Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005 - 10:46 p.m.
The boy has noticed that all objects vibrate, even the ones that appear absolutely still. He has also observed that no two objects vibrate in exactly the same way - even two human bodies, due to variations in the placements of organs, bone densities, the different viscosities of blood and lymphatic fluid. Each human body has its individual song.
One night a week, he stays awake until two in the morning, and then enters his parents' bedroom quietly. He sits down on the parquet floor, and leans against the wall, listening to his parents sleeping. His father almost always snores, but when he stops periodically, he can hear his mother's breathing. The boy believes that each human being can be represented by a sound trace, a visual waveform. As he watches his parents sleep, he wonders if it is possible to detect the vibration of their dreams.
When he walks down the street, the boy thinks of the crawling of ants, the shift of the tectonic plates beneath his feet. The pedestrians that he brushes past sometimes emit a faint hum. The ones wearing headphones are more complex. On occasion, when he passes a lamppost on a quiet street at night, he will rest his palms against its cold grey metal surface. It is like an antennae to receive the rest of the world.
Once he was in Chinatown, and he saw an old man sitting on a bench, holding a small red radio to his ear. The radio was blaring out an old Chinese song and its silver antennae was fully extended. The old man was making an attempt to sing, his face contorting to form the words. At that moment, the boy was not sure if the red radio was receiving or transmitting.
During physics lab, he watches the oscilloscope screen and the dancing bright green waveform on it. Turning the knobs on the oscilloscope, he can change the snaking sine wave into a flat line, a pulsing rhombus, or a series of vertical lines that run across the gridded screen. He considers stealing the oscilloscope from the lab, and connecting its wire leads to his sleeping parents.
Slowly, he stops seeing faces and remembering names; in place of a person's physicality the boy sees one of many possible waveforms.
His physics teacher says that each object has its unique resonant frequency. For example, a girl on a swing: there is a point in the arc of her travel where a specifc rate of pushing will cause the greatest increase in height. At that rate, the swing system is in resonance.
That is what the boy is looking for, an object to bring him into resonance. It could be an electric shaver, or it could be a girl on a swing. They could talk, have a conversation or an argument which in each case, is an exchange of sound. He wants to see if they - and the waveforms leaving their mouths superposition.
Superposition Theory describes the intersection of two waves. If perfectly in phase, they sum to a maximum amplitude because of constructive interference; if they are completely out of phase, the two waves cancel each other out, with a resultant flat line that stretches across the horizontal axis of time. There are also all the phases between these two extremes, where one wave adds slightly to the other, or slightly diminishes it.
The boy is not a selfish person; he is not looking for that other person to enrich him with the films she has watched, the profound thoughts she has had. He is not looking just to be made better. He is a giving person, seeking that one wave, that one perfectly-phased girl who can resonate with him. He wants to bring her into her own resonance with what he says, thinks and acts, their hands joined - so that they can both understand the perfect resonance of their two-body system.