While most of the country is being slammed by snow and cold temperatures, the jungle has been invaded by the ocean fog. Every day in the afternoon, the fog comes seeping through the trees and foliage, in clumps and streamers, filling the atmosphere with its wet greyness. It gets so thick, you can only see 20 meters or so.
It’s beautiful. I wish it was like this all the time.
Since I’m sick, I decided to take care of a few plumbing projects that darling wife assigned to me. I can do some electrical, some plumbing, some carpentry and some concrete work. I’m okay at it, but I’m certainly slower and less confident than a professional would be.
But now that I’m done with the plumbing projects, I remembered how much I hate plumbing. I think it has to do with the amount of damage that water can do if it’s not channeled properly. I have water alarms stationed everywhere I work. More than once, they’ve alerted me to the fact that I did not do a good job.
But I think this time, all the leaks have stopped. Now I can get on with other things.
No vacation is complete without illness. I picked up something at home, I think, because I don’t spend enough time there to maintain my immunity to Martian diseases. Nothing serious, but it will take time to work itself out. At least I have many months of sick time accrued. I can afford to burn some. Maybe I’ll catch up on the past few years of “How It’s Made.” It’s always fun to see the quaint manufacturing methods used on Earth.
It was a nice vacation, if a quick one. Saw friends, visited the home office, the usual. So nice to be back in the cold dry atmosphere of Mars. It makes it worthwhile being cooped up in the cargo hold of the mail shuttle, back and forth.
Onward and upward.
My current assignment is over for now, and space was available on a Martian Empire mail shuttle, so I’m zipping home for a week or so. It will be nice to breathe the cold, thin air of Mars again… breathing the thick, sludgy soup here is such hard work, even for my surgically-adapted body. Sometimes you can even see the air slumped in layers, in places like Los Angeles or Shanghai where the particulate pollution is extreme.
Anyway. Have a lovely week or two.
Many human women I know have read the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books. Almost no human men I know will admit to having read them. I have not read them, either. The women I talk to have described it as “poorly written mommy porn.” That is, it is a series of explicit sex scenes stitched together by prose that wouldn’t have passed in ninth-grade English class.
That alone killed any interest I may have had in it. Life, as long as it is for Martians, is still too short to waste reading bad prose.
But on a deeper level, we Martians are opposed to the Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism (BDSM) lifestyle that is (inaccurately) portrayed in the “Fifty Shades” books. Most of us are clones, grown in labs. We don’t express ourselves much in a sexual way. Our bodies are vehicles that we operate, not organisms that we inhabit. From what I’ve observed here, one has to forget oneself to be able to participate in sexual acts. We Martians never forget who we are and what we are. So sex is largely pointless for us, because we can’t really enjoy it. If we want to get Imperial clearance to procreate the old-fashioned way, we do it, and then we participate only enough to ensure that impregnation is successful. And hardly anyone bothers with that anymore.
Beyond that, the form of BDSM portrayed in “Fifty Shades” is repugnant. It involves one person forcing their will upon another in the most intimate yet violent, violative way possible. And that concept is anathema to how we Martians behave. In our relationships, we set very clear boundaries. We clearly state what is and is not permissible behavior. We may not discuss something until the subject comes up, but when it does, we always ask before we do anything near, with, or to another person’s body.
If that person’s answer to our question is “no,” then we don’t do it. If there is no response, then we don’t do it. Because part of our agreement is, if we violate the other’s trust, particularly in intimate settings, then at best, we will never again be allowed to be in close proximity to the other person. At worst, we may be murdered in our sleep in retaliation for what we have done.
It’s that serious.
In short, we take extreme care in our relations with other Martians. Because our lives depend on it. We know that none of us are irreplaceable.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” takes place in a fantasy world where there are no permanent repercussions for violating another person’s trust in an intimate and/or violent way. That book would never have been written on Mars. Sadly, not only was it written on Earth, they’re releasing a film based on it. That’s going to give a lot of humans incorrect ideas about how sexual relationships work.
It will be interesting to see how it affects the murder rate.
My brains are very efficient at suppressing memories of my dreams. I’m glad, because otherwise I would have more difficulty separating dreams from reality. But it’s rather dull, too, because I seldom can remember the dreams that I would actually like to remember. I know I dream a lot. But most of them are purged as I awaken.
But one dream got through last week, and stayed in my short-term memory. It wasn’t very long, but it was very interesting. I told it to darling wife, who suggested that I write a novel based on it. So I think I will.
Now I just have to find the time.