From: Sterling Pons (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: what year is this??
Further to my last message, I just read back what I wrote earlier, ‘Cus, and I appreciate that I sound like a crazy person. Here is the truth: It’s 3.47AM, and I’ve just been reading over reviews of my first novel. ‘He can barely hash out a coherant plot, can’t do characters’ – did they even read it?? ‘Wafer-thin’, was what they called my characterisation. I mean, can you believe it? ‘A series of bizarre quirks does not a personality make.’ How many people in the loony modern world have a personality that is more than a few quirky assertions of individuality like what kind of coffee we prefer in Starbucks anyway? I mean, let’s face it, we are the Bland Generation. What counts in out society for being relatively wacky is if you use a Mac instead of Windows 7. These days when things go wrong we talk about ‘circumstances beyond our control’– and expect somebody to apologise to us for the inconvenience. People in the past had personalities because of this. Nowadays, we just call it a mistake. Living in plague times is character building. I think in the future ‘personality’ will be regarded as only a series of chemical imbalances to be corrected and controlled by drugs. Mental illness – the perfect disease. Hardly kills anyone directly, but can be treated forever with expensive drugs. No wonder the corporate unit love it so much.
It’s 4.13AM, ‘Cus. I have to be up in three hours to go to the airport to make sure I’m prepared and out of he house before she wakes up. Otherwise I might have to say ‘good morning’ to her. I don’t know why this is such a problem, ‘Cus, but it is. Maybe it’s just my stupid male pride makes me feel like I have to get up and go to work in the morning. But really, I’m afraid it’s because I can’t stand to argue with her one more time. It’s the small things that keep me sane. I know that all I will do is sit in a cafe drinking steamed, foamed milk in a cup and writing purple prose for my editor, who will complain that it’s too uncommercial, another complaining Mac user who won’t read it or understand it anyway if she does but will occasionally ask me to change something. When did life become like this, Sparky? We are occupied by shopping, stupidifed by television, slaves to our smartphones. Propped up by hand-outs from the government. Then something like this little alien moon-baby comes along and profoundly fucks-up your delicately aligned world-view. Because I know that it all boils down to this: I need to believe in the Moonchild.
Is it a human child, terribly deformed? Is it the last of a precursor race who came before us? Is it, perhaps, of extra-terrestrial origin? Either way, you are going to be hearing a lot more about it. I believe it’s what Mr Rubik was working on before his unfortunate death.
Of course it’s probably all bullshit, but suddenly the question of who we are and where we come from and what we’re doing here seems to be open again. And that’s got to be a good thing. I think that nearly all of life is Circumstances Beyond Our Control, and until we become some kind of omnipotent gods it always will be, only we’re conditioned to forget it. It’s kind of how you deal with it that counts.
OK for now…