Radio Head Away From Me
You and me, he said while waving around his large pudgy hands in the stale air, are like radios.
Somewhere between the greasy tang of his scent, the weathered overalls stretched across his plump, generous paunch and the hay stem sluicing the air from its pivot in his teeth, I lost all confidence in his ability to philosophize. And frankly, his pomposity was slightly irritating.
Radios, I echoed stupidly while trying to stare through rather than at him.
Exactly, he said with a broad sweeping gesture of his hairy arm towards a cluttered table at the other end of the room. My eyes traced the outlines of the wreckage and honed in on the details, slowly, methodically. What I had at first taken for a mess pile was actually a series of radios in various stages of repair. There were old-fashioned models with silent red needles sandwiched between analog numbers, dials and collapsing antennae, and there were more modern, sleek editions with fully digitized LED displays and docking bays. The fact that anything other than a starship out of a sci-fi [or is it Syfy?] novel could possible make use of a docking bay was a source of endless wonderment to me.
He cleared his throat, and I turned a respectful and infinitely patient face back to his drivel. All those radios sit on the same table, he continued, and all of us people sit here on earth. Now we may be different models, have different ways of going about things, be a bit more banged up than the rest of them, he droned on, heck, some of us aren’t even all that old yet.
I wasn’t quite sure if this was intended as a backhanded compliment or if he was just senile. Saying nothing, I only nodded attentively, silently hoping cooperation would win me a quicker escape away from this elder and back with the normal people in my fiance’s family. Yessir, he smiled softly, as if pleased with himself for imparting some unspeakable divine wisdom unto the next generation. You gotta let the music play through you, and it won’t always make sense ’cause we’re not always set to the same frequency, ya hear?
And then he closed his eyes.