A tragic story about a man and his blocking guilt through self-audiographic therapy.
My radios Speak words of wisdom. I love them all. Every day, these radios whisper love into my heart. When I come in from eating at the local diner, I tune them all in on the same station. Two, three, sometimes four hanging on the walls in each room. They surround me with tender voices.
I work at the rugged coal mine in the Emberson Hills. Unfortunately, the administrator does not allow my radios, nor does she allow any loud singing. When I clock out of work, I make my way down to the local diner by the rickety bus. I always order a cheeseburger and tomato slices. When I come in from eating at the local diner, I tune them all in on the same station. One, two, sometimes three on the walls in each room. They surround me with comforting voices and melodies.
* * *
This coal mine in Emberson Hills seems to be going down in the wrong direction. My friend got sent away for a very long time. Charlie and I would always clock out and wait for the bus at the bus stop. Our wipe rags would be covered in grease and coal. The only thing that gave away our positions at the bus stop was his insistent coughing and bus headlights. After the bus drops me off at the bus stop nearest my home, I walk to the local diner. When I come in from eating a cheeseburger and some tomato slices, I tune my radios in on the same station throughout the small house. One, two, but never three in the same room hanging on the walls. They surround me with soul mending notes and sounds.
* * *
I was taken straight home today by a co-worker. We skipped the diner. He walked me in my home and I didn’t even get a chance to tune in my radios. He looked around and bore witness to my small home. He said his name was Smitty. I didn’t ask questions. “Why so many radios and tools?” he asked. “I take them apart when they get static or tune the wrong tunes.” I explained. “Sometimes I cannot get the radios put back in working order.” I concluded, seeking no more questions.
All of these songs I hear coming from the speakers speak memoirs of my life and loves. One, two, or maybe three terrible memories at once, in each room. Smitty left hours ago. He left with the sun and any glimpse of stars. The moon trailed his stride. The fierce step left the disturbing cough at my throat, threatening me like a baron. My hands are unsteady as I disassemble a radio. The last radio, my dearest subject rests in a docile reverence to my inability to return this radio to it’s former glory. It watches as it becomes the last of it’s kind. I wake in this pale morning. I feel my throat coming unhinged. No one picks me up for work, so I will stay home and soak up my sickness. I would rather leave. My one and only radio whispers my minutes away, trying to speak sweet nothings into my ear. The sweet nothings slip tender memories into my mind that squeeze me emotionally dry. Coughing miserably, I begin to disassemble it. One, two, or maybe three hours until morning. My radio is apart and sitting lifeless on my table.
This cough is a nuisance. Even though the radios are gone, I can hear the static; the songs and melodies of my darkest hours. These speakers must be penetrating the afterlife through the walls. I grab my tools and begin opening the walls. My sweaty face and arms are covered in wood dust and dirt. By the end of my demolition, each wall is stripped bare. The coughing persists. Each painful hacking fit shaves years from my life. I can tell this is true. The sun hasn’t risen and my last breath is spent wishing to have my radios return to me. I wish for those songs. Two, three, or maybe four on each wall throughout the small house. They are surrounding me with tender voices.