Nothing Lasts Forever
Time for a new life
Old Man ...his wife has died years ago. He’s pretty much alone. He has children but they are all grown and independent, not very close and don’t keep in touch.
The Old Coot isn’t really happy with himself or the way his life is, but then again he’s not really UNhappy either. He’s not upset or angry so much...just constantly mildly depressed. Life isn’t fun anymore. He’s pretty much poor, all he has is Social Security, so he can’t live the live of the idle rich, or the retired ` government employee. His whole life has consisted of making enough money so that he could be taxed so that the government could fund those government retirement funds.
So...what to do...what to do.
So many easy ways. He’d got to thinking about it once. He did a little bit of research and was amazed at the number of so called ATTEMPTED suicides. Fools. No one attempts suicide. It’s a binary solution set. Either you do it or you don’t. There is no ‘attempt”.
No one...and he means NO ONE survives diving off an overpass during rush hour just before the traffic slows down. There’s always this one time of day when when everyone is whizzing along just KNOWING that around the next corner the traffic will back up...so they try to get as fast as they can, so they can wait sooner and longer. The traffic is on the ragged edge of control. Especially big trucks. Big trucks go nose to tail and try to intimidate everyone to get out of their way. Dive under the front big truck and you’ll be nothing but greasy red goo way, way, before they get stopped.
And that’s just one of the ways...He’d come up with dozens of other ways just on a whim. And he’d not spent much time on it. And he’d ignored guns. Guns made it way too easy. No challenge at all.
Nooooo.. Not today. He didn’t think he really wanted to suicide.
But he wanted something.
So...he’s sitting in his apartment. He’s got a tiny apartment, about 200 square feet counting the bathroom. It’s minescule but it beats many of the living arrangement’s he’d had earlier in life. He was in the military for a while, not long enough to get a retirement , but for a while. Many was the time in the military when he’d ‘hot-bunked with three other guys. Four men to the same bed….sequentially. He had been a long haul trucker for a long time. Those truck sleepers aren't very big. Between his time in small secured areas in the military and driving trucks he learned all about living in small spaces. His apartment is pretty small but it’s a luxury by comparison. It even had a bathroom. He could go to the bathroom ANYTIME he wanted too, or take a shower. That’s more of a luxury than many people think.
His apartment rent took up half his social security check. His utilities took up half of what was left. He’d once thought about getting a job after he got laid off. He’d found out the hard way…..nope. NO jobs available. Not at his age. Sooo…..he didn’t have much left over for food.
So he ate dog food.
Not bad really….with enough tabasco sauce. The dogs had been holding out on him. Odd how he found’d discovered dog food. He’d run out of beer one night so he walked down to the
24/7 super center for more. Just for something new to do he roamed the store a bit.
He saw some folks eating in there. Some were eating fast food that they bought at the MickeyD’s in the building but others were eating other stuff. They were homeless he supposed. They’d grab a bag of something in the food section and carry it with them... hiding it under their coat.....munching as they went...until it was all gone. Then they’d ditch the bag. He noticed they didn’t try to hide very hard. He guessed that if they got caught they’d go to jail and get free room and
Threaten HIM with a good time.
But not this time. When they released him from jail, and they eventually would, he’d have to find a place to live all over again. More deposits. Those deposits were hard to come up with, and he’d lose his computer.
Ahem...nope. His computer was his life. Not just yet. He roamed a bit more. The beer section was right down that a way. Past the sporting goods from where he was now...and the pet section.
Fifty Pound bags of dog food. Damn it was cheap. Comparable to beer. Beer was cheaper than milk.
He bought a bag of dog food , some coffee and a case of beer.
He’d see what happened.
Not bad actually. Gravy Train was best. Use beer instead of water. Coffee in the morning….or Tabasco Sauce...or eat it dry.
Clean up was easy too. No cooking. Cheaper than fast-food. He’d survive.
Or not. He really didn’t care.
He went back to doing what he did best..
Surfing the net. He’d surf the net for hours. Days. He’d fall asleep in that chair in front of his computer, not even know he was asleep, and wake up and continue to surf. His dreams merged seamlessly with his net surfing.
So he was doing that very thing one day and he ran across..
“HIGH FIVE...the newest, cheapest, safest method of living on the planet. Do you have a limited budget.. no budget? Check us out…”and it gave a website…
Which he immediately went to.
Cutting thru all the BaffleGab, TechnoJabber and GeekSpeak it boiled down to Warehousing Old Folks.
Instead of in a nursing home these folks are REALLY warehoused. They are in what might be confused as mortuary cabinets. Science fiction fans might consider them to be cold sleep drawers. They are neither.
Inside the cabinets they experience typical wake/sleep cycles similar to any other group. The cabinets are HIGH FIVE. That is… a Holistically Integrated Graphically Haptic.. Full Immersion Virtual Enclosures.
The enclosure provide nourishment, physical therapy, sanitation, a secure environment, and Full Sensory
communications. The old farts can access anything from their HIGHFIVEs. They can watch TV, surf the net, go virtual or connect to any of several telepresence outlets in real time They can even mind-meld with certain cybernetically prepared animals.
It’s better in all regards to use HIGHFIVES rather than typical nursing homes/hospitals. The average age of the inhabitants is well in excess of one hundred.
Yup...he could deal with that. Dog Food and beer was getting a bit old anyway….even if he did use Tabasco Sauce.