‘So this is it?’
Nan walked back and forth along the length of the bed-machine-box looking thing.
‘Looks like a darn casket. Why does it have to look like a casket?’
Nan shook her head and bit her lower lip.
‘Well, they said MJ had one, maybe I’ll meet him on the other side. Wait…he died on this side. Well, I think he died on this side. What if that was all a cover up and …well what if he’s in his own casket thing awaiting me on the other side?’
Nan clasped her hands with joy and smiled stupidly to herself. Then she came back to her senses.
‘Why would MJ be waiting for me on the other side. Sure, I am his biggest fan but it’s not like I got to tell him that or anything.’
Nan stopped pacing and looked into the casket looking box which was officially titled the STASIS PORTAL –MATIC 2050.
It had a soft looking bed with plush blanket and a silk pillow at the head. Nan could not help herself. It looked like the softest most comfortable sleep opportunity ever. She ran her hands over the plush blanket and squeezed the silk pillow. It was all real and all very nice.
‘So basically I would be asleep for a few years. I won’t gain a wrinkle or a pound and…hmmm, I wonder if they can help me loose a few pounds. I’ve gotten a bit thick in the middle. Oh it’s all Ben and Jerry’s fault. I really haven’t been able to pass over the double chocolate chunk and the rocky road lately.’
Nan mused to herself. She was in deep thought when the Salesman came back in the room. She hardly noticed him.
Nan began pacing again. She tapped her temple periodically while her face tightened and relaxed as her thoughts raced through her mind.
The Salesman smiled to himself. He watched Nan for a full minute before going up to the machine and standing in her pacing path.
Nan didn’t notice… until she bumped into him.
“Gee, you should watch where you’re going.” Nan said surprised.
“My goodness. Well I am just so sorry. Please accept my apology. I really couldn’t anticipate the danger in standing here. So sorry, so sorry.” The salesman clasped his hands and smiled at Nan with a grin that threatened to split his lower face from the rest of his head.
Nan took a step back and looked at him.
‘What’s with that look? Is he mental or something?’
“Oh please let me introduce myself. I am Mr. Wittle and I am your salesman. I see you have been admiring the STASIS PORTAL-MATIC Decade model. You may opt for the number of decades you wish to go under for.”
Wittle adjusted his tie and offered once more- the grin.
Nan took two steps back.
‘What’s with his face?’
“I am sure you have questions; perhaps a few. Let me put you at ease. Please ask away.”
“Well…” Nan was not sure where to begin so she just took the plunge. “How many decades exactly can I opt for? Do I wear a night gown for the whole time? Is this fitted for bed wetting or do I have to hold it until I wake? Do you spoon feed and is it only soup foods? I like fried chicken. Would that have to be blended and then souped or is it just the broth? Ummm….can I skip a meal each day? I’d like to wake up a few pounds less on the other side.
Does MJ have one of these? We never met in person but…”
“Miss…madam…I…can take the questions one at a time please?” Wittle was staring at Nan now. The grin had dropped but his eyes were bulging somehow. Nan was sure he had some facial defect.
“Miss …madam did you read the brochure or visit our website?”
Nan thought for a moment trying to remember how she first found out about it.
“It was the radio ad. It said … ‘STASIS PORTAL-MATIC , we take you to the future in a comfortable sleep pad. No worries. Take a relaxed and soothing trip to Immortality’… It went something like that.” Nan was staring dreamily into space remembering her initial excitement.
‘Oh brother!’ Wittle thought to himself.
“So, you didn’t read the fine print then?”
“Fine print? I don’t know what kind of print they used for the Ad Mr. Wittle. I couldn’t see them reading it; I only heard the ad- on the radio I mean.” Nan was a little concerned. Perhaps the defect was not just facial.
Wittle sighed and look down at his shoes.
“I’m Nan-Miss Nan.”
“Aha, Miss Nan the fine print I refer to are the details of the program. We simply put you to sleep for the duration of time you specify. You are intravenously fed a nutrient fluid that supplies all your resting needs. The chamber itself is set with a humidifier that cleans and buffs your skin momentarily.”
