This is the seventh section of the ninth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
Martin was fed up with being stuck in. He remembered that some of the city never slept. Good for an explore he thought. The trendy areas are still busy, those who seek out the bright lights of companionship always seem to be drawn together. Wouldn’t work otherwise.
This really wasn’t the prime time for exploration but that was probably for the best, if it was too busy it would be all the more obvious he didn’t fit in. After a brief look around he picked a random bar and watched the scene around him. Some people slumped in their drinks, some trying to fill the almost empty dance floor by themselves. Somewhat annoyed he noticed a couple over in the corner having sex. From the sounds of the two of them they’re trying to get others to join in.
For all the decadence that Martin had seen this was still something that surprised him when it became fashionable. At first it was all kind of predictable. Remove all risks associated with sex and what else was going to happen? Certain parts of society would start to push the boundaries.
What had been a small almost underground movement spread like wildfire when people realised that what few laws existed on the Habitat had no problem whatsoever with any form of public exhibitionism. For a while it became fashionable to fornicate in public and it was almost impossible to walk down the street without someone somewhere, or towards the beginning even have large groups vocally and enthusiastically having public orgies.
As with all fashions it was both fleeting amongst the masses and permanent among a few hard-core supporters. The realisation by some that the eternal ever search-able records of the Habitat made such events potential stains on your record removed some of the carefree nature. Of course for others this just added to it. One way or another there was still now no shortage of such people who except for the occasional shock value kept their activities to places where they would be likely to get the interest they desired. Bars and nightspots were such a hotspot.
“Man you look out of place.” the woman who Martin had just been watching and had started this train of thought was looking down at him.
Martin looked up briefly to see the woman’s face. Standing before him was either a young woman or one who had had enough surgery to pass as such “yes sorry” he stumbled “Just feel the need to be around people.” he cast his eyes down again to break eye contact and saw the man’s discharge running down her leg. Panicking he reached for his drink and regretted ordering a white russian.
Laughter came from above him “Boy you just don’t know where to look do you” she laughed again as she raised one leg onto the table in front of him giving him nowhere to look that didn’t bother him
“Yes I’m an old man hot and bothered by what I see before me, unable to do anything about it and getting exactly what he came in here for, a distraction.” Martin had tried this tactic before and had heard that it was sometimes successful at giving people the hint that he was actually uncomfortable and could they please stop.
She put her leg down “Old school, nice”
Actually thought Martin, that was probably the first time it had worked.