This morning I woke up at Lorde knows what time to take a leak. Upon leaving the bathroom I noticed the sound of my screen door squeaking shut, as it does after someone’s opened it. Curious, I walked to the front door to see what was up. I noticed a portly man waddling fussily back to his car. Dressed in only pyjama bottoms, I called out to him “can I help you at all?” He swivelled with a delighted smile on his face and small brown box in his hands. He made his way back to me and thrust the box into my hands. “It’s your modem, I was in the area and thought I’d drop it over.”
Sudden context: I’d eschewed buying the modem from Teksavvy, as I figured they’d jack up the cost. Instead I went to Amazon, which resulted in a longer wait time to obtain my modem. Days spent without proper internet quickly made me rue my decision (talking to the help desk it turns out it would’ve been about the same cost, but ours is a newer version with considerably more options and customisability. Better in the long run). Last night I had an email from the seller (who sold through Amazon) mostly in French, but asking…
————– Begin message / Début du message ————-
Can i bring the modem on Monday at 7:30 am
Wait, as in “to my house?” That’s unusual, but it would be fine.
No response. I set my alarm for 7.30am anyway. Context over.
So took the box and signed for it and watched as this bizarre French man bobbled back to his car. I think I was just visited by Tom Bombadil.
I shook my head, walked back into my house and checked the time. 7.28am. So if it wasn’t for the fact that I needed to urine (verbin’ it), I would’ve missed him entirely. Lucky.
So after coming home and tooling around with help desk and their insurmountable wait times, the internet was finally sorted. At first I just sat and looked at my browser, stunned by the sheer possibility awaiting me. I next set about testing the download speeds. We get around 48Mb, or 6MB per second. Ridiculous. Unnecessary. Awesome. Wasting no time, I set a torrent in motion and just watched the numbers. They rose and fell erratically, as if dubstepping. Eventually they settled around 4MB. My flatmate decided to test his speeds and got to about 1MB while I torrented and browsed the net.
Time to really push things. After my 4GB had finished downloading (maybe 30 minutes or so?) I queued up another 2 torrents. Total speed (while flatmate was downloading too) was around 4MB per second. So I started streaming. I streamed 3 Youtube videos simultaneously while browsing, then checked my speed. Unchanged. Also the Youtube clips had practically loaded in full. Holy fuck.
I started laughing. It started off as a low rumble, then picked up volume and pitch until I was giggling manically. I was one white cat and a bad haircut away from full supervillain mode. It all went to my head, suddenly I knew what it was to hold true power. I understood what it was to look at people and see insects, so far beneath you that their lives and actions were rendered meaningless. What good are rules when you’re living a life without limits? When you push the world and it just gives?
I could already see my trajectory. Too much, too fast. It’d start innocently with a few shows/albums/games I needed to catch up on. Maybe streaming a season or two. All of a sudden the megalomania would reach its peak and I’d find myself downloading the entirety of Geocities or Cops and blowing my entire internet cap. Laid low, I’d emerge only in the dead of night to use the internet when our data would be unlimited. Having become nocturnal, I’d begin to shun the light, seeing only by the illuminating screen of my computer. My eyes would become sunken, ineffectual. My hands curled into claw-like appendages from prolonged clicking and typing. My kingdom, once so vast and opulent would be no more than dust on the wind, my sanity swirling around the desert of this once great land of promise.
What have I become?