Marathon, another round

D.R. Fairday

your name, last name, nicknames
porfirio diyas menekult, nick stony
of the nickname?
not of interest, at this moment. your origins.
you know all, anyway... therefore, you are interested in my view. I originate in a poor workers' family
we are not interested, at this moment, in your sense of humor, either. your origins.
didn't get to know my parents much. father should have been some pilot or such, never saw him, and mother probably doesn't remember. I am a stray bullet's hole. mother, then, managed to get rid of me fast, so I got acquainted with the wellness of state institutions for bringing up, education etc., including some... with a limited liberty of motion.
cultural background
a string of subcultures. resistance group within aforementioned institutions, beginning with kid gangs, boys from the neighborhood, up to submission to codes of several mafias in a row. picked a lot of that.
of that too. the state had, to my good luck, in the times when it had reins on me, been led by the idea of enlightment, which should, supposedly, create more useful citizenry. they poured the knowledge widely upon me, where they knew how, and where they didn't, I stole it myself. two-three technical professions, I know how to use most of modern technologies, to tell rotten egs from good ones in dozen arts, I know how to behave socially and how to find my way on a cosmodrome, I can read classifieds in five languages, play instruments with keys, sensors and some strings. I speak machine clear in three languages, write in four. I can even write with a pencil. I can file my tax in ten countries. don't know how to cook, grow plants, train animals. never tried heavy drugs, neither natural nor chemical, nor electronical. out of easy ones, tried tobacco, virtual space, alcohol, sport.
sport is not an easy drug
one could rather say it's a heavy one.
quick to addiction, you very easily become dependent on your dealer, i.e. coach, and you suffer badly if you quit. quitting is exactly the hardest part. if you are of any importance, the mafia, i.e. club, finds all ways to keep you and use you to develop its business further. eventually you get to canvass the young.
which sports. sport experience.
swimming, walking, mountain climbing. never competing. exclusively alone, for my own soul's sake, sometimes in company.
competing spirit?
that's good for business, climbing hierarchies, war. talking about sport? let's get back to the original meaning of the word: in old english, it meant fun, entertainment. I never had will to tolerate the layers of your belligerent past. fun is fun.
and "mens sana in corpore sano"?
saying again, let's get back to sources, and the unabridged original. it read "in a healthy body, healthy mind feels best". latter censorships thought that setting priority of spirit, allegedly, subverts the foundations of the society, or whatever. I don't agree. I went out to stretch a little when it pleased me. and it pleased me often. again, my spirit felt fine even when I was ill.
military service
happily avoided. their favorite age, I spent as a jailbird. I made up the "debt to humanity" by serving five years in mountain rescue service. doesn't the term "debt to humanity" sound somewhat cynnical, when it actually means "come to get allowed to kill someone for us in the name of our goals"? I know, you answer no questions until it gets tough. move on.
now, origins of the nickname
attended some show, of very pornographic character, with friends. wasn't really interested, I was rather thoughtful. could say I wasn't there at all. company noticed and started mentioning "stony front".
what was so uninteresting in the show
and what can be interesting. people do sex ever since they exist, if not longer. that all comes down to the same, just shuffling it around. by the way, if 90% of anything is kitch, in pornography it goes to 99.9%.
what makes pornography kitch?
money. nobody does it for sake of bringing something of within themselves out - it's all just bare acting. they don't enjoy, no word of that, instead they try hard so it will all be well visible. their girls never take off their shoes. same goes for the underwear - for me, the simpler the nicer. they get overdecorated. long fake fingernails, luminiscent hairdo up and down, metallic colored genitals... blyakh. they end with the same hairdo they started with. take good care not to ruin their scalps. giving in to passion? don't make me laugh. that's not even ballet, and surely not sex.
the stony front remained later?
whenever I thought I may need it. helped gambling. too many gamblers rely on face readings. I read them as well, but also try to make mine unreadable. I have even developed tics, so like when I got a strong hand, I let my left hand tremble, or set my pulse faster so my watch begins flashing. then I do the same when I get a bad hand. bluffing is the same always, just the technique changes.
are you bluffing now
to myself, maybe. seems to be I can't bluff you, I know all you're capable of, and what for, anyway. it's all over, isn't it?
