SS

Simon Smith noticed something strange. That on the 15th of every month there was an entry in his diary stating “SS”. He had no recollection of writing it in, and no idea what it represented. No time indicated, no location given, no others participating – just “SS” written across the page.

The first thing that came to mind, of course, was his own name, Simon Smith. Then he thought of Hitler’s SS, but it could hardly be anything to do with that. Maybe it was work related? A regular meeting that he’d written in at the start of the year, and then forgotten about entirely. Yes, that was probably it.

“Hey, Stephen,” he said to a fellow manager. “What are you doing on Thursday?”

“Erm. I’ve got lunch with the Supervisor, and I’m interviewing a new Supplier. Other than that, just the usual.” He looked at Simon quizzically. “Why, do you need something?”

“No,” said Simon. “I was just wondering if you have something called SS?” He felt silly somehow saying it.

“What do you mean, SS?” said Stephen.

“Oh, nothing,” said Simon. “Just something in my diary. It’s probably a mix-up.”

He wondered if it was Something Social? At home that evening he asked his wife. “I don’t know honey,” she said. “Maybe you’ve got Something Sexy planned. Lucky me! Or maybe it’s for some other hussy, that’s why you’ve been keeping it quiet.” Thank God he had a wife with a sense of humour. She hadn’t made him feel more of an idiot than he already was.

Ah! Something Spiritual! He recalled making a resolution along these lines. He did plenty for his mind and his body, but didn’t take time to nourish his soul. Maybe that was it – one day a month to de-stress and rebalance. Though he wasn’t religious, he felt it may be best to ask a professional, like a rabbi or priest. Luckily he bumped into Shanti, a yoga teacher, at the coffee shop. “That’s Paramatman,” she said. “Super Soul. You may be ready to begin the journey of many lifetimes. Why don’t you join my class? Or I can give you lessons.”

Simon felt that he was onto something. Yes, that must be it – Super Soul. He looked into it. Hindu holy books described the relationship between the Individual Soul and the Supreme Soul as being “Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual soul and the supreme souls are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree, and the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes.”

It was clear now! He, the individual soul, would seek the supreme soul! This cramped modern man had a date with boundless eternity – on Thursday! When he tried to book a class with Shanti though, she said she didn’t teach on Thursdays. Could he have a private lesson then? Sorry, she said, she was away that day. Simon felt frustrated. His answer had appeared but then disappeared just as quickly.

Flicking through his diary some more, he saw that SS appeared not only on the 15th of future months, but also on the 15th of previous months; but he had no recollection of previous occurrences. He wondered if “Super Soul” had been a false alarm. Could it be something else? What was so secret that it couldn’t be written explicitly in his diary?

Was it just that – Something Secret? Was he a member of the Secret Service, somehow brainwashed – a sleeper agent activated only once a month. It was safer that way. If captured he could honestly say – even under torture – that he didn’t know anything. But the secret service scenario didn’t ring true. It wasn’t that.

Was it something that his wife had written, and was too shy to say? He’d been working full-time for three months now; his probationary period was over. There was no need to reconsider Social Security. But maybe they wanted update meetings.

Was he broadening his knowledge of Social Sciences? There were many part-time courses; was Thursday their monthly meet? He’d love to cruise on a Steam Ship; didn’t SS Canberra dock regularly in the City? It was boring to always see the same things on your computer; maybe a reminder to change his Screen Saver? As a child he’d been interested in transistor radios, and built one in his bedroom; Solid State. There were complex calculations required for work; Spread Sheets. You could catch diseases even when married; Safe Sex. He would really like to fly a Space Ship. Maybe live in a Space Station. Save money on gas; Self-Service. Go Vegan; Savage Species. SS-SS-SS-SS-SS-S-S-S-S-S-s-s-s-s-s….

Power surged in a socket and there was a shower of sparks. Simon Smith came to a halt. Pah! How annoying, thought his wife. She’d thought a Super Spouse Enhanced Partner, would be less trouble than a human one. But every single month, just before System Set, his cerebral circuits went into overdrive and blew components. Then once repaired and rested, he forgot all about it – till next month. She’d complained so many times, but they’d never fixed him. Shoddy Service.

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