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Isaac Asimov's still dead, right? He would have probably just used an analogy involving Tinker Toys and slices of individually wrapped cheese and I would be perfectly content.
-- Tjames Madison

 

Clones in Guelph (cont'd)

When I reached home I put the milk in the fridge and confronted Lenny with what I knew. He said he couldn't take it any more. He said he couldn't take any more of my accusations that his family was into the clone business. I knew his sister to be clones, and his father was responsible for raising a clan of clones. He wanted me to leave. I suppose it was impossible for it to last, clones must keep to their own kind.

I got a tiny apartment near Lennys' place. It was only a block away. A security agent showed it to me, and the apartment building seemed full of miscreants. I realized that this apartment building was used for people who had had a falling out with the clones, and it was no accident that the advertisement for this apartment had appeared in the local paper the very day that the Lennys had asked me to leave. I carried my few things down the street and moved in.

I spent the rest of the day listening to secret broadcasts on the radio, which extolled the virtues of clone life and praised the plastic surgeons of Guelph. There was a large dark stain on the carpet in the tiny living room, which I was afraid to touch. I learned from the radio that the last woman who had lived in this apartment had been harvested. It took me a while to realize what this meant. She had been found barely alive and lying on the floor with parts of her skin and hair missing. As it became dark I talked back to the radio. I told the walls that I was not afraid, and I placed knives and a hammer in strategic places about the apartment so that I would be ready for them when they came for me.

I waited, but nothing happened. I marched outside a few times to show to the night air that I was not afraid. Eventually I went inside and fell asleep. The next day I had an appointment with a specialist to see about having my tonsils removed. I was very nervous about this appointment. I walked downtown to the doctor's office passing by many security people on my way. I had a sense that I was not accepted by Guelph, since I was not a clone.

As I waited in the doctor's office, I saw him come into the waiting room to usher in patients. He was slightly different each time he came in to the office, so that I knew he too was a clone. When it was my turn to see him, I was very honest. I explained that I had nothing against clones, but that I didn't want to be one. I said that I wanted to have the same face when I came out of the hospital that I had now. He nodded, and made a telephone call to another doctor. He politely explained to me that I should go down the hall to the office of another doctor.

The other doctor very gently and carefully explained that he was going to prescribe Loxapine, in twenty-five milligram doses, and that he would possibly raise the dosage level. I understood this to be some secret drug, which would give me another wonderful experience like the experience I had had of seeing another man in my image. I began to take the drug.

At first the drug knocked me out. For several days, I spent most of my time sleeping. Then I noticed that there were no more voices talking above the radio. I saw Lenny again and he seemed like one person. The people of Guelph began to seem quite ordinary, and details about them like their gestures seemed devoid of significance. A couple of weeks went by without extraordinary voices or visions, and my head felt relatively empty. The buzz and chatter of my thoughts had subsided, and the world seemed bathed in a soothing clarity.

 

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

kunst@pigdog.org


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