Final Destination

“It’s not creepy, stop saying that.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder and concentrated on the road ahead of them. Not that she was driving. Without a steering wheel, the idea of a driver’s seat had become something of a misnomer.

“I think it is,” he said.

“Look, I don’t want to go over it again. You of all people know the benefit of genetic editing. You came up with the way to eliminate Huntington’s disease. Eliminated. No one has it, no one can get it. It’s gone.”  She flipped an open palm at him.

“That’s different. What I did isn’t a machine where you walk in and a star gets stitched to your belly. This isn’t cosmetic. This is editing yourself below a cellular level. This goes all the way down to your chromosomes. You can’t just mess with that.”

“But the changes are perfectly safe. you know that.”

“I don’t know that. What if something goes wrong?” He looked into her eyes. “I know, nothing will go wrong. Maybe that’s part of the problem. You’ll be fine. Better than fine. Perfect.”

“So what’s the big deal?”

“The deal is, I know you. I know who you are and all of your imperfections. I love that you are unique, that you are you. I don’t want to lose that.”

She sighed. “You won’t lose me. I’ll still be me after the procedure.”

“No, you won’t. That’s just it.” He swallowed. “You’re editing yourself. What goes in the box won’t be the same when it comes out again. It can’t be. You can’t be the same any more. Everything that makes you you will be different. I don’t think I can take that.”

She took a deep breath and huffed it out. “Well, you better start getting used to it. This is what I want to do. This is what I’m going to do.”

The car pulled up to the front doors of the GenEdit Clinic. —YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT YOUR FINAL DESTINATION—

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The Wall

I can see them from here lining up to climb over the wall. Some have grappling hooks, at least one group looks to be forming a human pyramid, and I swear there’s a guy in a jet pack. Most people are just milling about, lost or desperate. A few are selling snacks or water bottles or trinkets like t-shirts that say “I saw the wall and all I got was this t-shirt” or some other pithy phrase.

I’m perched on top of the wall. It’s my job to signal when the coast is clear, but there is no coast even if it is clear; we are way out in the middle of the desert. I know, if I’m up on the wall, how did I get here and if it’s that easy, why doesn’t everyone? Good question and I’m not answering. Go figure out your own solution.

Here comes a guy with a pole to try to vault over the wall. That’s not going to work. First, the wall is taller than his pole, and even if it did work, what happens on the other side? There’s no pad or anything to break his fall. This should be entertaining.

Lutefisk

Many things in life are acquired tastes. Cigars, for example, which I can’t imagine I’ll ever even try, or insects as food. Just can’t get past the whole wiggly six legs thing. Whiskey is another bit of testimony as to my underdeveloped pallet. Go ahead and include caviar on the list. Some of these tastes, along with others—I grew up in an era when liver and onions were foisted upon us as health food—but there is one delicacy that I’ve never had any inclination in trying: the dreaded lutefisk. Fish soaked in lye until it is as clear as jello? Thanks, but I’ll pass.

All in a Day’s Work

He settled into his desk, ready for another day at work. Dreamz©. He wrote dreams for a living. Dreamz Incorporated® paid well, but at times, the exacting standards—policies, according to his supervisor—left him bereft of creativity. “Stick to the script,” his supervisor had reminded him more than once. There was even a note in his permanent record about it.

She carried the platter of fresh roasted berries into the grand hallway. As she passed the ornate columns, a rush of anxiety washed over her, a reminder of her childhood when her older brother would jump out from behind a random pillar and scare her. Anticipation, knowing he would be behind one of them, anxiety, not knowing which pillar it would be, or even if today might be from the left or right, and solemnity, wondering if today might be the day he forgot or was suddenly too grown up to continue their childhood games.

A beeping tone infiltrated his headphones and the last sentence he’d constructed in Dreamz® code flared red. He’d violated the coding syntax rules again. Sentence too complicated. Subject too precise. He sighed at the thought of having to go back and simplify his work. If he didn’t, he knew his manager would receive an automated report and there’d be hell to pay.

Today it Was

Sometimes things are important. Like taking out the trash or doing the laundry when you have a job interview tomorrow or guests are coming over. Sometimes those same things are not so important. Like walking down the street and no one jumps you, or the lunchroom ran out of those nasty hamburgers but who likes those anyway? Sometimes anything could be important, like how full is the moon or the color of your eyes at night. This was one of those days when everything was important, a perfect day, the day it was.