Words Per Minute

Soon after it happens they announce the news, using the number of words that is as close as they can get to the number of words they have calculated would be the best number of words to use to announce the news.  We measure the words and know that the news has been announced as well as it possibly could have been, but we still feel ill at ease – this is not news that will make anybody feel at ease.  It is the middle of the night.  We all hear the news and then we phone each other so that we can add more words around the announcement – adding more words helps us to deal with the news, helps us to analyse it and to establish our own feelings towards the news.  It isn’t, but it should be possible to see the web created by all the phone lines linked by the dialled-up numbers, lit up all across the city, in the middle of the night soon after the news is announced, soon after it happens.  Eventually, none of us know what more there is to say – we have put all the words we can put around the news, and now we have run out.  We all just sit there, all on the phone together, paying for silences.

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