you know we answer no questions. this will be noted as rhetorical. age?
two hundred fifty six years, out of which twelve incarcerated, thirteen and a half hybernated, seven isolated in travel.
did you wish to change it?
it's offered? maybe, sometimes. I think it would be harder to face a cultural shock at this age. too many too deeply rooted male reactions. I don't believe I'd do too well, and not to mention I never found males attractive. I still don't understand what women find on them.
marital statuses
married twelve times, out of which widowed eight times, twice agreed on divorce, once blaming me, once her. another fifteen of partly formalized communities, and two group marriages, once with fifteen and once with twelve adults, with three and two children respectively. marriages lasted from two days to fourteen years, averaging five years. my estimate, it's all so short. judging by today's measure, of course. at the time it seemed just fit.
explain the odd number.
we had two mother-in-laws in the family, and one of the wives brought twin husbands in.
had no new children in these families
up to day, I scored a total of three times when I managed to prove to that crazed committe that I love the humankind more than myself, which is, in my opinion, impossible, but they accepted that I love it for extremely selfish reasons. they, fortunately, did not get into details. all three times I was lucky that the partner was equally, or more, humanity-loving. I have spent, as it adds up, forty happy years with those women and those kids. they leave fast, that's true, but then they remember you for life. maybe even longer...
your sense of humor will be revisited. why do you deem the committee crazed?
what did they take me for, I don't know, but each of the three times they shook me well, worse than you do now. I had to justify almost every action I ever took. I was rude and misbehaved at moments - you may lose two or three days with them, and try again few years later, and that's all you can lose. ever since those medical gonzoes invented the shake against aging, we had all the chance to start climbing on each other's heads, and to outnumber the dogs. I do think there should be such a committee, or some other way to assign birth rights. crazed, because the questions they asked were. some of them were completely out of mind, others I deemed just simpeton's provocations, not to say looking for trouble. some devil's psychologists have armed them well for the job. when it all adds up, I think they're doing it well.
judicial. guilt.
given the long time done in cultural-correctional homes, eh? I got what I deserved. I didn't think enough before I jumped, and when I said "hop" it was too late, and served me right. before you think of it, you've already agreed to consequences. that's so in life, and otherwise as well, it's just not clear each time. you can't think it all in advance, else you'd be sitting forever, thinking, and wouldn't get anywhere. that's why I relied on intuition, with varying success. when I fail, I blame myself only. with all those electronic witnesses, so accurate and complete, there's no error. of course, there's no such thing like complete witnessing, nor a perfect witness.
this contradicts the effective judicial system. explain.
there's a perfect witnessing on the event itself, while it lasted. anyone has a medmon, it's connected to the nearest repeater, any change in hartbeat, brainwave, pressure, it's all recorded and kept. I know, it's not kept permanently, or we'd use up all the planet crust for recording, I know how and how long it's kept. alright, for that year and a half, as long as it's kept, any event may be reconstructed. it's know who was where, who was doing what at what time. we all agreed to that so we could live two hundred years each, alright. but then it's recorded nowhere who was thinking what, and it's good so. one in a thousand suspects will run free because of that, and maybe not one in a million inocents will be wrongly sentenced, and no authority has a way to know who thinks what. almost fits with the ideals of my youth. also, the events connected to the one witnessed of are unknown. I once got out because of that - I knew my talking to one old jailbird will be recorded, because I got strongly excited when I learned the secrets he told me, and also because he died in my hands. I purposedly waited three and a half years, until I was sure the recording was erased as obsolete, and my health was also flawless at the time, I didn't even breathe heavily, not even a good one once in a time. only then I went and dug out the fortune, getting a little drunk first. the recording couldn't discover anything strange. check if that one is still kept, I think not. even if you knew, you won't tell me so I couldn't use it some time more, eh? smart from you, and from me as well, because I've discovered only one trick which you can't sell to the judicial system. the storage space is tight for quite a while, and will only get tighter. think of a ten year pause I once did. who will remember it, where will it be remembered, and how will you find my accomplices. anyway, it happened hundred and fifty years ago, became obsolete sixty ago, makes no sense to keep examining me on that. yo are no real court, I'm judging myself here. and maybe judging you.
