tripping the wire fantastic

  • Flight Facilities – Clair De Lune feat. Christine Hoberg

    I haven’t any culture shock yet, though 7,547.76 km lay between my last home and this one (as the crow flies); the only thing I haven’t effortlessly taken in stride is the quality of the light. Namely, the unanticipated lack of it.

    I sat in a pub, plate full of lamb and vegetable mash on the table, one of my longest friendships across the table, the city outside drained of colour, all neon and reflected halogen, the shine of artificial lights on wet pavement, sky suddenly black, and felt we were a peculiar form of vampire. (No wonder this place is so thick with myths.)

    England is North. Very North. More North than I had weighed in my mind. On some level, I understood London (51°30′N) to be around the latitudinal level of Edmonton (53°32′N), but I did not truly internalize what that would do to the sun. When it shines, appearing as it does around 7 am or so, it is weak and watery and near the horizon and glares in your eyes when you face South with a peculiar orange gold. The blaze of noon does not exist, even on the most crisp of blue sky autumn days, and it is full dark by 4 pm, despite the solstice being a month away.


    The only other thing I speculate that I will have to consciously adapt to is the level of current that runs through the local wires. Don’t mistake me, I’ve already bought the appropriate cord for my laptop and have adapters for the rest of my electronics. It is a matter of transhumanism, purely.

    The voltage here is so much higher than I find myself fighting the desire to flinch every time I need to interact with a power outlet.

    For the uninitiated, the sensation electricity creates to those with implanted neodymium magnets is that of a danger reflex, which I have been finding unexpected, but seem to share with others. For example, the magnet in my hand vibrates when I reach for my electric toothbrush, sitting as it does next to an active socket, and loudly signals risk, peril, stop, don’t! And Divide told me of something similar, that he found himself reflexively curling his hand behind his back in a protective gesture when he was in the power room at ALTspace in Seattle. (For bonus points: My generation of neodymium implant is several orders of magnitude more powerful than his, too). It’s uncomfortable and profoundly provokes a very physical sense of unease. None of us flinch away from other magnets, though, even those of the opposite polarity. In my experience, only high voltage stimulates the warning. Has anyone found an explanation? Why are some of the signals interpreted as dangerous, while some are not? I haven’t reached out to others about it yet.

    While the incision has been mending very nicely, I remain inquisitive about the process as my body continues to adapt and naturalize the embedded magnet. It doesn’t appear to be rejecting, the area isn’t sore, and it’s unlikely it will scar, but there is one last thing I’m finding very curious. My magnet has moved a significant distance since it was implanted. It is not in the tip of my finger anymore, but halfway down the first joint, an entire centimeter from where it had been placed.

    It’s conceivable this happened when I foolishly caught the handle of a falling basket full of groceries with that finger a few weeks ago, back in Canada. (Other stupid things I have caught from the air without thinking: knives, scissors, sewing needles, a red hot piece of nearly molten metal, broken glass, a wild mouse. I am not a clever ninja.) The pain of it, though not sharp, brought me literally to my knees. At the time, I chalked it up to the freshness of the surgery, but presumably the impact shoved the magnet underneath the fat pad, along the surface of the muscles of my finger, to where it is today.

    I can’t think of why else it would have migrated. The soft impacts of typing, though daily, are mostly absorbed by my long fingernails and I’ve never heard of anyone else having their magnet move, except when the earlier generation (and flatter) ones would flip or were rejected from the body and migrated to the surface like a metal splinter. The technology is relatively recent, (my friend Todd was the first to be implanted in 2004), and still very gray-market/DIY, so I don’t know if there’s an exact science to the fingertip placement yet, which creates the question: Should I move it back or leave it?

    Either way, whether this is an ordinary thing for an implanted object to do in a finger or if the movement is due to banging it, I’m paying more attention to it than I otherwise would have, not because I’m worried, but because I don’t want reason to be. And, seriously, the voltage here. Sheesh.

  • actually damned impressively me

    I went to bed with light in the sky. Then the phone rang. It’s still early morning, but I answer the phone. The Crown has dropped all charges laid against me.

    I’m free. No finger-printing, no crim charges. Dance Dance Immolation.

