Hello! Are you still here?
We thought perhaps you’d left. The party is over, you know. The beer you spilled has been mopped off the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont. We have placed your companion’s yard-long margarita glass in the lost and found at The D. We have placed your cellphone in the lost and found at Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch. We did that to get you in trouble.
Are you a local? If so, what were you doing at Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch? Don’t deny it. Your cellphone is there. Shouldn’t you have been at The Beat, making an origami bird for your little gallery or something? We were at the Gold Spike. I will not tell you what we were doing there. The Mayor was on hand to cut a ribbon. We all wrote apps to make urban living more convenient. Do you want to know how close you are to a good place for pork?
Out with the old, in with the new.
Perhaps you were spending time in Glitter Gulch because you feel old, and you thought it might make you feel young again. How is that working out for you? In the future—and, rest assured, my friend, you are now living in the future—life sweeps swiftly by. These days, you come into the world, take your first sweet gulp of earthly air, and—boom!—you’re old. People are old before they have been young. Only the unborn have an edge out there, provided they have the proper training.
Could it be that you have been thinking about the future, and your lack of a place in it? This is a reasonable thing to think about, but it is highly unproductive. No amount of thinking about your lack of a place in the future will give you a place in the future. The future, after all, is now, and you’ve already missed it.
Take the year ahead, for instance, which we will briefly recap for you: In February, XyBio, an imaginary new Downtown technology firm, will announce plans for BrandNewU, which is not an educational institution but a 3-D printing app that creates—you guessed it—a Brand New You anytime you (or your employer) (or your prospective employer) want. If, for instance, your prospective employer interviews you for a job, he or she can lift your fingerprint and a saliva sample off that Aquafina bottle you were given in reception, go onto XyBio’s patented LifeCloud, access your LifePrint, and simply print you out. You will have a job without the pesky realities of having a job, such as being paid. You can simply stay home and continue doing whatever it is you do. Or you can go to Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch.
In March, a new resort will not open. It will not open because XyBio’s BrandNewU2.0 was swiftly superseded, without ever having been released, by BrandNewU3.0, which allows a would-be tourist to affix his or her tongue to the screen of their tablet computer and have himself or herself printed out remotely at the site of the new resort. The new resort, however, will inadvertently print out a suspected Russian mobster and, upon advice from the Massachusetts Gaming Control Board, will disassociate itself from XyBio. The new resort, now cut off from the New Nonexperiential Tourism, will have a total of zero bookings the day before it is to open. As we have said, it will not open. People simply don’t want to fly anymore, because aviation is the one sector of our economy where the future is never. Better to print yourself out, skip TSA, and have your printout text you about all the fun he or she is having with the printouts of your friends. In the future, communication is king.
Because you do not live in the future, you will not know these things. Others will know these things, but not you. In September, you will apply for a job at the new resort. You will not get it. You lack life-hacking skills. In your subsequent state of depression, you will go to Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch, where you will find your cellphone. You will go home. Your wife and her sister and her sister’s sister (long story) will be sitting in overstuffed chairs, staring at you with significant looks. This appears to be an intervention. They hand you an Aquafina. Later that evening, each of them will print out a copy of you. The next day, the locks on your house will have been changed. You look in the window and see your printout with your wife. Another NewYou has been printed out at a brand-new boutique hotel just off Fremont and is, at this very moment, singing “Volare” in a small lounge.
In December you will go to a basketball game at the Thomas & Mack Center. At the 3:30 mark of the first half, the Rebels will hit a 3-pointer to take a one-point lead. You will rise to cheer, but will be unable to. Your cheer, it seems, was deleted when your wife synced a new emotion list to your profile on LifeCloud. You take your seat again. It dawns upon you that you are a printout. You have no idea where the original is. You feel nothing, nothing at all.