return to the guilt.
my definition of guilt: guilty is one who makes another woe more than the other can write off without strain. it's very relative and elastic, of course. there are no deeds and misdeeds, there are individual actions and actors, victims and accomplices, all of them living people with all it carries. there are no general laws, every law is rewritten for each case. where else does the precedence law come from? the law is equal for all indeed, but is anyway so roundabout and adaptable, that it comes down to what I just said. I was guilty about three times, and not for what I was charged for, but for some seemingly unimportant things. I drove over one little girl's dog, while I was driving one of the last cars. that was a gesture of incapacity by itself, those machines were undeniably dangerous, and I was not really with myself, I was bidding my last nostalgy farewell. and another two similar cases.
your relations with children.
thanks for asking, we had no problems with each other. you know too well.
we know, but we need to hear from you. anything which may influence a valid response to your request, is important for us. maybe we look like another crazed committe to you?
to be sincere, yes. merry circumstance, which follows me all of my life, is that I appear in front of such committees when I have nothing to lose, except that what I don't want to gain.
you may lose everything.
I don't care.
bringing up children.
I was more lucky with my kids than my parents had with me. they kept helping me here and there at later age. I think I prepared them well for life. at that, I think it's almost the one and only parents' concern, to prepare the kids to enjoy life at ease. while life lasted up to seventy years, twenty or forty out of which passed in illness, it was normal to hurry. with two hundred or more years ahead, things are different. also, with children being so few, the world is widely open for them. on the other side, it's also closed. there's still a sufficient number of us old folks, who remember the years of short life, and occasional outbursts of hatred on kids. happened in many places. there's always some group unhappy with something and eager to find scapegoats. for them, the children were just additional hungry mouth at the world's dining table. true, there was no hunger for a long time, but there are various hungers. and hungry eyes.
I played saxettophone for a while, in clubs. then once someone broke a full bottle on the instrument and it all burned out. it wasn't really a scene piece, more suited for home. I think real musicians should have instruments capable of sustaining anything they are capable of provoking in the audience.
you provoked it yourself?
in a way... yes, I did. I taught myself some psychological tricks during all of this time, and I was also playing... how long was it, some ten years, with breaks, and watched the audience. musicians just play and watch, or just play and don't watch, depending on who and when. I knew the lady by sight, she'd come once in a fortnight, always with some macho oldies, though I think she could carry each one in her teeth. I found what she reacts on, and served her a bit more each time. after six months... let's say I got her addicted.
on drugs
...I have already said some, I may speak separately, but I don't believe I was dosing her. there are so many other things that cause internal emissions, and I think medicine was smart not to research that. those are things of nature, better left untouched. that evening she was sending some dark brown looks my way, and I was somewhat wrongly planted myself, so I played the part I usually played for her completely different. I turned it inside out like a glove. no, I didn't get in touch after that, and stopped playing as well.
is it dangerous?
to the audience, then to musicians too. maybe the best is the almost perfect music; anything sufficiently close to perfection becomes dangerous. one may get in too deep and never get out.
maybe. could look like. fortunately, I didn't have to try, while I play I can't give myself to it. doesn't affect players that much, you still have to keep all the sensors and levers in mind. I ran away on time, and also closed the door on her. I had no wish for myself to spend the rest of my life as the happiest plant in the world, nor for her. I don't even know if I liked her - so muscular and, possibly, pushy, she seemed repulsive, just like her companions. I was never lighted by grown muscles.
that's just another drug, similar to sport in all respect, but some hand more dangerous. you became a slave to your own organism. you got to feed it each day as much it got used to consume. feed it food, reasons to consume energy. once you quit, within two years you become a hardly movable hill, with good prospects of suffering from that for another century.
let's return to music. what were you playing.
