“You are cool aren’t you?” said the overexcited man with a combover and spectacles.
“Are you cool? Because I went through this before, this kid said he was cool, really cool, went out all the time, was known in all the bars. Had loads of mates. And it turned out he wasn’t at all. He never left the house. Just played video games all the time. When I tried to go out on the town I got beaten up.”
They were sitting in a cafe in the City. The older man, Simon, was eating a ham and cheese baguette. Neil was lazily stirring a cappuccino while trying to catch the eye of a blonde girl at the counter. He wore a denim jacket over a tight white t-shirt that showed off his abs. He had shiny thick blond curls and a nose ring.
Neil turned back to face Simon, already bored. “Look mate, you get what you pay for. I’m a professional. I spend my time finding the right clothes, making the right connections, cultivating an image. You do… whatever you do.”
“Yeah, whatever. Doesn’t matter. The point is I do a good job, you just need to look at the reviews. Now are you going to buy or are you just going to hassle me? There’s a hundred investment bankers lining up to have a go on this identity.”
“Alright. Sorry. I’m just stressed I guess. I work a lot.”
“You all do. Let’s get it over with.”
They sat in silence for a moment. Simon took out his phone and opened the Identify app. After seeing his purchase in the flesh he was happy to spend the weekend as Neil. They put on their mindbands and closed their eyes. It only took a moment. The body of Simon smiled politely at the body of Neil inhabited by Simon.
“Seeya first thing Monday morning. Take care of it, you don’t want to lose your deposit. I’ll park this one for you.” said Simon’s body, gesturing at itself.
The newly minted Neil took out his phone and scrolled through the contacts prepared for him and texted a woman called Emily to see if she was up for a drink. He felt better. All the stresses of work were melting away. He didn’t have to be Simon for the weekend.