Goodbye denizen one (short story)
Goodbye denizen one
The images burn on a rolling 4D landscape in the building before me. But the night and its tarot cards burn with grace. I stare into the woman with an iguana on her fore-head (an advert for a new perfume) and feel it move inside my hand.
I pray the same way that a man smokes. I lean against a wall dreaming. I know that I am late. I roll my back off the wall and decide to walk home.
We do away with pm or am more each year and realise that true time is merely the balance of thought.
I can tell this by the flicking disturbances on the outside rim of my spectacles that indicate my work load. I would sleep better without this city. I am glad that it keeps me awake. When I am done my soft paws glow then turn off.
The chants of the moon and sun have been changed into only what is: pristine car hover junk on parade. Through the many layers of the Earth burrowing down towards the core, where the highways still build chasing a small orange child at the centre.
The path grows many times and changes as I blink in and out different of clients. I can never tell whether I traverse up or down. In the flux of city children we return home to different parts of the cities many organs. Fly up and down as we do. Light-bangers, Low Bangers—.
Always some name of that type. They call us. But I don’t like any of those names. I find them derogatory. I prefer to think of my friend: Mr Shaman.
He knows exactly what mood I’ll be in when I return home.
A circulette road way spins me around to face the direction of my building.
I take a step forward and the translucent floor takes me another several hundered meters up or down in one movement. I am glad that the system has inebriated the problems of collision, but… well, I dunno, they missed something out. The elevator pipes carrying me shift like arteries in and out and across the massive body of my home block. I step out from the chute and into the black cubicle space in front of my home.
I close my eyes and wait. I wonder if the men have installed the new décor I asked for. I spent my lunch-time uploading a dream I had to a company called ‘My Penumbra Ltd’, who promised that my whole living space would be: ‘Transformed into exactly what I had dreamed’, cheesy fucks. But hey, you know, I don’t really care anymore. I would just spend my over-time on the same kinda crap anyways.
I felt a bit awkward about uploading the video, descriptions, and other details… But hey, they kinda put me at ease on the phone. Told me “Everyone is doing it! Politicians, Flesh-ball players, Human-planets…” Ok ok, I get it I get it, you people would pay your own daughter to lick a sting-ray if you thought it would help you with your targets.
I feel it. A pair of white, delicate, but not over the top, underwear start to appear opposite my body in the darkness. I take off my Google-specs and try to get a better look at the small globe sending the hologram towards me. It’s shone from a corner of my hall-way space. Damn. Like a glass filling itself up and spreading out with white. They got them just right. The globe tunes the illumination up as the underwear fills, her feet touch the floor, and the rendering of her flesh opaques until full.
Now the braggart comes out, and Simi stands before me too. But they’ve left it all out. She doesn’t have that look in her blue black eyes that says she is tired or will kill me soon.
Her hair. Her sharp features. Double dimples on each side of her face. One below her smile and one above. She turns around in a way that Simi never would. As the globe above my door creates her flickering data shadow, attached to every part of her from top to bottom. We don’t wait. I tap her on the shoulder. We embrace. Cold dust particles of heavy light enclose around me. The same around her.
“Shall we go in?” I ask Simi, in a low voice, alien even to me, as she agrees, and I take her hand leading her in. I feel the skin on my back slightly warm as she follows me in. It feels like I’m giving piggy-back to a ghost of light.
Once inside my apartment, the additional sensors flick on in the different corners, creating Simi in different places as I take off my jacket and throw it on the bed. They’ve really done a decent job, I say to Mr Shaman. He smells my jacket where it lays beside him. He takes in the sterile smells from outside with small sniffs.
“Do you want me to-” Simi says, as her body disappears and reappears beside the cupboards above my cooking and washing unit.
“Yeah, can you take out, no… I can’t remember what day it is…”
Simi leans back against the square unit which is the only other furniture in my room apart from my desk beside the bed. I smile as I feel my credits ticking down from black into red, then further past zero, as My Penumbra charge my account.
“It’s venison with mint gravy day.” My Shaman says, jumping down from the bed and trotting over to my feet where he stands alert, unable to see the hologram tuned to my neural sensors.
“Ah yes, that’s right.”
“You know how much I cost don’t you? Lets leave Mr Shaman’s and your bro talk out for a lil while…” She says covering her mouth like she always does smiling, then taking out a container from the cool unit.
She hands me a beer.
You guys got it just right. That cut down with a smile. That no mercy truth.
And for a moment, I wonder why My Penumbra Ltd haven’t taken over the planet. They have all of her just right. They already have the abilities of gods and goddesses many times over. Pageant flux created from memory and touchable light. Simi scoops out Mr Shaman’s dinner. Begins to. Then chuckles to herself stopping what’s she’s doing.
