“A lot of texts these days.”
“Yeah. I was thinking. What messages did we used to send that didn’t contain text?”
“Yes. Can you imagine sending a smoke signal today? From one end of a city to another? From Minneapolis to St Paul?”
“There are a lot of places where it could still work.”
“Not in cities.”
“Certainly not. But from one farm to another. Along some trails. In the desert.”
“What do you burn in a desert?”
“A desiccated cactus will bank a fire for days.”
“What about hieroglyphs?”
“Were they sent?”
“That’s… a stretch.”
“They were composed by hand and contained or referred to a specific language. How do we know they weren’t meant to convey information into the future?”
“I think they were pretty close to being text though.”
“How about Morse code?”
“Hmm—yes. Only audible. Not a text but...”
This short bit of fictional dialogue continues...
She noticed a stack of books by the door. One she picked up, showed the cover to him.
“Were you getting rid of this?”
“I was planning on getting rid of most of them. You can have it if you want it.”
“Maybe, I’ve never read him. Would you say he’s good with relationships?”
“Oh, yeah. He does a ton with relationships. He’s the relationship master.”
“Interesting. I think of Beattie as the relationship master. Recycled love, mother stuff. But she could also leave me feeling worse about relationships.”
“What do you mean?”
“She can make you paranoid because a lot of relationships don’t make it through her stories. Her characters have a tendency to leave their spouses.”
“What about him, though? Better or worse after reading?”
“Not better. He’s not therapeutic in that way. I’d say I feel weirder after reading him. Fanciful, if that’s possible?”
“Probably not. But it’s better than feeling worse. Say, while we’re on this subject—have you been doing any disco art?”
“I’ll show you what I’ve got.”
Creepy jazz music defected from the attic. An old gramophone was playing new tunes. He was scrobbling to last.fm. They went up there.
“What are all these pieces?” she asked...
Continue with this short story...
I'm tired and restless. This was that soft-life nightmare-scenario year where both stocks and bonds declined in value. Who was going to see that coming?
It's like how we usually get invited by our friend to add music to a "Best of Year" playlist, which goes on queue at her year-end New Year's Eve bash. Except this year, nothing, no mention of it. She's got the entire musical landscape covered?