Monday, 16 September 2013

Day 124 3520 Switch-Off Panel



I went to the first Post-Switch-Off Panel meeting. There were a lot of very grim faces. It’s a really tough subject. I suppose, also, everybody’s realising they’re going to have to face switch-off as well.
It is such striking thought .We take it for granted. They always told us on the schooling programme that it was a respectful end to a valued and useful life and it was the price we had to pay for the easy, comfortable time we had on Terrestra. It does sound all right in theory. But I guess when you’re facing it, when your time comes up, it must be terrifying. I can’t imagine not being alive. I guess that’s why people used to believe in heaven and God and things like that. So that they could hope we carry on after our body’s gone.
“We’ll have to limit birth,” said one woman. “Increase the Stopes programme.”
“No point!” replied another man. “The NIZers won’t live to switch-off age. Too much damage has already been done.”
“But what about their children?” asked someone else? “And what happens if they pair up with Normal Zoners? What happens then? The second generation are likely to be as healthy as Normal Zoners?”
Then I found myself speaking.
“Well, why don’t we go even further?” I said. “Why don’t we behave like every other planet and have contact from outside and allow illness back in, so that some people don’t last so long?”
“We couldn’t do that!” shouted one woman. “After all we’ve worked towards over the centuries.”
“Isolation and hositlity,” I muttered.
“Well, she would say that, Peace Child whore,” shouted somebody was.
Unbelievable that people like that are on this committee.
Fortunately the chair soon brought the meeting to order and was kind enough to say: “Mz Lawrence was actually asked to join this committee because of her excellent ability to empathise with two opposed factions. Anyone who is not comfortable with that should leave now and we’ll find a replacement.” Then he turned to me and smiled. “But we do have to take things slowly,” he said.
Gosh, was I angry, when I met the others at the Laguna.
“Good for you,” said Rosemarie. “You just show them!”
They were really sympathetic and they have started to think about the Switch-Off question. I don’t know that they really understand all of the issues, but even so.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Day 119 3520 Spice in My Life Again



Yes, it’s exciting. Everything is exciting. My new job is superb. Later this week I have to go to the Committee on Alternatives to Switch-Off for NIZoners. A few of us have already started negotiating via dataserve messages. And at the bar last night we talked about what it would be like for everybody if we ditched switch-off. More and more people are against it now. But what I can’t work out is whether they’re prepared to put up with disease as a way of controlling population. A bit of a brutal way of looking at it, I know, but it is a reality. I’m getting so much chance to see these sorts of things now.
And it’s great having my kid brother on the block. We’re meeting up every now and then, when our work’s not taking us away. He’s doing well. He seems to have grown up such a lot. It’s done him good to get away from home, though he misses the countryside, I think. He’s actually a really nice sort of guy, even if he is totally disorganised.
And behind all of this that exciting feeling that any moment, Julien might contact me. And I ask myself, is he thinking about me? Is he missing me like I’m missing him? Before I go to sleep I think about him and as soon as I wake up, he’s in my head again. I remember what he smells like. He uses a very masculine body salve when he changes from being Mrs Kettle. I’m almost tempted to buy some to remind myself of him.
I suppose it’s called “being in love”. I’m sure my pulse is racing virtually all the time. This is far more dramatic than what happened with Kaleem. That was deep and sweet. This is sexy and exciting. The extra mystery is great. It gives me something to look forward to, something to get up for every day. It really is adding spice to my life.       

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Day 111 3520 Confusion



I am so confused! I feel such tenderness towards Julien, but now to suddenly hear from Kaleem. I’m a little bit angry with him and a little bit sad. Why does he have to contact me after all this time? And it’s so creepy that he’s been reading my glog. So, he’s off the planet. Well, I guessed as much. I wonder whether he’s been in contact with Marijam or Louish? Has he told them where he is?
I’m not going to hurt Julien. I’m going to stay with him, see where that relationship leads. It doesn’t spoil anything I had with Kaleem.