I sip. Walk backwards and lean against the wall. And in the exact moment I think: ‘fuck it, just feed him from the container, it less hassle for me to just buy disposable ones than to waste energy using the sterilisation unit’ – she knows it, and places the container down on the floor for the 17th century necromancer.
“You’re a fucking nutter!” Simi says laughing, before reaching down to pat Mr Shaman, as her hand passes through him. She then looks at her hand, enquiring with herself, before spreading her fingers and eyes, as water starts to jet down from the wash unit beside her.
I pass the beer around my mouth, moving my tongue around it before swallowing.
She moves her hand in the same motion as my tongue. She mimicks my movements in the water stream. Even though it passes through her hand without acknowledging it. But. What else would I spend my credits on? I ask myself.
Trying to name which emotion this is.
Watching the curious marionette wash her hands in the water. Soon, she starts snapping her fingers, and pumping her fists up and down, while kicking her ass out, like some parody of a girl digging a tune in a 50’s bar… Then, I get it… She’s doing it because I’m not thinking of anything… An algorithm caused by my dormancy has kicked in…
“Can we go separate for a while…” I say, feeling like my oblongata is pumping over-time in my chest.
“Getting creeped out?” Simi says, flashing me a small chortle and smile, while still doing the same dance, now doing little hitch-hike thumbs behind herself to the beat.
One part is freaked.
One part is not.
And altogether the dance of my synapses and adrenal functioning begins to waken. This is what I specified in my conversation with the My Penumbra personnel. A friend. As simple as that. Someone who can goad me further when my thoughts are hibernating and I need to begin work. Someone always unafraid steady lucid mood.
You can always order anything.
Hylas-Vamps, Heat-skins, Ice-singers, Bride-femmes, Reverse-malles, Lilac-kins, tough Macho-Dwarves ready to shout and slap you, Psycho-Cherubs, Fillet-Men, Autocrat-girls, Chaméle-Dogs, decadent Sweat-Courtiers Choke-Pets high low spirit Über-dolls (the same model as the one I have except with verbal and artificial-will functions turned off), the list is as long as the deviant soul. The customer is always dreaming.
“Sure” She says turning off the water by snapping her fingers and disconnecting from the neural relay.
If it started mimicking my every movement, I think it would be just too much.
To see her again here, even if her flesh is made of light, is enough.
I know that there must be ten million countless men and women out there ordering past lovers, and it helps to ground me, to remember what price the service is.
But still, easy, I tell myself. I don’t want to destroy my re-animating memories with carelessness, I have learnt that from my trade at least. I decide to ask a formal question that will ground me further, recalling the instructions provided to me by the My Penumbra customer care advisor.
(And she’s still popping out those damn moves. And I can’t help but spit a little beer out from my nose)
“Can I ask-” I say laughing.
“Certainly. You may ask.” She says folding her arms as I do to, tilting her head and laughing to herself inside her throat.
Mr Shaman guzzles the last of his meal and flicks his nose up to her.
Simi pouts her lips at him blowing him a kiss with an open and friendly stare.
(Well fuck right off. He is a shaman after all. He can see ghosts. He can feel what I’m seeing, or what sees him, I think to myself as I look at them both and sip.)
“Can you…” I say reconnecting the feed between the Über-doll and myself, “Can you say what he’s thinking, back to me.”
“Ah, ok…” Simi says uploading the past minute or two of thoughts, “Why don’t you just ask me what you’re really thinking love?”
At first, you may find the effects of the two-way feed a little disorientating. But as we’ve discussed, this won’t be abnormal. You’re actually getting a discount based on the particular penumbrae you’re ordering, we don’t get many folks asking for the normal array of unhandicapped cognitive functioning, usually it’s the other way around, man– there was this one customer-
“Ah, sorry, I’m kind of in a hurry. I need to get home, the North causeways get really bad-”
“Yes yes, no sorry. K”
I look at Simi. I look at a dream the same way one does a permanent reflection of reality. One that is not only on the same level of control as you, but has the pure command built into it: to create thought from your own when your mind does not move. To have the moxie and charm of your own personal sea, with its own directions building in helix with your own. Giving you the ‘answers you do not have, with the smell of what you know already’, so the recorded message went.
“What am I thinking then?” I ask smiling.
Simi turns off and reappears beside my work desk as the small black globe fixtures whir in the four corners of my apartment. She passes a hand over my screen. Tuts. It turns on. Then recalibrates my vertical chair where I normally work, so that the head rest is less bent back.
“You’re wondering if you’re going mad.” She says finally, interacting with the controls of the vertebrae chair.
“Oh that…” We say together laughing.
She looks at the bed then back me. Watching as I attach myself to the vertical seat where I work. We agree to at least work a while before anything else. We agree that the cathedral men are losing their grip on this city. Which is about all the nerve I have to act normal anymore.
