Hello, where are you, and who?
Will we find bliss together?
Will we reach out in the night and touch hands across the inky gulf of eternity?
Or will it merely be tangled wires and short circuits?
A configuration of transmission cables and silicon chips?
A string of zeros and ones comprising a locale? A line of text simulating a human being?
Will the wisp of hair that clings to your temple and which you brush away distractedly with one hand
While you gaze into the lighted box before you, become a silent chord in the song we make together?
Will your mountains and islands and deserts be forever hidden in endless clouds and fogs?
Will the clarity of retouched screen-saver bliss never envelop us?
Will we dwell forever in the sock puppet artifice of identities we believe we have chosen in order to make contact?
Will the sleeping husband in the next room rise and walk across the universe to speak to the sleeping wife?
Will the lover of a thousand dreams find a voice on another continent?
Will the isolated universes of our separate beings remain on parallel tracks to infinity?
Will we die before we have learned each other's real names?
Are our names so important after all?
Is there a "you" that is more than an assemblage of reconfigurable selves bundled together by accident?
An offscreen individual who is not simply a phantom or a ghost?
Will our dreams propel us into a future
We have before now only projected or vaguely imagined but never thought we'd actually see
In which the limitations of gravity which once pinned our bodies to the earth
Are left behind like vessels in a suddenly landlocked harbour
And the knowledge of certain death which heretofore obsessed us
Is forgotten in the flowing forward motion of a new and not yet explicable Spirit of Ecstasy?
Hello my friend I'm just one more window in you
Wherever you are
Whatever you are
Said the one billionth self as always infinitely fluid
To the no one
In the flickering lights in the modem
In the ethernet where you are what you pretend to be
It's surface surface everywhere
And no one is there
Bliss: screenshot of Windows XP Default Luna theme: photo by Charles O'Rear, late 1990s
Divers: Illustrated London News, Feb. 6, 1873
"Spirit of Ecstasy" hood ornament, 1971 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow: photo by Dan Smith, 2005
After Microsoft: Sonoma Valley, California hillside (same location as top photo): photo by Simon Goldin, 2006