It’s strange to think that Paul is older than me. I guess technically since I was in cryo-stasis longer than he was I am older. Chronologically. You have to give it up to me on that, I am without a doubt the sexiest one hundred- and twenty-five-year-old woman of all time. Huzzah for me, huzzah for Ela! He’s older in years lived not frozen?
Point being even though he looks like an adult man, a big beefy serial killer of an adult man, it’s hard not to think of him as the weird kid in HS who wore a trench coat and was into knives and Samurai movies. I bet being the parent of a knife kid is a real pickle. You buy them one knife because you don’t want them to strangle you in your sleep which you hope that will pacify them but then they just want more knives because they have a taste of it. And now they have a knife so what are you going to do then when they ask for another knife? Say no?
I remember my aunt telling me that when my cousin Reggie turned sixteen she started sleeping with the door locked. Paul is a real Reggie.
It’s also strange to think about Paul murdering me in my sleep, having sex with my corpse, and then turning my skin into a floppy sunhat, but hopefully it won’t come to that. Hopefully for me Martialla’s right (for once) and he’s harmless. Well not harmless, I’ve seen him kill like forty people, but . . . you know, something.
I wonder if Paul seems more creepy and insane than everyone else from here because he’s not really one of them. He’s of two worlds. Obviously the people that grew up here are violent lunatics because that’s the world is the kind that produces violent lunatics. But those violent lunatics go about their violent lunacy in a casual way you know? They’re chill about being homicidal maniacs. It’s not a big deal to them.
Paul seems like he’s stretched thin, like a condom over a throbbing member, like he’s barely holding it together. I imagine Paul’s attitude is what it must be like for a dude who’s been in prison for murder twenty years and he’s about to get out. Every muscle in his body is just tense all the time because he’s right on the jagged edge. He made it twenty years, it would suck to get shanked at the last minute.
I think that’s what it is. The people of this time are fatalistic about their lives and understand that their lives are worthless so nothing matters. Ipso factor ergo they’re more casual about murdering each other. Paul is in a no man’s land where there are still some values of the old world rattling around in his brain so some part of him knows that this is all insane. I feel for the guy. A little.
If I have the timeline right, which is dubious, Paul was born in 2018 or 2019. I wonder what I would have been doing at that point had I not disappeared into a cryo-tube just when things were heating up for me career wise.
I would have been in my forties at that point so even though I’m going to age spectacularly my acting career would be over or almost over, winding down. Doesn’t matter how good you look, at a certain age the only roles a woman is allowed are mom or sad hooker and I’m not going out like that. By that point I imagine that I would have received four Academy Awards, three for Best Supporting Actress and one for Best Actress. I’m sure I would have picked up some Emmys too later on too when my movie career was slowing down but who cares about those?
My singing career on the other hand would probably be in full force. I don’t know why there’s such a difference, but in the music industry as long as you’re hot you can stick around, they don’t care how old you are. In fact, being young and pretty halfway works against you. When you’re young and pretty you may be popular but you aren’t taken seriously no matter how talented you are. But if you’ve got the goods and you stick with it that swings around as you become more “mature”. It’s the MILF effect.
I’d wager that I would have had many Grammy nominations but only two wins. Those buggers are hard to nail down. The question we have to ask though is, would I have picked up a Tony to complete the grand slam of entertainment? Rita Moreno did it in the seventies, and I don’t mean to diminish her accomplishments but her Grammy is for a children’s album. So you know. I guess I do mean to diminish her accomplishments.
Stage acting was never really my bag. It’s not an actor’s medium you know. But I could have really cashed in with some musicals. Ela in a Broadway musical? People would have been lined up around the block for tickets they would have! I’m going to say, estimating conservatively, if I hadn’t been frozen in the ground when Paul was a kid there’s a seventy-five percent chance that I had won a Tony.
Given all that there is a very a good chance that I would have been one of the most famous people in the world. In this hypothetically world there probably were some better actresses, your Meryl Streeps and whatnot, but they wouldn’t have been better singers than me. And Mariah Carey would be out there holding down the top singing spot but she couldn’t act her way out of a Mariah Carey biopic. All things considered I would probably be considered the greatest entertainer alive. Maybe of all time. I probably would have taken over the Tonight Show from Jay Leno at Johnny’s insistence.
“You want some nettles?” Paul asked, interrupting my train of thought as we crouched in the wet sticky grass. “I’ve been sucking on them for a few hours so I think they’re soft enough for you to swallow now.”