Too much a coward to decant him, I instead content myself to watch him floating, nude, yet shameless, in the very gel that feeds his body and his lungs. Every time I imagine opening it, setting him free, bringing him to conscious life, it seems so hollow, so contrived. For such a momentous occasion, what ceremony could exist? What would I say? What would I wear?
His house stands, waiting for him. Architecture and house-building were revoluntionized a few decades after a heat-malleable plastic was created. Soon someone could change any and all aspects of their domicile with a hot-air blower. Walls began to consist of three layers: Outside, a durable, heat-insensitive plastic that also provided plumbing, middle, a malleable metal sheet that conducted all forms of electronic signal, and an inner plastic that was extremly malleable and could be pulled separate from the walls to make bowls, tables, beds, anything. Some people still bought hard fixtures, for a time, citing their "classic nature", but even these were standardized to the new system. Moving lights, toilets, bath and appliances became a five to ten minute job; simply unplug, smooth over the old hole, plug in somewhere else.
The earliest form of this plastic was only available in a bright orange, but soon any color, pattern or texture was made available. The orange remained the least expensive, leading to the rise of the phrase, "Peach cheap".
Computors evolved to the point where they could read thoughts, and rearranging a house became as easy as daydreaming. Tiny projectors made color-changing instant.
As human bodies became more efficient, they outgrew the need for plumbing, and the plastic was made to conduct electricity. The materials required to build a house (no furniture) was reduced to a block the size of a person.
Other forms of waste were eliminated as well. Everything fell into one of two categories: Consumable or reusable. Anything that was not a consumable was legislated to be composed of the same plastic, thus when one were finished with an object, it could be molded into something new, or simply added to the walls.
"Throwing things out" became a children's game, then a legend, then un-known.
An unusual side-effect is that theft only dropped a minor amount. Only the rise of the collective unconscious finally stopped it altogether. Scientist agreed it was because the main psychological component for theft was control over another person, to take what they had, to control their need-fulfilment. Another joke among the emerging collective minds was for one person to "steal" another person's things.
I had a dream while I slept last month. He had come awake, alone, and hated me; he approached me, breathing heavily, and as he exhaled on me, my skin flaked off, tiny wisps of metal revealing a soft pink flesh that could be cut and would sag. I felt so naked, so open, like a sideshow to the world. As he stood over my weak frame, bent double as I had never known how to stand on spindly bone joints, he said to me,
"Now you are human. Like you have cursed me to be."
I awoke cold all over, my ribcage covered in a tepid sweat. Would he hate me for making him mortal when I did not need to?
Will he realize, I wonder, how beautiful I find him?