you can play practically everything on saxettophone, from joy to funeral. sure, funerals are not sad anymore. don't you think relation with the death changed since you got into business? I know, you ask, I blabber. what are the writers lying, that in the decisive moments, when it goes for be or not to be, one's whole life flashes before one's eyes in two winks. we're talking for half an hour, and I didn't recollected even a tiny bit. ergo, I most liked to play the blues. it survived three thousand years, it will do three times as much more. resembles what we don't remember, but feel. in some languages, these two words have the same root. interesting. blues. as if the simple phrase is written somewhere deep in the cells. it's recognized all over the mankind, regardless of local culture. that was handy for a couple of years when I was playing with the club pals. we'd take a random tour - wherever we get allowed to work for the next leg of the trip. we'd entertain the ship audience. you can't just go like that there, because the news of you spreads at the port before you disembark, and if you're no good you'll hardly find the way to pay for way out. of course, we got there and back. there, blues was doing well everywhere. the audience everywhere mostly likes the music of their youth, but they don't remember it. they all remember blues.
some neurock, swim, charbass, several retro styles. without too much pleasure, except the neosynth. that's one miracle, the neosynth. for quite a while I couldn't believe there were so many people who liked to remember the few initial years of pre-beginnings of electronic music, when artificial instruments still sounded artificial. now all they sound quite natural, but they exactly like to hear the three or four simply coupled ordinary generator signals. dry sinusoid with one and a half harmonic, sometimes none. there are no natural instruments, anyway, it's all electric, pseudoradiation and other physics, or is just self-limited to classical mechanics. wood? where's still good wood to find? you can make a better piano than the classic using speedium and naglass, or even better with aniglass, but speedium is a must for wires and the rest. when we started playing with those contraptions, and programming them, on the fly, on the scene, to accompany us... we built the background gradually, and by the end of the gig we had a quickly made symphony. we actually played as close to the original, numbers which were redone a hundred times in recent centuries. we had a thing for songs which were published in simplified dance versions - we revived the originals. no, none of the restauration work. some of us remembered the times, some had grandparents playing the recordings on the last functional magnetic media. we reconstructed them off the top of our heads, by feeling. the bass guy told he's doing it out of his guts. the way the hill of his fiddle shakes, no wonder. at the end of such a neosynth-phonia we'd always have a piano finale, on the roughest possible simulation of mellotrone or pre-electric piano. later we'd here that the yellow-bellied kids tell how they've heard a new, synth version of this or that. do I sound like a grumpy old man, eh? I am one, if not now, when? we didn't sell recordings, talking strait, we never entered the studio. there's one live recording, for collectors of rare stuff. only twenty thousand printed, exceeds solid gold value now. we were never famous, but legend of us circulated via private channels. and then we retired, and the legend grew bigger. we left the party before it went sour - while nobody fainted, nobody's head outlasted the guts, their didn't fall and nobody landed a glass on a sandwitch. right time to go out. we gladly remembered each other. sometimes it seems to me I've done nothing else all my life, but went after things I'll gladly remember.
served me fine so far, didn't have too much of watching those machines, neither did they watch me much. I don't like them, and no matter how much smarter than men may they be, as much we really don't need them. no, I did not wish for a soul-caretaker, but for a good old doc who'd look more at me and play less with his expensive toys.
for what, good old times? that's passed. better, I'm past that, since I was only sixty. that's, actually, selfish against your own self, when you know there's two hundred years ahead. either you get used to changes forever, or you're gone. who would wish for two hundred years of desire for youth gone? besides, in my youth... I said already, it wasn't too merry.
never anything serious. that assumes something which would cost me several months of my life. never had any lasting drug except life itself, and sometimes shaving.
shaving is a drug?
fits the definition. initially gives you pleasure, makes your own image more pleasant to you, soon you're an addict. not soon, right away - once you try, you have to keep it permanently. can't quit, because the mafia pulls you back.
what mafia now?
just as with any other drug, if you try to get off of it, someone in your vicinity will start persuading you to return. with shaving, it's just ordinary people, whe mock you for a week or two, until your beard starts taking shape. fortunately, never paid too much attention to that. as for other drugs, I smoked twentyfive a day for hundred and fifty years, took two drinks a day almost always, with blackouts not more often than once in ten
scientific works
and "influence of stay under isolation on intuition"
after hundred and fifty years someone takes it for granted. rubbish. I'd never take myself too seriously.
the work was published and had response
...just like a million of other idiocies. that was mockery, paraphrase of real scientific work.
