Have you ever been cut off?

Old Barn on a Dirt Road

She didn’t have to say anything. And she didn’t, because she couldn’t.

The Internet connection at her parents’ house in a remote part of the Catskill Mountains was moving slower than lava down Kīlauea — which is to say, very slowly.

That’s why I wasn’t hearing from anyone. They couldn’t communicate with me.

What followed was a frustrating week of not talking: an occasional text message and a grand total of one phone call when they were close enough to a cellphone tower.

We were cut off.

It isn’t the first time. When Kari was in boot camp, she made one or two calls to me over the course of several months. During my Fulbright year, we’d go weeks without talking because phone calls overseas were prohibitively high. Email didn’t always work, either.

Have you ever been cut off from your loved ones because of geography — and technology? I could tell you about my coping mechanisms, but I don’t know it they’ll do you any good.

They include:

Denial. I tell myself they’re just busy. Yeah, that’s it. Busy.

Anger. Well, I didn’t want to talk to them anyway. If they don’t Skype me, it’s their loss. Besides, I’m enjoying this quiet time … alone.

Doubt. Do they still love me? Maybe they’re staying in the Catskills for the rest of their lives. Could I see myself moving to Washington full-time?

If you thought you’d get some smart, actionable travel advice out of this story, I’m terribly sorry to let you down. This devolved into a therapy session, didn’t it?

But I can’t be the only person who has been cut off like this. It’s happened to you, admit it. How did you handle it?

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