“Get it out of my brain!”
The man screamed and fell to the floor clawing at his head, fingers frantically digging as if trying to prise the back off of a TV remote.
“Ok, nice job Clyde, everyone break for lunch! Anyone not back here in an hour and I’ll be cracking heads myself!”
The squat director trotted off towards the catering bus as the crew fiddled, seemingly busy turning off equipment or stowing cables, but if you looked closely, they weren’t really doing anything at all. Industriously indolent.
“Well, you nailed the take Clyde… I almost believed you had a brain in there.” – the woman tapped a long finger lightly on the man’s temple playfully, but her lips were serious.
“Haw haw. Thanks sweetie-pie. Our love scene’s coming up isn’t it? That might be a little more difficult to pull off.”
“Ha. Don’t kid yourself that you need any kind of acting chops for this grubby little schlock of a ‘movie’.” She mimed the quotes, her hands two wriggling rabbits ears.
“What, you don’t dig sci-fi?”
“Sci-fi yes, lo-fi pie-in-the-sky? Definitively no.” She had a way of stressing certain syllables in words… an ironic, private joke she seemed to have with herself. He fucking loved it.
“C’mon, sure the script’s terrible, and the director’s a talentless straight-to-dvd homunculus, ” – she smiled at this, and he felt connected, briefly – ” but it’s realistic. ” – now she snorted – ” We’ll see all this tech within twenty years.”
“Really? Brain based computer chips and whatever?” – she was teasing him, he knew.
” Sure. Not only is technology increasing, but the rate of increase is…” – he reached for a word – “… increasing too. Look at Kirk’s communicator. We had that within twenty years. ”
” Yeah, but we’re not beaming anyone up anytime soon! Earth to Clyde!”
Clyde moved closer to her, slowly, and…
Dave turned the TV off. He’d seen this film before, the two actors inane wittering, the ‘will they wont they’ romance; boring. Besides, the sun was pouring a broad wave of photons through the living room window and onto the screen, a patina of light; he had barely been able see what was going on. The inactive TV stared at him now, a deformed eye, opaque with cataract.
Still, that guy in the film, Clive or whathaveyou, had been right. Technology marched relentlessly on, but gathering speed. Now it is at a jog, perhaps soon to break into a loping run. Not that long ago, Dave remembered, it had been walking languidly. He thought of the cassette tapes that now occupied a place of affectionate nostalgia with everyone of his generation: the days of taping the top 40 from the radio are long gone, that infant innocent piracy. That distinctive sound of the player mechanism clunking into gear, a time when one judged a stereo’s quality and sophistication by the creamy fluid flow of it’s ‘eject’ action. The tape, more often than occasionally, would ruck and crinkle, fold and concertina in the cassette player, provoking a desperate lunge to ‘stop play’ and gently reel the entangled mess from the player heads. But to Dave this was a positive danger. Only yesterday he had heard a song on the radio, one that had once snapped in it’s tape recorded form and he had repaired with sellotape, and found himself expecting a break before the second chorus, a distorted backwards melange of sound like a secret missive from a Lynchian dwarf. The actual song was not as good as Dave’s remembered, altered version. Suddenly, the stark realisation of…
I palmed the book down onto the table with what I’ll describe to you as, petulance. All very clever, a book within the film etc. ad nauseam, but I just can’t be doing with it. Coincidentally, the sun is rampant outside, spraying radiation hither and thus. My windows too strain the subatomic soup and shower me with chucklesome amber light nuggets. I’d prefer that it were raining, the right to stay cosied and isolated, but as it is I am obliged to venture afuera, not least because of the constant climate complaints I’ve been venting for the past six months. Then there is the novelty value of just being able to walk around in the world without an Aesopean wind struggling to rid you of your garments… just to be able to say that you were there, once, in England, when the sun was out.
The door clicks, the latch catches.