It could be the pink lights in here, or the heat, or the constant THUMP of the artificial heart-beat, but the pain is getting worse.
It is distracting her from the work.
Lena knows that she must address it, but she prevaricates in favour of a pretence or of a fervent wish that it will abate. BUT IT WON’T.
She massages her temples.
This happens regularly and every time the experience becomes progressively more distressing. Today there are little black spots and lightning flashes that cloud her vision.
A new development is a feint, gentle, high pitched HUMMING in her ears. She can hardly see the bio-bags, or concentrate on the settings. So many lives are at stake.
She knows that she must apply to reset.
She is starting to PANIC. An ancient anxiety that is ingrained and buried. An antique emotion that defies ‘REASON’– yes, Sapiens still value REASON.
Under the current world view, no one should feel pain. This episodic torture is unmentionable. She dare not admit it.
She settles her bulk into the space, and she tries to conjure the Kundalini. Such transcendental practices are forbidden. Even as a prophylactic measure.
She is aware of the dangers, but is FRANTIC.
She tenses and relaxes, visualises and internally chants the primal sounds.
Moving is problematic. Hominids have not moved much for generations now. They have prosthetic limbs. The only skeletal traces left are armlets and a truncated spine. These limbs are traitors to her body. They are retro-fitted with quisling intelligences.
The spine HOWLS at the deficit. Severe migraine is commonplace but never disclosed.
There are just moments before the correction is applied,she knows this and she waits, miserably expectant.
The air is filled with trillions of dust surveillance pods that shadow every motion of her being.
She can see them dancing in the holo-monitor light.
She can feel the lenses taking her in.
She slips off into her interior.
She becomes aware of being roughly manoeuvred onto a trolley.
Bright lights, surgeon-bot–the uncomfortable WHIRRING and rummaging in her skull.
Can’t move, there are chemical ligatures.
Mercifully the procedure is momentary.
Back to the desk immediately but no screens, no memory, no PAIN.
Now her stomach hurts.
The stomach shouldn’t hurt. There are no longer primitive intestinal digestive tracts.
Old terrors seep to the surface and play there with new fears.
Lena knows that she cannot reveal her predicament
But the air is thick with the fog of tiny spectators. Nothing may be concealed.
Something is oozing from somewhere.
This cannot be NORMAL.
In her mouth there are white eruptions,
more pain here, but bearable.
Something soft but spikey is emerging from her skin–she likes how it looks and how it feels,
but apprehends the consequences.
They leave her for much longer than she thinks that they will.
She hopes that this time the reset will be FINAL, that there will be no return.
She closes her eyes. In her mind she is floating, formless, weightless, timeless, invalid, irreplaceable.
She is ready, more than ready to leap into THE UNBOUND.
© Jennifer Redmond 2020.
Devil in the spine – Aiken and Redmond look at the hapless physicality of the human body and its mal-adaption to our habitat.They speculate upon another reality,one that is not hitched to late Capitalism,to concepts of free-trade to models of production,consumption and to value-mongering.
Using theory fiction, and a sound-scape they explore the most pertinent challenges for humanity as we face our own extinction. The spine becomes a guiding thread to the rediscovery of forgotten pathways in modern thought, reconciling the human experience with natural history.It probes questions around shared human practices that can never be made fully explicit?
End of value is hard for us to conceptualise. We also tend to redoubt human justice against an extra-judicial nature. But how will we manage to live in the ruins of what we have made? The body without organs, expressed as a flickering gif, is juxtaposed with the interactive Google - Earth link to a discreet multi-national subsidiary. Beckoning the viewer to consider the actions and the shifting political power structures that are re-shaping our societies and landscapes by stealth.
Cartesian narcissism blocks us from being able to step into the abyss.
Play with the Google map while you listen to the story and the soundscape. Headphones recommended.
32 Body Parts Meditation
Play the sound here.
GlobeTech, Cork Airport Business Park.