Nan looked at Wittle and nodded. She was trying to make sense of what he was saying but there was something he didn’t mention.
“About the fried chicken- can you feed that intravenously? And what about ice-cream? I may be asleep but I want you to know that I can still tell the difference between the Rocky Road and the…”
“Miss Nan!” Wittle interrupted. He took a deep breath and tried to retain his composure.
He was about to respond, but paused.
It was Friday the 9th of October and he had yet to make a sale for the week. He needed a commission and he needed it badly. The other guys on the team had already made at least 3 sales each. If he played his cards right…
Wittle straightened his back, clasped his hands, and brought on the grin.
“Aha. Miss Nan we do fried chicken as a specialty. We are very careful to feed it delicately. And the ah…the ice cream. Please just let us know on the forms which ones you prefer.”
Wittle looked at Nan and Nan looked at Wittle. Then they both laughed aloud- clearly for different reasons.
“This is simply fantastic. I hope you can mix it up sometimes. I mean Cajun, spicy, regular are all great. I just don’t want to have Cajun like three times in a row; I mean twice is okay but…”
“Aha ha ha…” Wittle broke in and laughed above her voice.
It was simply driving him crazy.
‘What a freakin nut job! I need to close this deal.’
“As you say-As you say Miss Nan. I would love to record all the details properly so I get it right. Umm…yes well…how do you propose to pay then? We do Credit cards, cash deposits…?
Wittle’s voice faded as he saw the look on Nan’s face.
“Pay? Well I don’t have a credit card and well cash is low right now I just bought a condo you see and …”
Wittle shut his eyes and took a deep breath.
“Was there a reason why you were viewing this offer then madam?”
Nan stared at Wittle as though she had just seen him for the first time. She wasn’t sure herself. The Ad seemed perfect. She knew- well she thought MJ had one and maybe she could sleep to the future to actually meet him. Then she was enticed with the idea of fried chicken in bed.
‘Why why why? This crazy lady with her stories of MJ, fried chicken and her condo. Wait! A condo? That’s it!’
Wittle opened his eyes and smiled again.
Nan took another step back when she saw the grin again.
He walked over to the machine and rested his hands on it.
“MJ had one of these. He got it through a sister company of ours. Yes he did. Seems he wants to remain asleep for another 5 decades.”
Nan’s mouth fell open.
“They say he likes spicy chicken twice a week and Cajun the other days. Wow, you two have a lot in common. I know he likes ice cream too. I am just not sure if it’s the Rocky road or Pistachio that he really enjoys.”
Wittle stared off in the distance as though he was debating something in his mind.
“Are you…is it true? I mean, I heard he did it. But you’re saying he definitely did it. Oh gosh I want to do it too. Just 5 decades? I want to do it too.”
Nan was bouncing from foot to foot and clapping her hands like a toddler.
‘This is insane. I should feel guilty but something about intravenous fried chicken is keeping me sober right now.’
Wittle laughed aloud and grinned even more-if that were possible.
Nan stopped bouncing suddenly and looked at Wittle.
“But Mr. Wittle, I don’t have…”
“You have a condo don’t you?” Wittle interrupted.
Nan looked confused.
Wittle ran over to a nearby desk, pulled a draw out and started pulling out papers.
“Not to worry Miss Nan. I have a solution. I would not offer this to just anyone but I fear if you delay, you will miss your opportunity with MJ.”
Nan’s heart was beating wild.
“What do I have to do?”
Wittle finished writing something on the papers.
“You just need to sign here, here and here. Once you transfer your Condo ownership over to us, your STASIS PORTAL-MATIC experience will be just moments away.”
“My condo? But where will I live?” Nan asked a little confused again.
“Well in the STASIS PORTAL-MATIC of course. It will be your resting place for 5 decades. Then you can wake up to MJ.”
Wittle tapped the ends of his fingers together.
Then he whispered.
“That’s what you want, isn’t it?”
Nan looked Wittle in the eye.
“Where do I sign?”