solo tone

The Torkle machine made a funny noise.

StoryKettle » Torkle » solo tone

Copyright © 2007, Michael M Wayman

Just the refrigerator and the Torkle-DEE, that is all I had, not much for a seven-year-old boy. My Father I saw once a year and my Mother I had never seen. I used to go to school, but I left. It was boring and none of the other children were one of us.

I discovered something, the Torkle machine made a funny noise, a singing tone, when it was switched to solo. This was the position I always used, as I was always alone. All I needed to do to find someone else who used a Torkle machine alone was to walk through the streets listening for that tone.

I found her, she would do as a mother for me. I sat on her Torkle machine and moved the main switch from solo to two-up and the tone stopped. She seemed to like having me on her machine. She cooked for me, slept with me in her cupboard, she even talked to me; but I did not call her mother, I didn't call her anything at all.

I learned a lot, I grew a bit, I seemed to be healthy enough, but after a year I discovered that something was wrong. One morning we were both on the Torkle-DEE and I asked her “Why do you want to eat me?”

“Oh, dear! It's true. Everybody I get to know, I either eat them or they go away. I am ever so lonely.”

The next machine I found, was owned by two children, but they never used the machine together. I never found out why, they were quite happy to share the machine with me, either Ogden and me or Ogden and me. It was fun for a while being with two people my age, but then I told them what I would like to do to Ogden. Three days later I discovered Ogden doing what I wanted to do to Ogden to Ogden and my search started again.

He could have been my Father. He moved the switch to two-up and said “Hello Son, how are you doing?” It was my Father. “Oh, OK! But it's not easy at my age.”

“Life's not easy at my age either, not at any age. You have chosen, better, we have chosen a life that is not easy. You ask, is there any point to it and I say that you must wait. Have patience! You have the courage and drive to do it, you will do it.”

I took the words of my Father into me, they were no comfort, just more questions. For instance, why was I not happy inside a family staying at home and watching TV? Could I do that? No, I knew that I had to go further.

Have you read Roger and the toasted golf balls and no squares?