Remember: a push is almost a shove and a shove is far too aggressive. They forgot how to feel gratitude. Our value is, of course, purely negligible and entirely contingent upon the tiny mark we make in the immense pattern of The Whole. It is a drab fact, a necessity, an inevitability. I am H(A)PPY with that. The System is our reason. Over time our bodies have become smoother. Choice, fashion etc. She oscillates. Forget yourself. Just turn away from them. That was the pun. And I want to do everything I can to keep The Graph strong. Yes. And, as such, it is only appropriate that The Young should embrace them for a moment – a brief moment – then push them away and move on. She often massages my hands and my feet. Oscillating. I am not even entirely sure what these thoughts are, what they amount to – they are so quick, so fleeting – but it feels good to release them – to unburden myself of them. Don’t push. It completes us. I call up an explanation of this word on The Sensor – volatile – and the Oxford English Dictionary tells me that my language choice was ‘mercurial’. Farm/stable. They are fully breathable. Dangerous words. We are the inheritors of something almost destroyed, something virtually ruined, something tragically despoiled and bruised and limping, but we will not – no, we will not – allow this tragedy to undermine our hopefulness, or our determination to work hard to improve, piece by piece, inch by inch, increment by tiny increment, this brave and clever planet that we love so dearly. The Young must never, ever allow themselves to ignore what has brought them here. They were arrogant and self-serving. And colour often represents The Ego.
Artwork © thefuturistics
The above is taken from H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker, published by William Heinemann in July 2017. I value her touch. The Young are unafraid of intimacy. Our survival is dependent upon our unity. In The Past our ancestors forgot to love (and love is a strong word, a dangerous word, a word The Young are discouraged from using if any other word will suffice) Mother Earth.
Pun. It expresses us perfectly, and we express it perfectly. The Graph at the farm is very stable. The Young must never, ever forget the debt that they owe to Mother Earth. We grow them in laboratories. I observed this to Lorca after the dawn milking and she said, ‘I believe that’s a pun.’
I did not know what a pun was, so she explained it to me. Evolution is not an emotional issue. It is necessary. We are a Whole. For the group.
And Mira B? I will not allow these unhelpful formulations to compromise my time on the farm. We must be dispassionate. A tiny, insignificant splash within a giant, glowing canvas of Light. I am grateful. They created Gods in their own image and worshipped these images instead of Mother Earth. It is why we live by The Graph. Volatile. There is no need. We are never encouraged to be too loyal or too devoted (to anything or anyone), to form too strong an attachment, except to The System. Forgive yourself. Afterwards my mind vibrates like a metal string. We are complete. The dictionary tells me that to be mercurial is to be ‘of lively temperament’. Big. Because everything is Known. It is not useful or fruitful to dwell on these things. For the race. For the planet. The irony of this situation is by no means lost on us. It is our strength. Mira A oscillates.
Surely I knew that?
Ah … This is good, too. We especially enjoy the sound the jets of warm milk make against the side of the steel pail when we stretch out our tentative hands to gently squeeze their soft and wonderfully pendulous nipples.
I will not allow myself to regret this strange weakness, because regret is counterproductive. They forgot how to see, how to empathise, how to reason. Mercurial. Lorca, who I am working alongside, has been encouraging me to pat their flanks as we lead them to milking.
And yet even though our fabrics are sentient, and our food is carefully prepared in laboratories where levels of power and water and waste etc. I will just allow these thoughts to form, ponder them for a moment (the way one might ponder a healing mosquito bite on the skin of a smooth arm) and then calmly push them away. No desperation. Exhale. When we touch Mother Earth something fundamental is stimulated within us and we feel an intense sensation of Actuality and Belonging. They stole from Mother Earth. It is almost like experiencing pangs of thirst while swimming in a bottomless ocean of water. When a snake sheds its skin it does not consider the skin it once had or the skin it now has. Inhale. Sharp words. Volatile. They are sensitive and so we – The Young – are sensitive to them. Oh, yes. All our fabrics are intelligent now. We do not require constant validation). The Graph does not approve of my choice of language. And that is a relief. In situations of stress or duress or jeopardy our clothes will modify to protect us. For the object of desire. Some of The Young choose to advance this process chemically if it is considered appropriate by The Graph. The System contains everything we might possibly need. But we do not idealise smoothness. are the pointless and outmoded preoccupations of The Past.
All those bad feelings …
I am currently on a farm tending to a herd of cows. Our reproductive organs have shrunk and become neutral. Our fabrics are self-cleaning and self-maintaining and they interact with our bodies to gauge things like size, density and temperature according to the specifics of the conditions in which we find ourselves. Who is she? There is no urge. They abused her and all her many glories. And the way that their patient flanks steam so gloriously in the cold, morning air. That –
all. The Ego and difference. If one’s happiness becomes too dependent upon – or too invested in – another person, then one loses the ability to control one’s own destiny.
I really, really wish it would stop doing that.
It is surprisingly difficult to explain our loyalty to each other – as a tribe, as a Community, as a race (for who may truly understand The Young except The Young, after all? They worshipped the number. Nothing is hidden. The Young have a well-developed sense of humour. If it is considered better for them to do so.
Move on, Mira A. It is our answer. Insofar as it is helpful and fruitful, The Young must feel a measure of shame and embarrassment (even consternation, even disgruntlement, even astonishment) at the chaos and destruction their own race has unleashed against Mother Earth. The Graph thinks I am verging on an EOE.
