Still, after browsing excerpts of Nikita Khrushchev’s “Secret Speech”—the West’s confirmation that the Iron Curtain was concealing dictatorial madness and mass murder—a Big Mac smells pretty delicious. Out on the sidewalk, another Segue cruises by.
My Guitar Gently Weeps Electric Kool-Aid
Down in Old Town Square, my lover and I admired the famous Astrological Clock, presently set at ten ’til Aquarius. A crowd had gathered around a band of celibate Hare Krishnas who chanted to their lascivious blue-skinned god. Having rallied a following, their cacophonous parade snaked through the cobblestone streets, where they filed past the Temple of Steve Jobs.
A decal on the Apple Museum window reads:
Three apples changed the world. The first tempted Eve, the second inspired Newton, and the third was offered to the world half eaten by Steve Jobs.
Inside we find shrines dedicated to the evolution of handheld mind control devices. We watch the progression from the first clunky cellular phones to personal digital assistants to touchscreen iPhones to the imagination of neural implants jammed into brain stem, glans, and adrenal glands in a veritable miracle of carnal consciousness.
In 1984 Apple released the Macintosh computer, named after the tart cultivar. This was the seventh seal. Through its cyclops eye, the world can bear witness to Oceania’s live-edited history, type out rabid Newspeak screeds, play great games, download Two Minutes Hate, get directions to hard-to-find places, and upload their private lives into an oligarchical global surveillance state. All this cyclops needs is a human face.
Apple. Think different.
Our final stop was the Sex Machines Museum, where no pleasure is forbidden—as long as you pay your power bill. On display were steam-driven rubber dicks and brothel dioramas and toilet seats with headrests underneath. There were dildoed bicycle seats and medieval erection suppressors and a big fluffy teddy bear with an illusion-shattering prosthesis. As if to emphasize the banality of it all, dentist office muzak played on the PA. Other couples stood musing beside us, some giggling, some pointing, some considering the possibilities. Two middle-aged parents admired the exhibits with their son, because, well, why not?
Then I saw its face. At the center of this mechanical Bacchanalia, sprawled out on a golden throne, was the outlandish Miss Sex Machine. We examined its Aryan blond hair and peach areola, simultaneously repulsed and intrigued. But my lover is hard to impress, so she wandered off and left us alone.
I stared into Miss Sex Machine’s eyes and saw absolute equivalence reflected there. No person is lesser. No person is greater. None uglier or more beautiful. It wants nothing more than to please you. It accepts you as you are. My circuits blew and the future came into focus. People are going to fuck these things by the million! This rubber Bona Dea is the final refuge for the sensitive soul.
Tiny hairs sprouted from its soft silicon skin. A crude seam ran down its shapely thigh where the flesh had been joined over adjustable plastic bones. Its pouting lips seemed poised to speak. It will tell you anything you want to hear. What would I have it say? If I pulled it close to me, what would it smell like? Would it grow warm to the touch? How much do these things cost, anyway?
The dark side of freedom is choice. This creature has no choice, and so it will be chosen. Millions upon millions of them. No one will break its heart. No one will be rejected. If you look beneath the hiked skirt, you can see untold generations dissolving between its thighs.
On the flight back home, I scroll through the in-flight entertainment, stunned by the random albums on offer. I love the succulents decorating the cabin, but man, Turkish Airlines is so weird. The top pick: Billy Idol’s universally hated Cyberpunk. After poking the insensate touchscreen about a dozen times, “Neuromancer” finally plays on my crummy earbuds. I lean my seat back, irritating the Arab behind me.
My sweet lover rests against my shoulder, gripping my bicep. There’s no way to force her desire, and that drives me wild.
Daily interjections: @EvoPsychosis