It never fails.

Just as Catherine of Aragon receives secret correspondence from Cardinal Woolsey - which the messenger has broken the seal to read - a spinning circle of death appears on the 58” television screen.

I maneuver to check the network.

All four Netflix servers are green for go.

Internet connection, intact.

Why, then, does Netflix - or any streaming video - freeze on 25 percent and not continue with programming?

It does not matter that it’s a pivotal scene in “The Tudors,” which I’ve been viewing with a renewed interest in the Renaissance and British history.

At pivotal moments, it creeps onto the screen, rearing its ugly face.

The spinning wheel of buffering also appeared when Colt and Abby got married on the football field during “The Ranch.”

And during “House of Cards,” when President Claire Underwood met Doug Stamper in the oval office, letter opener in her hand.

And when the shadow monster threatened Will in “Stranger Things.”

And when “Sneaky Pete” tried to steal money from the mob on Prime.

Doesn’t the fiber optic connection realize that it’s the middle of the night and slumber does not come easily? It may be 3 a.m., but I don’t want to be bothered with reruns of old sitcoms.

I want to view something fresh, something relaxing, so I can slip back to sleep for a few moments before the alarm sounds.

It would also be perfect if the connection would work on those rare evenings when Scott and I actually have an opportunity to sit down together to watch an episode of whatever show we’re currently binge-watching.

The spinning countdown reminds me of the four-colored spinning wheel that pops up on my MacBook, questioning if it has enough oomph to run multiple programs to produce the weekly paper.

But that only happens on Tuesday.

The TV thing, well, it happens more often.

How did we ever watch television when there were only three channels, four, if you counted PBS?

How did we survive without everything on-demand, without live-streaming entertainment that tugs at our time and tempts waking and non-waking hours?

Like all technology, it’s a wonderful invention … when it works.

Clock strikes 4 a.m.

Sleep is a fleeting moment, an ebb and flow of dreams and duties that leads to wakefulness.

Pick up the remote. Try again.

King Henry VIII continues to cavort with Anne Boleyn, to the dismay of Queen Catherine.

Oh, what’s this? An attempted coup? A few drops of poison in soup?

One by one, they fall like fli - - -

Buffering … buffering … power down.

Head finally reaches the pillow, drifting to a place where dreams may come.


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