I never lived by the ocean while I was alive. I never was one for sitting back, for taking the time to stare at nature, at the beauty of the world that birthed us. I never really sat just to watch the sun rise in the morning or set in the evening. I always had more important things to do. Time is money and all that.
Or so I thought.
There’s something relaxing about the waves, the curl of cold water, the slush of sand as the fingers of the ocean rush up the beach, leave stretching foam in their wake. Days, it feels like I’ve spent here, just staring, just watching. I’ve seen the first hints of light that come as the sun rises, watched it crawl across the sky, sink into a haze of reds, of purples and rich, visceral silver just above the surface of the endless ocean. Over and over again, I’ve watched the sun skirt the sky without moving, without caring. Just existing, just being.
Years, maybe. Sometimes that’s how long it feels. There’s no sensation of breath to track time by, no nagging bodily alarms pushing me to eat, sleep or fuck. There’s just the ocean, just the sun, just me.
I don’t want to leave this place. Outside, the analog world rolls on steadily, slowly, so slowly that every second there unfolds as a year here. For the first time since my death, I feel like I finally have time to think, to mull things over, consider them as fully as they should be considered.
But even all that time, all that space won’t be enough to save me.
The money has run out on my account. The cash I had on hand was supposed to last me two hundred years, but times change, people change, and the analog drains the digital until there’s nothing left but meat, bones, dust and smoke. New life, a resurrection that transmuted my mind, my soul from meat-signals to software meant I was free, but it also meant I was a thing now, no longer a person.
And wills only hold so much water when the lawyers are good.
Briefly, I wish my wife and son the best life they can make for themselves with the seven million stripped from my savings account. Myself, I’m already dead, and in the few seconds it takes the technician already logged into my account to key in the necessary protocols, I’ll be gone, erased from existence, embraced by oblivion.
But here, there is time still. There is time yet to watch the sun. There is time yet to enjoy the steady thrum of the ocean. Years, in the reckoning of the digital mind. Years. Seconds full of years.
E.S. Wynn is the author of over fifty books in print and the chief editor of seven online fiction journals. You can find out more about him and his work at www.eswynn.com.