Tho’ we said goodbye
When the moon was high
Does your heart beat for me?
Patsy Cline, 1963
When they brought her back they explained that her heart had been fitted with a transistor to help her body thrive on such small reserves of life.
It was, they implied, an untested implant.
It was, they admitted, an experimental approach.
They had taken old vacuum tubes out of the skip, dumped there when the in-house hospital radio was outsourced to Hospedia. The studio had been gutted to make room for more beds, each fitted with a touch screen interface at shoulder height. After half a century, the deep roll of radio waves in the corridors had stuttered into a lighthouse’s binary pulse.
I imagined the old thermionic valves out in the car park, awash with crushed glass, grit and the shadow of the skip, glistening like the jellied eggs of an octopus.