Thursday, September 10, 2009

only shallow

Outside, the semaphore-topped skyline stared down pityingly in the angel of a dirigible night, as if it too was privy to some sudden mammalian pain. He shuffled down pico boulevard looking cracked, mad, sad as ever. his head to toe white linen ensemble with the custom-tailored collar made his anguished face appear all the more ridiculous as a pride battered peacock might look after being spurned by a potential mate. an inflatable tumbleweed gaging air purity skimmed across arturo's path as he walked in the direction of his top floor galley in the sky. He typically took the magnetic streetcar from ling po's back to his galley, but tonight he was determined to find an escape, and he knew the spot to look. Down by the arena an old electronics shop had been taken over by salvage mexicans who scooped archaic mobile devices out of scrap depots with the intention of hawking them to other aliens whose work had been displaced by bots. These aliens in the city had managed to create their own underworld analogue economy, and they were tolerated as another revenue stream for the local sports franchises whose arenas would be obsolete without the salvage mexs paying for analogue viewing. Arturo was nearing the arena when he spotted two shadows outside the electronics shack. No skynet eeg. “analogue warriors,” he thought. “sure to have some junk.” he toggled out of the beyond and into the drag as he approached the two shadows.

“what you need, papa?” one of the shadows blurted upon seeing arturo's white billows glide near.

Arturo walked up to the two, noticing outdated bracelet interfaces with bandanas wrapped around their forearms, obscuring the devices. They wore name brand derivative clothing manufactured with outdated polymer, a relic of the previous decade. One kept his jet-black hair in close-cropped fashion while the other brandished a ponytail and a chip on the inside of his left wrist, which was an easily discernible fashion mod. The pony-tailed mex shot the words, “blanco. es un cientifico.” his metallic teeth reflected a faint ray of light from a nearby palm. “que quiere?” the other mex asked.

Arturo crept closer until he could see the bemused, curious eyes of the two angels, and he looked around cautiously before whispering the word slowly and haltingly: “junk.” arturo felt the sweat begin to build on his brow.

“ahHahhhaa.” they cried out. “yonqui. Ahahaaha. Un chiste, no?” they laughed and pushed each other cheerfully. The fact of el cientifico asking for junk sent them into such a frenzy a mirth. They continued to hop around laughing until the pony-tailed one gathered himself and said seriously, “Ven conmigo, apache,” as he walked over and opened the door to the electronics shack. The other waited outside, still gabbing to himself and cackling maniacally, as arturo followed the ponytail into the shop. The unlit shop was illuminated with small lcd screens and absurd blinking lights. Arturo could hear the drone of fans cooling machines he'd read about and forgotten years ago. There was a buzzing he couldn't quite make out as he passed a cathode ray tube television set he'd learned about in a history of electronics engineering class. It was playing a movie he couldn't quite place, but he recognized the actor as “what's his name? Cruise.” arturo then heard a dull thud, and within a second, felt himself fall to lower ground. “shhh. Callate, apache,” the ponytail said. They were beneath the showroom of the shop, and arturo could make out a small fire in the distance. the wafting fragrance of rice and steamed crickets began to fill the air. As they neared the fire, arturo could discern a semi-circle of makeshift canvas tents. There were people sitting around the fire eating, mothers cradled babies, and some men were tinkering with small machines by the flame. One of the men wore a not so outdated visor, which was still popular with the entropy crowd on the outskirts of the city. Arturo noticed a pile of what looked to be actual wood, which fascinated him entirely “where the hell did that come from?” he wondered. and then scanning to the right, he saw an entropy-dwelling caucasian dressed in denim and cotton. An exchange was taking place. Meanwhile, ponytail had crawled into one of the tents, and in a moment, returned with a small hemp bag. “first, we go to ballet,” he told arturo.

Back outside, voodoo city was still breathing like ambient-cinnamon clockwork. “to the ballet, amigo, to the ballet, alla, alla,” they yelled in unison in the nearly deserted arena district, only broken by the cricket vendor munching a snack (enticement purposes) across the way before he headed home for the night, wherever home was. It didn't matter. He didn't need sleep. Arturo toggled into the beyond, and in short order a smartblade arrived to whip them to the ballet.

No comments:

Post a Comment