We need to have an erotic encounter, but arrived in Bogota without our gear. In the rain, we stop at a pharmacy storefront that opens onto the street. "¿Donde podemos buscar una tienda de equipos medicos?" I ask. "Tres cuadras mas," the pharmacist tells us in her white lab coat. We have to find a stethoscope, wire, a soldering iron and a â…›" jack.
Azdel and I advance through the electronics district. All the stores are stacked and crammed into a few city blocks. The bright LEDs and signs hallucinate my every step. The storefronts have too many items in the window to recognize any single component; millions of wires, adapters, speakers, lights and scrolling LED displays blur into a bright pulsing electronic mass. After too many shops, and too many epileptic lights, we settle on a fifty-cent piezoelectric sensor as our contact mic.
Back in our hotel, we tape the sensor firmly to the stethoscope. The sensor is bound and mummified with medical tape and is attached to the stethoscope. We plug-in and start kissing. This is the first time we hear each other's heartbeats. New intimate encounters arise with biomechatronic beats.
Micha and Elle wake us up, now they're in San Francisco. I pan over and see Azdel standing next to me, her mechahooves glowing, and her still bloody bandaged tail swaying in excitement for our encounter.
My ears won't stop twitching; sometimes I get anxious when we get naked in front of strangers. Elle starts to take my clothes off, leaving on my mechanical leg and transparent cyber bra. Micha takes off Azdel's bra and tiny skirt, and she puts on the long braided glowing hair. I love how her hair shimmers when we kiss.
We stand face to face while Micha and Elle get the final details ready. In front of the murmuring audience, they open their laptops and launch the software: Puredata to read the live biometric data, the Universal Mixer and Second Life. Micha and Elle pour a bit of water into their hands, wetting their sensors. Elle takes off her dress and straps on the soft electrocardiogram transmitter. The USB cable slips easily into its hole and the lights on the electronics come alive, flashing with anticipation. The smooth line of the heartbeat graph looks as it should. The data is pouring in over the serial interface, and once the sample chunk size is set, the sound of their heartbeats starts pounding out of the speakers and over the audience, out of our bodies and into the space of Second Life. With all the links in place, our realities enfold. We begin kissing and I feel echolalia's spinning mechanical leg rub up against me. Her neko ears feel soft on my hands while our digital tongues connect. The LEDs flash rapidly as our breath quickens.