Monday, March 4, 2024

a moment in the day: forward

It's writing group night and my friends and I are Zooming, ready to read aloud from our pages and critique as we go. Our pages have been sent out through email and each of us in our little bubbles, me at my house, Holly at hers, Shannon at hers, Brian at his, sitting down at our computers, are bringing up each other's pages to read. My pages are left over from last week because last week we ran long. Which means I get to read first tonight. It also means I probably should have resent my same pages out to everyone this morning, but I was lazy and hoped they had them saved from before.

"Everybody got them?" I ask.

"Yes," says Shannon.

"Yes," says Holly.

Robin is in her car, driving home from work, and her Zoom square is just her photograph, silent, as she listens in, on the road.

"No," says Christy, looking through her email for the resend that I didn't send and should have.

"I'll resend it," I say. And I do. But instead of making a new email and re-attaching my pages, I just go to my sent box and find last week's email and do a reply-all forward. See what I mean? Lazy. I know full well that sometimes when you forward an email the attachment doesn't attach, but that's what I do anyway.

I wait a bit and then:

"Everybody got them?" I ask.

"I got the email," Christy says, "but not the attachment."

Which means all she got is an email saying "Yeppity yep." Which is all I'd said in the body of my original email last week because when you're sending pages to each other every week you don't want to have to try to think of something new and coherent to accompany it every time. See what I mean? Lazy.

Now everyone's talking at once. Doug saying he got the attachment, Brian saying that resending the email should pop the original to the top of the inbox, me saying I'll resend, Christy saying that's okay, she'll do a search for the original. I see the top of her head on her Zoom square as she hunts via her tablet, and I'll admit: it starts to feel a little like a race, me against Christy for getting her the pages. 

"OK, OK, I found them!"

"Alright, alright, I found them!"

Christy wins. I should organize my computer files better.

Now Brad, momentarily away from his desk, comes back.

"Everybody got them?" I ask.

Brad's clicking through his inbox: "All I got is 'Yeppity-yep.'"

Zoom chaos as everyone's talking at the same time once again. Brian saying look for last week's email. Brad saying he will. Me saying I'll re-resend them. Christy saying she'll forward them.

And Christy and me, we're in a race again, and now we're racing Brad scrolling for last week. 

"OK, sent."

Christy wins again. 

But Brad says he doesn't see it. 

"I'll resend it," Christy says. And does.

Still Brad doesn't see it.

My inbox is full of my pages.

"I'll resend it," I say, again, again.

Doug says, "You should label it Yakety-yak."

I say, "Don't talk back."

I see the top of Christy's head again, and quick, I navigate to the folder, attach the attachment, resend the send, and finally, finally something comes through to Brad's inbox.

He says, "Yakety-yak."

Brian says, "Don't talk back."

And if we do that, if we all stop talking, we can begin reading. I click back to my pages on my computer screen and ask for the final time, "Everybody have them?"

Brad says, "Now I got all of them."

We laugh. We settle in to read. After all that, this better be good.

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