The Human Experience

“Okay, then,” said the sales rep, with the breezy goodwill of someone who is getting a commission soon. “I just need to run through the Ts & Cs”.

The customer nodded.

“Your consciousness will be loaded into a random human embryo at the time of the first cellular division. From that instant you will experience time at human scale and you will have no conscious awareness of your real identity. Do you understand?”

“I’ll be disappointed if I do.”

“Initial here. All the preferences you’ve recorded will be encoded into the DNA of the embryo but there is no guarantee that your preferences will be expressed in the human form that is produced. Do you understand?”

“No guarantee, sure.”

“And initial here.”

“Why not? Why can’t you choose?”

The sales rep was ready for the question, the formless were always interested in form.

“That’s just not how humans work. It’s all part of the experience…it’s hard to explain now, before, but you’ll see…eventually. So much depends on the luck of your birth in the human world. The body’s DNA has some influence but…it’s what happens after you’re born that really counts.”

“Could I pay extra…?”

“It’s just not how it works, or I’d have your money, I promise.”

The customer nodded. The sales rep picked up the spiel.

“We guarantee free re-births until you inhabit a body that survives past the age of 12. There’s have been some amazing stories, people who’ve reconnected after only living five or six years as a child but it’s pretty rare to be honest. But most customers get a full adult experience after 2 or 3 re-births.”

“Can you guarantee an adult human experience?”

“That’s the Deluxe Package. It’s more expensive, but we keep re-birthing you until your body lives until at least 27 years of age. We’ll also guarantee that you have a full adult experience in less than two centuries.”

“Gimme that, then.”

The sales rep regarded the customer. The being was doing the job for the same reason the customer was buying: boredom. Something to pass a millennia or two.

“Most customers like to do a couple of trials before they commit to a package. Once you’re in, you’re in and…well, you do know, humans are pretty awful to each other, right?”

“Yeah, yeah, most experiences end because one human kills another, I’ve heard.”

“Or one of the things they ‘invented’, the sales rep snorted.


“You’ll see. They’re always making stuff. “Solving problems”. Most of the time they’re just busy making new ones. So busy. Anyway, you’ll see.”

“Is it true…?” the customer hesitated. The sales rep nodded encouragingly: AMA.

“Is it true that some…get lost?”

The sales rep leaned in close.

“Look, it’s a powerful experience, right? It’s not for just any being. As humans say, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

“Heat? Kitchen?”

Translating the human world for beings who hadn’t been there was…tricky. The sales rep considered.

“It means if you’re scared, stay away.”

“I’m not scared. I just wondered. Is it possible? Do some beings stay there forever?”

The sales rep gave something like a deep sigh.

“Being a human is like nothing else. It’s all consuming. As a baby, oh man, it’s like the universe is centred around you. And the senses: what you can taste, and smell…”

The being allowed itself a reverie. Some of its memories of being human were…horrific…but others were transcendent. It shared a ghost of the sensation with the customer, who groaned.

“But it doesn’t end until you figure out how to connect on your own. Or your body dies and we re-birth or retrieve you.”

“Will I remember all the re-births?”

“Not usually until the end. Some customers say they do remember previous lives but mostly you start each life with a blank slate. We can restore all your experiences at the end.”

The customer shrugged.

“Fuck it, what else do I need to sign?”

What was there to lose? Infinity is so freaking boring.

4 thoughts on “The Human Experience

  1. As a Sales Rep for the last 30 years that made me smile … Condensing the human experience into a sales pitch is an interesting idea and resonates on many levels. You’ve read a bit of psychology right … The baby experience, you being the centre of the Universe?
    I like it … it’s so different to anything I would write … I’m not a great thinker of these things because it does my head in … And I’m really pleased that you’re still writing as well as still working. Both take a lot of energy.
    I hope your treatment is coming along well and that infection has cleared. I do read your Tweets and they invariably make me smile as your views so often resonate with my own.
    The UK election is potentially turning into a Liberals worst nightmare as we’re staring down the barrel of a 100 plus Tory majority … We are finally going to be governed by the Daily Mail and 100 or so Tory swivelled-eyed-loons on the back benches …
    But are we down … Of course we’re not … 🙂
    Keep smiling and take care xx


    1. The first ever comment on a story!! You have made my day 🙂

      I’m glad it provoked thought. I struggled with some things, like do beings that a pure energy have money? Probably not but, hey, it’s fiction. Treatment is going well in the sense I am able to work part-time and don’t have too many horrible side effects…let’s hope that continues! As you know from my tweets, I am despairing that GE2017 is looking like a rehash of the last 2, with the voters being so turned off by all the BS that only the crusted on Tory voters will turn out…but I hope to be surprised! Thanks for commenting, Ian, always a pleasure x


  2. You should start a religion! This is the theology, think of the $$$ you could make selling people in-app purchases! I quite like the idea that our existence is a form of entertainment. Having all of those experiences coalesce into your consciousness at the end as the “sealer” was an excellent touch!


    1. Thank you so much – for commenting, and for saying things that made me smile. I had a neighbour in Brixton, a novelist called Tibor Fischer, who wrote a novel called Good to Be God, about a man who started his own religion in which he was the God, it has stuck with me! I was also very bemused to learn Popes have long sold ‘grace’ to rich folk…I can definitely see in-app purchases being a money-maker. I toyed with the idea of letting the customer buy a privileged existence as a human but decided it should suffer with the rest of us 😉


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