Print Story The wind in my heart.
By technician (Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 09:45:56 AM EST) (all tags)
The dust in my head.

What's it like? I can't really tell you, and I don't think I really know. I can tell you what I see (sort of, I can't tell you any details about what I see, or where it may be, or what the things are that create that view for me) and I can tell you that the biggest lessons I've learned from this are easy:

We always need a technician.
Sometimes the technology is force.
Sometimes the technician dies.

In one off-hand comment, one of the men mentions that he's not able to talk to his wife about any of this stuff, and not because of security. That she sometimes shouts at the Fox News when they show The Enemy, and he bites his tongue because she can't understand. He says, the way a body drops, the odd physics of it? He says, gravity suddenly grabs every molecule, it's like watching a balloon go from helium to lead. He says, the colors of the inside of a human body are garish and surprising, especially against the dust and the plants.

I'm just walking through, riveted.

On the screen, there's a map, and a video. The map shows something, and the video shows the result. Mostly I ignore these; the guys providing support to the customer will often, all at once, go "Ooooooh...fuck" and say things like "well, that had to hurt" or "that's a mess." I do my best to walk through just doing my job. They're immersed in it, buried in it, they left the service but didn't leave the life.

Early, very early, we have a crashed system that we rely on and there's two operators there, and I have to go, get into the room, call the security people, get the world turning, and it is 3am in our time zone. The operators are both awake, alert, not happy. The server is dire. They're on phones and chat sessions with annoyed customers on ships and aircraft. I get the system booting, I swap in the kernel that works, I remove the bad kernel mod and replace it with a good one, I reboot, the whole time I hear this idle chatter. Still can't sleep in a bed, he says. Why not? the other op replies. It's too high off the ground, he says. I feel like I need to be on the ground, you know? Yeah, the other op replies. Yeah, I had that. You'll get through it.

I tell them that the server is up, that we've got traffic on it. Their headphones chatter, the screens scroll, their war comes back online. We all ignore what just was said, those words wiped in a shift of focus from broken people to fixed equipment.

Thanks, man. He looks empty eyed, coffee and Copenhagen and adrenal empty. I leave the interior room, stand for a bit in the hissing air handler of the middle chamber, breathing slowly, rejoining the world.

< Where is there to go for satire | what I'm reading >
The wind in my heart. | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
/silence/ by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 10:12:56 AM EST

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

We talked about this today by technician (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 07:27:20 PM EST
briefly, one of the Marines and I. Trying to clear my head from the headache and cold-like illness, and he was trying to get some air. We walked around the neighborhood.

I said, when someone gets killed, they just...drop. It's this strange transition from unpredictable to predictable, from potential

He said, it's not like shooting a deer. The deer, he said, it'll get up and move, or panic, all wild eyed. A man, he said.

We got really quiet. An old lady walked by the other way with a Pomeranian.

A man, he said, will drop with this look in his eyes, and not all the time, but sometimes. He'll have this look, normally it is surprise or OH. But sometimes, there's this look.

He spits. We walk through crisp fall air, the oaks not yet dropping everything. This one house on the corner, one of those mid-70s sprawls, it has a maple, and that maple is an explosion of color.

There's this look, he says. He's staring at me. They seem, like, relieved. This sudden relaxation, a complete flush of their features, and their eyes just glow for a second.

We walk in silence for a few blocks. He gets a call on his cell. Mine goes off at the same time. They both imply the same thing.

He says, sometimes? They seem to be laughing.

We walk a little more quickly, staring at tiny screens.

I work with veterans by garlic (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 11:31:49 PM EST
but very few ground pounders.

I don't think as a nation we've come to grips with how much wars affect these guys.

thank you by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:06:12 PM EST
for the link to the song, which I've been kinda obsessed with this weekend. The words I was reading when I first listened to it might have had something to do with it, too.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
I listen to it by technician (2.00 / 0) #5 Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 09:52:32 PM EST
in a loop, five or six times in a row, because I can't drop it yet.

Goddamn music.

[ Parent ]
cover for cover by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #6 Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:11:04 PM EST
Do you know Vienna Teng's version of "Idioteque"?

Everything all the time.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician

[ Parent ]
I've not hear it... by technician (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:16:13 PM EST
...but I will shortly.

[ Parent ]
Thats pretty damned amazing by technician (2.00 / 0) #8 Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:25:54 PM EST
and, where is a good place to start with her? I have none of it yet.

[ Parent ]
I like a lot of her stuff by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #9 Sun Nov 07, 2010 at 10:41:28 PM EST
That said, I'd recommend her recently released live album, The Moment Always Vanishing, which includes the Radiohead cover, as a good survey. It has some of my faves from her earlier releases and a bunch of songs from her most recent studio album. Also, it features Alex Wong, who not only rocks the cajon but about 50 other instruments and makes her even better.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
The wind in my heart. | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)