DIARY NOTES FROM THE YEAR 2050
I strapped on my dagger and pistol, both in their beautiful gem studded holsters which were enough in themselves to entice robbery. But if one had not killed in awhile, one needed practice. If the bait worked I’d be sure to get some practice. At least that’s what the commercials urged: “Don’t be meek. Make a kill each week.” Then again, anyone who could afford this luxury was also wearing gem studded holsters. I didn’t stand out in a crowd. Both men and women now prize wearing their weapons more than wearing jewelry. Our weapons and holsters ARE our jewelry. These gems, however, are our everyday weapons for the common thief, car-nabber or any nuisance that make us want to draw blood. We keep our serious weapons in a special compartment in our cars. Most of us have assault rifles, machine guns, grenades, flame throwers, whatever we can afford or have room for.
It was a day like any other day as I headed for work at Mulberry Elementary school. I was shot at twice while driving but the bullets did not penetrate the bullet proof glass. I was irritated, however, at the scars and fractures the bullets made. I didn’t bother to shoot back because I would have had to let down the window and be vulnerable.
Years ago people used to talk about “the reasons” for shooting, as if you needed one, as if there were degrees of right and wrong in the matter. Gradually every reason became acceptable and there was no need for reason. Or to put it another way, everyone had their own reasons and that was their right.
My grandmother told me that in her youth people argued over whether or not people should even carry guns. Most people said they shouldn’t but the same people bought and carried guns anyway. Those were the days when a country would invade another country with tanks and bombs and call it “peace keeping.”
Today we are more honest. We all carry guns so life is fair. Everyone is an equal target.
Anyway, as I pulled into school, adjusted my bullet proof suit and put on my bullet proof helmet, I noticed the most horrendous and shameful sight. An old man without any outer wear whatsoever stood in front of the school. He wore jeans and a tee shirt. I went up to him yelling, “Can’t you see what a bad example you are setting for the children. Someone else might do what you’re doing and have to be sent to the meat recycling plant. Get inside and put on your gear!” But the old man didn’t move. He stubbornly stood there as if life weren’t worth living in the modern world.
Within fifteen minutes the old man became target practice for a group of third graders. It had been years since I’d seen a body so mutilated. What a stupid old man!
The image of the slaughtered man in front of the school still haunts me. I don’t understand why he did such a foolish and useless thing. He got what he deserved after all. He was just begging for it. But such insanity troubles me. Perhaps he had been reading books written back in the 1900s before people saw the wisdom of everyday armor. Those books have fairytale images of happy little families with happy little lives in a happy society. They totally ignored the reality of hundreds of children gunned down every day, the rampant crimes that effected two-thirds of the population, the fact that over half the spouses slept around, spreading diseases, breaking up families, the fact that few children escaped from mental, verbal and physical abuse and the fact that even though A.I.D.s was known to be deadly and widely spreading very few controlled their desires or used protection.
But what a glorious time we live in now. We no longer practice the primitive ritual of putting our naked bodies together. Now from the comfort and safety of our bullet proof bubbles we can choose every detail of our prospective off-spring from a catalog and order the child growing kit over the sensophone. We no longer spread diseases or put our sweating bodies together. For those who have not yet advanced enough in our new society and who still harbor primitive desires there are the virtual reality 3-d videos which allow them to enjoy the bodily sensations which accompany primitive sex.
But I can’t forget that stupid old man. I guess it was the untidy mess of blood and body tissue which disturbed me. Normally kills are one on one and we don’t look at them. Just inform the Fresh Meat squad right away like a responsible citizen. If I can’t shake this queasy stomach and sense of shame soon I’ll have to lock myself in the Attitude Training Tank for awhile and have some adjustments made. Life could become a living hell with primitive emotions like shame and guilt creeping in. I know I must eradicate any sign of these feelings in order to live a happy life. But when I told my friend, Pleh, about it he joked about sending me to the Failure Farm where food is grown by primitive means. People actually get dirt on their hands. It’s even rumored that primitive sex is engaged in there and those hideous failures like it. Pleh even suggested that we try it but I know it was only a bad joke. Pleh would never show any true signs of primitive leanings. He is one of the most perfectly trained Superiors I’ve ever seen. He is only testing me with his unlawful suggestions. He may have been assigned to test me. In that case I should turn him in to show my loyalty to the Society, but I don’t feel I want to. Pleh has been a good friend for years. But regret should not enter into my thinking. I will receive praise from the Master Superior and if Pleh is only testing me he will not be punished or sent for re-programming. The best thing to do is turn him in. That will prove I am well-disciplined and far removed from the primitive castes and the Failure Farms. They will never suspect my primitive tendencies towards mental turmoil.
I don’t want to end up like the mutilated old man in front of the school, worrying myself into stupid. pointless defiance of The Way.
I haven’t made a kill in three weeks. I’m getting weak. That’s what is wrong with me. Maybe I’ll strap on my guns and go stalking.