As I thought gnaw … Evolution is not a moral conundrum – a challenge, a dilemma. Their philosophies were both physically and intellectually flawed. We must not think in that way. I am so grateful to be one of The Young. Appreciative of them. We do not crave understanding. Does she oscillate? So we can choose to wear whatever we like, but we always choose to wear white, because it best expresses how calm we are, and how free we are, and how whole we are and how H(A)PPY we are. We are Free From Desire. There is no awkwardness between us. That is a great relief. But Mira A? H(A)PPY. Mother Earth is our sustainer, our source, our root, and we love her. Shame. Soon they invented their demi-gods of Growth and Progress. A pun is a kind of internal joke connected to language use. As I thought swerve … I – in turn – encourage Lorca to listen to the heavy, panting breath of the cows, and the chop and thud and rhythm of their hooves against different surfaces. Mercurial?
Don’t push them away, Mira A. Just let it pass. They forgot that Mother Earth sustained them freely. Our Mother. It does not dwell on these things, because it is not good to dwell on these things. It is something natural. Because we live in The System it is sometimes easy to forget that at the root of everything is Mother Earth who sustains us. For the individual. That is all. We are without need. We can wear any style or pattern that we choose, but mostly we choose to wear plain, loose, non-gendered styles and the colour white because we are The Young and we are Clean and we try not to complicate things too much by engaging The Ego in mundane or insignificant day-to-day decisions. Lorca is a masseuse. They became an unsustainable parasite on Mother Earth.
Separating. At first I was afraid of the herd, but the cows are not dangerous to us. Just calm. We cleave to what is good and, still more importantly, what is feasible. We are naturally overwhelmed by the cow’s rich, heady smell, its stolid unknowingness, its immense mass, its easy heaviness. So there is no need to worry, or to gnaw, or to swerve … That is all. Never push. That’s better. Pride is unhealthy. We must always remain humble. Oh yes. Mira A is just a small, individuated brush stroke.
The image of a dog, emerging from a river, standing on the green bank, pressing its four paws into the soft soil, securing itself, and then shaking its fur free of any excess moisture – just shaking itself – is how I best like to conceptualise this process. Such an extraordinary thought: that our ancestors once drank this strange, warm liquid and felt themselves to be sustained by it, even though many of them lacked the correct enzymes to digest it properly. Embarrassment. Two big, red planets, remember? It is a lesson. But Mars may always be seen, is always visible (unless it draws too close to the sun). She specialises in touch. And we must never forget it. It is our hope. We cannot be individual. It was made perfect.
I enjoy being around Lorca. And that would be unhealthy. The System is our unity. Their ignorance and vanity were insupportable. Look … It said volatile.
Brief moments of volatility aside, The Graph at the farm is relatively stable. And we are no longer sexually driven. Our fabrics – our shoes – are alive.
Sometimes, on the farm, I gaze into the ‘sun’ and think illicit thoughts (I am doing just that as I think this). It is simply an evolution. No pun intended. I am honoured. Yes. They will change colour on request. I say precious, but of course we are not precious at all. It is nice to be smooth. We complete it. That is all. We cannot be self-serving. the tiny graph that calibrates my language choice pinkened, ever so slightly, and a small light flashed. They told themselves that the creator of the universe had chosen them and made them rulers over all things – all the plants and the animals, all Mother Earth’s many riches and resources.
It is always good to have a short break from The Sensor, although we can never really have a break from The Sensor, just the idea of a break, just the semblance of a break. The Young are an Impressionistic Masterpiece, a perfect Art Form, a gloriously Open Composition. It just accepts the process and moves on. We live in The System but we must look behind it, the way a child in The Past might watch a puppet show and then – once the performance is over – run to the back of the box and lift up the curtain to squint into the darkness at the hunched and mysterious (and no doubt heavily perspiring) figure of the puppeteer. Just turn. We are wry, but we are accepting. For a brief second I gaze up into the ‘sun’ and wonder whether the planet Mercury is related to the planet Mira A. We must strive (but not too hard, never too hard) to be Ego-less.
How did I not know that? Earth. Just turn away. For the society. What of Mira B? That is who we once were. I want to play my part. We are untroubled. I don’t want to disrupt The Graph. are all minutely controlled – we eschew the old Capitalist Modes of Production and quietly consider them the greatest human evil (please note that I employ this provocative word with a combination of calm and regret and disquiet), The Young still choose to spend time In Nature, at regular intervals, to keep in touch with our dear Mother, Earth. I am not proud. Everything is Open. That strange sister planet. We are our own Gods. I am …
But The System is not our God.
An unburdening. I don’t want to be the weakest link. It shouldn’t be considered a ‘goal’ – the ‘apex’ of anything – a state of ‘perfection’. We are a Whole. The break is supplied and managed and supervised by The Sensor to give us a break from The Sensor. They are simulacra (cows were viral minefields in The Past, and when farmed industrially were contributors to the depletion of Mother Earth’s precious Ozone Layer), but they are utterly lifelike.
Oscillating. And for every Human there are three Neuro-Mechanicals, ensuring that The Young are always kept safe from harm – even though there is no prospect of harm – because that’s how very precious we are – to each other, to the world.
The farm … We are one consciousness fractured into a multitude of forms. Because The System is perfection. Gently turn. In a time of True Clarity, we are that oft-derided pixellated dot. Yes. The farm … Others are encouraged to wait for this to happen naturally. Boundless. That’s right. The System is our dispassion.