I’ve nothing but time young dude, so help an old man out here, what’s going on? Are you with the Geek Death Squad?”
Hey, are like Gandalf or something man? Is this Middle Earth here?”
“You head is spinning because of the buffering JT, it’s a side effect of dying. It will go away once your operating system is renewed.”
Fuck Dee Bays, I’m going where I wanna go dead or not! Stick it myself?! I‘ll stick it where the fucking sun don‘t shine baby. One last ride downstream, to hell with Interface Mountain.
The anger began subsiding while having fun jumping from rock to rock attempting to negotiate my way downstream. The ice cold water rushed up over my feet, some rocks were slippery some not so much but all in all I just had a great time laughing and jumping. Who needs serenity? Rock jumping was always one of the most fun things my friends and I did when we were teens on our vacations in the Catskills. Criss-crossing the streams looking for the water falls, stopping to smoke some weed here and there, just the most carefree days ever. Those were the days man, getting stoned, listening to rock, climbing rocks, riding down waterfalls, skinny dipping, making love out in wilderness, doing whatever we wanted without a worry in the world. It was so much fun and so relaxing. I was so into the memories I barely even noticed that the fish in the stream were hopping along following me downstream until I heard one speak. Yea, yea, I know, it sounds all hallucinationy and trippy, a little too much THC, but I hadn’t smoked anything in ages and wasn’t in possession of anything now. But I had no doubt it was a fish talking when it jumped out of the water addressing me directly , “Isn’t this great? Makes me feel so serene.” I laughed, partially because a fish was speaking to me and partially because I was feeling giddy, “Yea your right there Mr. Trout, it is almost serene. Its actually…..wait….Did you say SERENE?” Trouts were now jumping all over the place. I heard a stupid fish tell me it felt serene, just like the old dude wanted me enjoy. Co-incidence? No way! I spoke to all the trouts in a voice loud enough for all to hear, “Okay, way to weird, there’s something fishy here!” The trout all began jumping and giggling, “We’re all fishy JT, on a scale of one to fin, we are most definitely fin possessing talking fish.” Now I’m conversing with a group of rainbow trouts! “Cut the shit! Fish can’t talk, is that you old dude?” But the giggling touts wouldn’t stop, I felt like I was trapped in some Billy The Big Mouth Bass infomercial. My own personal Hell, a bunch of fish making fun of me. “Old dude old dude fish can’t talk, young dude young dude fish can’t walk.” A chorus of trout singing like school children. One trout stopped in front of me peering up from some rocks, “Fish can’t talk? Says who JT? We have always talked, you just never cared enough to listen JT. You humans are so wrapped up in your own worlds you never take the time out to try and communicate with other species unless its for your benefit or pleasure. You trap animals in labs for testing, stick us in zoos or aquariums so your kids can gawk at us, or pen us up and force feed us to make us big so we can feed and clothe you. You always act like you’re the most important thing on this planet but you’re far from it. Only in your deaths are you ever properly humbled. That’s why you guys only get rebooted. You’re no longer a part of the cycle of life, you disregard the laws of nature. Time for you to leave this stream, you don’t belong here. We don‘t want you here.” All the other trout had become silent creating a pounding silence that I remembered all too well. All the times I got into real bad trouble with Mom and Dad they would gang up on me to grill me with questions and accusations to near breaking point. I remember the silence thundering out a pulsating uneasy rhythm, a loud yet inaudible thumping warning me that I had no way out, I was caught. Busted. This is absurd! I want to cry because a trout just put me in my place. I felt a tear sneak out and roll down my cheek. As if on cue a towel hit the top of my forehead and covered my face. “Wipe off the tears JT, time to go.”
