The Break of Data

*bzzzt….bzzzt….bzzzt* goes the cell phone on the nightstand.

One eye creaks open and stares at the source of the noise, folded neurons begin to once again flower into activity.

See that thing? It’s a phone. The noise it’s making is called a “ring.” It means someone is trying to get in touch with you.

Naturally, this synaptic process takes longer than four ring pulses, and by the time the phone is lifted from the nightstand the call has already gone to voicemail.

Dammit. Well, maybe it wasn’t that important.

Wait.

See? If it were important they would’ve left a voi-

*bzzt*

Shit.

Press Voicemail.

“Jeremiah? HR here. Hey, uh…no one can get into their databases. It’s giving everyone some kind of ‘disk space’ error, or something? Hate to wake you, but can you come in asap?”

The dog, functioning on his usual zeitgebers, looks at you wearily.

Not right. Too early. Back to sleep.

“Sorry puppy. I’ve got to get up.”

Brush teeth as you set up the coffeemaker. The image of 25 people sitting at their desks, doing nothing but waiting on you to solve their problem floats into your mind.

Glance at the clock. Decide to forgo the morning shower.

Throw on some clothes. Feed the dogs.

They refuse to go outside into the rain to finish their morning business, so you must go out first and assure them that it’s okay to come off the porch and that a thunderclap will not creep up and attack them at any moment.

Four eyes stare back. “No way white man. It’s wet out th-OHMYFUCKINGGAWDISTHATANOTHERDOG?

They leap off the porch and sprint by you, dashing and barking along the fence. Some lady trudges by under an umbrella, dog straining at its leash. She tries not to notice you standing in the rain like a slowly soaking idiot and the dogs handle their exchange.

They pass. Business is finished. Dogs return to the porch.

As the door opens, you realize there are little brown replicas of dog paws being imprinted all over.

“Guys wait…you’re all mudd-”

Too late.

They dive inside. One heads directly for the couch, the other leaps onto the bed and begins to roll around on the comforter.

You stand there, still holding the doorknob, and sigh.

“That’s going to require more than paper towels…”

Furniture is scrubbed. Coffee is poured. Puppies are assured that you will, in fact, return in the evening, just as you do every evening.

They never believe it. Every morning it’s goodbye forever.

Plug iPhone into radio. Download the day’s “Writer’s Almanac.” Garrison Keiller’s voice does more to urge you back to sleep than awaken you for the morning commute, so you switch to iPod mode and press “random.”

The Dead Milkmen tear into the air above your head.

BORN TO LOVE VOLCANOES! SEEN ‘EM ON PBS!”

“Gah…”

Next.

Glass of milk. Standing between extinction in the cold and explosive radiating growth…

Next.

I’m a streetwalkin’ cheetah with a heart full o’ napalm!

Next.

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill, I can see the city light…

Ah…perfect. Thanks Pete.

Hmm…it’s pretty wet out here. Perhaps 4WD might be a good idea.

*pulls lever. stuck*

Er…I said perhaps 4WD might be a good idea.

*pulls lever again. still stuck*

Wonderful. 2WD it is then.

So I went from day to day…

j.s.

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