Saturday 30th April
So who was this Janek Smith? Where did he come from? As you can probably guess, mother was Polish; second generation Polish actually. My maternal grandparents were from Cracow, came to live in England in the first few years of the new century. There was some sort of mad rush after the fall of Communism to the West, to the free world, and all it had to offer. Unemployment, drug addiction and poverty aside, the lure of ‘pop’ music, fashion and totally unhealthy but very appealing food and alcohol, dragged millions to our shores. Most returned in the twenties after the second Great Financial Crash reduced almost everyone to dire poverty. But I was born by then, and as English as ‘tuppence’. My father was English anyway, though my parents split up before I was thirteen. Either my Dad’s drinking or my Mother’s cold-hearted pursuit of money; at twelve I didn’t care. As usual the courts decided I should stay with my Dad, my Mum was the only one working anyway and besides he was still hiding his boozing from almost everyone. I was in residential crammer by then, just coming home for the weekends, and it just passed me by. No really, I can’t remember being that upset by it. My mother had never been very motherly, too busy pursuing her career in the City, and I didn’t really miss her when she pissed off to America. My dad hung around for a bit, but was a dope-head and a drinker, and from about sixteen on I was practically on my own. Maybe that was why I fell so heavily for Cathy. Maybe she was the parents I never had. I’ve never had time for all that self-analysis shit anyway. Anyone I’ve ever met who does that stuff is crazy anyway; does knowing it help at all? I doubt it. I am who I am, even with the ridiculous name of Janek to contend with.
Then came uni-crammer, uni proper, and I was headhunted by some conglom or other. They kept changing their names as they merged, or were forced to merge by the new republic. They call it the new republic (in fashionable lower case) but they never actually got rid of the Monarchy, they were just sidelined and re-labeled as ’The Royals’ a real-life soapy-sope for the lower strata to coo over. The rules were changed a bit and Parliaments came and went, with different set-ups, and official titles. I lost interest in Politics when I realised that it was the same faceless bastards who ran everything anyway. And now those same faceless technocrats are running me, or what is left of me, before I become their latest plaything, a compuman? A ‘2G’? or whatever pretty name they choose to give me.
Once upon a time this would have all bothered me, angered me maybe, but the counseling sessions and the calming drugs I am being fed have made all those thoughts disappear, just like the haze upon the shore does, as the sun burns away the mist and we are bathed in another blue and sunny day. Or anyway, that is the script I am supposed to believe in. I think. I cannot tell you what I actually believe in anymore. My mind is truly going blank; it is as if those sessions in the weightless pod are wiping my brain clean. My memories are becoming foggier and foggier, my brain seems to clunk along these last few days, I can hear the rotors crunching, the cogs turning as I try to find the most apposite words. . But a strange mood is also settling over me, a shroud of contentment is draping itself over my weary shoulders. I can’t seem to concentrate. I get tired if I try to think too hard. I enjoy my regime, and in some ways I have become some sort of a slave to it. I measure my day by the different sessions; gym, pod, assessment, gym, pod, gym, counseling, pod, assessment, sleep. My days are totally absorbed in moving from one discipline to another. I have very few private thoughts at all. And what is private anyway? I am part of some vast machine now, any vestige of individuality is rapidly losing any meaning. I think I may be approaching happiness.