The idea I had was something like this:
The Media (via months of blog-type buildup) reports on some massive pandemic panic. Either an impendint terror attack or an impendint world ending asteroid impact or the bird flu or something like that. The plugged-in world has reached saturation with this sort of fear and reacts violently on both a physical level and on a memetic, psychiatric level. The call to alarm, see, contained some mix of ideas and symbology that unlocked feral and unreasonable behaviors, leading to the collapse of the collective unconscious. Add to that the outbreaks of disease that were allowed to slowly flourish in a world with no global oversight. People, severed from a common ground, were cut adrift to fend for themselves until killed by men, virii, or toxic accidents. Tribes formed and were slowly destroyed. Languages were invented and lost, or flourished and celebrated but ultimately destroyed by the initial memetic virus, which carried forward among speaking people. The only immunities were genetic, and there were only a few people on the planet who were immune.
Skip forward 1220 years.
Four people per 100sq/mi. The planet has nearly lost the ability to support life due to the unchecked toxic systems that had been run by thinking men (oil tankers, nuclear power plants, refineries, power plants, chloralkali plants). Life on earth is dominated by insects, agressive plants, small animals, and a very few crafty human beings.
Solitary, arguably the last of the species, they've dwindled to a hundred thousand or so, spread over the planet. Some are in areas less affected by the toxic remains of the previous generations, some have formed small tribes that get by as they had for centuries.
Some were the last sons of tribes destroyed over the years by exposure to what used to be technological, modern civilization. The story, then, is about one of those men, the last man standing in an area the size of the southwest US, descended from a dead tribe of stubborn redneck survivors.
There Are Better Ways To Meet a Stripper.
So I had to take my car in to the local Acura dealer for some warranty work. A couple of known 2005 RSX issues: a "thunk" from the front suspension and a problem with 3rd gear. The dealer gave me a loaner, a fully loaded 2006 TL. Nice car. Really big, quiet, loaded with every goddamn option you can get. I love the way the TL looks, the way they sculpt the exhaust into the rear bumper. Quite cool. However, it's not my style: it's too big, too insulated from the road. Doesn't feel like I'm driving. It's more like I'm suggesting that the car go in a given direction, then leaning back in a nice leather recliner and watching the world go by.
I was taking a back way home, since it was late and traffic in Austin is the worst in the US for this size town (according to some recent US DOT studies). I'd just pulled up to a light at Metric and Parmer. The car in front of me turned right, so I pulled out, looked left (it looked clear), then gave it the gas. Hit the girl in front of me, who'd stopped after turning.
She'd stopped because a truck had U-turned from out of nowhere and was heading for the McDonalds right next to her at a high rate of speed, and wasn't going to stop. So she stopped. Me, I wasn't expecting traffic to stop there, so I'd only verified that it was clear, then goosed it.
Less than five miles an hour, thankfully. We pulled into a parking space and I got out to give her my insurance info...and she's this redhead, ponytailed, wearing goth schoolgirl nonsense: black short tennis skirt thing, black thigh highs (with a seam!), maryjanes, a black and white striped top, and quite a bit of body jewelry.
It was like I'd hit a SuicideGirl(dot com). I asked if she was OK...she was, though she was upset. Not angry, just upset. She didn't want to get insurance involved, which was fine with me, but I felt bad leaving her with nothing...so we drove to a very nearby ATM and I gave her some cash. She then noticed the damage to my loaner car. It's not bad, but it is plastic, so I get to buy a new bumper and have it painted, probably $700 or so. She felt bad about it, said it was her fault (it wasn't; if anything, that truck would have creamed both of us, dead). I explained to her that it wasn't my car, and it wasn't a big deal anyway. She then says "well, if you're in the area and you're interested, I work at Perfect 10..." which is this strip joint in Round Rock. She says she's working the day shift.
That's right: first thing I do with a $50k car is run into a stripper. I wonder if that's an Acura perk?
After not sleeping for many nights (well, not sleeping for more than a few hours between hours of being awake), I got to sleep last night at about 8pm. Woke at midnight, and got up to get some water...and nearly fell over. The ground just pitched around on me...I was totally out of control dizzy. Had to sit down and slowly, carefully, make my way back to bed. Wasn't much better at 3am, but my 5am had cleared up pretty well. I didn't eat anything yesterday other than breakfast, and the gabapentin I take at night is supposed to be famous for dizziness and nausea, so I'm not too surprised. Still and all, this morning I am a bit dizzy. Maybe catching some world ending virus?
It's, what, Tuesday?
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