by Robert R Ducker
My name is Sim and I live in the city.
Once there was a time
when my life was complete and fulfilled.
A time when I did not think to question my world
or my place within my world.
This city is my world.
I adore my wife, Simantha.
I love our three children,
Simdy, Simmie Jo and Simeon Jr.
There was a time when we all lived happily and comfortably
together in a dense residential zone
in the city.
I was born way back in 1950
and grew up in the prosperity of that time.
Things were different when I was young.
I felt that The Player was looking out for my welfare back then.
There were plenty of police stations, fire stations,
hospitals, schools and roads in that great city.
How sweet are my memories of the double-headers at the stadium
and those warm summer evenings spent at the marina
sipping cool mint juleps.
I also have fond memories of the Simsonian museum.
On many Saturday mornings I could be found there
exploring the latest exhibit about the rich culture of the city.
I first met Simantha at the museum.
We found that we enjoyed just being together
in the city.
She taught me to appreciate Simclair Lewis
and I instructed her
on the fine points of mixology.
I was a well-paid and ambitious young executive at Simtronix,
an electronics firm located at the edge
of a light industrial zone.
Simantha was a nurse at a local hospital,
which was always rated as “trim, efficient and responsive”,
and there were no disasters in the city.
The Player was good to us
and we worked hard.
We worked hard
to make our city grow
to become strong, prosperous and beautiful.
Sound effects and music played throughout the city.
I still remember the day the music died.
That was the day when The Player disabled the music
and enabled the disasters.
Life hasn’t been the same since then.
I suppose that The Player has lost interest in us.
Being good to us just isn’t enough for The Player anymore.
Guess there wasn’t enough happening,
only hard work and contentment.
Life is tough now, as the factories have all gone dark.
I no longer feel that The Player is benevolent.
I know The Player to be sadistic.
No one cares about the city.
I walked down to City Hall one day
to ask why my family’s condo was placed
between a nuclear power plant and an airport.
I spoke with a Mr. Simmons who angrily told me to,
“Simmer down, Mr. Simpson!
This is not a complaint department.
Go back out into the city and find someone who cares.”
I complained anyway.
Then I returned to my street to find
that my home had been replaced by a library
which was wedged between two bus terminals.
That was the last day that I saw my little family.
I remain, alone and homeless, in the city.
My dearest Simantha,
what distant square have you been placed upon?
I feel that the end is near.
We are but three years from 2000
and The Player has not replaced a bridge
or repaired a road since 1985.
Does The Player know the grief
of losing a loved one to an air crash?
Right now, I would not mind if The Player could be watching
home and belongings drifting out to sea in a flood.
The Player should know the morbid fear of a monster attack.
Burn, Player, within the searing flames of your burning city!
Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and riots
have now become routine daily events.
Gambling is legal, yet, there is no shelter for the homeless.
Silicon oblivion is near.
I can sense that the end is approaching
with the speed of a hungry cheetah.
I spend a lot of time at the library now.
There is nowhere else to go.
I read the yellowed pages by candlelight
and hope that Simantha might find me there.
I am familiar with the prophecies of Simstradamus,
who has written about the final destruction of the city.
“At the first second of the first minute
of the first morning of the year 2000, it shall occur.
A cold hand reaches out through a smoky fog
to guide a device known as the `Mouse’.
And the Mouse shall direct a small pointer
to rise to a place high above the city.
A place known as the `File Menu’.
`New City’ is selected.
The final question,
`Do you want to save Simi Valley?’
`No’ is selected.
All is lost.”