20.44, Saturday 15 May 2004

I pour the tiny green spheres into the phone socket, gently from my hand, funneling them with a folded leaflet. It's for takeaway pizza, stuffed through our letterbox. Of course I can't see that small, but I know the simulations. They touch the copper and fold into the metal matrix, singing bits and bytes as they dissolve. There's the scent of yeast in the air.

My self-assembly furniture arrived yesterday, a dense rich Oxo cube, wrapped in plastic. I like to touch it on my tongue, it feels tingly like a 9v battery, but softer and rough like dog's paws. Before I went to bed I crumbled it into a pot of yoghurt, the universal food+substrate for nanobots.

In the morning I had a new dining table, thinly crusted with dead robots, who, having bred, spun and weaved the table, have taped out. They're like the crumbs of burnt toast, a faint smell of something being too hot. Of wires touching and fusing.

Surfers for porn are the renewable resource of the internet. Horny, they classify images for resale, perform massively distributed OCR in the name of Captcha, each proving he isn't automated but also, accidentally, imbuing a bot spammer with the fractional humanity they need to start an email account, or maybe contributing, unknowingly, to Project Gutenburg. I have my own site of free pix. Bandwidth is cheap. To enter, the surfer gives me a few cycles of CPU. I use it to prime huge numbers. I sell the factors to security agencies, to help them break encryption. It pays for the bandwidth, it pays for my electricity too. Horny surfers drive massive windfarms. They are the power for our engines, a Pacific current.

When I cry it's because I can see the birds playing in the sky. It must tickle your chest, to slide down along a thermal gradient, balancing your wings on the isobars.

If we were inside a computer, we would take the matter that surrounded us and disassemble it into ones and zeros, and then we'd remake it into a TCP/IP stack. It would be spaceflight. Ping would be reflectivity, and we'd send probes and measure how many cycles passed before they came back. And sometimes they wouldn't. What grand experiments would we run to find the topology of our universe? How would we discover that traffic was routed?

A threadfish crawls out my eye, from the tearduct, drinking the salty water of my tear. As the tear falls down my face the thread's body starts to dry, pulled downwards and now exposed to the air. Its tail rips my skin a little as it's whipped out. It starts to die. In the mirror I see the necks of a dozen of its siblings, hiding their faces in the bead of blood which has swelled there. Drinking. I suck the tear in my mouth, quickly, before the thread shrivels completely.

Poor thing.

I vomit turps. It stings like crazy, but all I can think of is the walls I've splashed and the paint running onto the carpet. I try to hold it in, but it burns and a gash opens up inside my oesophagus. It touches the embedded fireworks and my chest erupts, my ribs fold outwards automatically, reverse and the wheels sprout, catching me as I fall onto my back, and already I'm accelerating through a series of bursts of emotions and lessons, each internal burst of thrust being registered by my kinesthetic senses and associated with facts from school, all drilled it at different rates of change of speed.

My memory crashes. There's the taste of lemon juice when I push the back of my tongue onto the back of my throat, a hole there dripping citric acid, a homonculus inside who will live forever.

The rib-truck accelerates faster. We need to find yoghurt, to rebuild. And all I can hear is whalesong.

Not long now.