Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Virtual Reality and Love

      Her hair was like wavy auburn silk, bouncing and shining in the lights of the house with absolute perfection. With light hazel eyes, she glanced at the camera bashfully, a smile lighting up her perfect face, she her perfect teeth, and perfect dimples. She crinkled her nose like she always did when she laughed too hard to control herself. The shot was too enticing to make it into the final cut. Dave quickly edited it out of the main cut to make sure it wouldn't make it onto the air.
      Dave wasn't an extraordinary human being by any standards. A flawless criminal record, average grades, a diploma in Liberal Arts. His work wasn't rewarding, but neither was it the monotonous, soul-sucking office job of an accountant or some other such job. He edited the footage of a reality TV show, filtering through what was exciting and what was boring for their teenage audiences.
      There were plenty of moments where the girl he loved could have made it into the final cut going on television, but that would attract too much attention to her. He couldn't allow the love of his life to face ridicule for getting angry with all those of heinous women on the show, but neither could he edit in too many videos of her looking so beautiful, smiling, laughing, teasing.
      “Hey Dave, when are you gonna be finished with this week's footage?” Dave jumped slightly and turned towards his co-worker.
      “Soon,” Dave responded quickly, turning in his chair to cover a majority of the screen he was staring into. “Probably another couple hours, give or take.”
      “Okay. Be sure to send it to me as soon as you're finished so we can give it a final look through.”
      “Sure. Will do.”
      As soon as his co-worker left, Dave sighed with relief and turned back to look at the love of his life. Lizzie. He had to protect her from all those desperate men who'd come knocking at her door if they saw her the way he saw her. No one could resist falling in love with her, he was convinced.
      And one day he'd gather up the courage to talk to her. He let a finger slide down the screen shot of her shining hair, caressed her colored cheek. Some day soon he'd introduce himself to her, and he'd say all the right things. He knew her likes and dislikes, what kind of jokes she liked. Lizzie once said chivalry was dead, so he'd make sure to open every door, pay for every meal, get her flowers for no reason. He'd even lay down his coat for her to cross a puddle when she was wearing heels in the rain.
      Lizzie didn't know it yet, but her knight in shining armor would come swooping into her life soon, and all she had to do was open her arms to his love, and they would live happily ever after. “You and me forever, Lizzie, my darling...” he murmured quietly to the computer screen.

Author's Note:

      So I hope you read that in the creepy voice it disturbs. This 2014 assignment was again for my Hybrid Narrative class where I write a story inspired by the combination of a quote (from The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira by Aira) and a fact. Even just writing this creeped me out, which makes me laugh. Again my significant other helped me come up with the premise (it was mostly his idea) but the writing is all mine, at least. I can only come up with so many short stories before I run out of ideas. Anyway, my classmates laughed and liked the piece, but recommended I add a scene with dialogue where Dave has an imaginary conversation with Lizzie. This cracked me up, as I imagined him staring into the mirror as he did it, practicing what he'd say to her. They also recommended I elaborate on how Lizzie is a shallow girl who doesn't deserve Dave's affections. I'd have to somehow manage that while still keeping the "unreliable narrator" voice of Dave, who sees her as exaggeratedly perfect. But I'd love to go back and add a little more to this piece, just cause it's so fun and silly and creepy.
      By the way, the quote is: “He watched them talk, his attention waxing and waning at irregular intervals, as a result of which the two enthusiastic and youthful—almost frenetic—faces he had so close to his began to seem unreal. And they were, he had no doubt about this, though only up to a certain point; because they did belong to two human beings of flesh and blood. The intensive use of hidden cameras in the last few years (in order to pull off all kinds of pranks, but also to catch corrupt officials, dishonest business-men, tax evaders, and criminal infiltrators into the medical profession) required using up actors at a phenomenal rate, for they could never be employed a second time because of the risk of blowing their cover. They had to always be new, debutants; they couldn't have appeared on any screen before, not even as extras, because given the high degree of distrust that had infiltrated society, the least hint of recognition was enough to ruin the operation. And that same, constantly increasing distrust forced actors to be constantly getting better, more believable. It was astonishing they didn't run out of them.”
      And the fact is: "Both sides involved in the Cold War used spies from all types of background. The ability to seamlessly blend into the background was vital. The Soviet Union also employed men from Britain to spy on Britain – men who had become disaffected by the British way of life and looked to the east. The most famous were the ‘Cambridge Five’ – graduates who as a result of their background had got into high positions in the British Establishment. Throughout the era of the Cold War information covertly acquired in Britain ended up with the KGB. British agents in the Soviet Union paid a high price for their betrayal."

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