douglas irving repetto

on a hill in eastern pennsylvania

custom electronics, speakers,
CD players, flashlight, light sensor,
faux fur, pleather, chair

You enter a room and spy a large, round, black, pleather and faux-fur covered object hanging from the ceiling, a matching chair waiting below it. There is a hole in the bottom of the object, a little bigger than a human head. Being the inquisitive type, you sit in the chair and awkwardly maneuver your head into the hole...

It is warm and fairly dark. The inside of the object is covered with soft, leopard-print fur. There is a car reading lamp on the ceiling, and a little beam of light shooting across the opening that your neck is now blocking. You smell faint traces of other people's breath, perfume, shampoo.

After a moment of silence and darkness, the reading lamp comes on, and the soft, distant sound of voices counting begins swirling around your head. The voices are counting at different rates and pitches, each going from ten to zero at its own pace. When a voice reaches zero it begins repeating that number again and again. As the soft voices are counting and moving around your head, a louder, more present voice from above you also counts, very slowly, from ten to zero.

After a while (it is difficult to keep track of time inside the object), you notice a low, ominous tone begin to fade in from above your head. The tone gradually gets louder, until soon it is the loudest sound you hear. Most of the voices are now softly repeating the number zero as they move around the space.

Suddenly, the voice above you says "zero", and everything stops. The light goes out, the low tone abruptly disappears, and all the voices are silent. The countdown has ended.