From darkness.

640-Obsessions-09

09-1996-11-battersea-park-station-approach2…I entered NIGHTlinkRail’s gateway and descended into the extranet that Tuesday, via Station 019. I had a handful of quarters and a haversack, filled with my camera, my steno pad, my walkman (listening to Paris: A Musical Overpass all the way here. What a blast to imagine actually being able to go there from here…or wherever here is. I decided I would take one of those mystery trips advertised on one of the walls in the station. Saw a poster reading “Take An Internet Journey-By-Rail.” Next to that was a large ticket paypoint with a ten-by-ten selector counting all the way up from 001 to 100. I was intrigued by the fact that only about one-half of them were lit up or even appeared to be working. At first glance, it looked like a mostly dormant network.

09-1996-11-battersea-park-station5Chose my lucky number twenty-four. 24? 24. There it was all lit up and waiting: 024. I clicked the button, and waited for the paypoint to issue me a ticket or something. “Validating your connection, please wait”… The next thing I knew, I found myself hurtling along a dark tunnel as one of the NIGHTlink connections carried me and my haversack to my mystery destination.

Chose my lucky number twenty-four. 24? 24. There it was all lit up and waiting: 024. I clicked the button, and waited for the paypoint to issue me a ticket or something. “Validating your connection, please wait…” The next thing I knew, I found myself hurtling along a dark tunnel as one of the NIGHTlink connections carried me and my haversack to my mystery destination.

09-nightlinkrail-day-for-night-posterIn the dim interior light of the car, I could hear the repetitive cachick-cachack of the trestle rods and the faint hum of a busker strumming his guitar and scratching decks to underground beats and to the bemused stares of other telecommuters. But when I turned my head, I was all alone here. Where was this seemingly deserted subway car taking me? I could see the ambient and repetitive blur of ads flying past on the wall, inches beyond the glass of the door. I could barely make out the words except by the repetitions. Flybills for different artists… “Peter Moraites”…“Rhythm Factory”… “Found”… “Salvador Dalek” (chuckle)… “Day For Night” …“Eric Scott”…odd that it was Tuesday and that it was also raining.

When the doors opened a mere few seconds later, I found myself staring down a dark tube with a Travel Planner in my hand.

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