So here is (probably the first) part of a story that I’ve written. And while I’m the author, it should be noted that I operate under the view that authors can write pretty much anything and not have it be completely autobiographical, nor something that they completely believe. I also do not work within the framework that authors completely determine the meaning of texts. That said, here is a story that I have written, take it for what you will…
“Cellophane flowers of yellow and green, Towering over your head. Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes, And she’s gone. Lucy…” His mind began to wander away from the words in the radio. It’d been like that for awhile now – jumping from one thing to the next. Whether this jump was out of self-preservation or just the same ADD he’d been suffering from was still up for debate. The song always had reminded him of everything he was drinking to erase, but with the self-destructive bent he’d been on recently, self-preservation didn’t seem like the most likely option. Brains were funny things though so he was left with the glimmer of uncertainty.
And really he’d nearly drunk enough to go through into the lab to begin the erasing process so he could’ve simply left Lucy in the sky to prep himself for this next phase. Memory erasure was still pretty new and he wasn’t entirely convinced he wouldn’t end up in a vegetative state from this brilliant idea. It was rather convenient that part of the process was to get drunk. He tended to feel much braver after a few drinks.Downing the last of his beer, he got up and walked to the back door. The attendant scanned him and, after verifying his blood alcohol level, moved aside so he could enter the lab. After one final bracing breath and quick review of why he couldn’t not do this, Led stepped over the threshold and walked with resolve to the next attendant. And while he was prepped, that same stuttering entered his consciousness. He ignored it, and, as the process began, he surrendered to the inevitable release and embraced the life that waited.
Led wasn’t actually running from anything more specific than a less than noticable life. He’d opted for the premium treatment to have the life he’d known erased and a better one uploaded. It was an easy decision as soon as he’d heard about it. There wasn’t much anything in Led’s life that he couldn’t let go of. There was no family, no friends that would really care if he suddenly didn’t exist, he wasn’t even irreplaceable at work. He was just another mediocrity taking up space in the world. He’d originally thought that suicide would be the best use of his life so that there could be more resources for someone the world would actually give a damn about, but he wasn’t that level of discontent yet. So he figured he’d push the restart button and try life again. If it failed this time, he’d left himself a note in his safe deposit box so that he’d avoid being stuck always trying again and again and be able to end his sad excuse for a life.
When Led had given his two week notice, his manager looked slightly surprised, but didn’t ask any questions. He hadn’t bothered to tell any of the other people he knew; what the point was in explaining his actions to an audience who didn’t care? The company had asked their routine questions to prevent people from dodging the law through the erasure, but once they were satisfied that he was legit, they too stopped caring. Even Led hadn’t really bothered to push himself to answer why he’d decided that the life he’d had wasn’t worth his, or anyone else’s, time.
If pressed, Led might have mumbled something about not doing much with his life and about how, as just another drone, the best thing he could do to advance society was give up his place so that someone with ideas (or a backbone) could thrive and make life better for everyone.
Very altruistic sounding.
The reality of the situation was not as self-sacrificing (it never is).
What Led was unwilling to face, even for himself and with no one ever knowing, was that Led was tired of being alone.
For as long as Led had been alive, he’d been alone. For reasons he didn’t fully understand, he’d never found anyone to be paired with. He’d seen the few friends he’d had get married, or thought of them in conjunction with other friends, but he’d never experienced that. Even at work he’d never been put on a project with the same person consistently. There would occasionally be groups that he’d work with, but not one person who got to know him better than anyone else. If he’d taken the time to reflect on his life, Led might have thought through why it was that no one was paired with him, and why he’d never invited anyone’s curiosity.
But that was not something that occupied Led’s mind. And so Led had led a life that left him unsatisfied to the point of restarting it through the new erasure process. That was pretty much all there was to Led – a life alone full of non-self-reflection. But as he opened his eyes, rubbed his hand through his sandy-brown hair, and took stock of the room he found himself in, all that had made up his life before was gone. He no longer even had the option of taking stock of why people hadn’t ever felt the need to get to know him because that Led was gone. Sure the safe deposit key was there, along with a very few other personal affects, but the man who had created and cared for them no longer existed. Led was on the brink of a whole new world.