by Mark Evans
After a hard day of work at the cube farm Evan would have some beers at the Sea Dragon bar and then head to Trident PC to star in a skin flick from the 1980’s or ‘90’s.
The new technology wasn’t invasive at all. It was just a bit of nano-surgery. You followed up with a brine-tasting milkshake every seventeen days. Easy-peasy.
Like his wife Lydia II said, it was just like getting your ears pierced.
The implants transmitted what you wanted to see to a blue screen. A switch in your thyroid gland regulated the rest of your senses.
Once the implants went live there was a rush by Hollywood studios to re-release old films to VR.
Films Evan particularly enjoyed included Ghostbusters II, Caddyshack, and Zombie Land IV.
Evan had two avatars. Each was under a different log-in. One was Bill Murray. The other was John C. Holmes.
Some guys got too much in with the Fembots. It was enough to drive you mad. That Keith who worked in next cubicle over was a prime example. Every few days he’d come into work hollow-eyed and wearing yesterday’s clothes and without having showered.
You slept in the goddamned PC room, Evan said.
Keith wouldn’t even speak to Evan those mornings. He’d slouch in his chair and log on to pitch whatever they were supposed to be selling that day.
Evan knew how to keep things balanced. His wife was great. They lived in a condo in New Spryfield. Evan Junior was a perfect, healthy three-year old boy.
So after work sometimes Evan would hit the skin flicks.
The scripts to those early films weren’t much but the production values were amazing. The 80’s vids were always a bit grainy and washed out, like they’d been slightly damaged in the transfer to VR. The other actors seemed a bit pudgy and slightly out of shape. Shaving down there wasn’t as commonplace as it would be in later eras.
In the 90’s vids everyone had firm bodies and terrible haircuts. The lighting in these films always seemed more severe.
Sometimes Evan would scramble his avatar- JCH’s massive thing and curly hair, and BM’s deadpan features and air of insouciance.
Evan would go to Trident PC on Gottingen Street, get a private room with a plastic sheet on the floor, strip down, log in for a couple of hours of fun in the vids and then head home to Lydia II and EJ. There was no chance of catching anything besides a low-grade computer virus. It was enough to put a spring in your step.
Lydia II had a blue-screen set up in their bedroom. Evan didn’t know how often she used it but one day he came home early to discover her having a three-way with Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke- or at least two guys who were using them for avatars.
Goddamn, you came home too early, she said as she climaxed.
And who do they think you are? Evan asked.
Sean thinks I’m Tina Turner. Mickey thinks I’m Britney Spears.
What era Britney?
Mickey Mouse club.
Jesus, that’s harsh.
I know, but his avatar smells like rhinoceros. You know I’ve got a thing for wild animals.
Evan left them to it and went downstairs to shower and watch a little TV. Full House was on. This was Evan’s favourite show.
After awhile Lydia II came downstairs.
EJ still sleeping? Evan asked.
Lydia II nodded. I gave him his shot an hour ago. He’ll wake up around eight.
Well, it’s obvious we need to get out more often.
Why do you say that?
Our avatars are stuck in the past.
You might be right, sweetie.
They watched as Bob Saget said something clever to DJ. All of a sudden John Stamos burst in. The laugh track reminded them to laugh.
Evan went to the kitchen and printed them something to eat. It was Chinese but besides that they didn’t know what it was called.
Mark Evans is from a small town in Atlantic Canada. He likes to write horror, sci-fi, realism, and grocery lists. He is days away from being done with his Master's in education. He is also proud of pretty much anything done by his five-month old son.