Columns | Kata Cserveny | October 2008

Dear Diary,

I woke up and stretched for my mobile phone - mainly out of habit – miffed at the silence: Where was the jarring, nerve-wrenching sound of my alarm that jangled me back to life each morning? I forced my eyes open, in a dawning state of panic, unable to find the phone anywhere.

Nervously, I scrambled to my feet, tugging at the sheets, fumbling under my pillow. Nothing. I dangled my head from the side of the bed to look beneath it. Slowly, I fathomed the impossible: My phone had disappeared! How was I going to know what time it was?! Or where I was supposed to be, when? And where could it be anyway?! It was there when I went to bed, I was sure; I would never go to bed without my phone!

Convinced I was late, and determined not to waste any more time, I ran to the living room to switch on my laptop. My good old reliable laptop – it had the time, the date, my electronic agenda, the latest news, contacts, emails, Google, Wikipedia – frankly, all the information I could possibly desire, right at my fingertips, just a click or two away in cyberspace.

Leaping towards the desk, one finger extended, I was about to push the power button… when in mid-air, my eyes widened in shock at the sight of the empty tabletop. The last thing I heard as I hit the ground was a distant thud, and my echoing thoughts of despair: Impossible! No phone. No computer. No Internet! This can’t be happening! What was I to do? How will I communicate? How will I know what has happened in the world in the past eight hours? How will I know what to wear if I can’t check the weather forecast? Who am I, and why am I? My life is over!

Suddenly, a raucous jangling wrenched me awake. I tore my eyes open, sitting upright in bed, bathed in sweat, nails dug into the mattress: It was my phone; the sound of my alarm had never been so sweet.

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  • Capitalism vs. Skepticism

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    the vienna review October 2008