Nostalgia Trip

The other kids used to tease me at school because of my name, Hally Butt, only child of Stanley and Henrietta Butt. They said I was a bottom feeder, they said I was a silly bleeder. They said I was a cold fish. Nevertheless, despite all the beatings I had to endure, I look back on those days with a certain fondness. Life was simpler back then; it actually seemed to make some kind of sense. Can you imagine that – a life that actually made sense! Or seemed to, at any rate. Did it really, or am I just being sentimental and imagining a past that never existed? Which is worse I wonder: a past that never existed, or a future that will never happen? The other kids really did used to beat me up quite severely, on account of my unfortunate name, but at least I had a kind of basic orientation to my life, which was to avoid getting beaten up – as far as was possible, anyway.

 

Everything’s a lot more complicated these days. Life has got more complicated for me on the foot of all the surgeries and implants that I have had in the last 20 years. Transhumanism is only just another fad, as I have come to realise only too well at this late stage in my life, but at the time it felt so right. At the time it seemed to be the answer to all of my existential pain – it was like the missing piece of the jigsaw that made everything else make sense. Every last bit of my spare money went into new implants, and upgrades to the old implants. Every last bit of my precious humanity has been lost under all the innumerable digital overlays. I don’t see physical objects any more, I see matrices of information. I never see the sunrise anymore, I see a mass of formulae scrolling down the sky. I don’t know where my body ends and where the machinery starts. My sense of humour has suffered too – I can’t remember the last time I found something funny.

 

Eventually I paid out a lot of money to reverse-engineer my biological substrate back again but it went badly wrong, as these things often do. I knew the risks of course; I had been warned about what could possibly happen to me but I just didn’t listen. I never do listen – that’s a personality trait of mine. Or at least it was back when I was still human enough to have a personality! What wouldn’t I give to have a personality trait now – even a bad one! Especially a bad one – the bad ones are often the most interesting, after all. At least no one beats me up any more. I’d like to see them try – I’ve got a microwave laser turret built into my forehead and augmented six-fingered hands that can crush a full can of baked beans without even trying. My chest is made up of a depleted uranium shell and it houses an immense arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons. I’m a one-man army. My legs are so powerful they can jump right over a two-story house with no bother at all. My teeth are serrated saw blades that can chew straight through hardened molybdenum steel in no time at all. I have ultrasound generators housed in my kneecaps that can disintegrate any known structure in a matter of seconds. So as I say, no one is going to beat me up again…

 

No one is going to beat me up again but somehow I find myself missing that old vulnerability that I used to have – the very same vulnerability that I hated so much before! I suppose you could say that I still have my emotional vulnerability, but if you did say that then you’d be wide of the mark since I’ve had my emotions removed a long, long time ago. I wish someone would come along and bully me a bit. I really do. I miss that. Being abused and ridiculed made me feel real, somehow. That gave life a kind of frisson, can you believe that? I’ve made a real mess of my life I know and I’d like to think that I’m man enough to admit it. I’d like to think that I’m man enough to admit it but of course I’m not. That’s the whole problem really, isn’t it? I’m about as human as a toaster at this stage. There are actually toasters on the market with more personality than I have, would you believe that? So that’s my fate – to have less personality than a toaster. If I did have a sense of humour left to me I’d probably see the funny side of that, but I don’t…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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