For the past few months, I have been living in a shack made out of particle board and plastic. Every surface has been painted white to hide the marks of a shady past that I’m sure includes the manufacturing and selling of crack cocaine.
I pay almost $600 a month to live without insulation, locks on the doors or working electricity. It is Pacific Beach-chic on its best days, but most of the time it’s a labyrinth of a nightmare with spontaneous combustions from random electrical outlets and exploding oven pilot lights that leave my roommate covered in second-degree burns. True story.
Considering this little real estate anecdote, and the list of potential lawsuits I can file against my landlord, it is no surprise this termite-infested hut does not have cable or Internet. Most of the time, we can steal some service bars from our neighbors, but last week was the first time I experienced the isolation of being completely detached from the World Wide Web.
I couldn’t find Internet connection while sitting in any of the rooms in the “house.” I nestled up so close to my neighbor’s fence, trying to check who in God’s name was trying to friend request me on Facebook. After a half hour of straddling weeds and battling spiders, I gave up. All was lost. There would be no online chatting tonight. There would be no Hulu.
I said all sorts of words any respectable adult would be surprised to hear come out of my mouth. I’m sure the neighbors heard, but I think I wanted them to. In my fit of rage, I imagined they were Internet pirates hoarding all of their connections, just to stick it to the young girls living next door. I pictured them holding all of the bars in their grimy hands and laughing at my technological dismay.
I laid on the couch listlessly, trying to remember my life before television and the Internet. What do people do? How does one pass the hours after school and before dark? The ocean was flat, the liquor cabinet was emptier than my wallet and I never seem to have homework these days.
After my fretful brainstorming session, I decided to go for a walk: a begrudging trek around the northern Pacific Beach area.
Well friends, if you were ever wondering what to do between the hours of your last afternoon class and before the bustling nightlife begins, I recommend watching the sunset.
Watching the pink and orange colors shoot from the sun like fingers trying to catch their last dying grasp on the opposite side of the hemisphere, reminded me that I haven’t watched a sunset since school started.
It is during those hours that I am usually comatose from a long day of laborious studies, laying on my bed, pecking away on my keyboard and talking to some friends from back home.
So there I was, standing by myself, slack-jawed at what happens every day but I had dismissed as noteworthy months ago. And it is at this point in the story that I will abstain from writing some preachy sentences about distancing yourself from technology to experience the world around you, but you know what I’m thinking.8212;Patricia B. Dwyer is a journalism junior. 8212;This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.