Modern Mis-communication. Caught in a Social Net

The paradox of a connected world: messaging, social media and text can often leave us lost in the mist
Photo (c) Owen Perry

 He loved spontaneity.  Schedules, time-tables, fixed appointments, were all a bore to him.  Having to deal with this tedium in his working life, why arrange his personal life in such a fashion.  He`d been sent on an assignment in Frankfurt.  Like lightening he proceeded with his tasks, execution was easy, how slow people were, he thought, they´ll catch up one day. 

She was new to the city.  Working at a tech start-up was demanding her time, energy and thought.  She had little pockets of relaxation, where she delved into Stefan Zweig and wondered why she couldn`t not say no to the countless tasks and people that always seemed to need her help.  She stretched herself way beyond her boundaries and regretted it later, knowing that she had not enough time to look after herself.

This particular evening, she decided to go home and finish off her work there. It was one of the few nights that I came back home early enough to start having something to eat.  Making herself a quick salad she settled down, opening her social networks, to see what her friends  were up to, a picture of the Augustiner Braü stood gazing back at her.

Was "he" in town? She thought.  Why hadn`t he got in contact? She took a deep breath and asked him in a private message.

OK, confirmed, he is in town.  But why didn`t he get in contact before he arrived.  Maybe he is with someone else, she thought.  She asked a few questions to get a feel for the situation.  Maybe he is not even interested to meet.  She decided to ask him directly.  He dodged her question and instead he got aggravated and told her she was too slow and thought to much.

This fired her up.  "I think too slow"!?  She thought.  "Well that is a projection"! But it had the desired effect.  She quickly looked up the address, just to be sure, she got the right place.  She rarely went to beer houses, since there was so much going on at work.  She didn`t recognise the exterior either.  By this time, she was annoyed, annoyed at being slow and complicated when she felt like all the time she was trying to be as open as possible. It just felt he was making it difficult for her. 

She took the address down: Augustiner Lindenbergstrasse, Munich, her head was full of thoughts as she shut the computer, "I will just go then, if he thinks I think to much, sod it, I will just go there now".

But her mind kept questioning her actions incessantly...."It feels like he wants me to chase him all the time, like I have to prove my love to him", she thought.....she fumbled around for her was out of battery.  She plugged in the mobile and it took some minutes to fire up...she took his number down and took out her work phone.  That too was running out of battery.  She plugged it in  shut her computer.  Half-way through her dinner, she got up, sighing, noticing her place being a mess, because of her lack of time to keep everything in order. She gathered her things in a hurry and briskly left.

"Why was she asking so many questions", he thought.  "Can`t she just walk to the Augustiner Braü and that`s it?  Why are people so slow."  He was getting agitated.  He wanted things to be simple and fast.  It all seemed so clear to him.  The food and beer arrived on time.  Good, he thought, at least one thing is functioning efficiently.

On the Ubahn her heart was racing.  "Why does he do this"? she thought.  She could usually keep her control and composure, but her heart felt like it was going to leap out of her chest.  Everything seemed hyper-real.  Her vibration increasing and she didn`t know how to handle it, so it went to her head.  Maybe there she can get control of her situation.  Focus on where you are going, she thought.
Leaving the Ubahn, she had no idea where Lindenbergstrasse was and her phone was nearly out of battery, so she couldn`t check the map.  She asked a taxi driver.  He sighed and said it was "up there"...he wafted his hand in the direction of the Haupbahnhof.  She walked at double quick time  for what seemed like a long time.  She kept checking her watch 9.15pm.  She cursed asking why this was so hard and why it felt like she had to do all the hard work just to meet him.

She finally saw a tram and hopped on asking a passenger for directions. At 9.30pm she stepped into the Augustiner Braü on Linderbergstrasse.  Its throng of drunken men heaving like a swollen slave ship.  She felt exhausted and angry.  Where was he?  Had he left?  She walked the depth and length of the sweaty bar.  Not seeing him anywhere in sight, she pulled out her mobile.  6% left.  OK, she called him.  "This phone is not available" shit, did she have the wrong number?  She tried again, still the same.

She walked outside and round the corner spotting a tiny cafe.  She went inside and asked a big, blonde tired looking woman if she had Wi-Lan.  "Yes, Shokokuchen" she said.  "I don`t want any Shokokuchen" Natasha said, the woman behind the counter at the cafe sighed.."no, that is the Wi-Lan password".  Oh, Natasha laughed, felt stupid and quickly typed in S-H-O-K-O-K-U-C-H-E-N

The first thing she saw was his messages..."I´m leaving" said, "shit", Natasha typed, quickly "I am here"...

Maybe she just wants to stay at home, he thought, she hasn`t answered. Sending her a quick message, he tries provoking her a little, "Staying at home"? answer.  Yeah, she is not coming.  I made it easy for her, he thought and she still can`t make it.  Pff.  Or she is too slow.  In any case, she is not coming.  He looked at his watch 9.25pm. It was getting late and he had to drive back over 300 Km and work the next day.  He had been waiting for what seemed like an eternity.  Time to go.  He wrote her, "I´m leaving" still no answer.  OK.  That`s clear then, he thought.  He sighed, paid and left.