Communication February 5, 2008Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
It’s all anyone ever does these days, isn’t it? If we’re not connecting people here, we’re changing the communications landscape there. Our telephones are constantly being communicated to by someone or other who’d like to communicate some money out of us. The Russian can often be heard yelling down the phone at his babushka. I dash next door to give him some pointers. “Quick, tell her about your health.” He grimaces. “Quick, ask her about her health.” He acknowledges my existence impatiently and encourages me to leave the room.
But I haven’t got a second for any of this communication business at the moment. Not a second. Work, don’t you know. Oh yes, like a grown-up. Plus the Russian’s not in and his absences are always unpredictable in length and we’ll both die of acute moanitis if he comes in and sees me here or, worse, checking my stats, and then complaining at 11.45pm that I haven’t quite begun my working day yet and still have about 40 billion words to translate before the morning (and then yelping all night in bed, though not in an even vaguely sexy way, and waking up in sweats about undone work but realising all is sort of OK when the Russian says a reassuring, “Beeb, oll vill byee OK. Всё будет хорошо. You just mad”).
But, anyway, I’ve got this new policy going. A communications policy. You know, getting out there. Meeting people. Getting back on the dating scene. Except I had to scrap that bit when the Russian reminded me we were a couple. “Darling, sorry, I clean forgot we’d been together for a millennium now.” “Yes, iz very fanny. Saamtyimez I forget too. Zen I see your shyuz placed inkorrektly in kholl and remember ze joy of kommunal leevying.” Because I’m bored of my ivory tower now. And it’s stats what’s reminded me. I was having a minor ganderette through to see if anyone had come to visit me from an interesting place. “Darlink, vot you dooink?” came the disembodied voice of the Russian from an intercom system he’s had wired up so that he can spy on me from the next room. “You chekkink styets? Styop it. Do some vyerk.” “No, honestly, darling, it’s the last time. Honestly. This is my last ever check. Look at all those interesting places that people have come to visit from. Look, there’s a place called King of Prussia in Pennsylvania. Oh, just let me check that url. I’m sure it’s probably someone important wanting to turn my whole blog into a play…” But of course when I open the exciting-looking url, it’s just some regular old bastard service provider instantly flashing their ‘Connecting People’ or ‘Changing the Communication Landscape’ logo in my freshly despondent face.
Anyway, so I’ve taken on their words. Will make a paasitive out of a negative. Get communicating again. I’ve fallen out of the game. This translating away at home is rubbish. Go and befriend the neighbours. Pick up the phone. Text people. Write some e-mails.
“Drring, drring.” I braced myself. Rid my throat. Picked up the phone. “Hello,” went a drone with a job. “It’s your credit card people. Can you give us all your money and then borrow another different million so we can ring and hassle you about that and write to you twenty times a month?” “Bing.” Ooh, that’ll be an e-mail. “Er, yeah, sorry we haven’t paid that invoice. Yeah, there’s been some confusion about that actually. :-) Because we thought it was for such-and-such a piece of work ;-) and then that person left :-( and…”
“This is no place for gloom,” I reassure myself. “If you dash downstairs and check the post, there’ll probably be postcards from faraway places, cheques, invitations to balls.” I walk to the recycling to throw out the pizza ads and remind myself that I must get round to booby-trapping the letter-box. I pass the loathsome neighbour with the hairstyle that makes me want to kill him. “Hello,” I say with fake pleasure that England has honed to perfection down the evolutionary centuries. He walks past in total silence which makes me wonder if he can tell I put a glass up against the hall wall when their baby hasn’t stopped crying for four hours in a row and he and his girlfriend are screaming, no doubt about his hair. Butter-borrowing son of a bitch.
Still, today’s another day. And probably only four months till Eurovision.