Flash Fiction er…Monday: Sleeping in Plastic

On Thursday we went to the Farmer’s market and I asked you if you wanted any vegetables and you didn’t say anything at all so I got artichoke hearts like I always get artichoke hearts because I know you love them. And on Thursday night I still went down into the basement to pretend to do laundry and did a secret shot of vodka even though you wouldn’t say anything now, if you saw me, if you could see me, if I hooked any of it up.  And later still I masturbated to something forgettable on my iPhone and ran my fingers lightly around what curves you have left and I was sure you didn’t care but it felt intimate and we’re still married after all.

No one knew this would happen, of course. That goes without saying. It doesn’t make it any less true though.  No one really knew that anyone who went over there wouldn’t know it, that our memories and the sum of our knowledge can be encoded and decoded and rewritten into chips of any kind. But consciousness? No one believed it was just an accident of physiology.  That when we started uploading ourselves into computers we became little more than the very book of ourselves.  Machine readable, fully searchable, forever sleeping.  You said you’d just be gone a minute, that you’d come right back but someone had to test the system or you’d lose your grant money.  So you went and so too you stayed.

After they put a stop to it all, they told us they’d wake you as soon as they possibly could.  Someday, when we’re able to grow our own biological computers, when we can recreate whatever it is that wakes up in the first place.  Until then I carry you around in a special, airtight padded case.  And once every six months I transfer you to  a new drive. Every day as I walk I tell you I love you, I love you I love you. I’ve never explored the secret places of you, though I could plug you in at any time know anything. I don’t, because that would be wrong. Because you’re still my husband. You’re just sleeping in plastic.

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