Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4. NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo

Gina’s was awful.  Perhaps more awful than she remembered.  It has this cloying futuristic-kitsch theme, so all the waitresses wore neon clothing and white lipstick.  Their hair was shellacked back and to the side, like they were perpetually standing in the bed of an eastbound  pick up truck.  The entire restaurant was cold to the point of being uncomfortable, but it would have been ridiculous to wear a sweater in the middle of the summer, so she chose to tough it out.  The menus were written onto the table in fonts that were too playful for a store serving up dead meat by the barrel.  She was tired and the conversation wasn’t lifting her spirits much.

“Don’t you get it?  We use the sweat off people who are exercising.  We burn it into steam.”

“I get it.  I just don’t understand how that is going to work.”  Where were her fries? 

“The point is the vapors.  We catch the vapors and that gives us the source residue.”  He took a monstrous bite out of his sandwich and kept talking, “We don’t need to catch all of it, just enough to catch it and amplify it.”

“It just seems like there should be an easier way.”  She looked down at both their quickly emptying plates.  The fry situation was really getting critical at this point.  “I mean, are you going to make people work out or just try to screen them when they are working out on their own?”

“That’s the beauty of it.  They don’t even know we’re doing it.  We can set up at the park on a Sunday morning.  Turn on the device to a certain area of the track, and wait for people to come to us.”

“Yeah, see, that just doesn’t seem like it should be legal.”  Maybe if she added more salt to the burger, she would forget the lack of fries.

“Right, but it is, for now, and I’d rather take advantage of the opportunity and test the machine out while we can do it for free.”  He swirled his last bite around in a puddle of ketchup.  “If they ever do get around to making any of this illegal, at least we’ll have the technology developed.  We can always sell it to the government.”

“That’s exactly who I would want to have the technology to harvest my essence.”

He smiled.  “Don’t say ‘essence’ or ‘harvest’ for that matter.  It implies we are taking something permanent.  We aren’t.”

“I don’t think harvest implies permanent removal.  Just the opposite.”

“You know what I mean.  You make it sound like we are violating people and we aren’t.  They don’t even know it.”

“So you think.  But have you ever tried it on yourself?”

“Of course I have, and I’m fine, aren’t I?”   His tone was getting more aggressive.  This was clearly a conversation he had had before, possibly with someone more authoritatively knowledgeable than a girl who is forced to eat a burger with no fries because she doesn’t want to bother the waitress.

“I’m not saying there is anything wrong with your plan.  It just gives me the creeps to think you guys are out there—sucking or borrowing or harvesting or doing whatever it is that you do—and people don’t know.”

He didn’t respond right away, which meant that all of a sudden the ambient music seemed much louder.  It was the shrill voice of a woman, singing in a language she couldn’t identify.  Something sad.

Need to play catch up?  Read the rest.

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