This morning the doctor surprised me by saying I could go outside. At last! I long ago thought I was well enough to go out. It’s been depressing to just sit looking out the window, but he does know best. It’s possible I’ll be a little unsteady so he said he needed to chaperone me “for our mutual protection”. I felt great and was able to give him the slip right away.
The sights! The sounds! The smells! Everything was half familiar and yet totally new. I drank in my surroundings, happily experiencing the real world. Trees, houses and roads, it was all great. I walked around with my eyes wide and my mouth half open in what I knew was a stupid smile. I’m sure I surprised some people with that lopsided grin, but I couldn’t help myself.
A lot of people were out so I was able to add some new words to my vocabulary. I know I need to improve, particularly in local idioms, before I can socialize. I think “weirdo”, “jerk” and “freak” are polite greetings but I won’t use them until I’m completly sure. They must be courteous since this seems to be such a polite society. How many times did I hear things like “Don’t stare Timmy” and “Stay out of his way and close to Mommy”? Such manners.
I entered a park and watched a young girl using an unusual form of locomotion. It didn’t look efficient but she was having fun so I gave it a try. It was great. The word came to mind as I was enjoying myself, so I “skipped” over to a teen boy and said, “Hello neighbor!”
The teen didn’t even look up from the thing in his hand and said, “Get a life.” How friendly!
“I have one, thank you,” I answered. “The doctor gave it to me with his genetics, chemicals and a Van de Graaff. And it has been such a wonderful life!”
“Whatever,” he said and walked away. His fingers were fiddling furiously on that little device someone called a “cellphone”.
“Look mom, a zombie!” The little voice half startled me but then I heard the mother say, “Trevor! Apologize immediately!”
I turned to the pretty woman and her small child and said, “I’m not offended, ma’am. Actually I’m made from dozens of corpses pieced together, not a single reanimated body so technically I’m not a zombie. I know, a subtle difference.”
She sniffed and said, “Don’t try to frighten the child with your fantasies. I’ve studied immunology enough to know that self-rejection would tear such a body apart.”
“Well ma’am,” I answered, “Dr. F created a new genetic matrix with 25 pairs of genes. The extras act as a type of glue. These genes went to all of the tissue and replaced the native genetic material so all of me is a part of me. Various bits may have come from different bodies, but they are all one with the doctor’s matrix. I’m a new person inside and out.”
“Dr. F? In the castle-like mansion on the outskirts of town?” she asked.
“That’s the one,” I answered. “I think of him as the new Prometheus and I’m his Adam, to mix metaphors.”
She must have realized she was late for an appointment because she immediately turned, said, “Let’s go Trevor!” and ran off, her young son in tow. Or maybe she wasn’t feeling well as I noticed she had turned very pale.
I was about to find some new friends when the doctor caught up with me. He took me by the elbow and firmly escorted me home. Everyone turned around to stare but nobody said a word. I was a little embarrassed, but he knows best.
What a fantastic first experience in my new town! The people are so friendly! I can see them outside of the gate right now. They’re holding signs and chanting. They must be welcoming me! How nice!
The doctor told me it would be a cold day in Hell before I went out again so I’m now keeping an eye out to the weather forecast. I hope he’s talking Hell Norway because it gets pretty cold there. Or perhaps Hells Creek in Montana. If he’s talking about the one in the Cayman Islands I might have a long wait.
I’ll just be patient and see. In the mean time I’ll continue reading. Perhaps I’ll finish “Paradise Lost” soon.
Drawing by Trent P McDonald