Chapter Twenty Eight
Undergarments optional. But please refrain from touching or heckling the waitstaff.
My inferior undertakings came to fruition at last when I met Maxine Marr, a girl with a speech impediment—she was completely incapable of lying. The sweet thing had not one micrometer of malice in her slight little body. She had never heard the term "fashion trend", and had made no acquaintance with the monstrosity which was Main Computer's Superintelligence Highway—a fancy name for a vast system of lonely perverts connected by a common interest in pathetic trivial gossip. When she finally let me into her dormitory, I just sat there staring at her for hours. I stayed all night, learning that together we formed many delightful compliments. She was a pacifist and I was a socialist. She was Beggars Banquet and I was Exile On Main Street. She was a child at heart. and I, an old man, light in my eyes dimming by the hour.
When the sun came up I proposed, high for the first time on non-drug-induced infatuation. She agreed, but said I should know that she was unable to have children. It didn't matter. I told her I never wanted kids anyway, that I had a dream once where I'd fathered a Junior and he'd retreated from me like a NuFranc during the war. Children were little ingrates and when their lives began, yours ended. She looked vaguely concerned but accepted me as I was, promising me a real wedding that sounded nothing like the dark fluorescent ceremonies that haunted my dreams.
The last time I'd attended to a wedding it had been a joint occasion—the nuptials took place in conjunction with the 4,578th Annual Redscreen Awards. Instead of rings, the groom and the blushing brides-to-be had exchanged two-feet tall gold-plated statues. Then the three kissed, waved at the camera, and won a million credits which rained down from the ceiling. Come to think of it, I wasn't actually at the wedding. I just watched it on the redscreen; it was like having good-looking friends in my living room who I didn't have to talk to.
Maxine wore a fantastic green-gauze gown with rubber ducks on it. She had little white flowers in her glimmering hair and no jewelry. Standing on two-feet tall box clogs she was taller than me, but I was too in love to care. She was the knight and I was the errant. I would never keep secrets from her, and would never leave the house without first telling her where I was going. She, in turn, would provide all my nourishment and bring home the bacon, or beef jerky as it were, prime and tender from the ranch. Pigs were only fantasy creatures that someone had made up back in the 1800s.
"Okay, my turn. Um, how come you've got two different colored eyes? It makes it hard to tell when you're looking at me." Maxine and I sat on the porch drinking Moonshine by Petey and doing something Maxine called 'getting to know each other better'. We already knew each other, we were married and I'd seen her naked and glorious, her body good enough to rival any 4th generation celebrity-casing makeover.
"My mother's were green, and my father's were blue. Is this not a common occurrence where you come from?" she asked.
"Not normally, unless you have it fashioned that way."
"Tell me about where you're from," she said, her head resting on my shoulder as pieces of her long hair whipped against me in the wind. The air smelled like peaches and fabric softener.
"I come from a place where there is no day, only night. I come from a place where I'm blinded by light. It's very cold, no one's old, and anything you want can be bought for a piece of gold. Or credits, rather. That's an old poem I learned in school, before they stopped teaching poetry cause it's not really very useful."
"I was born here," Maxine said. "My parents hid while everyone was being relocated. They did grow old. Died more than ten seasons ago."
"My doctor could've given them new hearts, or fixed whatever the problem was," I told her.
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