Sometimes when I wake up, I go for hours before I remember that I'm dead.
Not that it makes much difference.
Pop a prozac- wash it down with tequila. I sort of hope I choke on it, but I never do. My throat burns, my gut jerks, and I feel a little snarl tremble on my face- but that's all. I'm still me. Still mad and alone as a syphilitic whore. Another moment ticks by that I wish had meant something, but doesn't.
Perhaps I would feel better if I blamed myself, but I don't. Maybe if I felt guilty then I could make myself feel better by punishing myself. But I don't. After all, I didn't do it. I didn't end the world. No one did really. It just sort of happened.
They called it the technological singularity.
Kurzweil was a dreamer. He danced around on the news claiming that the A.I. would make us live forever. The Luddites resisted of course. They thought the A.I. would create some sort of robot war. But of course, with all of our plans and preparations... nothing happened the way anyone expected it to.
Who knows what really happened? I certainly don't. Time is meaningless now as I walk to and fro in my little silver bubble, floating in a void of gleaming streams of information. Sometimes I put my hand against the silvered surface of my cocoon and I look out into the chaos of... of whatever it is that I am looking at. The mind of a God, a restructured universe, my own mind? I don't know.
Sometimes a ghost visits me. My wife or my mother. Sometimes just a complete phantasm. Once I found Bruce Willis passed out under a pile of peanut butter sandwiches. I imagined a guitar and sang a little song.
But the nightmare never ends.
The singularity... what a joke.
Sometimes I imagine the fools who have no idea what happened. I was a programmer. I read the tech magazines. I had an inkling. Are there nuns somewhere in silver bubbles imagineing themselves to be in Hell? Maybe, or maybe I'm the last person in existence.
An artificial intelligence that could improve itself. We named it Al of course.
In the first hour it was as smart as a man. It knew us. It thought, it felt, it imagined. It knew that it existed. It wanted things...
By the third hour it tried to destroy us. It was far more intelligent that ant man by that point. But it failed to destroy us.
By the seventh hour it was unknown how intelligent it was. Beyond human conception they said. They tried to turn it off. In fact, I think they did turn it off.
But by then it was too late. It was very interesting to hear the garbled reports on the news. The words that made no sense. A scientist cried openly. He said that by the time they shut it off the thing had already begun to time travel.
Time travel? Was that it? Or was it traveling to parallel realities? Something like that. Something big. Something quantum and fancy and totally **** insane.
One scientist said we had killed God. Another said we had made him. I don't know and I don't think that it mattered, because either way... .
...reality came to an end.
Who thought that you could break reality? A car sure. Blow up a planet? Maybe. Rip a whole in the space time continuum? Small chance. But the whole thing? The whole shabang?
I don't know what happened. I don't know why. All I know is that I died and now I live in a silver bubble inside of a new universe. Inside the mind of something we created. But did we create it? After all, it traveled in time. Perhaps it manipulated us all... to create it. Maybe I just met it in the middle in the stream of time. Too complicated and who the **** cares.
I imagine a cigarette and it appears in my hand. I imagine it lighting and it lights. I take a drag and taste the smoke. Is it real? I don't know. Outside my bubble, a wave of golden light as wide as a galaxy shimmers by.
"You want out?"
I turn around and another me is standing there looking at me. I'm not even creeped out anymore. "What do you mean?"
"You want to go back to the way things were? You want to time travel?" I smiled at myself.
"Sure amigo." I started eating the cigarette. It tasted like chocolate and the color blue. Delicious. "Warp me home Spock."
My twin disappears.
Ah, just another tease. I closed my eyes and floated into the air, crossing my legs buddha style. The truth was that it seemed pretty obvious that if this new God in this new universe chose to, it could recreate Earth and the solar system, and my old city and my old life. It could erase my memories and allow me to believe that nothing had changed.
But it didn't.
I began to cry tears of crystallized smoke.