There’s one telegraph-man left in New York City.
He works on
the top floor of a building from the 1960s. I’ve looked into his office a
few times, and it’s rather bare – wooden walls, floor, ceiling, hard
chair. Wouldn’t surprise me if they just picked up his room and put it
on the top floor of the building and then built underneath it. Lord
knows nobody can get in. The doorway is blocked by an electric field. I
saw someone learn that the hard way.
I see him, a round little man
with his white shirt, green suspenders, green visor. Sitting at the
table, pen in hand, transcribing the Telegraph signals as quick as they
come, and they come quick. Too quick. I can’t distinguish the spaces
between the signals, and I can’t see the man’s hand, only a blur moving
rapidly down the page. One sheet per second. The room is covered in
paper, all the papers covered in Morse code.
I’ve never seen his
face, for he never turns around. I’ve never seen him eat
. He never even
say hello to me. Perhaps he can’t hear. Perhaps he doesn’t know that
there’s someone outside his room.
Or maybe he doesn’t care.
What’s he writing? Who’s he writing for? How long has he been there? Does he even remember why he’s there, or when he began?
I wonder – if he’s that intent, surely he won’t notice when I jack-hammer a new doorway
in the wall.