Alas, I said to myself, I have wondered far from where I should be. I have left the track and now I am lost, far from the pleasant places that I used to know. My eyes had been elsewhere; my eyes had not been on the path. For many years my eyes were not on the path and then – when I woke up to my senses – I knew not where I was, nor how I had come there. The place that I had come to was not a good place. I knew that now – it was not a place that anyone would wish to be.
‘What am I to do now?’ I asked myself, ‘how can I find my way back to the more wholesome and pleasant places that I have left behind? Is there any going back at all?’ Great sorrow came up upon me then – sorrow such as I have never known. Unspeakable sorrow. I sat there for a long time not knowing which way to turn, not knowing which road to go down. All roads were the same, all roads led to my ruin as far as I could see. For a long time I sat there and no more thoughts came to me. No thoughts, only great shuddering waves of sorrow, each one shaking me more than the last. Waves that kept on coming. I sat there in that place for a long, long time until my eyes became quite sightless. I stared ahead of me not knowing what I was staring at.
I was roused from my stupor by warm wet feeling down at my feet. I looked down to see a large dog urinating upon my trainers. After having relieved itself it walked off, giving one of its hind legs a bit of a shake as it went on his way. ‘What else can I expect?’ I said to myself morosely, ‘this merely serves as a reminder as to how low I have fallen.’ This event started me off on another unhappy train of thought – ‘I have squandered all the wealth that I had been given,’ I cried out disconsolately, ‘I have squandered all my wealth and now I have nothing. I have spent the great wealth that was left to me and now I have nothing to show for it. I have spent it unwisely, without paying any heed to what I was doing….’ I didn’t have any health either, it suddenly occurred to me. The vigour of my early days was now quite gone and in its place had come infirmity, weakness and innumerable aches and pains. My senses were dull and my wits duller still.
The world has passed me by, I realised. I have slept and the world has passed me by. I looked and saw that it was true – my beard was long and it fell to my knees, my hair was down to my waist and it was as white as snow. My toenails curled out crazily from holes in my decaying Adidas trainers. ‘I have slept and an age has passed, possibly several of them,’ I said to myself. At last I understood my fate – the world had moved on but not me with it. The world had moved on and I had not noticed. ‘Alas,’ I cried out, I am Krumplstiltskin and I have slept for an age. I am Crinkleskrimpskin and I have fallen asleep on a park bench.
I remembered then the old rhyme from my youth that began with the lines: ‘Robot children come out to play/they shall turn your hair to grey’. Robot children were here now, it occurred to me. Lots of them. They were all around me, running gaily about the park, shouting and screaming with glee as children do. I had re-awoken in an Age of Transhumanism where I was nothing more than an anachronism. The apocalypse had come and gone and a bright new age had dawned – an age to which I was not suited. ‘I have no part to play in such a world as this’, I tell myself sadly. ‘My time has come and gone and I have missed it…’