We construct an elementary, combinatorial kind of topological quantum field theory, based on curves, surfaces, and orientations. The construction derives from contact invariants in sutured Floer homology and is essentially an elaboration of a TQFT defined by Honda–Kazez–Matic. This topological field theory stores information in binary format on a surface and has “digital” creation and annihilation operators, giving a toy-model embodiment of “it from bit”.