Tuesday, January 29, 2008



©2008 Celeste Billhartz

 There are companion animals, yes? Well, I have something even better. A companion tv.

 I don’t have to feed it, or walk it, or worry about it when I go out of town. It’s as close as my remote. Well, my remotes. I have two.

 One turns on the cable system and the other turns on the tv.

 Yes, I know – most tv sets turn on, change stations and get louder or softer with the same fancy cable remote …  the kind with 53 buttons.

 This puppy is so old, the cable guy couldn’t program it to do that, so I have to use the old remote – with  six buttons — to turn it on/off and to increase/decrease the volume. Works  ... uh .. worked … like a charm.

Yes, my old friend of some 25 years is  kaput.

 I can’t tell you the panic I felt. I have to have tv! Morning news, noon news, evening news, Martha, Oprah,  Ellen, C-SPAN!!

 I was really pushed off-center.

 I mean, I had to think of something, other than dashing out to buy a new tv. This isn’t like running out of milk for cereal. One doesn’t just run out and buy a new tv without researching, reading. That could take weeks. Could I go days …?

 No. I’ll ask friends if they have an extra one to lend or sell.

 Ah, then, I remembered.  I went into the basement and dug out an old … very old, very tiny, square, portable, black and white tv … small enough to fit inside a grocery bag. Small enough that I can set it on my coffee table and watch it from my sofa, without squinting.

 Good. That’ll do, for now.

 It’s so old, I can’t connect it to cable, nor can I get any station clearly, but I found the three major networks and one strange UHF station. And, there’s no color. I’m adjusting to that, better than I expected.

 I realize that it isn’t the visual tv I love, it’s the  voices, the company. Chatter, humor, ads … anything to pacify the numbing loneliness.

And, I had no idea.

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