“Would you like WorldView to save this password?”
As always, his answer was Yes. It’s not that his memory was particularly bad, it just saved time. Time was a fluid quicksilver thing in his afterwork life. Tickety-tack on his Cloudbook keyboard, clickeratick of the trackpad on one hyperlink or another. Suddenly six o’clock was twelve-thirty, and he was bushed. enervated. Tonight it was surprise nudes of the latest RealiTeeVee sensation, an article about the myth of free will, all the news that was fit to tweet, down the hypertext rabbithole from one blogpost to another.
Just another night. New episodes of his old favorites, his attention span spanning ten open tabs at once in his WorldView browser. He rarely made it through a half-hour TV show non-stop anymore as he wandered with his wayward mind to the movie database tab to see who the tight twenty-two year-old with the thirty-four cees was in this scene, or to peek under the dress of Hollywood to see the hairy legs and other behind-the-scenes secrets posted to keep the mythmaking moving.
Just another night. and another sleepless fight to enjoin the dark and invoke the restful he craved, as he led the animal into the abyss with him waving the carrot of some thread of thought to distract the idiot sparking ideas in his head like so many shiny beads.
The dream was the same. At least, the deja vu hit him like that, even though even that might have been a conceit of the dream, dreaming that the dream is one you had before because the dream itself said as much and implied such. He was in a lovely room lit with natural light from windows above and beside him. An easel held a half-finished painting, a self-portrait. He was prettier there than he actually was–thinner, more defined, optimized even. And as each brush-stroke brought the creation to life, he himself felt diminished, diffuse, defused. He awoke weary bleary, too young he swore to feel this tired, too old to work this early for so little money.
His Cloudphone has its own WorldView browser, mail app and news reader, just like its bigger self. He sat on the shitter tapping the news and the mail of the world, both of which were just junk and spin of course. Same shit, he might as well peer into the bowl and read his fortune from the floaters. Ah well, people dying in Africa, people dying all around, as much an abstraction as anything else. He had fifteen minutes to shitshowershave and hit the road.
“Would you like Newsie to save this RSS feed?” He tapped Yes. Reactionary paranoia dotcom. All these sites have a spin, but he loved the spin this blog put him in. He loved ranting to his workfriends about how shockingly stupid the site was, it was like fiber for getting time moving between eight and five. All the better to be elsewhere.
Tonight the dream was same but different. Same lovely room, same easel, same picture-him gaining definition, coming clearer from the canvas. His hand moved the brush unbidden, under its own control until finally it finished. He gazed closer closer, taken by the expressioned eyes more real than reality. And found he was looking back at himself, picture pixel-perfect.
Closer closer. The picture devolved into individual bits, each stroke a rendering revealed. A choice made and confirmed with a Yes/No. ”Would you like WorldView to save this to your favorites?”