Bertrand Bronson, 1962, “All this for a song?”:
Looking intently at the familiar IBM card with a hopeful eye, it dawns upon us that those serried ranks of figures on dress parade can just as well stand for the degrees of a musical octave as for less Pythagorean entities.
It seems time to cast about for some means of controlling the oppressive mass of detail. In this extremity, it naturally occurs to us to inquire of those electronic robots, clothed in power and magic, which speak with sibylline utterance in our day and which can answer the hardest questions in the twinkling of an eye. Might they not be entreated on our behalf to idle away a vacant moment in aesthetic relaxation?
The library at my grade school had a ton of punch cards rendered obsolete in the days when they explained how the computer was “shaking hands” with other computers before our very eyes. My youngest sister, a decade my junior, was told that she used up the last of them, as scrap paper.
Incidentally, if we had gotten back together sooner, I would have written the most beautiful script, a garden weaving through my project. I’m not casting blame, just expressing how much your love meant to me, even if I did not always show it. Once I felt as if I were invincible, with you on my side. Now it is a matter of just making it through. I suppose I will have to take my sister’s erstwhile advice (before I met you) and hire a professional matchmaker, if I’m to hunt for another as close to you (but, whatever the case, never tell the new other you ever thought such thoughts out in the open like this) as possible. Everyone else will just be a poor imitation or some beautiful young Adonis who will flee within three months time. Eventually, as I already find myself (no longer feeling that crippling sadness at sunset I once often felt, not now that I have words to show for the love and the pain), I will get over it all and plan great parties. I will have great adventures, with or without you. I will, finally, this my final chance, write that book. You have the choice of remaining a spectator or splashing in the fountain before The Plaza with me at 3AM, but not really, because it’s the 21st-century now, and they have cameras everywhere, security forces, and movies in 3D. (There is more to that last sentence, like an ad on the side of an MTA bus as I approached and passed Moscot today, admiring my own frames, and, thinking of the death in the book, my mind flashes to the sharp-edged tile-work of the Bobst Library, the way Rachelle, who was working behind the checkout counter described seeing the blood roll out over the cold white and black and greenish-blue (if memory serves) tiles, beneath the brown vinyl and polyester room dividers they had brought up from the basement to shield the body from being viewed at ground level. They’ve since installed a parametric screen, one no longer getting that wobbly feeling, though I’ve only seen photographs and the live camera feed of the family of hawks that live in one of the nooks of the Brutalist masterpiece.)