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 Ghost in the Machine

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Number of posts : 540
Age : 52
Location : The Edge
Registration date : 2008-12-13

PostSubject: Ghost in the Machine   Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:12 am

I’m sitting in her car and waiting for her to change, at half past eleven.
I have the side-seat down and the radio tuned to a local pop station.

The sky is a silvery-grey; the moon grafting shapes into the gentle clouds and casting suggestive shadows; a perfect night - no wind and the invigorating coolness of November.
I’m wide awake.

Through the side window my eyes are pulled up by a pair of oddly coupled trees.
One, with its fall plumage still on its hibernating limbs, provides a contrasting color scheme next to the bareness of the other.
They both reach upwards into the thinly veiled night sky as if they are rooted there, upside down and hanging from the heavens.

Moonlight cuts through a thinly clouded patch, like a flashlight through smoke, flickering upon the red and yellow hues and playing with my emotions.
It looks like a painting: soft and solemn like a widow’s dress.

I’m taken by the beauty and lead into existential thoughts.

‘Maybe this is what it’s all about.’ I think ‘All of life’s miseries and tragedies worth enduring for the sheer spectacle of this; the price of consciousness - a mind enraptured by perception.’

Midnight slides by and the radio switches to its regular Sunday morning party programming.
The volume seems to increase as Cool and the Gang, as usual, ushers in the new day with their celebration song; it becomes the soundtrack for the moment, adding its own commentary to my running dialogue with existence.

“Celebrate good times…Come on!....It’s a celebration….”

‘Yes…’ I think, ‘…like a celebration.’
The increase in volume persists, drawing my attentions, as if it’s trying to awaken me to its motives.
I rationalize the mystery away: ‘Perhaps the programming is accompanied by an appropriate crescendo to get the audience in a celebratory mood. How else would the volume increase? Is the radio broken? Have I touched it?’

I examine my position. I am nowhere near the dials.
I resist the probabilities, wanting to preserve the mystery.

Next, The Beatles, remixed with a dance beat, sing:
“Listen….Do you want to know a secret?....Let me whisper in your ear….”

‘Yes,…’ I think, ‘….tell me the secret to freezing this feeling, to maintaining the wonderment…to seeing with a child’s eyes’
The volume continues to increase, reaching an uncomfortable level but…. I still haven’t moved a muscle.
I smile, knowingly, while reason admonishes me for allowing myself to be seduced in this way.

Then she returns, suddenly, to snap me out of it.

“Are you crazy?” she chastises as she gets into the car “You’re going to wake up the entire neighborhood.”
She reaches over and lowers the volume annoyed. I see the volume’s digital display drop from a 42 to a more appropriate 18, realizing how high it had climbed.
“Why did you turn it up that high?” she asks, The Beatles still singing in the background.
I hesitate, while she starts the engine.
“I didn’t….” I respond, watching the moon-drenched city landscapes pass before me as we speed away.
I don’t want to explain it. I don’t want to reason the instance away.
I smile to the world, my face reflected in the glass back at me.

It was a spontaneous moment of perfection; the ghost in the machine intervening at exactly the right moment to make the experience …..What?....Sublime.
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