My doubts about the job hve become a little more intense. Most people there would sway it is a job you do not take home with you. Unfortunately for me, that is exactly what happens. I hear those voices in my head.
The juxtapositions are jarring. Anyone doing this job would probably agree.
One minute I’m hearing the monied voice from an Upper East Side Mansioneer complaining about weird-tasting tap water. The next it’s someone who had been living on the streets for two week sneeding a place to stay, but refusing intake at any of the homeless shelters. Next up might be an citizen wanting to improve or maintain the integrity of his neighborhood by reporting squalls of trash.
A troubling that haunts me came from someone on the spectrum. I did not key into this until well into the extremely slow-moving conversation.
The call arrived and I nearly hung up after about 15 seconds of silence on the other end. Most people in this position probably would have hung up on her but I, for whatever reason, held on long enough to hear her voice rise from the silence.
She had a letter in front of her either from or with regard to … I forget what the hell the 4-letter abbreviation is but let’s say it was HDFC, a hypothetical City agency.
Several minutes of her staring at those letters and trying to communicate them to me returned numerous wrong combinations of letters. HDCG. HDVF. HDFC.
Through the phone I felt the struggle as she tried so hard with every utterance to communicate these letters to me.
When she finally got the correct string of letters out I could tell she got it right from the sound of accomplishment in her voice. She said it three or four time, and at last I was able to access the information she needed.
Throughout the conversation she repeatedly crooned “I CAN HEAR YOU. I HEAR YOU.” When I say “crooned” I mean no sarcasm or disrespect. She literally sang those words. I wouldn’t think she thought of it that way, though.
A long, epic rant from a NYCHA woman has left her words rattling through this cage of my head. Twice homeless, her 10 year old daughter and she felt lethargic and sluggish most of the time. She blamed it on mold and occasional gas leaks.
I am supposed to hit the 911 button at the mention of “gas leak” or “smell of gas” but she retracted a comment which seemed to state pretty explicitly that she smelled gas… again. Honestly I was looking for any excuse to get her off the phone, but I also cannot lie: I cannot look away from some of these windows into sordid and assorted realities.
An obviously disturbed and possibly intoxicated or otherwise influenced individual called to send a message to The Mayor’s Office as well as a few government agencies.
The content of these messages was incoherent and, because he wanted to remain anonymous, meaningless in its impact. He spoke of his caretake, Christopher, who he communicated with via WhatsApp. I don’t think Christopher really exists. He also requested a live-in caretaker, despite having no place to live.
All this time he ket asking if I had submitted his comments to the various agencies he requested. I said yes, feeling my fingers peck out his words onto the computer keyboard, laboring under the weight of futility knowing nothing could possibly come of this gesture, this mechanical performance of taxpayer-funded emptiness.
All the while, between him asking if the messages had been sent, he sang. He groaned. He made nondescript humming and snorting sounds. He was happy with himself, happy with wherever he was and whatever his future held.
I don’t know his name and his comments must have echoed with the dullest thud possible at those agencies and the Mayor’s Office.
I think the other agencies were Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and maybe the Department for the Homeless.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But even the most seasoned among us makes mistakes. Nothing really is at stake here. No money. No risk of physical aggression. Nobody here can hurt you over the phone.
OK< on to other matters.
I have finally given up on my dream of having wireless headphones with boss-quality microphone that I can use to record audio whilst walking around the apartment, or anywhere, really. I did not want to spend a lot of money on this but I did, only to get that money back after returning headphones I htink cost upward of $300.
These were gaming headphones, with excellent mics but bulky as hell and range not even as good as headphones I got for $30.
So I settled for a $30 USB set that should do me fine. They just arrived and I have not used them but I don’t think I’ll have troubles.
I’ve played back some of what I now call “BLUE”, or else “BLUE RADIO.” You can find it at WSBJ.com. It troubles me the things that come out of my head. But it shouldn’t. It’s deliberate and actively activated fantasy. There is no risk to anyone, not even myself. Hell, if horror fiction writers can do this kind of thing why can’t I?
But some of what I played back made me wince. I remembered dreams from which I woke, feeling filthy for knowing images that appeared and actions that occurred in that dream originated from my head, from this weird soup of erudition and intellectual slovenliness.
Somewhere in the bowles of my old web site is an account of a dream in which I murdered somebody. It was very detailed, prompting my mother to email asking if anything of that shit was true.
It was. I do not remember it at present but I recall a grusomely detailed account of strangulation and watching the life spill out of someone’s face.
What troubles me about the Blue Radio is that some of starts to feel real. My cock gets hard sometimes, imagining the acts I talk about performing on women I see on the subways or the streets. I walk around with a bulge that would be difficult to hide if not for the winter jacket I’ve been wearing.
My body can be weird with this sort of thing. I get sudden hardons for no obvious reason. It happened at work a few weeks ago, creating quite an uncomfortable situation, but only for myself. Sitting where I was I kept it obscured.
THis happened throughout the past 20 years of working from home, where obviously no one is going to be bothered. At an office I don’t think it too far-fetched to imagine someone accusing me of masturbating or somehow pleasuring myself with porn.
It just happens and I don’t know why.
Only one woman I’ve known encountered this directly. We don’t talk anymore but I would bet good money that was something she will never forget.
I gotta go.