Tape Backup & Code Red

Lay black, and then align the playheads

You’ve pulled the tabs: one, plastic and rectangular; the other, aluminum alloy and loop shaped. It’s time to begin. Again.

Suck the juice, or is it oil pressed and canned? There’s an arrow on the delivery truck, outside your window. Oil comes from mash, like coconut or olives, right? Must be juice in this tall red can. Tipple without the alcohol. Buzz buzz.

Pressing the black plastic rectangle, loops of tape inside, into its mated slot on the rack of players, you get pumped with memories of late night to early mornings in basement spaces, all quiet and cave-like; other friendly dwellers, faces inches from screens, cutting out the stories from awkwardly shot Super-VHS video, blocks of marble. They’ll cut it freaky, and we’ll dance around the thick square TV’s replaying of us.

Later. Above ground. We’ll be watching these constructed images of ourselves. We’ll be laughing and rethinking our scenes, until well after midnight. It’s the process, and we’ll go back to the basement, to engineering, away from the light and the hordes of dormchow who we only know as ghosts in classrooms.

To improve our performances and angles and lighting and words, we’ll descend the stairs to our safe zone, again and again, surrounded by decades of equipment, like museum pieces, and we’ll click the buttons to frame the moments. It’s our only chance get it and keep it so. The dark, soothing spaces below.

K. Shawn Edgar | Play | Pause | Cut | Rewind

 

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