Nine facets

compound_eyeLine 10: PROGRAM begins. A hexagonal pod in some run-down kapuseru hoteru, two meters by one meter by one meter, with a microwave oven at one end and a tiny TV at the other. Another cell in a hotel honeycombed with them, filled with strays, the unemployed, lesser traveling businessmen, worker bees, one single hornet. GOTO 20.

Line 20: Cars and motorbikes wage war for the marginal turf of the narrow street, shadowed by razor-sharp towers taller than infinity, lit by neon and quantum dots, shadowed once more by fog and sulfur compounds, lit yet again by the barest hint of sun behind stratus clouds. The sidewalk is still dark from the recent rain. If there is a folded paper note in my left jacket pocket, GOTO 100. Otherwise fold my umbrella and GOTO 150 for food.

Line 40: Betrayed once more. This has happened before, I am sure. GOTO 300.

Line 50: I’m just a muddle of memories. I’m not even sure if I’m a person, or just a bunch of leftovers that have been thrown together. Subject is STUCK. Iterate PROGRAM. GOTO 10.

Line 60: How to crack a safe in ten easy steps. One, pull out the magical gizmo that some wonderful person left for me. Second, place it on the door of the safe, ensuring that it is secure. Third, press the red button. Four, wait until you hear the lock click. Five, open the safe. Six, examine the contents. The large brown envelope contains transparent film covered with diagrams. These go in my inner jacket pocket. I leave the bearer bonds. Seven, close the safe. Eight, press the green button. Nine, wait until the lock clicks again. Ten, quietly leave the building. GOTO 40.

Line 80: Capsule rooms are too small for two people. Its all fun and games until somebody gets a sore neck. GOTO 100.

Line 100: I’ve got an ear worm, a line from an old, old song by Rush. Why are we here? Because we’re here. Roll the bones. When you’re done rollin’, GOTO 60, because there is work for you to do.

Line 150: The restaurant has low tables and no chairs. I can’t fold myself up on the tatami properly, so I keep shifting around trying to find a comfortable spot. My contact is amused. She is dressed better than me. She knows how to use chopsticks. I don’t think I even like cooked fish. I’m not really sure. I don’t recall. GOTO 80.

Line 300: Life ends once more, ends once more, ends once more, at the end of the barrel of a gun. BACKUP and RESTORE.

END PROGRAM.