Modern Communication, how I need thou

Had a major slight melt-down yesterday evening when my lovely MFS didn’t ring me as he normally does. I thought, no problem, I’ll call his mobile. No answer. “He’s obviously out without his phone.” Little bit anxious at this point, but not too worried, finish watching my film (Shutter Island = renewed Scorcese adoration!)

But with no word 3 hours later I am worried. I realized just how far away I am, how helpless I was to know what was going on, and whether everything was okay. I begin to fret wildly, while everyone else is asleep. I finally fall asleep at half past 4 in the morning, (not before calling the international operator, getting the home number and calling profusely) waking up at 6 (still no word!) and telling my mother that my loved one was GONE and I would NEVER see him again.

Calmed by my ever practical mother, I go back to sleep. 8 a.m. arrived with the merciful phone call from Matthew and suddenly I barely remember my unending despair of the evening. Turns out he’d been at the village festival, gone to the pub and had intended to be home by 6, but then a band came on and he and his family stayed at the pub until about 11 p.m., getting respectively hammered.

Although everything is fine, I can’t help feeling a renewed sense of distance that I had managed to just about quash. Matt thought the whole debacle was hilarious, although he did have the heart to tell me that he thought I would have loved the festival and thought about me all day. Looking back in hindsight of course it is funny and completely just a little bit mad.

It is confusing though, and anxiety-provoking, that I allow my mind to explore the absolute worst conclusions, but maybe that’s just human nature. I knew in my head that everything was probably fine, but that little nagging voice turned into a scream by the 5th hour, not aided at all by my tiredness of staying up. It was a total overreaction, but at the time, it seemed warranted. Next time I’ll try to just go to sleep, and wait.

It makes me wonder about all those love letters I’ve been reading, how those lovers must have felt, sometimes separated by such huge distances or even just social constraints that meant their communication was so infrequent. It takes a huge amount of trust and calm to be able to carry on in that way. Also makes me realize how dependent we are on constant communication – I couldn’t go a mere few hours (okay, 10!) without absolutely submitting to total catastrophe mode.

Ultimately it underlined my desperate understandable need for contact. Being so far away, it’s only normal… not crazy, cat-lady-like at all . . . right?


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