Category Archives: Mental Health

Coincidence, I think NOT!

Greg Glazebrook @ GMGCreative

Coincidence, I think NOT!

We moved into our modest three-bedroom semi-detached back split about 18 months ago. We had all the regular growing pains that come with moving including all the normal service hookups. The Internet Provider could arrange a timely appointment with the cable company so we spent the first five days without internet. Seems silly considering we had taken possession three weeks earlier to complete some minor renovations and to paint the place. Still, we survived.

About four months into our new home ownership odyssey a salesman from the cable company came to the front door to, in his words, offer us vastly superior internet service. He went on and on about how their cable network was better/faster/more reliable than everyone else’s network. Funny because my ISP uses the same cable network as Dishonest Ed Corp. so the only way it could be superior is if they are throttling independent ISP network speeds. Something big telecom vehemently denies they do when called to heel by our limp-dicked federal regulators.

Anyway, I unceremoniously shooed Billy Mays from my stoop, after all the service was going to cost more than half again of what I was paying for a plan comparable to what I was getting from my ISP, unless I took their streaming and cable services too. Bundling was going to save me 10% off their internet service but cost me about double my current TV and internet bill combined. Some deal! Telecom and internet access pricing in Canada is a discussion for another day but if you want to get a taste check out my post regarding wireless service titled “The Big Fix” from 2017, I can attest that nothing much has changed.

About two hours after greasy Pete leaves my internet service goes down. I call my ISP, and they confirm no outages have been reported in my area. Unable to resolve my problem internally they inform me they will have to log a call with Dishonest Ed’s but they are booking repair calls five days out. Since I stream TV through my ISP we are left without internet or television for five days! I imagined this could only go one of two ways, divorce or a sibling for Nate. Yes, I’m still married and Nate is still the youngest child!

The next five days (in December I might add) are the longest year of my life. Finally, in the late afternoon on the day the tech is supposed to arrive, I get the call that he is five to ten minutes away. We have waited all day because they will only give you a four to six hours window in which the tech may (or may not) show up. I assure him the red carpet had been unfurled and that our lives had been put on hold pending his arrival. After hanging up I walked to the living room to take a quick peek at my router. The light was still orange indicating no internet connection. The router sits within eyeshot of the front window, so I wait and watch until he pulls up to the curb out front. He begins to stir so I take a quick peek back at the router before heading to the door. WTF, green light, the internet is magically back up and he is just getting out of the red van.

I tell him the internet just came back up seconds ago and he gives me a look like I just made that up or something. He agrees to check the lines anyway and after inspection insists that an old cable splitter box the previous owners had installed was likely the source of the problem. I don’t use cable except for the connection to the ISP modem so he removes the splitter from the network of cables snaking to every room in the house and reconnects the single line to the modem. Once done he declares the problem resolved and leaves satisfied he’s done me a solid. Coincidence, I’m skeptical but maybe?

Fast forward about eight months and another sales guy shows up at my door, two hours later… no internet. I call my ISP who once again doesn’t find a problem from their end. They decided to send out a new modem as my model was aging and surmised that it may be the source of the problem. Conceding that it was a long shot they also submit a ticket with the cable company. Magically a day and a half later, before an appointment is confirmed and before the new modem arrives my internet springs back to life. Twice now, maybe it’s still a coincidence but conspiracy theories are beginning to creep in as my confidence wanes.

Of course, somewhere in there Dishonest Ed’s “most reliable” network crashes and plunges millions of internet and phone users, businesses and government agencies into the dark ages. The network outage lasts for several days while the Evil Empire maintains radio silence. I am sure herds of nerds were toiling feverishly behind the scenes to resolve the outage but outwardly the suits at the top seem more concerned with damage control than resolving the problem. One noticeable casualty – the barrage of “Most Reliable” network advertisements that previously filled our televisions and radios airwaves before the outage have disappeared.

That takes me to last night. I know this is a day late (well two since I’m actually writing it on Wednesday) for Paula’s Monday Peeve but I couldn’t hold onto it until next Monday, it needed to air immediately.

At approximately 5:30pm while I was taking my son to his Taekwondo lessons a Dishonest Ed salesman comes a-knockin’. My wife politely declines his internet sales pitch and sends him packing. When I get home she tells me of his exploits and I jokingly comment about how long it would be until the internet craps out. We both have a chuckle and go on with our evening. At 8:00pm we head out to drop her off at work for the evening. She works the graveyard shift (God love her) and normally takes the bus but I will occasionally drive her in when I’m at home. I’d probably do it more often but on school nights the little guy is normally slumbering by the time she leaves.

