“You’re going to have to update that soon,” Derrick said looking down at the device. The device had a few more blemishes on it’s surface than it did the last time. “Some of those early memories are starting to get a little fuzzy,” Derrick said.
“Degredation’s part of it.”
“Forgetation is happening too quickly for my liking.”
“If you want a clearer longer lasting memory I’ll ll have to upgrade the hardware. I need money for that, and since you’re the only one I surry for, it’s up to you.”Nick said.
Nick took out a small display and attached it to the Emphatic. Images flashed before his eyes. Derrick tried to get a look. “Do you want to see it or do you want to remember it?”.
Derrick said nothing, he sat back in his chair, folded his arms and looked out to the street. The steady traffic of people was becoming more infrequent. The business district was shutting down for the evening.
Derrick looked back over to Nick.
“What’s taking so long?” Derrick asked.
“I wouldn’t want any of my memories getting in there. It’d bore you, gym, football, meaningless one night stands and way too much masturbation. Nothing you’d want to see.” Nick said.
“Name a price,”
“They’re not for sale,” Nick said. Derrick’s eyes narrowed, “And on that note here we are, date night. Before we go on, I’m going to need payment up front this time.” Derrick was silent, “I have a few outstanding payments with other people, I need it now.” said Nick.
“You can’t wait a few minutes?”
“Oh I can, it’s just that the people I owe to, can’t.”
“You taking again?” asked Derrick.
“Couple of previous clients are in there pretty deep. Every time I think I’m rid of them, those memories come bubbling back up. Wouldn’t want that interfering with yours”, Nick said.
“Get them vaped, I’ll pay for that”
“I’ve heard vaping causes long-term memory damage, I’ve been getting some Ignoral from a friend.”
“This friend, the impatient one?”
“Send me your dignautre”. Derrick took out his phone, made a few gestures and then looked at Nick. Nick took out his phone and received a notification.
Derrick watched as Nick sent the money on, “That should brighten up some people’s evening”. Nick put his phone away and smiled at Derrick, “It’s ready.” Nick said.
Derrick put on the head gear. It looked odd but was minimal enough to not attract too much attention, not that anybody would care.
An image faded in, Derrick sees through Nick’s eyes. The image flickers. “Could you mute the blinking?” Derrick asked Nick did so.
The image remains constant. Derrick is in a room, a familiar one, his bedroom. Derrick in Nick’s body sits on a futon. He picks up the drink beside him and downs it in one. A tap runs in an en-suite. Steam floats through the door into the bedroom and dissipates. The flow of the tap stops and a woman exits the en-suite.
Stands and walks towards her. Their hands meet, fingers rub and stroke against each other. Derrick notices the woman wearing a nice yellow dress accentuating her tan. Something else catches his eye.
“She prettied it up,” Derrick said to himself in the cafe unheard by Nick.
A pale pink line starts between her breasts goes down her chest. The accident happened early on in their marriage. One day she was a keen cyclist the next she was not.
Derrick wondered if Nick ever noticed the scar if it gives him shivers the same way it did him. There were certain things that Nick could give to Derrick’s wife. There were somethings that were only ever going to be between Derrick and Catlin.
Catlin asks if they can talk. Derrick let out a sigh, “Forward” he said to Nick. Nick obliged him.
The images speed up. Through the talking, which goes on for quite a while and through a cab journey. Time slows and resumes normal speed in a cinema. His hand reaches down and picks up a hand full of popcorn and shovels it into his mouth.
“Salted?” Derrick tastes it, “Why am I eating salted?”
“Ladies choice,” Nick said, although he is only inches away his voice is that of a disembodied ghost in his head. Did Nick eat salted deliberately Derrick wondered.
“What the hell am I watching”, Derrick demanded.
The film has subtitles, there is no way Derrick would ever watch this kind of thing by choice. Catlin loved this kind of film. Due to strict anti-piracy laws concerning surries Derrick could never see top-tier blockbusters. Derrick could never see what he wanted.
Derrick becomes impatient, “Give me a breakdown.”
“Croatian, first time director. Has a rawness that comes through in the camera work. The minimal story doesn’t quite adhere to logic. There are several strong vignettes that deal with life after a war”. Nick said.
“Any tits?” Derrick asked.
The images speed up again.
Derrick is sitting with Catlin in a restaurant, food in front of him. A fork in his hand delivers the meat to his mouth.
Sensors in the Emphatic fire up taste synapses. It’s a sweet chicken dish causing Derrick’s mouth back in the cafe to salivate. An inferno ignites in Derrick’s mouth. “What the hell is this?”
“My brain is going to make my IBS flare up, you know that right, my brain is stupid like that”, Derrick said.
First salted popcorn, now spicy food. Nick was doing this deliberately. Nick was messing with him.
“Derrick, Derrick?” comes a voice from somewhere out of eye line. A man stands at the table, hand thrust out, Bill Carthage. “Great to see you here Derrick, Catlin. Derrick have you got a chance to review those forms?”
“Did I get them?” Derrick asked Nick back in the cafe.
“You never gave me anything to say.”
In the restaurant, there is silence.
“Take your time sure and get back to me on that,” Bill says, he walks away, returning to a table to sit on his own.
Derrick smiles, for all his looks, his style and vast wealth Bill seems to have a pretty empty existence. Bill is proof that nice guys finish alone.
Catlin spoke, “Derrick can we talk?”.
“Does she ever want to do anything else? If I wanted to talk to her, I would make time for her. Let’s skip to the good stuff” Derrick said.