The Second Derivative

Sofia lowered herself into a social seat. The arms folded around her wrist and biceps, their neurotransmission needs sliding themselves effortlessly into her lymphatic system. The other sections of the seat wrapped themselves into a vice gripĀ  around her legs and torso. A belt slithered out and lashed itself to her neck. The final component, a serpentine headset slid it’s green tubes up her nose, down her throat, in her ears. With every part of her being invaded by the social seat, she was ready.

With a flinch of her cheek the process started. The high that overcame her bathed her body in pinks and blues and floated her up above the world. She witnessed the vistas of human accomplishment, her mind swiping its way through modern history. Women with skin more bronzed than her own, with a fitter body, a whiter smile, a more attractive partner, jewelled, meshed in product she couldn’t afford; these images flashed through her brain. They evoked a feeling in her that she ought to do better. That she could leave the social seat with a renewed purpose.

When the device was finished with her it slithered back into its frame. It left a cold emptiness behind, a void inside of her longing to be filled. She looked at her plain body, flawed in many ways. She was still in receipt of a few neurological thumbprints through the social seat from those with particular tastes. Her onlookers depressed a button that fed her a raw dose of serotonin. Heavenly for the split second it lasted. But her quota was dangerously low in comparison to others better connected to the network.

But outside the social seat she saw nothing but herself and in herself she saw nothing. She stared out theĀ  open window of her thirtieth story apartment and wondered what the wind would feel like on her face. Instead she clicked a button and let the seat envelop her once again.

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