This Thursday evening, as they have done for the last one hundred and thirteen years, soon after injecting their prescribed volume of blood, Jeffrey and Elisa will descend the stainless shaft to their basement YouthBlood safes to check that temperatures and levels are at the correct levels and that the power back-up systems are functioning. They both had had friends who had experienced storage failures and had consequently dusted earlier than expected. Not good.
And Thursday evenings are not just for the technical stuff. Thursdays are traditionally the time for people to ponder life, longevity, and death and make related decisions.
“I reckon we’ve got enough for another eighty or so. Each, that is. Seems okay.”
“Not bad. Pity the folks didn’t start saving earlier.”
“Ah, well, water under the bridge. Nothing we can do about that now.”
“You know we spoke about eking out?’
“You know we know that’s illegal! How many times do I have to remind you?”
“Yeah, yeah, but if we reduce intake by about, say, 10 mills a week, that could give an extra fifteen years or so.”
“Yeeess! But do you really want to wrinkle, to lose your memory? To age?”
“Probably not. When I think of how Aunt Kelsey looked when she went down that road. And she started to smell. Living death. Literally.”
“So no more of that then. We’re not going to eke. Eke, schmeke! We play by the rules. Regular weekly intake, straight into the veins, and when the tank’s empty, when the well is dry, poof, dustville city, it’s over. And there won’t be much between us. A week or so. No big deal.”
“I guess we’ll have had our share. Not a bad age.”
“Mmmmm. Guess not.”
‘Do you remember being happy?”
“Ah, happy? Haven’t heard that word for a while. Happy, eh? That was some time back, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, some time back”.
This was prompted by a story published a few days ago.