I carefully stand back up from the work station as it de-plugs the early links from the base of my skull, and I decide that to dance vulgarly on my own terms is better than to dance politely without music.
“Ah, you don’t wanna work?” Simi says, laughing with the look of the devil ready to eat my lungs with song.
“Nah…” I say sitting down beside her, picking up a bottle from the heated floor, “They’re pissing me off, the clients that is…”
“Oh yeah? How so?” She says crossing her legs.
“I dunno, they treat us like chumps you know, tonight for example, I know that I’m gonna plug myself in, and a barrage of bullshit dead-line messages will appear, asking: when, and how long it’s gonna before I deliver. The freaks that keep the world alive with their madness are paid peanuts by the apes, while the apes eat cavier! Here’s cavier! Here is yourself and I! Oh take me off the damn boat I’m happy here!”
“Oh, you don’t like the work the bad men give you? Oh my precious baby…” Simi says tickled rolling back, shot dead by my bull shit.
“It’s true! The world spins on the axis of a convicts gut! WE provide the steam while the train bites us in the ass!”
And now my love is as uncontrolled as I. I can’t hold my shit together anymore and we laugh into the shadows with light. The same light that no-one can produce or take away.
“Anyways, I don’t wanna talk about my work, I wanna fuck about my work, by the way, how is your work?”
“I don’t exist! I’m a bunch of binary spunked on a schizophrenic-”
“Bitch!” She says.
“Heyyy I was gonna say beach!”
“No– You – WERN’T! You can’t even be honest,” Simi says, trying to control herself “With your own dreams”
“Bitch.” I reply.
We both try so hard not to smile, we manage half a second, before Mr Shaman takes his queue, makes a weary howl, and takes his augmented ass outside, as the sensor on the balcony door recognises his scraping paw.
Blood pink mist departs from the upper parts of the curved building surrounding us, until all there is is our one face.
“You’ll lose the apartment if you don’t do the work.” Simi says in the darkness, as I reach down and pat Mr Shaman’s head as he snores down beside the bed.
The only thing that tells me it isn’t real is how real it feels, that, and the fact that when I smell her hair it smells like she’s right.
“I have enough clients, they can just damn well… Wait… Fh” I say beginning to drift, beginning to wonder if, Über-dolls drift.
I dream that my dream disappears when I wake.
I dream that I am part skin, sense, and bacterium.
I feel my arm draped around a lover that I pay for, whom is a remembricant apology I sell to myself, as I pull her dorsal body into my own within the sea.
Where the city sleeps no more it sweats more heavily.
The tribulks of plant like armatures pretending to be organic buildings play and play around my home in hammering jack knifes. Even though the run home after work has become smooth, and the taxiing shadows I step into and out have become sheer drop, I am blinded by infinite and unfamiliar lights that represent the city: both doomed and tattooing swells in and around nascent hymns of blood and cement.
The stream-ways of populace run up and down ladders – clear ladders – that run for miles in all directions. I would scream hello to something passing my face if it had not already passed.
I would turn and ask the sun: What have we done to you red yellow beast? – If we were not so protected by our lust to survive (which is as translucent as hell and heaven itself), this disfiguring drape of timid moon that shines across all amphitheatres, but for some reason, still does not link our ready souls: can.
Simi wakes in amongst this crazy belch, and jogs her backside into me, making my eyes open.
“Hey hey Mr” She says beginning to search among the bed sheets for her legs and exit to the floor.
And there she is. All five foot six of light being chosen from the different projection globes of the room.
“On behalf of My Penumbra I must exit this transmission so not to incur you any further costs.”
“Nooo” I say smiling, without opening my eyes, knowing that this isn’t the correct pre-set message.
“No? Sorry Sir, but-” The Über-doll tries to say, flashing on the cold floor of my apartment all shivering statue.
“It rolls on. I know that,” I say lifting up the bed sheets, “I don’t mind, I can afford it… But, I wonder… You know it works like that… How come you wanna fuck this?”
And shit. She looks at me like milk looks through a daemon. And. I had so much planned out. The way I would be better in this version of life. And.
“Hey hey hey, I’m sorry, I-”
“It’s ok, you can’t burst silhouettes hun” She says, before sitting down on the bed again and I rub my eyes. Breathe in, breathe out.
And I wish I could resist it, but I start to laugh. So heavy and so raw that it feels like my throat is trying to come through my mouth.
“I wish I had hired one of the dolls without will” I think.
Immediately I see something change in her face. The poignant cuts of her nose and chin look down, back up, and look at me, it’s done.
“No, I didn’t want that, I just want you to-”
“Yes.” The Über-doll says, floating her blue eyes back up at me, re-setting, deleting the request.
