A fictional slice of life, a weird one, but still just a slice of life.
|Life, such as it is, is not easy for everyone. It's not that some people are unlucky or that their fate is predetermined, it's just that life has a unique balance that we people don't quite understand. Some people think that life is unfair, some think that some kind of higher power or a deity has a plan for all life, but who could say. After so many years alive, watching happiness, love, hate, misery, pain, and struggle all around him, he couldn't say either.
Earlier this week Mr. Winter called him from the City centre gallery to tell him the good news. Finally! He got the job as the night-shift security guard. After 20 years of everyday struggle fighting for scraps just to stay alive he finally got a respectful well-paid job!
He liked the night. The empty streets, the silence and the glow of the city street lights in the night always had a certain appeal to him. He often stayed awake all night sitting on rooftops around the city enjoying the silence, and the absence of people. The city was too chaotic for him during the day. All the smells, noise from the traffic, machinery, too many people running around, hurrying to get somewhere, playing music very loud on their stereos, talking, screaming!
It looked like things were getting better but life had other plans for him...
It was a cold early morning when he was walking through the scrapyard, a bit a way from the city, full of piles of discarded mechanical human body parts looking, for a left arm that would fit him. Today, after his night shift, as he was walking to his new apartment he was attacked by some noisy punks. During the attack, his left mechanical arm got broken. He couldn't go to work without an arm so there was no other option, he had to come here to the scrapyard to find a replacement.
While he was looking and rummaging trough the piles he wondered how did society sink so low. The rich people replaced their mechanical body parts with new models as soon as the new model was available while normal people had to save money for months to buy a new part, or poor people, like him, had to rummage through the scrapyard and their discarded mechanical body parts. The rich got even richer while the rest of the people got porer and porer. Some people were so poor that they couldn't even afford the implants, let alone mechanical body parts. 'How did people and society sink so low?'
He just started working and he spent his first paycheck on the rent for an apartment, so he didn't have to sleep on the streets anymore, and food, so this wasn't a new low for him. He was here hundreds of times rummaging and looking for parts that life took from him. Every time, when things in his life seemed to be going well, life always found a way to take that from him. He was sure he was cursed.
The sounds of rummaging through the discarded piles of mechanical body parts reminded him of the day and the events that happened 20 years ago.
20 years ago he got accepted to the University of his choice. The classes were interesting and he made a bunch of new friends. One day he went to a bar with his friends celebrating his twentieth birthday. After the party ended he called a taxi and got out of the bar as it was closing. It was cold outside, the cold winter air was making his nose turn red, but he didn't care. He was happy, he was studying at his dream University, he made a bunch of new friends and it seemed he had a bright future in front of him.
That wasn't what life had planned for him...
As he stood beside the road a car driving towards him lost control on a block of ice on the road and crashed into him.
When he woke up he was in a hospital. A nurse rushed over to his side "Call a doctor! He's awake. Quickly, call a doctor!!!" She yelled at someone and turned around towards him "Hi. Welcome back. Just lay still. The doctor will come soon. He will explain everything." His whole body hurt. Parts of his body didn't feel right. It felt like they were there but at the same time it felt like they were gone.
A doctor entered the room and stood by his bed. "Hi. I'm doctor Klaus. You have been in an accident and you suffered major injuries to the left side of your body and your right leg. I' m sorry, we had to replace most of the damaged limbs and tissue with mechanical body parts."
"What? I don't..." He knew that there were people with mechanical body parts but he never saw anyone that had them. Mechanical body parts were uncommon because the technology was fairly new.
"I know this is al confusing, but we will take good care of you and you will be on your feet in no time. I'll see you later. Ok?" The doctor said.
"'Yea..." He mumbled. 'Is this the reason my body feels weird? This mechanical body parts?'
The doctor pulled the nurse aside, spoke with her for a bit and left.
"Come on. You need to rest to get your strength back so we can start physical therapy. Can we call somebody to come and be with you?" The nurse asked.
"No...No. I don't have a family and all my friends are at the University. I don't want to bother them." was what he said but 'I don't want them to see me like this.' was what he thought.
"Then rest a bit and I'll come to check on you a bit later." The nurse sad tucking him in.
The nurse left the room and he grabbed the covers with his right hand and pulled them off. What he saw shocked him. Both of his legs, his left hip and his arm were mechanical. Panic and fear started to overwhelm him and he started to scream until he lost consciousness.
When he woke up, still in shock, he called for the nurse. The nurse came and he asked her for a mirror. The nurse tried to change the subject but he insisted. He wanted a mirror. After a while, the nurse gave in, stood up and went to get a mirror. He took the mirror and looked at himself. His legs and his arm weren't the only parts of his body that were replaced by mechanical parts. His left eye and a part of the left side of his head were also replaced. The face looking back at him wasn't him, it was a monster.
The rest of his time at the hospital was full of agony, depression and pain as his mind and body adjusted to his implants and mechanical body parts. At one point the University delivered his belongings to the hospital. His friends tried to visit him but he refused to see them, he still didn't want them to see him like this.
A year after the accident he was released from the hospital. The clothes hid the leg and arm replacements but he couldn't hide the replacements on his face and head. He went to the University hoping that they would let him continue his studies but as soon as he walked into the dean's office he saw a brief look of disgust on the dean's face.
The dean told him to sit and informed him that as he was absent for too long that they can't do anything and can't let him continue his studies at the University.
He knew that what the dean said wasn't the real reason. He knew that the real reason were the mechanical parts. If he started to argue he knew it would just make a scene and he didn't want that. Without a word he stood up and left the dean's office.
20 years ago life took a big chunk of him and forÂ the following 20 years, it didn't stop.
As an orphan, without a family to help him, the first few years after the accident were the hardest. At that time not a lot of people had mechanical body parts, especially mechanical body parts on their face that made them look like monsters. Too many times he saw disgust in people's faces, too many times he was attacked because of the way he looked, too many times he was picked on or straight out attacked and his mechanical arm and legs were torn off, too many times he had to rummage through the scrapyard when it appeared.
As the years passed more and more people had implants and mechanical body parts so it got easier for him to find new replacements for his damaged or lost parts. But people still looked at him like they were looking at a monster. His life wasn't easy after the accident. He didn't have a chance to finish his studies at the University, he couldn't find a job because of the mechanical parts on his face. With no job, poor, living in the streets, he couldn't afford to buy new parts, when his mechanical body parts broke or were broken or stolen, so he put himself together like a puzzle taking the parts from the scrapyard looking more and more like a monster.
No, his life wasn't easy.
He sat down on a pile of mechanical body parts in the scrapyard holding a mechanical left hand. For 20 years life just took and took from him. 'Life, when will you stop taking? When will you have enough?' He thought as the sounds of the city waking up started to reach the scrapyard.