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About the Author

If you can remember the feeling when your adult teeth began to push out your milk teeth, and particularly the feeling when a tooth was on a hinge, and you could tongue it around and taste the flesh and new tooth underneath, and if you could expand that feeling, intellectually, emotionally, morally, spiritually, that's how Jow Lindsay feels, all the time. On a purely physical level, his hands are beginning to come off, being pushed away by a new set of hands growing underneath them. You can read more of what his weak obsolete fingers have written at Scissorfish.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Outside In: Review by A.L. Sirois

Fred

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1

I had a fling with Carla. I was with Carla for about seventy-six years. The problem was that scientists kept inventing new ways for us to be in love.

Carla once explained to me that exclusive sex was just often one of many ways of being in love. She told me that during our first big fight, when we had been together for about seventy-six hours.

2

We met in a night club during the day. The night club did not open during the day except on special occasions. The occasion that was special was Halloween.

So the place was draped with Halloween colours, and the windows, which usually just gave a view of the empty night, had been wadded with Halloween fabrics, to bring the night inside during the day.

I don't remember the name of the night club.

I don't remember how many people were there.

About seven, probably.

I remember what I ordered from the bar. It was a Marijuana Margarita and any two packets of computers.

The bar said, "We've only got assorted."

"Okay," I said. "Two packets of assorted."

"Okay," said the bar. "You want to use your usual bank account?"

"Yes," I said, and I put the packets in my pockets.

I sat sipping. There was one girl on the dance floor all by herself. She had curly red hair and big beautiful eyes tattooed on her elbows.

"Who's on the stage?" I asked the bar, and I got a list of about sixty names, all people visiting the girl's web site.

"Carla's fully wired," the bar explained. "You're not even wired for sight, are you?"

"Nope," I said. "I'm not wired at all."

"Why not? You've got most peripherals."

I shrugged. I sipped. The girl was wired for sight and touch and smell and taste and balance and listening. I didn't know it then, but she was also wired for hundreds of things like DiaphragmStir1.5(tm) and LidTwitch200(tm), so if they wanted, and they had the right peripherals, people accessing her site could feel everything from her knees wobbling to her stomach rumbling. Or her orgasms.

The bar asked, "How come you're dressed like a ghost?"

I sipped. "It's Halloween."

I walked to where Carla was and started to dance. She seemed to be listening to the same music, but the rest of her attention was elsewhere. Some of the other people visiting her site started writing to me. One of them claimed to be Carla's real life cousin.

I live in Spain, she wrote.

"Cool," I said.

It sucks. Nothing ever happens here. I haven't looked through my own eyes in four months. I'm told the farmhouse I live in is falling to bits, and I don't want to face it.

"You eating okay?"

You're sweet, she wrote. I'm IVed. I'm cool.

We chatted for a bit. Eventually she went elsewhere. Then Carla's eyes focused on me.

"Oh," she said. "Hello."

Later on, Carla had sex with me because I was dressed up as a ghost. Also because according to her philosophy, my nature resembled the nature of a ghost. "This Halloween," her site had advertised for a week, "I will do my utmost to fuck a vampire, a witch, and a ghost."

The vampire had been a man addicted to blood transfusions. He also happened to be addicted to organ transplants. His frontal lobes, parts of his brain stem, sections of his spine and his entire little finger were all original. The rest wasn't. Of him, Carla wrote, "Bonus. I've given you a vampire and a Frankenstein's monster at the same time. But I shouldn't mix my Shelley and my Stoker. I'd only get Stelley, or Shoker."

Not everything Carla wrote made sense.

The witch had been a young Conservative Wiccan girl who was coincidentally and irrelevantly also called Carla.

The ghost was me.

3

I went through Carla's archives. When she was having sex with the vampire, Carla asked him if she could bite off his little finger. He said no, and she respected that.

Carla's site wasn't based on direct user revenue. She made all her money from advertising. She picked her advertisers carefully, so as not to break the mood, whatever the mood was.

(continued)

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