At 16th and 14th, there’s a record store specializing in old vinyl. Upstairs, the store has a variety of vintage HIFI equipment on display and a handful of more popular records. Walk around the upper area of the store until five minutes before closing, and then descend the rickety steps at the back. The stairs lead into the basement, where the owner keeps the more valuable albums and paraphernalia under lock and key. Across the hallway from this room is another, with a selection of… lesser works. Failed novelty albums, family bands that never caught on. And in the corner of this room, on the floor, is the box.
The box is full to the brim with old LPs. The album art for all of the albums is minimalist: just a human face on a black background. After leafing through this box for a time, it’s likely you’ll find a few faces you recognize. You might even find your own. The owner won’t allow you to purchase any of these records, claiming that he’s merely holding onto them for a friend. But if you remain in the store after hours, he’ll allow you to put one of the records on one of his players and listen with a headset.
You will hear, with crystal clarity, the thoughts of whoever’s face is on the record at the moment while you’re listening.