Saturday, 11 February 2012

Nothing Personal

Lucy is at home searching for the phone so that she can call her mobile. She usually keeps it in her coat pocket but it isn’t there now. It’s also not in the next most likely place it could be – her bag, or the one after that – on the kitchen counter.

There had originally been two cordless handsets but one of them fell behind the living room radiator. Lucy tried to free it by shoving it upwards from underneath with a wooden spoon. She had also attempted pincering at it from the side with barbecue tongs and levering it out with a martial arts stick, but every effort to retrieve it seemed to wedge it in even more tightly.

Having turned over the ground floor of the house, Lucy finally locates the landline phone under the sofa cushions in a garden of raisins, popcorn kernels and general detritus. She wipes the dust off the phone, keys in her mobile number and waits for the ring tone.

A dulled buzz vibrates on the desk within arms length of where she is standing.

Lucy lifts up a woollen hat, picks up her phone and sweeps a fingertip across the screen to unlock the handset. She questions why she still uses a password when it was cracked months ago by the resident code breaking co-op Cagney, Lacey & Holmes Inc., App Downloaders Extraordinaire.

Messages – none. Texts - none.

Lucy goes to the kitchen, switches on the kettle then returns to the living room to boot up the computer.

She neatens the pile of mixed paperwork: drawings, correspondence, bills and so forth, forgets about a drink, forgets the kettle sometimes gets stuck on ‘boil’ and sits down at the desk.

In the corner of the room a green light flickers on the router. Lucy takes hold of the mouse and directs the cursor to her web browser and clicks. A line of bold red text stretches across the milky white screen and tells her:



  1. Mine comes with a big red X and a notice of "No Service." I hate that X. I really do.

  2. Lovely piece - all those toys that we think connect us to the world, but end up lost, dusty or simply not working. I was thinking we should just go back to talking to people face to face; then I remembered that I've been known to end up lost, dusty and broken too...

    1. Can't beat talking face to face with people - you're right.

  3. LOL, Lucy!. Seriously, we have the same life. We have four phones in the house and I can never find one of them to call my cell phone that I also can never find.

    What is all the goo under the cushions, anyway? Dang Downloaders Extraordinaire! Oh to be a teenager.

    So glad you got connected to tell this story!! :)

    1. Jayne it's always reassuring to know the same things happen elsewhere! I don't know what that under-cushion stuff is.