28 June 2017

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We’re not built to withstand the storm.
We change every time we survive a crisis.
We are shuffled to one side into a new person after every intensity.
Now that we know that:
(We lack a center
that every test changes us and doesn't cement our certainty
that every crucible merely rearranges our atoms
and doesn't refine us to a more concentrated particulate)
We avoid the situations.
We no longer seek the prow in a storm.
We suffer from survivor’s guilt on a genealogical scale.
A humanity-wide scale.
And it feels like the only antidote to the horror is ignorance.
The inability to affect real meaningful change causes the need for a form of permanent hibernation.
A chrysalis of affected indifference that will never butterfly.
An act.
And we lack the strength of character to choose otherwise.
Our tears are a drink for some.
Our failure is hated by most.
And we are getting weaker, both with age the knowledge that they're right to feel the way they do.
So we choose to become shadow.
To be in the current of the river.
To live beneath the notice of the pure of heart.
We have a lack of purity now.
We are not deeply polluted. We are not rotten.
But we are no longer pure.
Our insides are not dirty but we can no longer ride certainty to a goal.
Our focus always has a reason for plus or minus.
We have thrown ourselves against life's wall and it has appreciated it.
Like a laughing Viking.
We feel like we can no longer be instrumental.
We pass the torch by giving away our fire.



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For Angela, the new lie that kept showing up in her life was that people would still love her even though she had changed. Her new body wouldn’t unsettle her friends, she’d been told.

She lay back on her charging couch, raising an arm and looking at the reflection play along it from her bedside table’s lamp. The warm lightened glinted off the ridges of the small cooling vents along her forearm, like harmonica holes dotting the lines of her muscles. Utterly silent. No servomotors whirring to betray her movement like in the older models.

The people that had sold her the new body had assured her that her old flesh-and-blood friends wouldn’t fear her shift to immortality. But they lied. Of course they did. They wanted her to buy.

It was Saturday. Angela usually had to triage her social calendar on Saturdays, perhaps foregoing an event to take pity on a friend she hadn’t seen a while. Sometimes she had to choose between two or three equally lascivious parties.

This was the first Saturday in ten years that was empty of invitations.

Her brain was angry but her body was remaining calm. That was a new sensation. It was something that had been talked about in the pamphlets she’d read. A silicate dissonance, it was called. Emotions firing in the meat of her mind but not controlling her pulse rate or blood pressure.

Her heart was a whirring egg now and her blood was synthetic so that was to be expected. Adrenaline had been replaced with response time enhancers and threat-assessment programs. She’d react quickly to physical threats but without the feelings of panic. No jolts of terror to spur the biology.

Her body was capable of everything her former shell was except for a few adjustments. She’d removed the need for toilets as option number one. She still needed to bleed off heat and switch out old fluids but that could be done discreetly and, if need be, monthly.

Recharging was a necessity but a loss of consciousness while doing so was not.

She thought she’d be a commodity to her social group. The first to dive into the waters of eternal life. She thought she’d be sought after sexually. Curious people would flock to converse with her.

But no. The primate mind was still too strong.

And it was a one way trip.

Angela sighed. An affectation left over from her old body. Perhaps she’d just have to wait until more of her friends crossed over. Or else she’d have to make new friends in what the switches before her had nicknamed the hereafter.

She promised herself to call up the transformation counsellor in the morning, sent mental commands for the lights to dim and the fire to turn on and decided to catch up on old movies.






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