Whatever. Like some wise man once said, not me: Getting old is the only way there is of living a long time. And I want to live a long time. Gosh. The things that go on in this life, you just don’t want to miss what’s gonna happen next.
And here I am, coming to you from some time after the year 2055. Back in 2010, it turns out, I wasn’t nearly as pre-dead as I would’ve thought. Even before I ascended to Aeolia, it already looked like I might live forever. It probably started even back before we retreated into the malls, with my Ellie feeding me this stuff they called co-enzyme Q10. I took some every day for years, along with garlic capsules and fish oil and suchlike. I also had this doctor, he told me I had to cut down on the red meat—give it up, even—and get my calorie intake down to 1,600 a day. An ideal diet if you wanted to live forever, which I didn’t necessarily. But I went ahead with it anyway. Just about starved my butt off for a while there. And I had to water my bourbon down till there was no way to tell it wasn’t tapwater, which it probably was when Ellie mixed it. Gosh. But I have to say I started feeling friskier than I had in years. In fact, it got to the point Ellie said she was thinking of taking me off the co-enzyme Q10 and maybe putting saltpeter in my porridge besides.
That was a few years before they started coming up with all this nanomedicine, and before you knew it I was getting a complete overhaul. I hardly got used to having my own computer, a PC, when next thing I know I had a trillion of them or so inside me. Computers, I mean. I hardly got used to having my own computer, a PC, when, next thing I know, I got a trillion of ’em or so inside of me. Do you know, I can remember when we first got telephones, in the little town I grew up in. Party lines, they were… Yeah, yeah. I know—off on a tangent. My qubital editor is doing everything except actually beeping at me.
Before I knew it they told me my liver was as good as it was when I was a kid of 50, though what I needed with a liver I don’t know; locked up in the Mall with MOM and her Dolls, I couldn’t even get a real drink. Whatever. The medibots overhauled my tired old carcass till it was nearly good as new, and maybe better. Used to be about as busted up as your average rodeo rider. Little mishaps on the oil rigs, sometimes in bars. A car crash or two. One time Nance—that was my first wife—clobbered me, accidentally like, with a blunt object when I happened to be standing at the top of some stairs. You know the kind of thing.
Anyway, MOM took a real interest in my health, nearly as much as my Ellie ever did and, I’ll have to say, more than Nance. Every morning I got to have a nice chat with my toilet. Seems the old blood sugar levels are a mite elevated. Unlike my friggin’ spirits. Only the toilet don’t know that.
That toilet was smarter than some people I’ve known. At first I had a heck of a time using it, to tell the truth. Didn’t seem right.
So I’d get my 90-day checkup. Some routine maintenance. All these little ’bots running around inside me, we had to change the oil, balance the tires. I don’t know what… They said they could keep me in a “perpetually high energy state.” Gosh. Just what I needed. Not. Darn it, who wants to be in any perpetual state? I’m kind of glad they’ve kept me from being dead, which is one kind of perpetual friggin’ state; but that didn’t mean I had to go around wound up like a cuckoo clock all the time.
This diet I was on, I passed these things that look like rabbit pellets—clean and dry and all the same so they didn’t look like crap at all. The toilet would check it out, and then tell me that my triglycerides and whatnot were all just jim dandy, and I’d say why shouldn’t they be? Seeing as how I hadn’t had a decent drink in longer than I could remember. Or a good steak.
Some wise man, I can’t remember who, said something to the effect that teetotalers didn’t live any longer than the rest of us; it only seemed longer.
(From Syn, the first in a series of speculative novels; awaiting publication.)