15 September 2005

Revised 16 September 2005




He sits in the cramped metal walled room, headphones on his head, bent over a small shelf attached to one wall, the room lit only by the dial of the receiver, the transmitter and few pilot lights. He is a radioman and is only ears and eyes, listening for anything that might pop out of the sounds coming from the universe and the occasional crash of a lightening storm off in the distance and his eyes watching the receiver dial so he does not stray too far from where signals should or might come from.


Sometimes when he has been on duty for hours and hours, he will think he hears, down deep in the noise, the faint trace of a message, some character, maybe even a word but then it is gone, lost to the sound of an exploding star or stuff being sucked into a black hole. Just a trick of his mind he thinks, but then again, he wonders, could it have been a distress call, someone in need of help? Was someone calling me? What did they want?


As he turns the receiver dial and waits and waits for a signal, sometimes, he will switch the transmitter to standby and send out messages to various people he knows, thinks or or cares about and he wonders if his messages somehow make it into their dreams or awareness. He knows the message will not be received as he sent it but perhaps as some phantom on the edge of a dream or perhaps just some strange light wind that stirs the hair of that woman he knew once and has never forgotten. And sometimes, even though it is against the rules, he will send out an actual call, an invitation to anyone who can hear him, to respond, to communicate, to share ideas and thoughts but those, out there, are either afraid or just cannot break the rules and he never gets an answer to his calls but that does not stop from trying from time to time.


Waiting, always waiting and listening. Will a signal come? 


When his midnight to 8am shift ends, he get some food and then sleeps for awhile. Sometimes he dreams of someone he has "sent" a message to only there is something different like a face or the place but the message is clear like she does not understand his obsession with her but then again, neither does he. Then after sleep, he relaxes sitting in the sun watching and thinking of nothing at all and sometimes, his mind will be invaded by the thoughts of some person he knows and he wonders if his mind is tuning some unknown set of frequencies and still listening for the sound, the signal, a message, out of some ether which surrounds us all and him.  He is a radioman.