It’s been awhile, so let’s catch you up. As you know from my last entry, I was going to go meet a girl. I’ve never met anyone like her. The first thing I noticed was how natural she looked. It turns out she wasn’t using an avatar at all. This bold, unashamed choice to show her true face to the world intrigued me. I don’t consider myself vain, but I do make a few adjustments to my appearance. Especially if I’m going out.
We’ve been talking quite a lot, I find her fascinating. She’s actually a Discon! I didn’t understand how that was even possible, I thought they were anti-technology. She has a public profile and uses it to buy stuff just like the rest of us. I thought maybe she was being mean to herself by calling herself that or making some kind of political statement, but she means it literally. Her whole family is disconnected from the network. Not one of them has an N•Viron interface. She uses a handheld device to access and use the network. Handhelds were around when I was very little and I don’t think they make them anymore. Apparently, her brother finds them and fixes them up. He has quite a collection.
Tanisha isn’t even her real name, just the identity she’s using. She’s concerned that if she tells me her real name that they might find her family. She won’t tell me who ‘they’ are, but she says they’re listening to everything we say. She thinks everything I say or do, ever decision I make is being observed and recorded by ‘them’. This sounds completely crazy and paranoid to me. Why would anyone care what I’m saying, or what she’s saying? She’s not really doing anything illegal. It’s not even identity theft since ‘Tanisha’ doesn’t exist. Falsifying information maybe? She earns her Arpies just like the rest of us. She’s not bothering anyone, so even if someone did decide to make a case of it, no-one would bother to push for reparations.
I think she has an exaggerated sense of her importance caused by her Father’s crazed hate speech. Her Dad taught her there’s a war coming, that our society is on the brink of collapse, and we’ll have no idea how to survive when it does. So he’s been preparing her and her brothers for this post-civilized war for survival. Encouraging them all to work themselves ragged and pool their resources for doomsday. To be honest this is closer to my preconception of what Discons are like. Crazed whackos with an almost fanatical distrust of technology.
The problem is, he’s taught them how to fight, how to forage and scavenge, and even encouraged them to use their ‘phone’ things to access the N•Viron and get groceries and health care. He hasn’t taught them farming, leather-working, butchering, clothes-making, or anything else that would actually be useful for a non-technical society. I have to show her there’s more to life than lying, fighting, and fraud. Save her from herself.
It’s funny, I always had this romantic notion that a good man would find a woman who had been mistreated, misled and taken for granted by others, treat her like the princess she deserves to be and they would live happily ever after. It seems I may actually get my chance to save this girl from her horrible life and make her happy. I feel like it’s my duty, and a matter of honor, to prove to her that life is so much better than she was raised to believe, and all I need to do is be a good man.