HE was 44 when he first heard the voices. They could be heard, in his mind’s ear anyway, hovering in the background noise whenever an engine was running. He would turn his head to face the perceived source, and soon realize it could not possibly have come from there. Understanding the cognitive nature of this auditory “aliasing” illusion, he nevertheless decided to investigate the matter further. In other words, he asked himself what parts of his mind were generating these creepy, internal voices of Rorschachian ghosts.

THE voices sounded, for the most part, like song fragments on a transistor radio near a noisy fan – they would emerge and disappear, like odd, darting specimens in an aquarium. At times he was sure he recognized them; one was Patti Smith, another a friend from high school. There were many others that he did not recognize or never heard for long enough to foxhunt through his memory. In a dark corner, various 8-ohm loudspeakers from different technological epochs known as decades danced to the buzzing shimmy of filtered radio signals, his hallucinations dancing with them, seducing them, chiding them, turning his head this way and that, and always leaving him to his preferred silence when the last tarry fragments were evacuated from his lungs, and his metabolism had made short work of the toxins therein.

ON this particular evening, they had receded. He contemplated his [tape ends here]