Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Metaman was a state-of-the-art, space-age creation, a stainless steel mesh weaving. His fiberglass veins electro-pulsed the blips of light that made him live. He had a twinkle about him, given by the reflective grade of his polished appearance. His brain was a cluster of magnetized staples hovering in his head. He was designed to live an independent, meaningful life. Since no one in the modern age knew anymore what that meant, they decided to observe him and find out. His first act upon activation was to gather together his television, laptop and cell phone and press them all together into a sleek little footstool of classic design. The scientists documented daily forays to the thrift stores. He systematically combed yard sales and flea markets, where he salvaged antique artifacts once used by everyone's great grandparents: A manual typewriter, a telephone with a spinning dial and a real ringing bell of metal meant to resound, even a gramophone. If an object didn't function, he'd fix it by twisting a paper clip into the intricate mechanism. No one could ascertain how he did this as the science of repair was a vanished art. His front door was like a time machine to another century. Nights he would put on Benny Goodman 78's and type away on his book, a treatise on the virtues of recycling.

Story #220

14 comments:

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

A poster child of how people in America are becomming today?

Frightening, but it gives one food for thought indeed!

The visuals are fantastic.

Michael said...

A newbie with my version….


He was just sitting there with another thousand or so others. Sitting in a stadium looking, well, staring really into space. We sat and talked for hours. What an amazing connection we made right from the start. I talked about all the issues in my life and he sat there in support of me and listened. What a beautiful thing.
When I got up to leave I felt his hand grab the pocket of my coat. I knew that he wanted to come with me. I looked into his glassy eyes and fell deep into their pool of blue. How could I refuse? I smiled and said OK but he continued to sit there.

“What?”

I looked down and saw the steel mesh legging and I knew that he could not walk. Poor man I thought.

“I’ll help,” I offered.

I gentled picked him up by his waist and was surprised by how little he actually weighed. I easily carried him past the other patient people waiting in the stadium. I wondered what the event was? It must be big. There were camera crews all over. Some cameras pointed into the crowds, some onto the field. As I reached the exit I heard a shout from behind me. A guy holding a clipboard was pointing at me and yelling. I looked at my new friend and the way that he stared back at me I knew that he was the one in trouble. So we took off running. Out the door, around the corner and then down the street. We were gone before they could find us.

Once we got home our conversation continued. We talked about all those things that are sometimes difficult to talk about. What an amazing man he is. I have never had anyone give me such undivided attention. We talked through dinner and I found out why he is so light. He eats like a bird. He barely touched his food.

We knew as darkness fell that we were together. He would be staying the night. That is not normal for this girl. I date for months before accepting an overnight invitation. I have never been the giver of the I invitation. He was different. I got ready for bed as he watched me from the chair. It was so erotic. I could see him looking at me with lust filled eyes.

I helped him into bed after taking off his jacket. I hadn’t realized how extensive his injuries were. The mesh brace covered much of his body. The look in his eyes showed me his tenderness. We cuddled together and I fell into a deep sleep. I rested as I have never rested before.

When I awoke in the morning I looked through my misty, sleepy eyes and saw him sitting at my desk. He was typing me a letter! A “Dear Mary” letter. Unbelievable! A girl gives her heart and soul to a man and he takes advantage of her! Look at him now that he has taken off his mask. So cold like he is made of steel. Well, this girl knows better. I kicked his ass out of my apartment and left him naked at the bottom of my steps. I walked back inside and found the rubber mask where he had thrown it on the floor after so brutally ripping it off. They eyes were so blue. So beautiful…

Indeterminacy said...

Barbara: Sorry, I didn't mean to frighten anyone. Wonder what this picture really was. A museum or something?

Michael: That was absolutely brilliant. Looks like I have to retire now. Thanks for taking so much trouble. I like the story way better than my own.

weirsdo said...

Your story with this was fraught with nostalgia for me. The room looks like my dining room when I was a kid, and my mom used to sit at a typewriter there, doing her master's and Ph. D. theses. We still have Dad's 78 collection upstairs, and a dial phone.
They don't call us the Weirsdos for nothing.

The Mushroom said...

Nice guy in front of the computer but sort of hollow between the ears... But I work in tech support, I'm used to that.

Good story, Indie. I wonder if that guy bought his Grammophone needles or fashioned them out of thick paperclips. :) (But think of the money he saves on vacuum tubes!)

Indeterminacy said...

Weirsdo: This story was semi-autobiographical. I love all the possiblities with the new technologies. But I'm nostalgic for the old ones, even before my time. I miss the sound of a real ringing telephone. And I have my own collection of 78's most of which I found in the Netherlands at various flea markets.

Mushroom: I have an old record player from the early 60's I play those 78's with. You can still get tubes in some of the smaller towns, if you go to an meister-store in family hands. There's often a box of tubes in the backroom they'll sell to you cheaply. If something happens to the needle I'll probably have to replace the record player.

annush said...

is there even such a thing as an independent meaningful life?

Jamie Dawn said...

I noticed he doesn't have art on the walls or any photographs on his desk. I guess a "meaningful life" for him is his quest to honor the past by keeping some of it around and functioning. I like that about him because I have a fondness for days, people and things gone by.

I knew someone would have to bring some sort of sex into this, but I'm surprised that is wasn't Indie or Mush.

Very cool picture and story.

Jamie Dawn said...

Indie: Go to Michael's blog (He's the newbie with the story) I think you'll like the fact that your wonderful site is getting some well deserved attention.

Indeterminacy said...

Annush: I asked myself that this morning. According to google there are 16 people leading an meaningful independent life. But I think your question goes deeper, and then I have to say you're right. Life becomes meaninful through the dependencies. A hermit living in a cave is independent and it may be meaningful to him, but it isn't life.

Jamie: I've already added a link. You weren't kidding when you said you would tell your friends about me. You're better than blogexplosion! Thanks a million.

Courtney said...

Metaman will be the next terrible Comic Book movie that comes out of Hollywood.

LiVEwiRe said...

Not one particular comment, but I just really, really like this one. Can't put my finger on it, but it just makes me feel good to read it. I get cornier as the days go by, sorry...

LiVEwiRe said...

Oh, and that image is intriguing!

The Mushroom said...

Indie: Depending upon what model of record player it is (I too have one that plays 78's, brand new and an Xmas gift in 1977) you should be able to get a needle from various places; you might look up the brand and model on Google and see if anyone offers replacement needles. Oddly I can probably get a replacement for my 78 player easier than I can my regular 33/45 stereo player despite the 33/45 player coming from Sears. The needles I was referring to were the metal needles found in the armatures of wind-up Victrolas, which one was supposed to change between records, not the long-life diamond-tipped little things found in electric record players.

As for vacuum tubes, they're still being produced (though this probably varies by item). Guitar amplifiers still use them because the sound is completely different than solid-state ones. Since I live in a fairly large city, there are local tube device refurbishers (radios and hi-fi's mostly) so if I couldn't find what I needed -- and the RadioShack Unlimited catalog had a vast selection when it was still a print publication -- there are folks around who can help.

btw, folks: while tubes and wind-up record players aren't dead, punk rock is.