When Nate and I get back home I send him up to get ready for bed and I try to fire up the TV to watch Clarkson’s Farm. Lo and behold…

MY INTERNET SERVICE IS DOWN!!!

I fiddle with the equipment, tweet an angrier version of the above post in 280 characters or less and then contact my ISP. Full disclosure, I use the Evil Empire’s mobile network for my phone service and I am aware that they have trolls monitoring their social feeds. On a few occasions, I have tweeted displeasure at my mobile service or their sports network streaming service and they respond quickly with a “How can we help? I did not get a response last night but magically, as I was explaining my problem to my ISP’s tech support my internet service came back up.

COINCIDENCE, I THINK NOT!


Credits and Additional Information

Empty Pages

kaboompics via Pixabay

Empty Pages

Martin stared at the planner he held in his hand. Dale had given it to him for Christmas in, he quickly flipped back to the cover, 2008. She thought it was the greatest gift ever. He remembered opening it as she watched him through her big brown eyes. Sitting in excited anticipation of his reaction. Would he like it?

He remembered thinking, “What am I going to do with a calendar book?” as he exposed the planner from beneath the red and white Santa paper that concealed it.

Martin worked on the assembly line at Ford. The routine rarely if ever changed. He’d arrive at the plant at 6:30am and head into the locker room to pull on his coveralls and work boots. Next, he’d trek to the staff cafeteria and put his lunch bag in one of the employee fridges. Finally, he’d make his way out onto the floor and arrive at his post with about five minutes to spare.

When the whistle sounded Steve, his overnight counterpart would step aside and he’d take his place. His task, complete the same four welds on the door assembly before the line shuttled the next door along. Repeat over and over and over again, break for lunch, and then repeat all afternoon until the whistle signalled the end of the day.

Calendars, planners and organizers weren’t much use when every day was like groundhog day but with Dale’s eyes fixed on him it was only fitting to make her feel like it was the best gift he’d ever received. It was everything to see his daughter smile in delight at his approval. Her reaction was the real Christmas gift.

Over the years he’d often recalled that little girl’s smile. He didn’t know where the calendar had gone, it was lost much like that happy little girl who’d given it to him all those years earlier. He wondered where that girl had gone. Martin didn’t understand the ghosts that would haunt her as she grew up, instead choosing to believe she lacked the will or desire to control her urges, or stop her self-destructive behaviours. The last time they spoke he scolded her for whatever trouble she was in and warned her about coming around unless she’d got her shit together.

Now as he looked around her apartment, forced to sift through the remains of a life interrupted, the demons he’d refused to acknowledge filled the empty spaces of her tiny apartment with darkness. Beneath the shattered fragments that exposed his girl’s pain lay a planner. He recognized it immediately as the one she’d given him all those years ago. He leafed through the empty pages until he came across a single entry written in the neatest print of a seven-year-old girl.

July 14th, 2008: Happy Birthday Daddy, I love you. The “i” in birthday dotted with an oversized heart.

He’d never even opened it back then, but now as his lip began to quiver and tears fell from his eyes he couldn’t look away. If he could only see that smile from a Christmas so long ago…

They say losing a child is the worse pain anyone can bear, but he knew this wasn’t true. It was worse knowing that maybe, just maybe if you’d tried to understand, to help, instead of being too blind to notice.


Credits and Additional Information

Private Hell

Private Hell

Darkness creeps along the torn and frayed strands of my mind.

From order to disorder, every shuffle of the deck reveals another horror.

In the light, no outward signs of turmoil while the demons assume my soul.

Standing on the precipice; freedom from this private hell is just one step away.


Credits and Additional Information

Out of the Cold

Out of the Cold

As the thermometer plummeted to new record lows and the chill of winter’s wind cut even deeper through the channel beneath Highway 89, Buzz feared his home and the bottle of antifreeze he keep tucked under his jacket wouldn’t be enough.

Miranda pleaded with Buzz to follow, but he was leery of the people in those shelters; they didn’t hold his best interest at heart and wanted him to conform to their idea of living.

Still, he knew it would kill Miranda if she returned to find him frozen so he followed her as requested.

He couldn’t pinpoint the origin of his fear and the desire to run back to the bridge but as he stood there something about the front entrance calmed him and he knew everything was going to be alright – at least for tonight.


Credits and Additional Information

Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls

darkness falls
inside my head
shades the world
in thoughts of dread
light obscures
then fades away
with no escape
my nerve ends fray

the things I put
into my vein
suppressing demons
masking pain
could only yield
a brief respite
return the beast
the endless night

at the edge
of ever more
to find release
to quell the roar
please don’t mourn
my final deed
from the darkness
for which I’m freed

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