You have ten minutes until the end of your shift.
The voice was coming through a small bud in Danny's ear. Danny spoke to his wrist watch.
“Do I have any plans after work?”
You are meeting David for drinks at The Tavern.
After he had deposited himself into his G-Car, Danny's wrist watch downloaded the coordinates to The Tavern and his vehicle smoothly inserted itself into traffic. In no time at all he pushed his way through the front door.
“Who am I here to meet again?” Danny spoke into the watch. A photo of David popped up on his glasses.
You are Danny.
“Yes. You're right. I'm Danny.”
“Danny!” David had just entered behind him.
“Hey David! You're late.”
“Just because you got here first, doesn't mean I'm late, little brother.”
David looked at Danny intently, his head tilted to one side. Danny shook his own head, trying to chase off the pressure of that stare.
“What's with the look?”
An analysis of his facial expression indicates that he is concerned for you.
“Concerned? About what?”
“What are you talking about? I didn't say...oh, wait.” A knowing smile touched David's face. “Google, right? You leave that earbud in all the time now, don't you?”
Danny took a good look at his brother as they sat down. No earbud. No glasses. No watch. No bio-sensor ring. No car either, he guessed, since David was late.
“Are you unplugged?”
“You know it, little brother.”
“For how long?”
“Since last week. I did have to Google-Up briefly to arrange this. Once you unplug, there's simply no way to reach people anymore.”
Danny missed part of what David was saying as his glasses were showing him scrolling images of drinks he liked.
“Which one?” He murmured to his watch. The images stopped on a dark ale. “I'll have that.” Instantly the order was relayed wirelessly to the barkeep.
Danny frowned as a sudden thought ocurred to him. “How are you going to order?”
David shrugged. “No worries. I'm not really thirsty anyway.”
“How are you surviving without your gear? Everything is done electronically.”
Again David shrugged. “So far I survive with a little help from friends doing the same.”
“But how can you even pay for things?”
“Cash? Nobody takes cash anymore.”
“You'd be surprised.”
A silence fell across the table. Abruptly David reached over and snatched the glasses off Danny's face.
“Hey!” Frantically Danny tried to grab the glasses back.
“Whoa! Hold on a second. It's not going to kill you. As a matter of fact, let's take that voice out of your ear too.” Before Danny could stop him, David had plucked the earbud from his head.
“Now we can talk for real.”
Danny felt naked. “Wh-what do you want to talk about?”
“I'll take any you got. How about our childhood?”
Instinctively, Danny waited for the images. Then it hit him. No glasses.
“How am I supposed to remember? You took my glasses.”
“With your own mind, little brother. You wouldn't believe the memories that started coming back when I unplugged. It's amazing.”
“What's so amazing? That's why the glasses record everything so we don't ever forget anything.”
“No, they record everything so you don't ever have to remember anything.”
“What's the difference?”
“I'll tell you the difference. How about the smell of Mom's cooking? The sound of a baseball cracking off my old Louisville Slugger! How about when I handcuffed you to the bike rack and we couldn't find the key? Feelings, Danny. Not pictures. Feelings.”
“I feel things!” Danny's reply was a little defensive, though. I wish I had the earbud back to help me make sense of this.
David leaned forward. “Okay, I want you to answer something right away, without thinking about it – alright?” Danny nodded his head.
“What's your little girl's name?”
Danny opened his mouth to speak. It was right there on the tip of his tongue.
“Deb...wait! Diana. It's Diana.” But he was ashamed of the stumble. How could he not know her name without thinking?
“Danny, I need you to think about something before you put all this gear back on and hop into that car of yours...what is all this costing you?”
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