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The next day, Dafney met new bestie Jem for a celebratory birthday breakfast at Ted’s Sweet Shop next to the open market. Both had turned 42, years for Dafney and weeks for Jem, since she was a simulacrum, with a much shorter life expectancy than true humans. Thus the strong desire to see the world and not stay in a dead end bookkeeping job in Dodgey City before it’s too late. Plus the lurid cartoons based on her of course that we’re not suppose to talk about or see, orders of her doctor-therapist.

“How’s Jim?” Dafney began the serious talk after the meal was over, flapjacks for Jem and mustard over easy for the yellow one, a canary today, a freebird. She’s heard that 42 is the year you learn about everything and anything, with no more “mine over here” and “yours over there.” Everything blends, everything rotates around each other, like 6 is the opposite side of 9, the same figure. She’ll start with Jem — they will be as one today.

“Jem’s fine,” Jem speaks in the third person about herself. “I’m here aren’t I? Eating breakfast with you. I probably have 60 good days left for me.”

“No — *Jim*,” insisted Dafney. “The Brown one. Like I’m yellow.”

“I don’t know about Jim, but *John* can go to hell for all I care (!)” He was the one who published the cartoons. Jim is his twin brother. John is spelled with an L, Jim with an A. Both stand for nothing, which is of course the opposite of everything. They suck in life just as much as Dafney exudes it, Jem thinks here, glad for their friendship.

“I’m… sorry.” Dafney begins to cry. Or is it laugh. She searches for the phone again, determined to call Redbird or text Bluebird to see which one.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0033, 0116, Jeogeot

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