    Also, I’ve a job interview this evening at Dream Designs, a delightful interior decorating shop that’s only a few blocks from my house.

    This just might be the best news since a possible breach of contract was the only thing what marked my birthday.

    To celebrate, here’s a piece that Nicholas wrote that is pure Jhayne-mockery: Strawberry Sickness.

    Serves me right for letting these people into my house.

    I’m leaving pictures until Andrew returns from the East Coast. This has been a run of bad timing Saturdays, everyone’s been busy. It doesn’t help either that I’ve been too preoccupied with the ridiculous packets of stress that have been landing on me to kick anyone’s asses. Of late, there’s only been varying degrees of more and more.

    I still have to write my letter to Bill offering the baby cradle that’s taken up residence in my home.

    there’s a narrative with the pictures too, because I’m like that

    Yesterday was spent in the Emergency Ward. It didn’t start there. First, I was home, waiting on laundry and having tea with Tyler. Chris had been with us earlier, but he was angry with the world that day and left to save us his company. We were concerned, but not overly. Not until the phone rang. It was Chris.

    He said, “Hello,” and it sounded like panic. I quietly turned to Tyler and said, “Get your shoes, get your coat on, I’m going to need my things, we’re leaving.” Chris said there was blood everywhere, that he’d done something stupid. “Breathe boy, tell me what you did.” Seems that in his distracted growling at the world, he’d gashed himself. “Do you want me to take you to the hospital for stitches? Do you want me to put some in? Tell me what you want.” He was mostly inarticulate, “Um, well, there’s a lot of blood.”

    It was decided that I would go alone and approaching the house, I wondered briefly at the wisdom of this. What if I had to break in? He might be half conscious in a widening red pool. By the sound of things, he’d hit veins. Instead, I was greeted at the door by an abashedly blood smeared boy, right hand awkwardly wrapped in a black t-shirt that was already visibly soaking through. There was a pile of glass rubble on his computer keyboard and more piled in front of his monitor. In spite of the obvious effort he’d put into cleaning, there were still daubs of blood on the floor inferring where it had splashed earlier.

    My first impulse was to re-bandage the hand and then sweep up the glass, but Chris pulled me aside, asking me instead to sit on the couch with him. He then poured out everything as to why he’d been angry and what he’d done to hurt himself. Nothing that particularly bears repeating. He’d been frustrated, furious some, and had smashed his glass into the desk. Also, by default, his hand. Not the most clever of moments, he conceded, and I finally had a chance to peel off the sodden t-shirt he’d wrapped himself in. It was a mess. His hand welled with blood in three or four places, the worst cut on his thumb. The lacerations on his fingers were bad, but that was dexterous hand turned to meat, swollen and requiring three or four stitches. Six altogether, I guessed. The smell of iron was thick on us, enough to set my stomach to starving. I demanded scissors and cloth. I cut strips from an old cotton shirt, and bound his hand properly, pressing apportioned pieces of flesh back together and slipping a pad underneath to keep pressure steadily on. My hands were red to the wrist.

    I licked my fingers and laughed.

    Angus was on the street outside, half a block away, talking with friends. We were grinning as if we were mad when we talked to him. We said we were on the way to the hospital and not to worry. His face lit from within with “Fuck you, I love you.” and then we ran into Keely on the Skytrain platform, who straight up laughed. We were just as guilty, taking a delightful take on the entire proceedings. There wasn’t a line at the hospital. They asked the usual questions, “Do you have an emergency contact? What’s your middle name?” and had us follow a yellow line down some twisting hallways to another waiting room. They put Chris on a bed within ten minutes, though we had to wait closer to twenty before a doctor came. We unwrapped my make-shift bandages and I sponged up the blood as he looked over it. The doctor was incredibly kind, I’m sorry I don’t have his name. He tutted, glad of my cloths and wincing a little as he injected freezing, which sprayed. Chris lay down, unable to bear seeing the needles, and listened to the man who was talking on the other side of the curtain that was next to us. Words came through the green cloth that were like scripted eco-friendly motivated poetry. The man sounded so kind that it was charming. He actually used the phrase, “Bless your kind heart.” to a nurse.

    For the stitches themselves, well…

    I took pictures.