it led to results
even a blind hen finds a grain. I am no scientist. the fact that various scribblers, lacking their own ideas, reached for my so called scripture, speaks of them more than of me. it was just a spike for the soup.
the idea was adapted in various places.
the idea, alright the idea. so, I wrote about intuition. some of the ideas from my own intuition made it through into the text. proves nothing. there's no scientific method, I used no computers, unless one counts that gadget, dictwrite. that's all blabber off the top of my head, which was shaped into text by some program and into a science work at that. it even found bibliography. killed me laughing. I know, I just said I used no computer - well, not for any research, because there was no research at all. that's all a con man's and space traveler's reminiscences. if digging down your memories to patch up your mental diary can be called science research at all.
space. your impressions.
it's all the same. what space - all you see is cabins, engine rooms, places to drop by and taverns there. whenever mankind beats a path, it soon looks just like any other road. I've found an example in classic literature, quoting off top: "and all towns look same to me, movies and the factories", or "there's only one airport". simply stretch that across the universe. you find same trash everywhere as you do at home.
in your application you stated that
that I've had enough. it's all, in the end of ends, a big bluff. very little there of what comes from within by itself. look at what your brochure says: "every citizen is granted right to reincarnation". could have written "right and obligation". and then "reincarnation, i.e. rebirth in a new life, was brought to you by" and then two pages of theory and advertising, a-ha, here it is, "...which eventually confirmed the classic postulate of humanology, that humans will make true anything they decide to". sometimes makes me wonder is it good at all. yes, longer life gives us time to call ourselves to reason, and we live healthier at that and do fewer nonsense, but it's still all the same, just fewer. is that reincarnation good? how may people have reported they got reincarnated? this time I don't accept no answer.
we are here to judge whether you made, at completely clear mind and your own will, the decision, and to convince you to decide the opposite, if you haven't completely decided. since our answer may influence your decision, we give it: about one in twenty.
that confirms my decision
to not use your right? beware, that means being dead forever
I know.
then, why? why would anyone wish to be dead forever? why does the idea to be born again after a while, and put your mind to humankind's disposition, fail to attract you?
because I love the mankind
and that's why you don't want to help it?
I can't help it, nor anyone presently alive.
it's beyond salvation?
I didn't say that, but it will not come from the reincarnated.
they bring experience.
is that experience necessary? they bring the feeling, which appeared as early as the first ten long lived generations, when the way to make it available to literally anyone was not yet found - some were immune to the treatment, some were genetically incongruent, some simply didn't want it. now you want to extend my life into some unfathomable future. what for? to carry all of my history over, all the burden, and pull some future generations, for as much as influental I may happen to be, into some insane craving for the past? I am not that selfish, and the least thing I would wish for is to take someone's life.
that is your and only your next life.
and when do you think it will happen? if sufficient number of people accept reincarnation, and the number of birth licences remains as is, how many new people, in their initial incarnation, will get to be born? how many people with new ideas will be there? do you really want to inhabit the future of the humankind with nostalgic old men, ancient in spirit and only lustful to enjoy new life, and to do charity work to earn another extension? that thing of yours tends to become some sort of a new religion, accomplished by technology. I know, you don't decide who will get born into what, that's rather... here it is - "matter of the higher equilibrium of the Universe, local antientropy of some sort, which we know not how does it surface, less how does it work. still, theory proves that it must exist, and we have even seen the results in some cases. us not being able to understand its general pattern does not imply at all that it doesn't exist". all fine and nice. so where are your nineteen out of twenty reincarnation candidates - born again as grass and mosquitos, or will they keep waiting until further notice to find a vacancy in the rebirth waiting queue? what if I have to wait a thousand years? should I pick the museum into which I'll be put? should I hope the humankind will love its reincarnated children and it will not cast them into the arena with some new lions?
those who have reported have waited between thirty days and seventy years. there are parallel records on their fates in the previous and present life.
