A jumbotron flashed above an overpass, and I held my breath. Lately there’s been a shiver in my nerves whenever I see an illuminated screen, a reflexive bracing for scenes from another disaster, the latest inhuman act. Someone could tell me everyone in Nebraska disappeared last night, and I would believe it. I’ve become accustomed to the suspension of disbelief. But it was just the weather report. Dust, more dust, and probably smoke.

For years, I inhaled the news until I heard myself screaming. Then I began to understand the relief she had found in radio static, those flecks and dots like listening to an abstract painting. Driving to the crackle of an untuned station, I found peace in noise without meaning, a hum that boxed in my mind and prevented it from wandering too far. I jotted down the stations that played my favorite static, noting them as plush or brittle, warm or cool, a codex for the textures that matched my mood.

Vainqueur – Antistatic

Elevations | Chain Reaction, 1997 | More

This is the thirteenth episode of Interstate Scenes, a fictional collection of homeless paragraphs, remixed and upcycled bits from the past, and bloopers from the stories I’m writing.