Preparations had been made against the long-foretold advent of the Eternal Moment. Many preparations had been made. Not that they would ever do any good of course – what good could they possibly do? What can protect us against eternity, after all?
Full of bravado in public, I collapsed helplessly into a frenzy of hysterical sobbing just as soon as I got back to the privacy of my apartment. It’s either the one extreme or the other with me you see – never anything in the middle. The middle is foreign territory as far as I’m concerned. It might as well be – I’ve never seen it and I doubt if I ever will.
I made a wrong calculation in my head and that mistake went on to cause the destruction of the universe. I was going to say ‘the destruction of the universe as we know it’ but then realised just in time that this would be an incredibly stupid thing to say, an utterly dumb thing to say. My careless mistake caused the destruction of the universe and that’s all that needs to be said on the subject. End of story.
‘None of our positions are staffed by actual human beings’ – that’s a notice we read more and more these days. That’s a clause that’s becoming more and more the rule, rather than the exception, in this modern, high-powered age of ours. I bet you think I’m going to start complaining about that and saying how bad it is, but I’m not. I actually think it’s great! For one thing, its employment for robots and transhumes, and for another thing, the robots aren’t as insufferably rude as the humans staff used to be. The vibe is better, shall we say. Indisputably better.
‘It tastes like alcohol but it isn’t alcohol’, the advertising banner says ingeniously and then it’s gone again, only to be replaced by another one with a very similar message. The banners get right inside your brain and permanently alter the synaptic connections. It’s all perfectly legal – an act has been passed permitting psychosurgery for the purpose of product placement. Everyone else at the table was talking about the problem of embodiment – some took the position that embodiment was a problem, others that it wasn’t. Everyone was very exercised by the topic. I took no part in the discussion however – my earlier suggestions had been ignored and so I was sulking. I was sulking big time.
I made the wrong calculation in my head and that mistake proved to be the ruination of everything. I had made the ultimate mistake, the mistake there was no coming back from. I had made the ultimate mistake and there was nothing either I nor anyone else could ever do about it. ‘But what’s that like?’ you want to know, ‘what does it feel like when the penny drops, and you realise what you’ve done?’ That’s a very good question of course and I would like to answer it. There’s this moment that stretches ahead of you in time, a moment that stretches on forever. You’ve never had such clarity – unearthly clarity, extraordinary clarity. You can see it all now but the understanding comes too late.