what and? theory is correct - within this sample, they all confirm they remember the previous life, they even know the details of this conversation, which is strictly secret. neither you nor us are leaving here alive, and we do take care of our files. this room is insulated with two layers of liquid helium, released into vacuum, with a neutrino envelope between, and in the outer ball all frequencies are permanently jammed... paranoia is functioning, nothing to worry about. confirm nothing, absolutely nothing, leaves this place. by the way, the funeral space is just in the alley in the extension. some vow their bodies to science, some to our orchard. this planet is not really abundant with arable soil.
so you managed to have your fertilizers supplied by the League, arriving partly at its own will and its own cost. smart people you are. the radiation needed for reincarnation is homemade by you?
this planet emits it. every planet has it in places, somewhere more and somewhere less. here, it's everywhere.
show me someone who does something for humankind's welbeing, and I'll show you where he expects the profit to emerge from. it is all the same, nothing ever changes, only fashions change. you will not make any more money than any other funeral enterprise, so what is all this for?
the law obliges us to offer reincarnation to anyone over hundred years of age. we owe you two and a half.
that way you owe it to majority - the law is a bit aged, eh? it was passed when the legislators were just a balance over hundred, wasn't it?
we write this off to your sense of humor.
no, to cynicism instead. cynicism is good for you and your teeth. from all that medical science achieved, I'm mostly amazed at them succeeding in keeping my teeth. so, there, one waits fifty years, approximately. that holds for the cases known to you.
why would you think there are unknown ones?
because, I have studied the matter, the theory of reincarnation, though several thousand years old, was funneled into an operational procedure just a mere hundred years ago. the candidates for reincarnation are practically all who died meanwhile, take away half of those who died in the first ten years, ... it means we got back... and the number of the newborn in the meantime... bravo. you already got the humankind pushed back.
we are not completely clear with your murmuring. the latter analysi may clear it up, but we would like to hear it from you: what were you talking of right now?
I was calculating. without a computer, without a hand calculator, roughly, in rules-of-thumb and crude approximations, but I know that such calculations, and I had many of them, never lie for more than two hundredths. on the planets encompassed by humankind, in the last twenty years there were three times less newborn than before. two thirds are your oldborns. this is the end of the humankind. twenty generations from now... there will not be twenty generations. we will have the five present ones, or as many as there are alive at this moment, or waiting for repeated birth. humanity without children will not be humanity.
the reincarnated do get born and get to be children.
children with two hundred years worth of experience.
the experience returns just after the end of their puberty - somewhere around their thirteenth to fourteenth year.
yes, but not all at once. they have a fine, three year long, identity crisis, which accidentally happens exactly at the time when they are supposed to become whole personalities, but that is richly compensated by old person's being wise all the time. anyway, it's all easier the second time. should I mention that you even accelerated the puberty. it used to last as far as into the seventeenth year. what gives you the right to take children's childhood away? and to compensate with the doubtful pleasure to have a continuation into living someone else's life, furthermore to be the person whose life they continue? gentlemen, I strictly forbid you to reincarnate me. let a new child be born in my stead. you are selfish and slimy, and may you do your job as honestly as you can, even your job reeks of stale waters. good bye, I am going into the dying chamber, and if anyone tries to stop me, gets to fertilize the same lane as I.
and once more I remembered everything. this is the third reincarnation I refused, and they get me back each time. it's easier to cancel olympic games than this. I don't know whether this two-day remembering of everything is worse, or was it the first time, when I lived for three years as if recovering from amnesia. in which hand was it that I was holding the remote? mom, since when do I like strawberries? don't imagine things, kid, strawberries exist only on recordings. you have never tried them. and the strange smile in her eyes. my second mother was actually younger than I, once eighty and once hundred and ten and the present thirty five, and I was two hundred and fifty plus the new fifteen, but she did remember her awakenings well, and liking it or not, she accepted that the least painful way is not to interfere at all.
so, the scum had sold me the drug again, the oldest drug of all times. another life. what am I paying it with?
the world has changed quite a bit, seemingly, but when I scrutinize a little deeper, it is all so pampered and tucked. yes, deeds of greatness and might are done, but there's no more daring. everything gets done playing slow and safe. some things which needed fifty years of investment were finally solved, but nothing which won't bring profit in that time ever gets dont. and the electoral periods are slanted - the presidents get elected once in twenty, governments get replaced once in ten years. everything is so quiet and sleepy. I hardly found it - the last coup happened in my previous lifetime.
