivity. I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. Next thing we know everything will be in black and white.”

“Ooh shit, don’t start freaking me out too.  But since you are here at least we’ll be back in the fifties together.”

Sue and Henry laughed easily together. “The last news I heard they said, well the mysterious they said we were going to be disrupted but I don’t think they meant like this.”

Sue got up and went into her tiny kitchen. “Do you want some tea?

”Do you still have some green tea?

“Sure, I’ll make some. I have some cookies too. Do you want some or are you off sugar this week?”

He chuckled and stroked his graying beard, “Damn Sue, have you been spying on me or what?

“Yeah, I stuck my head into your cat door and spied on you.”

“I haven’t had any sugar this week because of the sugar detox I am doing, but under these dire circumstances I might need a little sugar.”

She smiled a bit shyly at this comment, amused because he had never made a pass at her. She thought he might be gay or asexual or just not into her.  “Here’s the tea. I’m relieved the stove is working. Do you always challenge your body like with the detox stuff? That’s pretty extreme don’t you think?”

“Well, I do like to stress my body out. I love to run and do yoga. I meditate, Zen Buddhist meditation and I love rock climbing.”

“Yeah, I know. You run every morning. I hear you leaving the building about seven every day. I don’t have that much discipline. I don’t like to exercise especially in winter and in the dark or in the rain, like it is here ten months of the year.”

“Maybe you should go with me to a yoga class one of these days. I think you might like it. “ Henry liked her body she wasn’t one of those hard body yoga girls. She had curves that were obvious and he was fascinated by her softness. He looked away from her he didn’t want to seem disrespectful.

“You think I would like yoga? Of course I’ve tried to take some classes but the people were so intense. I like things a little more laid back. But I’m willing to try especially if I was with a friend. That would be OK.”

The sun was going down and their world was strangely quiet without the buzz of the modern world. The phones were quiet they didn’t ping or ring with incoming communication. The television, which was always on, was now broadcasting nothing. In the growing darkness Sara’s foot pressed against Henry’s legs. He didn’t move away, in fact he relaxed his legs welcoming her to come closer. He reached out and started massaging her feet.

“Damn Henry, that feels so good. I didn’t know you knew how to give such a good foot rub.”

“Sue, I guess I have a small confession to make.”

She was now completely relaxed. The only sound in the room was her old fashioned clock on the stove counting the seconds.

“A confession sounds so heavy like you are really not who you say you are or you have bodies buried in the basement or something terrible happened to you in a past life.”

“Oh it’s nothing like that nothing bad. It’s just that I think I really like being with you. You are so smart and very sexy.” He reached over and kissed her.

Sue responded to him, glad to realize that all of this was due to a very disruptive sun. Outside the window the sky flickered green and glowed with an otherworldly light. And they could see the Midnight Sun.

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on March 13, 2012, in Fiction. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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