Once I lived in the company of dem bones
in the Mantle House
and I was an Internet virgin
After a brief tutorial on the salient points of AOL
, I was invited to use the machine anytime I
wished. I was warned that the clock ticks and time is money spent, so staring into the screen like
Dem bones was pumpin the mix at our then mutual employer’s miserable little strip club, and I decided to go for a little solo flight into the continuum. I wrote up some corny assed message to
the only friend whose address I knew "hey! I’m online! Cool!" and sent it away. This was the reluctant freeloader period in my life and so I felt I had stepped out enough for the evening. It
was time to log off, to break the connection and stop the meter.
I COULD NOT FIND A COMMAND!
I was stuck standing on the information superhighway while the telecom cop wrote a new ticket
each minute... each more expensive than the last. I had to do something... so I clicked and a
pop-up window appeared which said:
"Downloading new art to AOL"
and a digitized meter was filling slowly... no cancel button.
For some reason this agitated me greatly, and having the crazy house to myself I felt no need
to contain it. Behind me was one lamp lit, and Dead Can Dance’s Aion was playing its lazed beauty. As my panic and rage peaked I thundered:
As "Puh" left me the entire house went black…
the light came back on
the disc started over
and the now familiar “cheep” of a computer reboot
issued forth from the resurrected machine.
...And I shuddered.
Halloween at Dave the everyman
's house, 199X. A small party is underway and Pink Floyd
's Division Bell
is playing on the hi-fi. A partygoer whose attention span does not support instrumentals decides that track 4 (marooned) is "boring
" begins the slow process of getting
his stoned ass
off the couch in order to skip to the next track. On a whim (and because I rather
like the song) I focus on the CD player and begin a mantra of active denial
When said partygoer arrived at the component
, the lamp next to me flickered as he tried to track forward
"Dave, your CD player is fucked
, it won't skip ahead!"
Dave walked in and the lamp flickered again as he tried to skip the track... "This thing is brand new...
what the hell?
" I broke my mantra to say "oh, that's me doing that" Without missing a beat, Dave said, "well cut it out!" The lamp flickered again as I said, "OK". The next attempt to skip worked...
…and I shuddered
...I am dreaming...
I'm rifling through someone's desk drawers, I know it's someone else's desk because of the hollow
, sublimated panic I feel in my stomach every time I am invading someone's privacy
. Every sense is turned up to ten, every hair is standing on end. I hear nothing but my own progress, smell nothing but the aged dust
of the office, but I feel
a presence. I look at the doorway to find a brimmed hat hiding a man's face in shadow. He is dressed in a brown trench coat and he is leaning nonchalantly against the door-jam
. I could not see his mouth move as he spoke:
the moment I finish speaking the telephone will begin to ring,
you will pick it up at the completion of the third ring
and when you put the receiver to your ear,
there will be no one thereBRRRRRING!
I awake with a start and begin the autonomic "jump out of bed and answer the phone" process.
I stumble on the way to the phone as I am not fully awake.....
as I hung up the phone, the dream swam back to me in full-on
...and I shuddered.