Anyone who is with me when I stop by my apartment and wants to check their email is tempted to ask how I can tolerate such a slow connection, how do I get by. I often shrug and hand out excuses: my Acer was given to me as a thank you for helping this one punker kid get tires and rims on his 3000GT so he could sell it and skip town, that because all I normally do is type and read text, it isn't much of a problem for me, or that because it is so slow I will usually drive out to my office and use the modem there because it's faster. When you aren't willing or able to invest in an upgrade, you reserve your right to bitch on most counts.

I am by nature a very impatient person and often look for opportunities to deal with my impatience. When I have to deal with slow people, there are ways to speed them up or at least voice my annoyance. With a modem that is as slow as mine, swearing at the screen or tapping your foot won't get you anywhere, and while it kills time, it doesn't kill time as effectively as I would like.

Because writing is my main application to the internet, reflection and daydreaming are almost essential when I'm waiting for a page to load or the cursor to catch up with me. When you write, ¾ of your life is actually observation and contemplation on that remaining fourth. When writing takes less time to do as an action, something else is destined to fill up the remaining time, and so this slow modem fits in just fine.

I can usually describe 15 minutes of life in almost half a page. Time is not as constrictive or tangible as we are led to believe. And so I am again having one of those moments where a slow modem allows me, or forces me, to contemplate what has transpired over the last few days. While I am waiting for the hourglass to turn back into an arrow, I am staring off to the left of my monitor in the little space between the clock radio and the lamp where I can see a bare patch of wood paneling. In a sense I am not really looking at anything, but avoiding looking, so I can better see what I want to say, how it is that I want to reflect.

I sip the last of a batch of iced tea and glance down to see bits of black ash and tiny burn holes from endless cigarette sittings I've put in at this table. None of my clocks tick for a reason. I hear my modem churning and screeching quietly underneath my seat, notifying me that it is ready for another stream, another electric umbilical connection to the outer world.

And then I realize that I wasn't ready to write anything until that point.

Having a slow modem is also a plus when... "dubious" sites attempt to lock you in by opening multiple new windows every time you attempt to close a browser window or leave their site.

If you have a fast connection, the newly opened windows will load their content very fast. These new pages will have the same "onunload()" methods embedded within them, further trapping you in a multitude of open browser windows.

If you've got a slow connection, you've got time to close the windows before the pages load.


Um, like, this happened to someone else surfing free porn sites. And they told me about it. Yeah, that's what happened.

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