It was an early autumn afternoon when I saw her. It was my third year of engineering school, and what looked like the final year of her hell. She was propped up against some discarded trash, carelessly left in a mangled heap. Her innards were strewn about, hanging out a nasty opening in her back. I remember being dumbfounded that she was there at all... surely, someone would have noticed, called in about the mess. It seemed sick for someone to care so little about her... worse yet, I was practically salivating at this point... I had always wanted to play God. That night I gathered a trustworthy crew and an old Chevy, and we abducted her remains in the early hours of the morning.
My crew helped me lug her carcass into the basement and promptly left me to my work. I grabbed my tools and carefully analyzed her state of despair -- tracing back her innards, determining if anything was missing. At one point in time, she was definitely a beautiful organ -- a Hammond organ, or so the labels read. Now she was a hideous wreck, nothing but a scar on the face of our throwaway society. Some unskilled fool had clearly tried to service her back into health... her wires were everywhere (except where they should be, of course). Her cabinet speakers were dangling from their connecting wires. Sickening madness.
Her 120V service cord had seen better days, her wiring mostly disconnected and hanging limp in her body cavity. I started my work by giving her a new power cord -- ripping a replacement from a dead microwave. My beauty-to-be would be part organ and part microwave; this had me captivated. I carefully reconnected the entire wiring harness, remounted her speakers, double checked the connections, and as my heart pounded, I threw the switch.
The lights came on. The hum of an open-input amplifier kicked in, gaining volume as the tubes warmed. My heart was racing as I reached down and touched middle-C, but not even a whisper. I meticulously fiddled with the tone controls, the volume pedal, anything I could to get a rise out of my monster. And yet, nothing. An empty shell of her former self. I switched her off, and returned to examining her carcass. Doubt started to set in.
I checked the power connections for every subsystem: the power amplifier, the pre-amplifier, the DC power supply itself... nothing. They all seemed to work, throwing off heat and a warm orange glow from their dusty vacuum tubes. She was missing a voice -- she just sat there, screaming nothing at the top of her lungs.
Tracing the wires told me that the signals themselves came from a large nondescript metal box, the inside of which was absolutely packed with gears, actuators, and other mechanical-looking things. It was every bit as complex as the innards of an animal. All of this intricate metal -- the bulk of my lady's weight -- was ripe with grease and mechanical wear. She had certainly seen her share of players. I had her plugged in as I carefully looked over her corpse, and that's when I noticed that my girl was trying to speak to me... through all of her wreckage and despair, she had a little motor that was vibrating and throwing off heat, as it tried to start her mechanical being. To think that her little motorized heart had seized -- the odds of me finding a compatible motor for my darling were slim to none. Doubt crept closer yet.
While hopelessly trying to give the motor a manual start, a large metal can tucked in behind it caught my eye -- could that be it? Her plagued little heart was an old AC motor, and all her suffering was at the hands of a dried-out start capacitor? I hurriedly tore a high-voltage capacitor out of that junked microwave, and crammed it in place of the old capacitor. I didn't even take the time to check values at this point -- I quickly wired her up. I flicked the switch.
The lights came on... my eyes widened.
The hum of the amplifier began to rise over the sound of my own pounding heart.
And the moment of truth I pushed my palm into her keys and out of her aching body roared the clamorous, atonal wreck of a mashed keyboard -- I had done it! I had bent nature to my bidding, I had resurrected the dead... I don't know that I'd ever felt more accomplished. I excitedly poured over my new love, and we made haunting music well into the early hours of the morning. My townhouse neighbor would file many complaints. The lady and I would never care.
Months had passed, perhaps a year, and my beloved and I had gotten well acquainted. We made music together in the darkness of my basement lair; I even dressed her up in modifications to hook into some guitar pedals. But, my precious was living on leased time. In fact, the lease to my building was coming to an end, and nobody in their right mind would help move my 300-pound lady up four flights of stairs to the new apartment, myself included. She wasn't quite aware of it yet, but our parting was in the works. I put ads out to send her to a loving home, but nobody dared pull my beauty out of the basement I had her holed up in. The solution was clear in my mind.
She had always been an entertainer -- a final performance seemed appropriate. I sat and played her off into death, while friends and acquaintances destroyed her beautiful body with power tools and large, blunt objects... admittedly a savage death. We crushed my beloved into a heap of rubble, and I piled it into her dumpster grave that morning. Goodbye, my dear. You made for one hell of a party.
About the author Troy Denton: "I am a computer engineering graduate from the University of Manitoba. When I'm not working or sleeping, I'm tinkering with embedded systems (and throwing the occasional workshop)."
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