Thursday, April 21, 2011


This started out as the first piece I had written on my new tablet (still getting the hang of it) and when I brought it over to the computer to edit it/clean it up, it began to grow.

It was always a big debate where upgrades and new technology was needed as far as Jason was concerned. His stuff still worked, and they still made drivers and adapters for it, so why was it necessary to shell out more money?

Jason's main problem was that the moment you bought any kind of tech, something newer and shinier came along. Finally the guys he worked with had convinced him that it was time and had directed him to this building, in the center of downtown Dallas, in the mall tunnels below Bank of America. He had passed by the shop three times while looking for it. The first door he opened, stuck between a Subway and the bathrooms, led into a concrete hallway that in turn, led down a flight of steps. Discarded hamburger wrappers added to the ambiance. After the flight of stairs, he found himself facing another glass door, with the word “Upgrades” hastily stenciled on in red letters.

"But at what point is my old tech too old?" He asked himself, turning around and placing his foot upon the bottom step. He had made it up three more before turning around again. Hesitantly, he walked down the stairs and opened the door, gaining confidence with each step. This is just like when I got my nipples pierced, he thought to himself, once I am in there, everything will be fine. A small bell chimed as the door hit it, and he jumped at the sound.

After the trek to find the store, and with a name like “Upgrades,” he thought the proprietor would be standing over the counter with a hump, like something out of that Notre Dame story he had once read, but the man, who was leaning on a glass display case, was clean, upright, and sharply dressed.

Jason spent some time wandering around and looking at the displays, while the salesman, whose name was Mark, hovered nearby, throwing out all buzzwords, at least appearing to know what he was talking about. This one had a “Petaflop transfer rate”, while this one’s “pure liquid interface” was top of the line. "Hell," the man behind the counter had said, "We can even use the port you already own!"

Finally, Jason’s eyes settled upon a sleek black dataport. It had the petaflop transfer rate and was compatible with all of his old gear, so he would only be buying one instead of several. It was not liquid interfacing, but neither was his current model, so he was sure he would not miss that. He pointed it out to Mark, who removed the model from the display case and walked it over to the counter.

“I’m not getting that one, am I?” Jason asked.

“Of course not,” Mark smiled, “I just wanted to make sure I got you the right model.

By the time Jason thought to ask how much, he had already handed over a wad of cash to Mark and his smile.

“Follow me,” Mark said, and walked through a door behind the counter that Jason had somehow missed.

"So," Jason started as he was led down a long hallway, the florescent lights coloring everything a sickly shade of white. "How long will it take to install?" He finished.

"It depends."

"On what?"

"Two things." Mark said, annoyed at the extra badgering this sale was forcing him to endure.

"What two things?"

"Well, how long it takes to get your old implant out," Mark grinned in what Jason hoped was a joke.


They arrived at the install room. A stark, clean affair, one of the walls was lined with cardboard boxes full of ports and chips, stacked neatly and organized by heat rating. A large metal table reflected another florescent light from the center of the room and was the only indication besides the washbasin that they were not looking into a closet. The washbasin, a polished piece of white porcelain, was set into a nearby counter, a box of blue latex gloves resting upon its edge.

"Have a seat," Mark indicated the metal table, which the no longer eager Jason realized was nothing more than a gurney without wheels.

"And the second thing?" he asked as Mark began to close the door from outside the room, leaving Jason alone.

"And the second thing?" he called a little louder, hoping to be heard through the thick metal door. As his voice continued to reverberate in the hopefully sterile environment, the door opened and in walked what Jason could only describe as a wall. The man had to be six foot six, and was built like a linebacker.

He smiled over his shoulder at Jason as he began to wash his hands in the sink. "It also depends on how much you squirm."

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