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BTW: The photo art and prose included in any given post are separate creations having nothing to do with each other. Duality and such …
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Previous verses ... click to follow links ...
Finding The New Ones
Sleeping With A New One
Love In Phase
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Sweaty Guy With Glasses On The Hot End Of The Building
Farmed off to a basement room they all hated in a poorly circulated building across town in a neighborhood with no decent place for lunch was the Bugaboo staff. The official title was something more boring, something separating them into a segregated section of the much larger division that delt with error tracking and identifying malfunctions – operative word being ‘identify’, and mission being fixing it. The Bugaboo staff was staffed with tracking stuff that was anomalous – stuff that didn’t fit into a particular category of problem, if indeed a problem actually existed. Such as, why did certain drones not ‘talk’ to certain other drones? Each of the thousands of drones in the air was supposed share data with every other drone about the millions of people whose every move they were tracking. Wasn’t really a problem – at least no one thought so - because, as long as the drones were sharing data with the complete network, it didn’t matter that certain drones were excluded. It was just curious. If the Bugaboo staff ever figured it out, first a committee would have to decide whether or not it was a problem. If it was, it would be taken away from the quirky, nerdy bunch of folks assigned to the Bugaboo staff and given to others to figure out.
The role of the Bugaboo staff, then, was to watch the weird stuff, red flag them if they could show an actual problem, then get the hell out of the way. The Bugaboo staff sort of quietly resented that, just as they resented the wide open, wall-less and cubical-less warehouse space they had to work in, the sick-green color of the walls, the bad lighting, the crappy circulation in which one side was too hot and the other too cold and the air always stale, the noisy echoes that bounced around from every little sound or sneeze or chair-leg-squeak, and the cheap-ass chairs they were given to sit in. They resented it, but of course would never say anything. The Authoritarians would not tolerate it.
This one guy in question on the Bugaboo staff slid his glasses back up his nose – he was constantly sliding his glasses back up his nose – and used a tissue to mop his cheeks and forehead. He took a swig from his water bottle. He had a condition in which he sweated a lot. He used prescription anti-perspirant/deodorant and special body wash to counteract it, but it didn’t always work like he wanted. He was also assigned to a desk on the side of the building that ran too hot. That’s just how it went, he thought, and never complained.
He put the water bottle down and turned back to his computer. He could see his reflection a little in the screen. He had a bushy moustache that covered completely his thin upper lip. His eyes were close together and small, and though the thick lenses of his glasses made them look normal-sized, they also exaggerated and warped their shape. He was sensitive about it, but it motivated him to work harder and, indeed, he was good at tracking bugaboos. He was the guy who had figured out why some small data streams were just slightly larger than certain other data streams. They knew deviants were disseminating unapproved information – he’d been the guy that figured out the deviants were using a device that broke the information streams into tiny bits that attached themselves to nondescript data streams, then broke off and reassembled themselves somewhere downstream they couldn’t find. The big shots at up at division hadn’t figured out what to do about it yet, but, hey, wasn’t his problem anymore they told him.
His hand worked a control knob to adjust the attitude of the drone he was piloting, taking it a bit lower to his subject. He’d been assigned to a team studying the bugaboo of why some people appeared ‘fuzzy’, in an electronic sort of way, to the drones. The signal the drones collected just wasn’t ‘sharp’ for some people, and observational data seemed to be missing. It confused the drones, each of which monitored hundreds of individuals at the same time, and the fuzziness for some of them was like a record skipping.
He’d already ascertained that the fuzziness in question seemed to be briefly present when an individual dropped from the drones’ view. He later found it was there, just for a split second, when an individual popped back into view. Since the bugaboo of people seeming to drop in and out of view was being studied by a different team, he hadn’t said anything yet because he knew the two teams would then be merged and he hated some of those guys.
Then he got an idea about phasing – an element of string theory that hypothesized that matter could exist in different forms in the same space if they were phased in such a way that their atoms fell between each other. It had applications in a number of disciplines but had never been applied to electronic surveillance devices. So he spent parts of several shifts writing a code, requested and received permission to take manual control of a particular drone, and had just, not long before, uploaded the code.
The drone had been programmed to monitor a group of artists in the theater district. Artists were automatically considered potential deviants. When they dispersed, he selected a particular guy, tracked him home, scanned his neighborhood, watched him enter a building, climb stairs, and enter his apartment, an eerie infrared picture of the neighborhood on his screen surrounded by text labeling data streams. Now he activated the code he had uploaded.
There were hundreds. They appeared out of thin air, did not appear to be human. He sucked air. His small eyes opened big. Data streams went crazy – red lights all over his screen.
He zoomed into his subject. He had crawled into bed. There was something there with him. And they were lovers.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.