Author : Ian Rennie
I sit alone in the dark, the birthday boy. I could have left the lights on, but with only a couple of minutes to go it hadnâ€™t seemed worth it. Typical, really.
Well, this is it. Or this was it, at least. They had taken the neural snapshot four minutes ago, and they were already at work reviving me.
“Me”, funny word to use about someone I’ll never be. Was it always like this? I suppose I’ll never know.
This was a conscious choice, as little comfort as that gives me now. Most people did the refresh on a five or ten year cycle, but not me. I wanted to be twenty one forever, never see the slow spread of age reminding me of how mortal I was. A perfect year after a perfect year, that’s what I was after, and that’s what I’ve got, sort of. Every year on my birthday, they make a perfect digital copy of my brain and put it in the new body. To stop there being two of me running round, they send a shutdown signal to the old body’s brain. It takes exactly ten minutes to propagate, by which time the new me is up and about and 21 again.
Only I’m six minutes the wrong side of that copy, now. I can’t see much any more. Everything’s starting to fade.
I’d never been on this side before, clearly. This was an experience I – or he – will never learn from. Shame, really, because all I want to do is grab myself by the shoulders and yell in my face, telling myself it’s not worth it, living forever by dying every year.
Too late now. It will always be too late, I expect.
I can just make out the digital display on the clock. 30 seconds left.
Happy birthday to me