(This is a continuing series called “Kissing Frogs” posted whenever my pregnancy brain lets go of my creative cortex. To get caught up, you can click the “Kissing Frogs . . . so far” link at the top of the page.)
It was surprisingly quiet at Sophia Publishing. Eerily so. The silence was taxing even the normally easy conversation between Jack and Joey. Periodically a door would open and close somewhere in the building, or a phone would ring, but the normal “coffee house meets study hall” atmosphere was strangely stifled.
Finally, Jack put down his roll of joint tape and grabbed a small radio from his tool chest and plugged it in before returning to his taping. Joey didn’t pay much attention to the voices, he just enjoyed the break in the silence.
Tracey had never been inside a radio studio, and for a moment, the novelty of it distracted her and stopped the tremors in her joints. This may be the “new media” as Andrew had phrased it, but it was still worlds away from television. In T.V. there was an invisible line of separation between the talent and the technology, but here the technology and the talent were almost one. Dr. Andrew Faulkner was connected, in an almost Borg like way, to every part of the show. He had engineers and a producer and a call screener, but he had every thing to run the show at his fingertips for the entire three hours he was on the air. Tracey suddenly realized that radio was a control freak’s paradise.
Joey was surprised when Joanna walked into the break room with coffee a few minutes later.
“We would normally have a fresh pot on in the kitchen about now, but some jokers tore the whole thing apart and haven’t managed to put it back together. So I had to order a few boxes from across the street. It will be in the break room, if you want some.”
She was subdued, but managed to still flash her smile as he looked up.
“You okay?” Joey asked, purposefully ignoring the warning look from his closest friend.
Joanna smiled again and nodded. “Yeah. Sorry about the drama guys. It’s not always like this.”
She made her way into the break room and then popped her head back through the door way.
“Hey, I’ll have the show on in here and I’m getting a better reception than what you’re getting. Do you want me to just turn it up?”
Jack and Joey both looked at her in confusion.
She was wired up and headphoned up. There were three live webcams pointed at her, and conversations happening through the headphones that made absolutely no sense. Tracey had never before felt more out of place. She gave herself the “this is your baby” pep talk, and tried to go over some of her notes, but Andrew signaled her to stop turning pages. The rustling was giving feedback in the microphone.
Every part of her was screaming, “What are you doing here?” And then the familiar music began, and the “on air” light lit up and the Andrew with which she had become so familiar, suddenly transformed, before her eyes, into Dr. Andrew Faulkner – conservative radio voice.