Thursday, October 8, 2009

#fridayflash -- Different Perceptions

I stared at the baby. "Why am I looking at it?"

The doctor frowned. "I apologize. I thought you'd want to. I should have asked."

I shook my head. "No, no. What I mean is, why am I looking at it instead of me being inside of it looking back at me?"

The doctor frowned again. It seemed to be one of the few expressions he was capable of. "I'm not sure I understand."

"I'm supposed to be in there. In its head. I paid a fortune to live forever, but I'm still me. In this cancer-ridden deathtrap."

He frowned, and oh god I wanted to slap it off his face. I might have done it, too, if I could move my arm that high.

"Mr. Riggs, I assure you all of your memories, your personality, everything is locked within that child. You. It's all in the brochure you read a hundred times, in the video you watched a dozen times. None of this should be a surprise."

"But I'm still stuck in this." I tried to thump my chest, but my arm only lifted off the side of the wheelchair and plopped into my lap.

"Did you believe your mind would cease to exist in that body? That we'd make you nothing but a vegetable, a shell? I don't know what sort of idea you have about us, Mr. Riggs, but we're in the business of saving and prolonging lives, not taking them."

A tear rolled down my cheek. "But you promised I'd never die. I'm going to die."

The doctor shook his head. "When you die, you, this new you, will be aged to 21 years old. You chose that, I believe?"

I slumped down. "It won't be me. This me. This me is going to be hollowed out by this damn disease, and I'll be in it the whole way."

The doctor put a hand on my shoulder. I didn't look up, but I wondered if he'd managed to put on a different facial expression.

"I apologize if you didn't understand." He gestured to the baby. "He'll, you'll, have all of the memories up until this morning. When the new body is worn out, we'll make another. All of the new and old memories will be transferred. It'll go on and on. Forever. I don't understand why you don't get it."

I sighed and wondered the same thing about him.