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The Man You Could’ve Been comes for us all on our deathbed.

More fearsome than the reaper and made more terrifying by the abyss or hell that often follows them both. The Man You Could’ve Been is the greatest horror our conscious minds can imagine and he is real. He is the stick by which your deeds fall short on God’s measure. He is the once attainable that slipped further and further, first from our grasp, and then, our sight. There is no overtaking him or closing the gap. Only a lifetime’s fall from grace.

When the veil lifts from our eyes and our mouths are closed to this world, The Man You Could’ve Been climbs out of the mirror whence he watched you idle and succumb. He is happier than you, even in the dying light. He is rich in material wealth and spirit. He is purer of soul. He is much greater loved and envied by his peers and angels alike. He is luckier, and blessed all the more for being so.

No man has stood unbroken before The Man He Could’ve Been, nor shall any. Not prophet or king or humble beggar. The Man You Could’ve Been is of divine heavenly spirit – what else could perfection be made of? He is the Ideal. And when you die it is he who ascends on your behalf. For as much as he stands as evidence of your failures, you stand as proof of the hurdles he has overcome.

And the Man You Are weeps at your squandered life and the eternity of hell or the void that is left to you.

The acrylic painting "Joy" by Canadian artist Stella Jurgen
‘Joy’ by Stella Jurgen (acrylic painting)

When you have your life in its entirety before you,
your complete body of work – how to go about experiencing it?
Pre-existence tech is such a trip these days

Previous versions were only available for linear consumption,
moving from birth to death like a worm – sequential existence, how outdated a concept
With v2.0 our aim was to achieve something less passive

We call it the sampler model:
drop in to key moments for a variety of appetisers
before selecting how to program the remainder as the main meal

Some clear their veggies first, others their carbs
Some like their foods segregated – why not the same choice with the seconds of your life?
Rip through the pain first if you so wish
or alternate pain and joy to better tolerate the bad times

v2.0: How you choose to feast on your life is finally up to you

George rubbed the sea salt between his fingers and blew it into the winds. Gone, like all else he’d known before.

Toes perched on the edge, he squat low, riding the light bob of the seas. He was prone to seasickness – or motion sickness, as it had been back when they all travelled on land, by car and other motorized vehicles – or had been, in his previous life. He had sea legs now, had King George. Literal ones too, he thought, impressed by his own sturdiness as he pulled up the bare net. His skin was red and flaky, but his forearms were all sinew. Alone, he could admit to himself that life after the end of civilisation was actually quite satisfying. It certainly beat working in an office.

George released the net and blew his nose out between thumb and forefinger. Perhaps fresh fish was off the menu tonight, but he still had some salted supplies from weeks before. George walked past his tent and saluted the flags: one for Her Majesty’s once and future kingdom, and the other for his own sovereign raft (his above hers). Three days with no luck – there was no haul to be had in these waters. He unfurled his small sails and sat at the raft’s bow, waiting for the wind to whisk him where it may. The sun hanging low in the sky still felt warm.

Next parts:
II – RED PASSPORT
III – THE TOAST

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