WATER

the New Jerusalem
 
It all started with a minor sellout, as all Faustian legends do. Once upon a time, a fair lady mindlessly greeted the devil with a sweet smile. It was NASA and the luring proposal to research Mars. We all live once, we said, and who can resist this offer? Especially when it came with a nice fat check and we were hungry. It was this, or shabby clothes and dry land. They came with a promise to make us glamorous again, and patted our left-brains, calming our fears: “You are brilliant, why waste yourselves raising sheep in the desert? “.
 
I was only seventeen when we joined the department of “Soil and Water”. Thereafter came radiation, implants, holograms and now this new programmer with his Book of Revelation, and imminent floods. The contract never ended of course, and we all became NASA workers, our land serving the experiments. Now we know it was selected for the chemical resemblance to Martian soil. They wanted to find out the secret of the reddish sands, and we had some red deserts, that look like corroded land. We never guessed it was just cheaper to hire us all for the water experiments, than to use artificial samples. In return to our labor they promised the flood.
 
I cannot tell you more. I am waiting for my speech to return, a magic wand that will open my mouth again. So far, nothing happened and I am required to keep the secret. This is how my program commands me, the one installed in my brain with a microchip made in the USA. We have holograms running in our frontal lobe, projecting powerful imagery from the Book of Revelation. It is a bloodbath; my veins are exploding with the gushing chemicals injected with the audio-visuals.

Sometimes, I am vaguely aware of another presence – my natural “self”. It is helplessly witnessing the takeover of my will and produces a response, some revolt or resistance to the now complete identity theft. That’s when I experience a geyser of indigenous images bursting through my mind. First it is my grandfather’s face, dry and ploughed with deep curved wrinkles, and speaking in awkward dialect of the original settlers. Then my first spiritual teacher, a charming con artist, telling fortunes and citing our scriptures for every pain and suffering. These are my male “alters”, coming to protect my mind from the rape by alien hi-tech warriors.
 
I cannot tell you more, because the magic wand is not here yet, and I have to return to the warehouse where we are now building “The New Jerusalem”, a state of the art spaceship heading towards Mars.
 
 
Iris Yaar Edelbaum, Israel

Copyright, @ 2003 

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