500 Words - Counter Narrative #3

Out of Body

This is a series of stories, a counter narrative from the future, numbered in sequence. If you’re a subscriber, you will receive them in order. If you’re not, and you’ve found them online, then start at #1 and read up.

I would play the piano for my children to help them fall asleep. In the old house we had a concert grand, an indulgence, but since I knew how to play and could afford one, well, there it was. I liked Satie. The physical world is not possible for me now. Not just because I am Uploaded, a consciousness without corporal form, because of what we have all surrendered. Look back to the last post. That’s what you see when you look at me. A glow that flickers when I speak. My children say I never stop talking, claiming that something’s wrong with the unit. So they say, but I am unaware of any issues. I continue to speak, write, and share these stories with you.

My situation, being an Uploader, strange as it is, is not unique. There are many like me. We can’t speak with each other because we are all connected only to our close contacts. I am connected to my children and my wife, and only when they are near. I radiate consciousness just a meter. My field of influence. A meter. A larger field would cost more and I already cost my children and wife enough. A parent’s guilt. Our best bandwidth is behind us, and yet we only want more.

Today’s post is about something that I can never have again. I miss food that is pulsing with life. The Polaroid I share with you was a casual image, made with no thought. I had just had an espresso, swallowed over the sink with fast pleasure, and I made that, what I show in the Polaroid, my usual breakfast. I ate it. It meant little. And yet what I would give to experience something like that now, again, just once.

Real food was a casualty of the Disaster. Farming became too toxic. When things are made without human intervention, well, you know. The result isn’t tasteless but sweeps past life, omits it. There is no hand of Whatever, God if you like, Gaia, the Mother, or love. When you manufacture food, you get a commodity. Remember the love of someone making you a meal? Or even the self-love of making one for yourself? Even if consumed alone, you felt something.

Look at that casual Polaroid. The rank carelessness of it comes back to me, arranged on a plate, eaten quickly, and also a pang of loss for the pleasure of eating something that once bloomed in a field, or walked, or could swim in the sea, or could fly. You don’t think about that. You just eat.

If I had the chance, I would never take food for granted again. I hope with the Reversal we’ll have a second chance. The Reversal cannot come soon enough for me.