they do explore the space, but nobody really cares anymore. greater and greater fools apply for travel, and of course accidents happen. at that, they happen where there's no radiation, which is almost absent away from the planets. they die permanently, to their own horror. that may be a solution of a kind, else such a choice of fools might turn up here again. who doesn't know how to feel when he's about to die, to visit the undertaker in time, really doesn't deserve to be born again.
and the lot they found in that space. two or three inhabitable worlds within the last hundred years, and that is also questionable whether they will get inhabited at all, because only one has sufficient radiation, and that's on just a few places. it may attract the self-acclaimed suicidal types, or it will force them to finally make that transcedental propulsion, so they can pull themselves to a better radiated grave. the trouble is that they get reborn on the planet they were buried on; the field, or whatever it may be, doesn't reach further than the stationary orbit, so some planets are already quite a bit younger than some others, when the average age of population is considered.
the few really newly born children (seems like one in a hundred to me, they are hiding data) is the only motoric force, they know they will not get anything from anywhere. almost all the dying leave this world with access code of some secret satellite bank account, and they leave their kids a few bits, sufficing just to save them from starvation for a couple of years, and not a coin more. the parent are living in a temporary relation with their children, wandering whom are they actually bringing up. there were cases, I've found in archives, that the parents were disappointed having a new child, which will not remember everything in puberty and sail away.
to start with, last time I found that the reincarnation contract nowhere promises that my decision will be respected, so I managed to get a slight change in some other article, which will have exactly that as the final consequence. they took the bait, charging me some more. I didn't spend nineteen years of my previous life studying law, eight of which on obligatory, for just nothing. I lifted a good sum from them for disrespecting a contract, and the one newborn child I had with four cuckoos was the only one to be glad to see me, and helped me in the courtroom. she has all the chances to be one of four or five rich heirs on the planet.
I also asked around about what happens with the property of the waiting facility. the people vest huge fortunes to themselves, to have them at hand in their next life. most of them leave them in all sorts of banks, under secret names (no fingerprints - that's no evidence anymore). since the waiting for rebirth takes some ninety years now, didn't I say it will be crowded, these fortunes keep lying around under who know whose custody. someone turns that over and gets rich. no, it's not the banks - banks have ways of going bankrupt, and only a few rely on them, to be there for them in a hundred years. they leave it with the undertakers, nothing can move them, they are the most persistent bank.
the undertakers are actually ruling the world. they are not the government, but no government has ever refused anything to them. they are careful not to ask too much. they own too much already. it all seems to be the same thousand people from the very beginning. they seem to have a dying plan, to maintain having half of them present at any time. they probably need that to have a right of decision in their parliament. I have dedicated twenty years of my previous life to secretly research their business. tracking banks was far easier, at the time when I was looking for the most reliable one to trust my money and files to; I really didn't want to leave anything to them. they are mysterios, as they used to say in my first (and only) childhood, like the "mysterious fart in the lantern". yes, part of my revenues stems from the things I reinvented, i.e. made as I remembered them. nostalgy always sells well.
they are so mysterious, that I hardly managed to track one quarter of them, I hope unnoticed, through all of their previous lives. they all died at least four times, and each time managed to pass all the required exams to become undertakers. the ones I managed to track (and that was also a trail) turned up almost always in the same positions in the undertakers' hierarchy, and reported to the same undertakers' banks, while being something else each time - they changed the sex, race, hair color, eye color, height. there's a share of those I couldn't exactly track - it happened three or more decided to die together, and reappeared together at the admittance exam.
sometimes I feel I could go there and kill them all, but the methuselahs would like that, they want another round. instead, I dedicate my life to production of equipment or whatever, which would counter their life-supporting radiation, but in a manner they couldn't notice until it gets too late. it may keep emitting, just as long as it doesn't work anymore. and I'll be most glad when nobody gets surprised.
not even I.
back one notch

  /written in april-may 1995 in Szekszard, regarding the tagline "I regularly refuse reincarnation"/

/translated in Charlottesville, 2001/ 
Copyright © 1993 - 2003 D. R. Fairday