I recognized the voice in an instant. Old dude. “Hey man what was that all about? You get talking fish to make a point for you? Then force me to dredge up an unpleasant childhood memory? Why, just because I wouldn’t do what you wanted me to? Okay I get, I get it, you win old dude. I’ll go to the top of the mountain. Just no more of this weird shit man, it’s freaking me out. I just wanna get this over with.” I waded through the stream to the bank in the direction the towel had come from. “You don’t need to climb anywhere JT, you’re at the top of Interface Mountain.” I wiped my face with the towel and looked around astonished. Sure enough, I was at the top of the mountain looking at an amazing waterfall just below my feet. The water shot out a good ten feet over the mountain to what had to be a two hundred yard drop of sparkling silver sheets of moving water. “How the…what the….I thought you said you weren’t a wizard old dude?” Old dude was now sitting in front of me suspended in air without visible support, “I’m not a wizard JT, I’m a cloud, a data base. Its not Dee Bays, its D-Base. I am all the genetic information of humanity, the database of human existence and evolution. You’re here to be rebooted into another human life form but first I am attempting to load some information into you so the next human will grow up with some of your memories.” He placed his hand gently under my chin and closed my gaping jaw, “Wait, what? You’re implanting memories in me before letting die? I don’t get it, why?” Before I knew it I was sitting suspended in front of him. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, I mean I’ve been through a very strange death ordeal, the geek, Gandalf here, the mountain, talking to some angry trout, so why not float on air while some cloud injects me with memories? Sounds pretty plausible. “Not implant false memories in you JT, just pass along your DNA with a little more information designed to get humans back on track in evolutionary terms. Not so much passing you memories but more like echoes of memories. Did you ever just know something and not remember why you knew it, or gone somewhere familiar? Or see a place that intrigues you an you can’t figure out why? That’s not coincidence JT, its memory echoes of previous lives. You have echoes in your head that track back as far as the dawn of civilization. Take the fight or flight gene, or the fact that toxins smell putrid to you. Those are echoes you have from previous lives, ones who discovered the hard way that toxins can kill. That’s what evolution does, it takes these echoes and creates new defenses and strategies from them. Unfortunately, somewhere shortly before the Agricultural Revolution humans began practicing rituals that go against the law of nature. Life my son is a system of perfect synergies. Trees absorb the energy from the sun, supply homes to millions of creatures, give us oxygen, and when they die they feed millions of micro-organisms which are eaten by insects. The insects are eaten by larger predators and those predators eaten by even larger ones. And when creatures die they feed the vegetation through decomposition. A perfect system. Well perfect until humans began burning their dead, bogarting the vegetation, and killing other creatures because they MAY eat plants you determined you could own. You can’t own things that grow freely, but humans don’t care about that, they lock up food keeping it away, tear apart ecosystems to build factories. You destroy more than you create. Progress is one thing, you’re evolving to be smarter yet you still aren’t smart enough to see how life works. Not just for humans, but for all things.”
I really had to mull this over, I mean I dig that he‘s right about some things but we need to survive as a species. I can think of a number of assholes that could use some of his echoes, but why me? “So stop me if you heard this before, you want to plant that info into my DNA like a gene splice, send me down the river where I’ll be what? Born again? Are you Gandalf the Baptist or something? This is crazy man. Listen old dude, all due respect, but I am not like that, I care about the planet and what humans do to it. Okay, I may not belong to Greenpeace, I’m no Ralph Fucking Nader or anything but I did my part and I love animals. Not like throw red paint on a mink coat PETA love but loved none the less. I understand we treat animals real shitty sometimes and I wasn’t like a vegan or anything but I understood and disliked the way animals were treated. Hunting for sport seemed selfish and wrong to me. I respected other life forms and have always kept an open mind about life. Now I’m dead and you keep playing head games trying to make me feel bad about how humans have acted and frankly G its not my damn fault. I care and I understand. Why not peddle this stuff to the jerks who need it” Old dude was smiling like he had just sunk my Battleship. “Yes JT, and where do you think your feelings came from? Evolution takes many years, many generations and your generation was a big step. But lately humans have been stepping backwards and going back to the old school concept of destroy whatever doesn’t fit your needs. So we are renewing our efforts to help save humanity by reprogramming your evolution. That cable I gave you is loaded with echoes which you will pass on in an attempt to get humanity back on track before they destroy themselves completely. If humans don’t evolve correctly there will be no need for an asteroid to cause mass extinction, you guys will blow the whole planet up by yourselves. The cable is attached to your body, just take the other end just like a USB terminal, plug it in over there then ride the falls to your reboot.”
I felt for the cable and sure enough, it was attached like an adult umbilical chord. I stuck the other end into a waiting socket and the sensation of spinning returned. I was buffering. I turned to look at Gandalf one last time and jumped into the waterfalls into total darkness. Wonder who I’ll be this time.