[email protected]

"It's the only email address I ever had, almost thirty years of communication of all kinds, the history of my life — personal, academic, professional — during my most productive era," he does not say to the person managing the phone at ITS. What he does say is, "I can't access my email."

"I'm sorry to hear that," an almost motherly female voice informs him. "Could I have your name and email address?"

He tells her and there's a pause, after which the almost motherly voice assures him, "From now on you'll do just fine without email."

"I don't want to be without email. Furthermore, I don't like the tone of your voice," he replies.

"What do you not like about it?" she asks, still motherly.

"It sounds like you've taken the authority to make big decisions about peoples' lives and enforcing them. I guess it's the finality of your tone. It's arbitrary in an unpleasantly maternal way that puts me off. You sound like my Aunt Mary."

"Let me assure you that I am not your Aunt Mary and that I like your voice very much. A voice like yours can only belong to a nice person."

"Well, duh . . .," he begins, intending to convince her otherwise.

But she interrupts to say, "Where has such a nice person been keeping himself all these years?"

"Let me try. Will I get my email back if I answer correctly?"

"Forget email. You will never have email again. Where you're going, you won't need email."

"It sounds like, according to you, I've already gone where I'm going."

"You're definitely on your way."

"Uh huh. And how will I know when I've arrived?"

"You'll know."

"Am I there yet?"

"You'll know."

"Am I . . .?"

"You'll . . .."

"Am . . .?"

"You . . .."

"A h h h . . . hey! I'm here!"

"Wahey!" she replies. "You're everywhere."

"Not nowhere?"

"That too," her motherly voice smiles reassuringly.

Talk story

Leave one comment for [email protected]

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to its use of cookies.