One-way transmission

Written by

Bloc Party – We Were Lovers

Dillon’s facebook profile was bare, lacking even a picture, except for the interests section. It read: One-way Transmissions.

He wasn’t exactly sure where he learned of the idea. Maybe he first thought it up while swinging upside down on the monkey bars, wondering about the people who sent messages in bottles. What if someone read it, but the author never got the reply? Was the message any less powerful if it had touched the reader?

Dillon decided it was even more meaningful then, imbued with a heart-breaking loneliness; trees in the woods let out an horrifying shriek when they fall and no one is around to hear.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was, of course, Dillon’s favorite book. He sent his first message in a bottle aged 10. He hadn’t fastened a top, so it sank as he watched, but that didn’t deter him. Maybe someone lived at the bottom of the pond and would find it.

Everyone needs to find ways of filling the time from one sleep to the next. Instead of wasting them staring at pixels morphing on a screen, like you or me, Dillon sent transmissions. He scrawled them with sharpie on index cards and slid them into library books. He found addresses in Hong Kong and Tokyo and mailed lengthy letters with no return address. Once he wrote a 90-page novella about a lonely bull-fighter who wishes the bull would spear him so that at least a doctor would touch him and ask how he feels. He clanked it out on a typewriter over the course of three sleepless nights, shoved the only copy in a manila envelope, and shipped it to an address he had found in Prague.

Eventually, like with all pursuits, Dillon grew out of his hobby. It was a gradual thing. He started making more friends, life introduced him to stressors, there was just less of him emotionally to share with strangers. By the time he went to college, Dillon was a socially competent, albeit nerdy, kid, and he hadn’t sent a one-way transmission in over a year.

Then one day, back from class, he stopped by his mailbox – one tiny cubbyhole in a wall of hundreds. He twisted his key and distractedly pulled out the wad of junk mail. When he got to his room, he threw the pile onto his keyboard. One postcard slipped and fell to the floor, so he picked it up. On the front was a nondescript beach. On the back, someone had written in big block letters: HEY. No return address.

[A Weekend In The City.]

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