We lay here together. I look into the Über-doll’s eyes. Two static balls of wide awake sea.
“Are you sleeping?” She asks me smiling.
The room swells over with bottles of synthetic alcohol. All the kinds that I love and dream about and have saved up for you to drink with. Ghosts chase erasing dolls on the floor. You. My Simi. The way that I can’t smell you and get ready to dream laying beside you.
The building gently lifts up and all four paws begin to run.
The night has had it’s share of me and opens it’s eyes.
Emulous sighs open into the planets ache. Smooth. Sorrow worms great tundra of soil so many hands upon so much soil soaking and running. Aye. Femme lions ejaculate into the burning bruise of mouth, and through the terror of red neon oak slip.
I mislead the dream back to reality. I lay with Simi’s flawless light shadow of weighty skull on my right arm.
Tonight is a better one than most…
(No echo slave)
Real enough to sweatless sleep with me and within me. My credits diminish into lull black as I hear my job fading away like a twisting dance made of light. Before I slept I should of finished that last argument.
The one where the future years pay the insane man to dream.
And promote organisations with the truth of their blood. It pumps the gallows. My chimeric fury powers the wind above curving birds made of mercury. The field is flat with My Penumbra.
One dose of flying ambulance above the foxes which emerge from graves.
The corneal blows of boxers, from left to right and the armpits of your smell where I die in bliss.
Aint no snake bite honey. Teeth marks near the cranial nerve attach.
“You didn’t finish honey. We might as well record that last part. It’ll help with you monthly quota.”
When the body no longer moves but feels honey entering the mind.
I know that my old Simi would never come out with such crap. She always… She always… Let it go, if I couldn’t be arsed. But perhaps better in the limitless orgasm of this city that I am plugged in when easy.
Before. Only say, a few moments ago, I questioned so much.
And now I know that this Simi from My Penumbra Ltd is here. Even the bed mites transform my flesh into smiles as they sing and drown. Open eyes to epochs, as clams shine back at the night by the minds nail.
“What are you doing?”
“You know what I’m doing darling”
You would have said love the second time.
You would have got up from the bed and walked over to the white cabinet and taken out the injection kit to help ease the trauma now making my body shake as the input comes out.
“Can you get the-”
Strokes my hair. At least you adjust my head to my cheek as the rest comes.
One thing we had agreed to never do was mix our work with our dreams, which is what we always do.
My eyes looking at you in the same way a drunk camel looks at his new owner as he is harnessed, you pull out a lead from behind your back, and fit this as well, into my cranial feed. I speak in psycho hymns of data drool. I don’t worry about the pillow or the sheets, they are full of lily’s humoured by the river.
“We. Go. To. Geh. Ther” You say in broken words that still jangle in my ears as your juice enters the flux.
“I. Ayet. Ayet. Nine. Niiiiine” I hear you say as my clams shut back down and glow.
The back door is screaming like a dog bawling. The girl with the lizard on her hips screams in tequila night shade. The road blocks have taught the owls to know the panther, the commissioner lets go of the war and sends only the poems over the top.
The battering hands of new pearls drift into core lament. So, featherless beats of one heart, catapult the rest out like karma stars made anew.
(I guess with these types of prostitutes you never really know what you’re gonna get)
Gibbous moon plus.
To ask a commercial factory of lighting marionettes for rules is madness.
To dance with them when the light wont dance is the best way to live in my house.
The dog lead has gone with me, as I wake in black forest.
No light apart from the blinding moon.
Sixty-face in the drilling dusk. Just no damn easy way to say I love you better than letting the lead become your tongue.
Fraternity of women in my pumping run through the forests face. Soon. Harbouring green smell of wild blood by the smell of your perfume. The trees are at their most young when covered with night. The body is at it’s most old when covered with skin unhowling.
From my mouth.
I weep drool and piss at the same time. The shattering spirits of my ancestors smell with me and sing.
The desecrated bleach in my spine flesh-flowers, born with morphing limbs which embrace the Earth.
Even the violin of will has wonder, has hail, turning into lava within its song.
The forest of many souls. The red sand of luxury at the base of your guitar and drum.
Overturing globe relaxes not only my blown out mind, but also my latch onto death, as life itself moves as if absent of rhetoric or debate.
In this flawed opium shade I smile, as once again, I open my eyes.
Simi has the same look of a cherub recording life.
But instead, my limbs crawl back to life, maybe… It takes me seconds.
The clock of my credits has run out.
I am too lazy to work while awake, and there are not enough credits in my account to keep her awake while I sleep. So rather than let my account go further into the red, she is considerate enough to upload my dream to My Penumbra Ltd, knowing that, in this way, they can receive my dream as payment for her company. She did in fact, know me too well.
“Now, you don’t have to pay.” She says.