I get his narrative voice stuck in my head, and I start hearing it narrate my life, like this:
Changing the Batteries in My Digital Camera:
He notices the little icon flash up on the Canons rear LCD, a red pixellated thing that was apparently meant to suggest a battery in some abstract sense. Probably designed by committee, he thinks, focus-grouped to ensure maximum communicative potential across the 7 or 8 linguistic families Canon planned on marketing this little hunk of plastic to. He walks to the kitchen, pops the tiny battery cover cap open to reveal the twin silver nickel-hydride rechargeable batteries nestled next to the blue plastic of the camera's gigabyte memory card. Chuckles to himself as he remembers the day, almost fifteen years ago now, when he had scraped together $200 of Christmas money and weekly allowance to buy four megabytes of system RAM for his old 80486 PC - a putty colored aluminum box the size and weight of a microwave oven - remembers walking into the ozone smelling electronics store in the strip mall by the China Wok restaurant, walking out with the two green memory modules studded with black rectangular chips as big as a thumbnail, gold plated contacts shining in the winter sun. What, he wonders, would the boy who had just payed $50 a megabyte for giant sticks of system RAM would say if he could somehow let him know that in the near future (how near was it though, really, those fifteen years were his whole life, after all) you could pick up a neatly bubble-packaged bit of blue plastic containing a gigabyte of as-yet undeveloped memory technology for 40 bucks? Probably something along the lines of, you've gotta be shitting me, mister.
Which, he realizes as the long silver batteries land with a muted metal thunk on the countertop, is an appropriate thing to think now - given that he's just blown his last set of rechargeables with a video assignment due in just a few hours. Somewhere in his mess of a junk drawer he knows he has a last pair of alkalines stashed away for an emergency of just this nature. A few seconds rifling through the various small tools and pack-rat hoarded detrius: four small screwdrivers; a washer he found on the railroad tracks, warped and bent by the passing train; a neon-yellow super-high-bounce ball of the sort he used to buy from coin-op prize machines because a certain someone had this geeky, adorable fascination with them; and he's found the batteries - classic copper on black colors shining like the herald of some chivalrous centipede. Slotting them into the Canon, he knows he has only a few minutes of video capture before they give out - its designers had traded energy economy for parts economy, drove down the price point of their hardware while sticking the buyer with the price of consumables, caveat emptor he supposed. Still, it was better than nothing in a pinch.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Today, for your viewing pleasure, a movie of the Midnight Train to My house. Well, it goes to my house if you ride the Freights and are willing to jump off while the train is cruising at a fairly good clip.
Posted by Andy at 8:12 AM