The World We Deserve

http://www.bloodyloud.com/shanghai-layers-photographer-makoto-sasaki/
Picture Credit Makoto Sasaki

I’ve left my tower before.
I don’t see what the big deal is.
There’s sun and wind out there like there is in here.
Same sun, same wind.
The city at ped level is interesting sure, but not as interesting as say, Egypt during the Ptolemy’s
reign or Mexico city circa 1400­ and I can go to those whenever I want without leaving my
room.
Everything I could ever need is here.
I’m sure things are much the same elsewhere.
There’s no reason to take RL bodies on excursions where an AV of one sort or another will do.
I’ve read that people used to spend hours in airports, more hours on planes, to go to faraway
places and have meetings or maybe go on vacations.
I read these things but they do not register deeply. How could they?
Everything here is seconds away.
Others spend more time out there, in TRW, if not in their ‘actual’ bodies. Droners are
everywhere, for instance. And there are auta vehicles for a more hands-on experience of
non­local earth.
You can ACTUALLY (vicariously) climb mountains, or fly kites, or hike, or whatever- ­if you’re willing to pay shipping you can be one step from anywhere.
I have several humaniform auta in storage, ready to be transported anywhere in the world I
might like to see in ‘person’.
I never know where to go.
There are too many choices, too many experiences.
Half the time I sit in my room alone with the walls set to white.
Thinking…

Well, probably not half the time.
If I need to eat I’ll take the short walk to the commissariat in the mall, and relax in the garden
surrounded by waterfalls. Other people will be there:
It is polite not to see them.
Most wear modest whites, although it’s not a dress code. If I wanted to walk around naked no
one would stop me.
Chances are no one would notice, but those that did would be wired to look away.
Somebody else’s problem.
It is, of course, considered EXCEEDINGLY rude to make eye contact with a stranger.

Such harassing glances were long ago made taboo in TRW for all of the good reasons we are
all aware of.
No good can come of them, and much that is bad.
There will be very little talking going on in any public place within the archology.
We are barely here, I sometimes think.
We are barely here at all.
Most of us can’t wait to get back online. We are always online, to some extent, of course.
If I wanted to I could carry on most of my activities walking about the habitat, but again, it’s seen
as impolite, though that too is not disallowed.
Very few behaviours are actually anathema.
Few things are worthy of judgement.
And yet, we live a very orderly and quiet RL.
Inside, things are different.
Online, humans live their joys, their passions, all the things our ancestors ever wished for but
never had.
We are all fiends.
We lust, we kill, we speak our minds openly.
Inside I am someone.
In RL I am no one.
I was never here.
Of course, vid records would indicate something else.
To them, I am always ‘here’. Here is always known. Here is always remembered.
Inside my room, inside my mind, inside the net, much of what I do much of what I live is known
only to me.
Inside, how much is me, how much is AI, how much is ‘other’ (people)?
I’m sure I could find out if I cared.
Precise measurements of everything everyone does anywhere exist in the network.
I’m sure there are endless things I care very little about.
I do not have to care.
I’m not sure I know how.
I’m told a woman doesn’t know true intimacy until she has had a child, a baby.
I have never seen a baby in RL.
They seem unpleasant.
Sticky.
Inside, in the net, people will often have familiars which tail their avatars. Cats. Dogs.
Snakes.
These are things I know exist outside, out here, but again, like babies, the actual RL animals are
things I have no direct experience with.
‘Having a baby’ seems like it would hurt. I hear horrible things. The world was a hideous hell,
without technology. Before civilization.
Pain was normal. Women menstruated regularly, were raped regularly, bore children regularly.
The past is a barbaric place.
Not modern RL where no one need menstruate after the first event, and the standard hormone
therapies that come with it.
Once upon a time. Life was brutish and short.
These are things everyone knows.
These are things a modern woman will never need to experience.
But my AV lives an entirely different life. I live more through her, in a way, than I do through *me*.
She does things I’ve never done. She is things I never will be.
My RL body has never had sex, for instance.
I don’t know if it would feel any different than it does online.
How would I know?
The thought of touching another physical human person in that way, I must admit, fills me with
revulsion.
And yet online, I am a whore like everyone else.
I will ‘look you in the face’ there.
The filthiness of human imaginations is confined to the safe space of non­reality.
And they are celebrated.
In RL, austerity is the norm.
We have few needs.
I have one RL ‘friend’.
My friend was born before the upheavals at the turn of the millennium.
He is one hundred years older than me.
It might as well be a thousand.
He says everyone is ‘beautiful’ now. Everyone is perfect.
He says no one grows up, that he hasn’t met an adult in twenty years, who wasn’t from his own
generation.
He says people once had distinct stages in life and dealing with mortality was important for
growth.
We rarely have mortality.
The population of our tower is on a slow growth curve, due to occasional births and rare deaths
of citizens within.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a child.
I did know one woman who died, a teacher of mine.
She was murdered by a lover.
Another reason not to take a lover.
My friend agrees.
‘Online you can do anything you want. Do it all. Live your life as wild as you can because you
can. Out here in the tower, it’s almost a religious cult, with your purity whites and your
no eye contact bullshit. It’s quiet as a church ever was. You’re a nun, might as well be.’
It is ok to look a friend in the eyes.
I am not offended.
‘I am not religious. You don’t understand, you are too old. You still exist in another era. You
even leave your hair grey. No one does that. I’ve never seen it.’
‘I want to scare people off. I don’t want interactions any more than any of you beautiful people
do. If I scare them they leave me alone.’
Sometimes I wish I had the ability to scare anyone.
I think we are friends because I like his stupid grey hair.
It is why seeing him I spoke out of turn, to a stranger, in a public place.
His hair is why we met.
His skin is tight and youthful, though. Healthy. new. His hair is an affectation.
He probably doesn’t even realize that.
He is wrong. I am wrong.
The world is wrong.
Everyone is out of place and time.
No one notices.
Sometimes we visit in person, though online would do just as well.
Most of these visits are short.
The internet calls.
When my friend leaves I take a trip to Nepal, Morocco, Buenos Aires.
Virtual perhaps, but far more economical that sending a physical body to ride in.
In Hong Kong, you can inexpensively remote­rent an auta without sending your own.
I’ve done it on occasion, and will again.
I love walking the streets there, in a place I will never visit, in a city, I will never see in person,
even though I am technically experiencing RL in that place…
I refrain from ‘human’ contact riding an auta in human space as I would likely do as a human
bodied tourist.
I assume the rental auta are filthy, of course, but I suppose I am not REALLY touching them
through the sens­link..
Dreams within dreams within dreams.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Impossible things before breakfast this is the best of all possible worlds I’m good enough I’m
smart enough and gosh darn it people like me
through the looking glass­
Nothing is real.

I feel that I may be missing something.

© 2016 – 2017, e eric vulgate. All rights reserved.

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