Dear internet provider, you blocked my ONLY means of communication with my family while abroad.Thank you ever so much for your diligence in keeping your costs down to be better able to serve me, but that’s not why I’m paying you for service. Note that I’m using a competing provider to contact you.
I am here in Prague and my emails back and forth are in lieu of texts and phone calls, because I lost my iPhone at the airport. I bought a new little burner phone for local calls, but it doesn’t call the US unless I feed it way too much money. My SKYPE won’t work because I had to create a new account from the one at home, and the system forced me to install new software – but that software won’t work with my older OS. Your service is already paid for, so I figured I’d use that.
My day is crappy enough as it is. Aside from you locking me out, both of my banks froze my card because “I’m abroad,” and presumably I might be trying to steal money from myself. The airlines couldn’t figure out who I’m flying with and from which terminal, which made me grateful for being able run intervals in order to catch planes, and which also created a situation where I left my phone on the X-ray belt while my name was being called for “last chance boarding” for an international flight.
In case you think this is just a vacation pleasure jaunt, the purpose of my travel is to inter (i.e. ceremonially place in the family crypt) the ashes of my deceased mother and grandmother. This one woman, who was supposed to be holding my mother’s ashes until such a time that I could make it back for the final arrangements, decided she was done doing so. She, together with her mother, who used to be my mother’s best friend, spread my mother’s ashes on a meadow designated to the purpose all by their own selves. They didn’t bother to contact me, my brother, or any other family member. Perhaps their need for closure was too great. Or, perhaps the daughter has been working at the crematorium for too long and working with the public has turned her to the dark side.
I don’t know what to tell you, but the question arises: What to put in the crypt that would represent my mother? An earthenware jar she used to really like? Is it too creepy if my brother and I put a clipping of our hair in the jar, because she is part of us, and we are part of her? Does it mean we’re burying ourselves alive, and if so, is that one of those “bad feng shui” things?
Then there’s the issue of the names being carved in stone, along with the date of birth and death. Nobody seems to remember our grandmother’s date of death, which means the stonecutter’s invoice says:
Jarmila Kandlerova 1911 –
Does that mean that our grandmother lives forever in some alternate dimension? Her ashes rest on a bureau in the room of the rented apartment we’re staying in right now, so I’m pretty sure of her physical effects. But consider the irony of my Gran being in the crypt, yet appearing to live forever, and my Mom not being in the crypt, yet appearing to occupy that space. It is, after all, carved in stone.
The elevator in this building creaks and lurches, and there is a phone number we can call “for service or extrication.” Great. I’d rather use the stairs. Let’s see what else can read like a bad movie script during this “adventure.”
In the meanwhile, once you’re done laughing your head off and sharing this tale of woe with your colleagues (for which I wouldn’t blame you – seriously – I’m sure I too will find this amusing with the passage of time,) I’d really appreciate if you’d unblock my access to webmail.
If you need further information, please contact my husband at Superdude@verizon.net, or at (412)555-4890.
Wishing you a better day than I’m having,