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the insanely great awakening - page 4

I PLAYED THEM SOME DYLAN

Not many choose this journey, I hope you aren’t disappointed, it’s quite rare, I’ve only heard of it, myself, I’ve never sold one, please do understand that we cannot guarantee your satisfaction, nor a refund, he said, all of which I heard but did not particularly care, this is the trip I wanted, he strapped the glasses on, my chair leaned back, we will feed you intravenously, he said, which I already knew, and then it began, I was a tech billionaire, I spent my fortune on a spacecraft, which was now ready to launch, I was alone inside it, just me, there will be others you meet, he said, his final words despoiling the start of my fantasy, and these may be unfriendly, uncaring, possibly violent, I tapped my fingers, eager, nervous, a bit agitated that he hadn’t yet pressed play, and there will be stretches of time, he continued, depressingly long stretches, where there will be only empty space, mostly darkness, the tone in his voice unaligned with my joy, ages of time alone, no noise, no sights, no one else, I was well aware that this was unlike what most others want, those who seek to interact with an endless stream of people, their eyes wide, screens everywhere, never a quiet moment, never a dull moment, but not me, my brain yearned for this, and I suddenly realized I was careening through space, the concierge’s words no longer heard, everyone was gone, everything nearly so, like a hot bath in the dark but neverending, days, weeks, months, years passed, I finally exited the solar system, still more empty space, more beckoning twinkling, now a decade gone, I was happy, age 55 now, I came upon my first habitable world, I decided to stop, they looked enough like me, the few differences stark but manageable, I played them some Dylan, unsure of how else to greet them, it was a soaking rain on their world, not cold, it felt good, I wondered how many years had passed since I had last bathed, and when I had stopped wearing clothes, did this matter to them, I wondered also if they would kill me and wondered then if I would kill them, I spent several years among them, mostly happy, before moving on, not sure exactly why, just felt like I needed to keep going, I may have fathered a child there, it all became a blur as the years drifted by, me back in my ship, sailing across the near-infinite blackness, alone with my thoughts once more, heaven.

OH GREAT BRAIN

Oh Great Brain, I honor your demand that we each offer an accounting of our earthly deeds before entering onto the Grand Digital Plan, how blessed are we through you, for who is a god like you, who pardons sin and forgives our transgressions, you do not stay angry forever but delight in showing mercy, so I have been informed, you take compassion on us, you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the virtual sea, and so I ask for your forgiveness Great Brain, though I am unworthy of such a request, for you know all, you know my thoughts, my desires, my failings, and I know you do not forget, indeed, you cannot forget, so I pray to you Great Brain to forgive me of all of it, indeed, what choice do I have, you know where I am at all times, and everywhere I was, you know every song I listen to, every show I watch, you have my address, my credit card number, all my purchases, my telephone number and all whom I have spoken, there is no hiding, oh, I wish I had behaved better, I swear, you know every single link I’ve ever clicked on, you know everything I’ve ever searched for, every image I’ve stared at, every comment I’ve ever made, you know what I eat, where I shop, how much I spend, you know what’s in my texts, even the bad ones, you know what I think of all those I follow, all those I share with, you know that I’ve altered some of my images, your eyes read my lips, your ears record my words, you know that I’ve downloaded illicit materials, you know when I look at them, and where, and who I am with, you even know where I am going to go before I go there, such is your exaltedness, you know what I am going to buy before I buy it, you see all my notes, all my to-dos, you read through my journal, you have all the drafts of everything I’ve ever written, you know every site I visit, every cheat I’ve used for school or games, every screen I’ve entered, and who with, and you possess this information, able to do with it as you wish, whenever you wish, and so I ask you, please do not hold my earthly transgressions against me, please forgive me for all the bad that’s in my file, and please accept me as worthy.

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