Shantih Journal 2.1 - Page 34

Over time Fairfax became distant from David. At first he blamed med school, but even calls between Christmas and New Years were no longer returned. The conspirators took Fairfax away. He wasn’t doing a good enough job of maintaining the illusion of their world. He was fired, or transferred to other holodecks. David learned the harsh truth of this world that he can never be completely honest with another human being without them being taken from him. He will always be alone. Clearly being a nonperson illusion, David’s usual anxieties disappeared around the anime woman from the fabric store. He learned her name was Natasha, but he called her by the name of whichever character she was dressed up as. “Princess Mononoke?” he asked, placing a spool of black velveteen on the counter in front of the Hayao Miyazaki character. “Hi,” she responded, though it might have been “Hai.” “How’d you do the fur?” Her costume involved short dark brown culottes, a black tank top with a larger ripped and hemmed white tank top over it, and finally a white furry cape. Natasha twirled as if to model it as she talked, “I wanted to use a sheepskin car seat cover, but it was way too expensive and way too much material. But I found this fuzzy toilet seat cover.” She unrolled David’s velveteen and began cutting, “I think it works nicely.” “You look good.” She wrote a number for the cashier on a piece of paper and folded a yard of fabric, “Oh, I’m sorry. You wanted a yard, right? You always want a yard.” She knew him. He had significance to her. “Um, that’s fine.” “What do you do with this stuff anyway? If you don’t mind my asking.” David smiled and said, “Um, I make blankets.” He couldn’t say that he pets them to feel something tangible when the world felt too unreal like some kind of existential service animal. The conspirators would take her away or reach into her code and reprogram her to punish him for bad 34