Copyright Ken Brady. No reproduction without express permission from the author.
(Originally published in DAILY CABAL, 2009)

It had been a night of hard partying for Jeremy, as it always was on new year’s eve. He viewed the last night of the year as an opportunity to relive all the best parties of the past 364 days – and there were a lot of them – thrown together with the best of the present. With a little creative blending, his implanted processors could recall his best memories, relive the ups, downs, drunken shedding of clothing, face-plants into the jacuzzi, and stream it all through his shades for a monster party that he would blog about for days.

Only, this morning, head pounding, shades missing, he was at a loss for words. He tried to get out of bed, realized he was on the floor, and climbed shakily to his feet.

He walked around his rented Vegas suite naked and almost totally blind without his shades. Everything was blurry and low-res in reality. He squinted through the sun’s glare, and noticed the suite looked like crap without augmentation.

He sat on an exploded bean-bag couch and tried to focus. His shades had been on all night. Except for when Christina wore them while going down, Julie shoved them inside her bra, and some twins from Hong Kong did things with them that made Jeremy wash the lenses in the sink afterward. Oh, and there was that cat. It had been an awesome night.

Sometimes Jeremy wondered if he really needed augmented reality.

Still, he felt lost without his constant media update, and he did need to get some work done at some point today, so he stood and staggered around, calling for his shades. About to give up, he turned into the last room to find the cat sitting on the rotating bed, shades propped on his nose, headphones in his ears.

“My shades!” Jeremy said.

“Yeah, yeah,” said the cat. “I got your augmented reality right here. Shit’s dope, man. Do you have any idea what the market is doing this morning?”

“Man, I can’t even deal with talking cats right now,” said Jeremy. “I mean, I just woke up.”

“So happy new year, right?” said the cat. “You work on your hangover, and I’ll take care of things. I’ve got stuff to do.”

With that, the cat jumped from the bed and disappeared behind a sofa.

Jeremy sat down on the bed, and promptly fell over. As he drifted off to sleep, he heard the mixed sounds of stock market reports and feline porn drifting through the room.

He resolved to do things exactly as he had been doing them. It was going to be one hell of a year.