DIMNESS half-illuminated by glowing tubes. Military surplus electronic gear overflowing cardboard boxes. The smell of ozone and hot breadboard lash-ups, a soldering iron keeping company with a cigarette charring the edge of the table. An oscilloscope dance reflecting muted sound half-heard from headphones; the Doppler of a voice as the signal drifts. Bright color-coded transistors like savage jewelry, glass tubes in fantastic shapes, large white meters with delicate, jittering dials. Radio. Invisible waves of electromagnetic energy that I could imagine striding on immense daddy-long-legs over, under and through me as I sat with my spiderweb antenna catching human voices, Morse code dah- dit-dah-dit dah-dah-dit-dah dah-dit-dah-dit dah-dah-dit-dah dah-dit-dit dit . . . dots and dashes asking is anybody out there? Does anybody want to talk to me? Though once contact was made we never said much of anything. Down on their segregated end of the band the teletype machines tirelessly hurling whole newspapers-full of information compressed into an immense ethereal hum. Harmonics rising and falling as the electronic Niagara drifted past, the torrent of information unintelligible to me except as music. Even if you don't understand what's going on, work is beauty.
July 1, 1997
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