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Selena Jardine’s Population

Lovely short story, Population by erotic writer Selena Jardine. I quote it in full here because her webhost is blocked by many corporate domains.

Sometimes when I look at something perfectly ordinary like my grocery list, I think of the whole population, all of us making grocery lists, forty thousand grocery lists at any one time reading BREAD and MILK and FRUIT. Makes me feel less alone. Forty thousand of us at any one time going into a Chinese restaurant or unwrapping a package of English muffins. Packages coming off the conveyor belt for us, thup thup thup, going into all the homes in America, all of us the same together. You’ve got to admit it’s nice.

And all of us doing the same things, too, forty thousand of us at any one time reading or doing our laundry or seeing a game. The more the merrier, it makes you feel less alone. What if there were 48 pro ball teams? You could see a damn lot more games! People need people, what’s nicer than people? Have ten sweet kids! Have twelve! I would tell my wife, imagine wires connected to all the beds, a big board with lights showing all the orgasms in America, little lights popping on either side of the Great Divide, pop pop popping to beat the band. All those little cries of pleasure.

So if there are forty thousand notes on the draining board in kitchens all over America on any given Saturday night, notes reading I CAN’T ANY MORE, DON’T LOOK FOR ME, I’M NOT COMING BACK, well, then, your own note is nothing special, no horrible heartbreak. More like a TV special, one you’ve seen before. You know this plot. You feel better already. It’s a people thing. You’ve got to admit it’s nice.

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