It’s been almost four months since I made a kill. 1 am losing sight of the point of it.
Today something happened to take my mind off my troubles. Someone carelessly stepped on my booby-trapped lawn. He had barely touched the edge, just enough to set it off. He was thrown clear with only a nasty wound in his side. I watched through my bullet-proof porthole. I debated whether to shoot him in the head and put him out of his misery or whether I should call the underground, outlawed Samaritan gang that often swooped down on the dying, giving them first aid. I had always thought it was quite cruel to patch up the dying only to delay their pain and death. But I heard they had pain killers and they really did try to save people. And the wounded man might pull through with attention.
Although it was against the law I dialed the forbidden number and told the Samaritans my location and what had happened. They patched him and asked me if he could convalesce in my home. They brought me medicine and supplies and showed me how to dress the wound. I did not want to do this but the man said he had no living relatives. They had been mowed down in a formal machine gun practice. Their meat was processed fresh to benefit Society and he, the only surviving member had received a Medal of Service for having “donated” his family. But his family had been chosen by lottery and he had no say in the matter.
I felt it wasn’t right for one’s whole family to be slain at once. I agreed to take him in. I know I am extremely weak and my behavior is socially unacceptable, but I do not wish for the man to die. I am becoming sentimental. I could be killed for this. I am risking my life to help someone and I do not understand why. It might he insanity. I could almost laugh to think in my grandmother’s youth I would have been called a hero. I would have been celebrated and admired. But today’s Book of Law condemns me. I was born too late.
The man’s name is Evol. He had simply come to the wrong address. His injury was unnecessary and accidental. I find myself feeling compassion. I talked with him about it.
Evol was once a Samaritan himself. He understood my feelings. He told me I was sane. It was society that had gone insane. Years ago, in an effort to resolve political differences that caused war among nations, emotional thinking and acting gradually became outlawed. Instead of solving problems and making life fair for all, pure logic made society ruthless and cold. Today no one truly cares about anyone. “If anyone seems to care,” Evol said, “do not trust them. True friendship can not exist under these conditions.” At least he’d never seen it.
“But you give me hope,” I told him. “I am nursing you against the law. You are talking to me about forbidden things. Surely we have trust and friendship.”
I thought he would smile or nod or touch my hand to indicate our growing bond. But he told me he needed to sleep. He told me I should sleep too because sleep gives us dreams and illusions of freedom. It was the only freedom I would know, he said.
It has been almost two months now since Evol had been wounded on my lawn. He should have left by now. I don’t know why he has not gone home. I think he is watching, listening, and taking notes. He may be a special agent. He keeps telling me about forbidden things, trying to get my reaction, trying to see if I am loyal to The Society, or if I am guilty of free thinking and actions. I have tried to show my loyalty but I now realize I have plenty of my own thoughts and ideas. His displeasure points this out to me. Lately he has tested me by touching my body to see if I have any primitive urges. He has gotten so aggressive that I’m beginning to think he is the one who is primitive.
I am going to demand that he leaves this very day. If he will not I will threaten to turn him in to Altitude Control.
I have been in the Attitude Training Tank now for weeks. Evol turned me in for using the Samaritans and for being a free thinker. And I called the Samaritans to save his life! How could he repay me like this? Where is gratitude, respect, compassion and love? What is wrong with him? What is wrong with everyone? What is wrong with society?
The more they try to brainwash me here the more convinced I am that society has not improved since my grandmother’s day. It is different but not better. It may be worse. There is something satisfying about showing compassion and love. Killing people for fun or because they are wounded is ruthless, heartless and nasty. It does not benefit society, it destroys it, breaks down the last remnant of scruples society ever had.
If I do not show proper attitude within a month I will be killed by a firing squad and sent to the meat recycling plant. I have to become a good actor to stay alive. I will have to act like a ruthless jerk in order to be accepted by society. And to think in my grandmother’s day there were welfare programs and charities to give people food and medical care! We have been taught that society was very weak then but now I don’t think that was the case. There were many social problems in my grandmother’s day but that has always been true for all time. The only reason we don’t see the poor or sick today is that when we do see them we kill them.
I am growing troubled with these cruel ways. I now understand why the old man stood in front of the school without bullet proof gear. I understand the statement he made by refusing to be armed for battle constantly.
If he felt that way, and I feel this way, their must be others. I will begin testing others to see if their “weakness” is the strength of compassion. I will live with hope, knowing there has to be others who refuse to be armed machines but who are clever enough to stay out of the Failure Farms.
Maybe some day it will be safe just to be who one is, without a gun.
Poem taken from SILENT SKIES, Volume One Number One, edited by Tammy Anderson and built by Kurt Nimmo, 1994
Much more on Belinda Subraman can be found via the following links: Belinda Subraman, creator at Mystical House Organic Skin Care | Mystical House Blog | Mystical House on Facebook | Mystical House Videos | Mystical House on Instagram | Books. Poetry. Music. Art. Reviews. Interviews. | short digital film documentaries, poetry and art