Waiting to be Connected

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Waiting to be Connected

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I moved out of New York City for a month in the spring of 2020 during the period where my gallery furloughed most employees aside from the principal directors and a select number of sales people. I spent that time with my father in upstate New York in a close quarters quarantine. I was always struck by the quiet during the day and how visible and bright the stars were at night. Two things that seemed foreign to me at times as I grew up in cities and had lived in various Brooklyn neighborhoods for the past year. The passing sound of car stereos and people’s voices on fire escapes from a floor above were white noise. All vibrant - completely alive - no stars.

His apartment was a studio and at the time he had not yet begun paying for internet service. Some nights we would drive four or so minutes down the road to the apartment complex where my Dad used to live a few years prior. We would camp outside the complex’s gym which housed one or two treadmills and the outside looked like a glorified garage - but it had wifi. As we were no longer residents and owners of a key pass to the facility, my Dad would pull up to the side entrance and put on his hazards. I would jump out and begin to search for a signal and attempt to connect to the complimentary internet. Whenever a stray person would emerge from their units to retrieve Amazon packages from their front stoop, I would make uncomfortable eye contact with them, as I held up my phone.

Yes, yes, this is what you think it is.

They hastened back up and quickly closed their door behind them. I found that the most expedient way of downloading content was to position myself by the exterior front left corner and stand with my back flush against the wall.

Every night my Dad and I listened to podcasts and drank tea. Despite everything, moments like these helped us laugh and I look back at this memory fondly.

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This item was submitted on September 8, 2021 by Morgan Richards using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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