Author : Alec Ow

My parents always told me the Cold was a gateway bug. All throughout middle-school and for most of high-school I was pretty clean. Then I saw one of my friends coming to school with the sniffles.

He didn’t really try to hide it from anyone, thinking back now it seemed like he was wearing it like a badge with pride. I have to admit I got a little curious so I asked him about it. The whole time he was talking about how it makes you feel the world differently, how it numbs your senses. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would put themselves through that willingly. I laughed it off as just a bunch of rebellious teens trying to shake their fists at authority.

It wasn’t until I tried it that I started to understand. Having been without disease for innumerable generations, Humankind had lost touch with what it was to be mortal. Having humanity’s essence backed up in the central database ensured that death was only a temporary condition. There was a movement a few generations back where a bunch of death seekers got together to find the wildest way to die. They got it all wrong, when one dies only the moment before death is felt. It wasn’t a very long high.

When death is trivial, everyone’s a god. When everyone’s a god, the concept of a God is lost through dilution.

My first time at a bug party was pretty wild. The wildest bunch was probably the STDers. Something about adding sex to the equation definitely made everything seem so much more taboo. I took my hit of de-immunizer and hit up a double dose of the common cold and a shot of influenza then finished off with an accelerator. We hung out all weekend in a daze. It was the first time I’ve ever really felt human.

I think I should wrap up this journal entry soon before my Alzheimer’s kicks in. It reminds me of what my parents used to say, about how the Cold is the gateway bug. I still remember my first time being submerged in the culture. I saw one of my friends coming to school with the sniffles. He almost wore it with pride…

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