'Plug Unplug' by Catherine Edmunds
A network cable is unplugged.
I know. I unplugged it. I can’t risk connection. I might visit that site and see you, I might post in your thread, I might agree when you suggest Skyping. You might switch on your webcam and I might switch on mine and I might reveal too much, especially after a couple of gins, when Tom’s at a meeting and I know he won’t be back until late.
You might say the future is ours, but I’ll hear the future is hours, only hours until Tom returns, and then – what then? A leaf on the coverlet when I know the window was closed, your words ringing in my years, about how sometimes the wind aches for people, even in suburbia.
In the corner behind me, Tom’s exercise bike. In the other corner, my wheelchair. You’ve seen the bike, and assumed it’s mine. I’ve never turned the webcam the other way.
I switch the router on. Wait. Wait. Flickering lights steady themselves. I should be connected but I’m not. Problem loading page. Firefox can’t find the server. If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web.
Permitted? Nothing’s permitted any more.
Local Area Connection. A network cable is unplugged.
I know, I know – I’ve unplugged it again. I can do this all night. Plug. Unplug. Plug. Unplug. Have you ever stopped to think what a strange word that is? Plug.
The wind’s rattling the windows. I won’t let it in; I won’t listen.
I have my pills and my gin. Tom won’t be home for hours.