Mike and EZ
Copyright 2017 Mike and EZ
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This is a work of fiction. All of the characters in it are imaginary.
They call them synthetic days. I can understand why. The sky is bright blue, peppered with just the right number of curly white clouds. I could watch them all day, drifting unawares high above. It’s not easy living a fake. Knowing it doesn’t impact my daily routine, but it does make it somewhat more two-dimensional, if that is the right way to put it.
For one thing, there’s Kelly in her short yellow skirt, with just enough tan and tan lines to make me want to ask questions. She’s taught me many things, but above all how to tell Synthetic Days from Real Days. My friend, my anonymous friend, the difference is truly drastic once you see it. I had no idea.
Why do they feel it necessary to delude the population, anyway? Knowing it has not changed Kelly or me, for instance, in any tangible manner. She takes off her shirt because it’s hot. She reaches for a cold drink of water because it is unusually, unwholesomely hot today, smiling at me with just one corner of her mouth. She drinks, I drink. I’m lying on her bed, glued like a bothersome fat fly to the sheets. She teases my hair, teasing me, and I feel a drop of something cold fall on my stomach. Are we in a Real or in a Synthetic day? Is it cooled perspiration, or only condensation dripping from her cold glass of water? The inside of her knee feels hot as she presses it against my side, she is the desert, but a merciful desert with her glass of water. I turn over, feeling suddenly unwell. Kelly sits still, leaning against the peeling dry wallpaper. Her room is slowly peeling like an onion, I realize, and has been going about this way ever since I came in. If it continues, soon there will be nothing. It will all just peel away like an onion, and inside it there is nothing. I feel real, and yet I’m not, I know it. I sit up in shock, unable to tell the difference.
Cold, so cold. I wake up again in the freezer. This wasn’t real, none of it was, including Kelly and her room. To my left is the frozen face of my companion, Pickles. That’s not his name, I just gave him that nickname to be able to call him something. By the looks of things, he’s a very old man. I wonder what he’s dreaming and where. I am sixty four when I’m awake, but in the dream, I’m free of time. I shiver. None of it ever was.
But then, Kelly turns to me and says: long time no see. And again I feel the pressure of her lips as I sweat cold water worse than her glass. Oh merciful desert, today is very hot and I’m a terrible liar.
She fills her mouth with water and sprays it on my face. It feels good. “I want this day to last forever,” you once said. But in reality, it is a terrible thing. No day should repeat itself.
Only Kelly and I know, and nobody else. Strangely, they don’t seem to know, or care if they do. Sometimes we go to the beach. We look at all the people there in amazement. It’s not likely that nobody else knows, but if they do, they’re hiding it really well.
I count the clouds outside our window: twenty four. It is identical to yesterday.
I step out of the shower and what little water remains on my back soon merges with sweat. No day should repeat, I repeat myself. Why did they choose such a hot day?
There was always something to do and so much to do before we became awake. But now, all we do is spend most of the time in bed. No good can come of it, but nothing bad either. We know we’re cheating ourselves every day, and yet we go on. And more often than not, I find myself enjoying the deception.
Sometimes, I even look forward to waking up in the freezer, where our bodies are stored. I’m confused. Kelly is crying softly into my shoulder.
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