CaBloWriMo: A Beautiful Friendship

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He’d stuck to her from the off, mirroring every movement, like the magazines told you he would. For week after week, she couldn’t go anywhere without him somehow turning up and working his way steadily across the room until he was across from her, eyes fixed on hers, predatory. She was unsure whether to be flattered or terrified.

One time, he came cycling with her and a couple of friends, except that he didn’t have a bicycle. He’d spent a year in the French military, he said as he kept pace with her effortlessly, officer class. She cycled faster, giggling as she left him behind, feeling elated. It rained, and his shirt stuck to his chest in a way that did things to her body that alarmed her.

He’d become progressively less charming as their lives had become more entwined. Most of what she said seemed to cause offence, and her protests turned him to stone. As they teetered together on the brink, it came to seem so much easier to keep her feelings to herself. When anybody asked, she told them everything was great and that she couldn’t be happier.

And so when he asked her to marry him, that’s what she told him too.

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CaBloWriMo: Soulseek

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I saw it nearly happen once, an Illicit. They do their best to keep it from happening, but everyone knows it does. The net is full of stories. There’s nothing to stop two people meeting and letting nature overwhelm their rational minds, so long as they don’t get caught. It’s hard to understand why they’re so against the workings of science. We all know we wouldn’t be here without it.

I was still a kid when they gave up putting numbers in the elevators. You just get in, wave your key card at the reader and it whisks you direct to your floor. Quick, efficient, and minimizes the danger that there’ll be anyone else in there with you. In the rare event that there is, it’s only polite to pretend that you haven’t seen them.

In the old days, human interaction happened like this, in elevators, random and happenstance. Say you struck up a conversation with the stranger in the elevator, what then? There was a chance that you would strike common ground, discover a mutual love for bird-watching or Russian art-house movies, and on this flimsy basis bring offspring into the world, to roll their eyes at your shared hobbies and grow up sullen and unfulfilled. And that was if you hit it off.

That was before Soulseek took the happenstance and the angst out of personal interactions, and with them the petty jealousies engendered by the agony of choice. All you need do is sit back and leave your future to science and the state – to Soulseek.

(By 日:Muramasa, via Wikimedia Commons)