Thursday, July 9, 2015

Eternal Existence

(The following is a fable written to make a point. It in no way reflects what I consider possible, let alone likely.)

James was bored. He had worked at several lucrative professions and had retired with enough money to meet not only his needs but even his wants. He was not motivated to take up another profession. He had purchased a variety of toys and gadgets, but they had ceased to amuse him.  He had been with many women and tried many diverse sexual experiments, but they were unfulfilling. He had tried all matter of psychoactive substances, but none had any lasting positive effect. He had often skirted the edge of legality, but that not longer had any thrill to it. He was 165 years old, and he was tired of living. But he had no choice.

When James had volunteered for the Longevity  Project, not to have to face death had seemed the greatest gift possible. And he now was wondering if he had made a big mistake. He was going to live forever. And he was not sure the point of it.

Then he heard a big explosion outside. He ran to his window and he saw a woman across the way planting something under an unoccupied hovercar.  After she left, the hovercar went up in flames. James rushed to the comset to call the police.

They brought her up to his living space for him to identify her and press charges.

"Now, what did you think you were doing?" asked the policeman.

"Blowing up things," she replied.


"Because it's fun."

"That's people's property you are destroying."

"Why should I care? They have as long as they want to purchase a new one, if they want one."

"And why do you consider it fun to go around exploding other people's stuff?" said the policeman starting to lose his temper.

"Because life is absurd and I am looking for a distraction," the woman said acidly.

"If you feel like, that why not just do away with yourself?"

"You don't understand. The Longevity Project did a better job than you think. Cut off a limb and a new one grows back. Jump off the top of a tall building, and you will eventually heal up again. I know; I have tried. There may be some way to kill ourselves, chop off our head or starve ourselves to death, but I lack the courage to try. I do not know what will succeed, and I can still feel pain."

The policeman turned to James and said, "If you identify this crazy woman, we will take her down and lock her up where she belongs.

"I am not really sure," said James hesitantly. "She looks kind of like her, but I'm not sure. It was a long way away. And it looked like she might have put something under the hovercar, but I did not have a clear view."

"Are you admitting to anything?" the other policeman asked the woman. But she stood mute, her jaw clamped shut. "It looks like we really don't have a case."

The first policeman was red and had his fists clinched like he wanted to paste someone. But he left with his partner.

"Do you have any more of those bombs?" James asked when they were gone. "I want to see what they look like close up."

"I think I can come up with some," returned the woman.

"And to think we thought it would be paradise if we just did away with death."

"I call it hell." 

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