Something about this image from Regiane Cristina caught my attention. Combined with listening to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memory and this piece came together.
The city beyond the window was quiet and cold, but Desire only heard the rhythmic thrum from the club under her. She had come here to escape the lights, the pulsing bodies, and the smell of burnt biohol. The bar always over cooked the stuff. It smelled like shit but it made the patrons looser with their wallets. The club would make another killing tonight between booze and body rentals. A night of fantasy and false memories.
It was all fake, she knew it, but she was part of that world. Her own body was sitting in stasis downstairs, waiting for her to come back. He wouldn’t budge or age or hurt, and that’s the only thoughts she tried to keep for him in her mind. The rental was temporary, but it was her fantasy for the evening. Swapping was popular these days, and clubs like this were the cheaper way of getting different body types. Desire, her name for the night, had been many things the past year. Men of various ages, women, mostly young like this body, a few animals but that was rare, and one time a plant.
She hadn’t liked being a plant. Too little personal control.
The city beyond was so quiet looking, and her mind was echoing that. Her thoughts were so noisy lately. It’s what appealed to her about swapping. That body below, it’s pains and aches and worries and anger and concerns, they hammered on him and she hated being him for it. In these dreams she could leave that pain behind. She could be like that city looked.
Desire took a sip of her glass of biohol. The burnt flavor filled her mouth and tickled her nose. She could hear the DJ below introducing another dancer. Another model for rent. She squinted and her body brought up the club feed. The music slammed her before the visual showed her the new form. Another young woman. She was disappointed when she realized she’d been that one before. The feed died away as she squinted again.
The city beyond was so cold looking. It was supposed to be a chilly evening, but these bodies didn’t register discomfort. Well, at least she hadn’t programmed it to. Her real body hated the cold. It made his joints ache, and it compounded when the rain was coming in. She chased the thought away. This was supposed to be a vacation from those worries.
She debated going back downstairs and finding someone who wanted to share their bodies, but thought against it. Other people, other entities in other bodies didn’t interest her. It wasn’t the point. She’d played with others when she first started to swap; it had been why he’d tried it. But the act of having of a freed mind, of being disconnected from the worries of him; that’s what captured her. She loved that freedom. Other people and fulfilling his sexual desires didn’t matter in most of the bodies she had been.
She wondered if he resented her, them, the other bodies, the way they resented him. It was her mind and she thought the same thoughts, but freed of his concerns and pains and wants, she wondered if they were truly his thinking anymore. His mind. She was running in circles again. She needed to focus on something. The city.
The city beyond the window was quiet and cold, and only the thrum of the club below filled her ears. She let it fill her mind.
For now, she wasn’t him.
For now, she was just her.
For now, whoever she really was became quiet and cold.
There’s a lot of confusion with defining our “us-ness” in human life. It’s not something new, but we’re more apt to talk about it more these days I think. Whether it’s personal mental identity, sexual or gender identity, long term or short term personalities, I think many of us enjoy escaping our “self” every now and then. Being able to make a choice, be that thing, and then go back to our own issues after the fantasy is over.