FICTION: AND WELL… FUCK THEM ALL ANYWAY!
For some of us getting from A to B is becoming almost impossible. And if you do manage to get out there and get going it’s dangerous due to what’s in the air. I’ve been living in virtual hibernation for the last three and a half years with only drone deliveries to keep me going.
Things have become so completely fucked up.
When I was young you could saunter about without worries, you could find work easily, enough to get yourself a car, a place to lay your head and all the rest. I wouldn’t be young now for a million dollars. We saw the best times, lived through real lives and felt free of most of the worries burdening people now.
I sit and shake my head at my Tri-V now. There is no cohesion among us. We are all crazy planets flying away from each other at what seems like light speed. I know all about the old-age nostalgia trip believe me, but this is different. It’s all got ‘way too weird for me. I’m beginning not to recognise my fellow humans as humans anymore, they have morphed into something like aliens from a Fifties B-movie. Not that anyone knows what I mean by that anymore.
The cost of things is incredible. The nearest FastTube to the closest city takes the average user here a good two hours to reach by any form of transport and it’s only 30 klicks away. Many believe this is no accident and is in fact a conspiracy by the government to keep us all stuck here at home. The restrictions are outrageous! But there are so many conspiracies of this kind I’m beginning to think all the conspiratorial thought going on is a carefully constructed conspiracy itself, a ploy to keep us all utterly confused and as distracted as hell.
My neighbours have FastTravel, but the cost of that is prohibitive for early-pensioners struggling to get by like me. They both have work, part of the 20%, the lucky dogs… and part too of the 2% who still need to travel to whatever they do. All my other neighbours either work from home or are simply stuck in their homes doing nothing like me. They are by far the majority. What a life!
They tried their level best to get us all used to home living in contented style, I have to admit that fact. Every innovation in virtuality is there 24/7 to take you away from this world into a vast universe of others. You can lose yourself for years, maybe even decades but sooner or later everything pales and becomes more and more tedious over time. There is only so much novelty the average brain can take before it starts to rebel. Familiarity kicks in sooner or later and breeds contempt. Then you start glancing at your windows again.
You pull aside the drapes one morning and the light, dim as it is, gives you eye pain as your pupils contract too quickly. That’s really saying something as what is usual outside these days is a light brown mist at best. You then look back at your room, your long-time cocoon, warm and welcoming. Most likely you shrug at the thought of doing anything else, close the drapes again and decide to try another PornCube experience. The tackle is so easy to fit back on as you hardly bother with clothes anymore. Thank goodness for nuclear fusion huh?
The cracking of nuclear fusion produced virtually limitless energy just at the moment when the entire world began to crack up due to the lack of the stuff. Now it was cheap as a diet of French Fries and another reason to get good and cocooned. Why not? There was no job waiting. Your basic income covered the essentials. Just get lost in the cubes, the new opiate of the masses. Goodnight America.
I was filled up to capacity with all that shit. I could still remember what might be called real life? Living with a certain zest, being able to travel, meet people and feel yes, even feel worthwhile. Where did all that go and in such short order? The fact is we were all made affluent and teched up to the point where we got locked into our homes. But affluence simply made that possible, it didn’t cause it. The catastrophic ending of 80% of employment along with the trouble with the air did it. Mostly.
The pandemic that hit in the 2020s began the process. Employment potential for all of us dropped like a stone as one thing after another went online. By 2030 it was already almost impossible to get any job that didn’t require a fancy education. Robotics and A.I. took over big time. The end came for me and so many like me. Whereas previous generations of those pensioned off were moved into communal homes I was simply told to go home, to go home and enjoy the vegetation process.
That was the hard thing for me. I wasn’t vicarious, I liked my experience to be real, not virtual. The old tv experience had been reasonably okay for me but now a plethora of ersatz remakes and spinoffs totally lacked anything approaching true vitality or reality. For decades almost every street after dark had been empty with the street lights serving no purpose. All you could see right along the street was the flickering light of tv sets escaping from each window. So what we have now is not totally new, it’s just what was taken to a whole new level.
I’ve begun walking for an hour or so each night in my neighbourhood but even that is not without its difficulties now. You get buzzed by the alerts and warned by the overheads that you are under observation. If your QR code is even a microsecond out of date you better watch out, the warnings get louder until you give the homegoing signal. Not that they take the watch off you until you slam your front door shut. The email will then be waiting which you have ten minutes to respond to. If not, the drone will come knocking.
It’s hard. I feel depressed and hopeless as a habitual state. I have no meaningful work to do to make me feel invigorated. It’s all been done. The only way I can shuck off this hopelessness would be to create… but instead, all these creations keep wanting me to be in receipt of their ersatz, unreal blather. So I made a decision.
The Tri-V was first to go, followed by the WallScreens, from every room. I stripped their coating off with glee exposing the old wallpaper or plaster underneath. I was soon singing, even dancing a bit as I moved from room to room. The gameplay units and cubes got tossed, then I moved to the kitchen. In the kitchen were most gadgets that had become normal over the years. I realized I’d hardly used any of them. Out they went, one and all, gleefully flung out my back door into the yard.
My goodness, how I was enjoying myself! The liberation from all the smoothly clinical hi-tech stuff I felt was really something. I felt an incredible buzz inside. That was when it got a little out of control you might say. I began taking an axe to the furniture, swinging it wildly at anything and everything around me right down to my bed, wardrobes and all the clothes I hadn’t worn in years.
I sat in the lounge in the middle of the chaos I’d created all around me and felt happier than I had in decades. I was no longer in the cell of modernity I’d built for myself. All the contact points of that ugly world of hi-tech torture out there could no longer reach me. I revelled in the silence and the newness, in the fact that my time now stretched ahead not measured by Tri-Vi series or world events, world events that were simply greater and greater degrees of ordure. All that was over and I sat a primitive once more.
I lay back amongst the mayhem and laughed fit to bust. I was free. I was me. I could do as I pleased. I’d create something unique here on the clean slate I’d created. I’d stuff to do and a reason to do it.
And, well… fuck them all anyway!